What is the difference between the Time Capsule and an external hard drive? I want to store photos externally to free up space on my Mac.

I am wanting to free up space on my Mac to help it perform tasks faster. Since I have over 10,000 photos on my MacBook hard drive, it seems to be slowing down. I have a Time Capsule, but should I also get an external hard drive to store all photos? I guess I don't understand the difference between the two. I was thinking I could then delete the photos (if I had an external hard drive) on my MacBook Pro to free up more space. Is this logical?

  • Asked by Chris T from Yakima
  • Jan 5, 2010
QA Apple Time Capsule

QA Apple Time Capsule

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1 Answer from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    An external hard drive is usually connected to your Mac by either a Firewire or USB cable. This means that it can only be connected to one machine at a time, although the transfer rate is very good, so it will respond as quickly as your internal drive or possibly even faster.

    A Time Capsule on the other hand is effectively a wireless router, with a built in hard drive. The hard drive acts like a network storage drive - so it is available to all of your computers on the network at any time, and because it's wireless there are no messy cables to plug in and it can be located anywhere. The downside is that because data is transferred wirelessly, if you have large amounts of data that you need to access very quickly, it will respond slower than an external drive connected directly.

    I have around 10,000 photos in my iPhoto library that I access across the network. It works well, although there is a noticeable lag in performance, which an external hard drive would help overcome.

    • Answered by Ben N
    • Jan 6, 2010