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Will Apple ever upgrade the Time Capsule/AirPort? (1 Viewer)

Ted Todorov

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Yes Apple still sells them:
https://www.apple.com/airport-time-capsule/

It has been reported/rumored since over a year ago that Apple has abandoned them. It has also been reported that good third party solutions exist -- meshes like Eero and off site backups like BackBlaze.

The problem is as good as they may be, they are not the same thing, and would be a bad idea for a large percentage of Mac users.

Eero is fantastic for people living in huge suburban houses, where a mesh WiFi is sometimes vastly superior to a AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule. But many Mac users are based in NYC or European or Asian cities (a majority, even?) where a mesh is useless because an Airport Extreme can cover their entire apartment with WiFi, and having multiple WiFi routers is a waste of precious space. Also, you can attach your printer or some other crucial device to you Airport Extreme or Time Capsule and cannot to your Eero.

So far as backups are concerned BackBlaze has a huge advantage over a Time Capsule - if your apartment burns down or is so thoroughly robbed that all your backups are taken you will be saved by an off-site backup. But there are any number of reasons that it doesn't replace a Time Capsule. Plenty of people have internet connections that are way too slow for fast enough off site backups for it to be your only one. Some are also unwilling (legitimately - Equifax anyone?) to not want their financial, etc. info end up at a 3rd party company they have no control over. I also doubt that BackBlaze works worldwide - but Macs and Time Capsule do. Lastly over a few years, Time Capsule is cheaper than a subscription.

So while both Eero and BackBlaze are perfect examples of services Apple should support themselves - a mesh version of AirPort (but only one version) and an off sight backup version of iCloud to cover what BackBlaze offers, they still need to continue to update and sell the current versions of Airport Extreme and Time Capsule for the majority of their Mac users.
 
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DaveF

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Time Machine (Time Capsule) and Backblaze should be a both/and, not either/or. :)

Three locations or data doesn’t exist.
 

Ted Todorov

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Time Machine (Time Capsule) and Backblaze should be a both/and, not either/or. :)

Three locations or data doesn’t exist.
Obviously I agree with both/and as the best approach: unfortunately for many it people it simply isn't possible. In my case, shear size is a factor: my MacPro stores 25TB of data on its *internal* HDs - and if I upgrade them again from 6TB to 8TB (or more) and the SSD from a single 1TB to multiple 2TBs (I think I could add as many as 3 of them - as my only other occupied slot is the GPU). Thorough backups, never mind multiple ones are out of the question.

And for most "normals" persuading them to pay 99 cents a month to just back up their lifelong photo collection is a challenge. The majority can not be persuaded that backups are worth anything in terms of time or treasure until they have lost all their data, at which point it is too late.
 
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Patrick_S

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The short answer is no, Apple has discontinued the product and is not currently working on any hardware.
This could change in the future but it does not look likely.
 

Clinton McClure

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I didn’t think apple has officially stated the Airport and Time Capsule families have been discontinued, but there were a few unconfirmed reports a while back that the design and engineering teams for those products had been reassigned to other product groups.
 

Raul Marquez

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I have 2 Airport Extremes and 1 Airport Express which solved my WiFi problems in my apartment which was built over 50 years ago and whose walls are reinforced concrete and brick, no gypsum drywalls. I really like these units.

I've stated it before that being an Apple fanboy, I don't like the direction the company has taken under Tim Cook's leadership. Too much politics and too little technology. Really miss Steve Jobs.
 

Mark Booth

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My circa 2011 Airport Base Station died a couple of months ago. I decided to go with an Asus WiFi router and I’m so glad I did! I get much better WiFi range and I gained one extra Ethernet port on the back.

I think Apple has cooled its plans for Airport for the same reason you can no longer buy an Apple-branded external hard drive or Apple-branded display. Apple knows other companies already offer those products and they are very good.

Mark
 

Ted Todorov

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My circa 2011 Airport Base Station died a couple of months ago. I decided to go with an Asus WiFi router and I’m so glad I did! I get much better WiFi range and I gained one extra Ethernet port on the back.

I think Apple has cooled its plans for Airport for the same reason you can no longer buy an Apple-branded external hard drive or Apple-branded display. Apple knows other companies already offer those products and they are very good.

Mark
Not true of the display - they were promoting an LG 5K display, which turned out to have a massive bug killing nearby WiFi (or vice versa, google the details). Apple was embarrassed enough to announce that along with a new Mac Pro they will be releasing a new Apple Cinema Display (5K or better). So best guess, sometime in 2018. I am hoping they get the same hint for the AirPort/TimeCapsule - they don’t want to be embarrassed by third party bugs, etc.
 

Mark Booth

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Not true of the display - they were promoting an LG 5K display, which turned out to have a massive bug killing nearby WiFi (or vice versa, google the details). Apple was embarrassed enough to announce that along with a new Mac Pro they will be releasing a new Apple Cinema Display (5K or better). So best guess, sometime in 2018. I am hoping they get the same hint for the AirPort/TimeCapsule - they don’t want to be embarrassed by third party bugs, etc.

Yes, I remember that issue (and also remember LG corrected it, as mentioned above).

I wanted to continue to be an Apple ecosystem user as far as WiFi was concerned. But Apple has fallen way too far behind the times. The Asus I'm using now is a MUCH better product.

Mark
 

DaveF

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I've got a 6th gen AEBS and a Airport Express setup in an ethernet bridged mode to improve wifi through the house -- a poor man's mesh network.

If I were replacing that gear, I'd buy one of the new mesh network systems that Ron has reviewed the past year.

Which is presumably why Apple has left the wifi game at present: other companies are doing "it just works" at premium price points much better. And Apple isn't really into the support gear market. They left printers years ago. They've left the displays (as a component) business. They're probably just as happy to be out of the wifi router market, with other companies doing it better.
 

Ted Todorov

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So something is going wrong with my Time Capsule - I initially thought it was the the disk drive, (periodic super loud grinding noises) but my current best guess is the fan getting stuck. The Time Capsule's light is flashing yellow and AirPort Utility is telling me "this device is overheating".

A quick search found this:
The solution is actually easier than you might think, but it requires a bit of skill in disassembling the time machine extreme, a couple of simple tools (something to pry the device base open, a #8 torx bit screwdriver that is at least 6" long, and a bottle of lubricant such as bicycle chain lubricant or something similar).

Use a disassembly guide to get the device torn down. Once you get the internals out, you'll find the fan on one side of the device. It is covered, but you can open up the cover by popping the little clips on the sides of the fan. Once you've exposed the blades of the fan, give it a little spin. You'll notice it doesn't keep spinning. The bearing is jammed. Now here's the trick - grab the fan from the sides, and lift it STRAIGHT UP. It'll slight right off. Now put a drop of oil in the hole the fan blade shaft goes into, and shove the fan into the hole a few times to lubricate it. Give it a spin. It'll spin for awhile. You fixed it! Reassemble and there will be no more overheating!

A few quick additions: When I mention lifting the fan "straight up" I mean STRAIGHT UP from the base. When you open the fan case, you'll see the top of the fan and the blades around the sides. Grip on the sides and lift it straight up from the plastic base it's attached from (don't try to pry it or shove it to the sides). You'll have a tiny bit of resistance (because the shaft is jammed and because there's a bit of magnetism holding the fan in place). This is almost universally the reason this overheating error occurs - the fan isn't spinning or is barely spinning. One tiny drop of oil solves the entire problem. It only takes a LITTLE oil, so be sparing in how you do it (you might even want to lube the shaft instead of the hole). The hardest part of the whole job is disassembling the device, but all-in-all this is a 15 minute procedure and will fix the problem.
The amount of dust I've been getting out of my MacPro tells me this TImeCapsule (which I bought right when it was originally released) must have been stuffed with it in its fan area.
The problem is even if I get the relevant equipment and successfully follow the instructions, we will be without the Internet while I'm attempting it - we have no spare. I'll probably have to buy a new one -- if only Apple had upgraded two things in the intervening years: quadruple the storage capacity from 3TB to 12TB, and change the software so that TimeMachine can use the same large TimeCapsule to backup multiple Macs. (Partitioning the its disk drive and letting each Mac to use a different partition for TimeMachine backups would work).
 

DaveF

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That’s a different topic, but I wish Apple had a home server instead of rigorously maintaining its every-user-is-a-island. I’d love to have unified Photos and Music libraries (with per-user accounts and metadata) as well as a unified Time Machine backups to a NAS.
 

Ted Todorov

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That’s a different topic, but I wish Apple had a home server instead of rigorously maintaining its every-user-is-a-island. I’d love to have unified Photos and Music libraries (with per-user accounts and metadata) as well as a unified Time Machine backups to a NAS.
I'm with you to a certain extent, but I'm mystified to what extent Music libraries aren’t unified. To put it another way, Netflix is the perfect example: everyone in the family has full access, but by logging into your user name, you can watch things without another family member losing the spot you got to in a particular series. When watching together, you just use one account.

The same with iTunes: you can all listen to all the music, but need to download only the stuff you really like to your own iPhone or iPad. You can still listen to everything, just when you are without Internet connection (travel, etc). you only can listen to your own choices.

If that is confusing you, simple tip: have a shared Apple ID for music, videos,books, apps, etc. then have unrelated, separate Apple IDs for each family members email, texts, iPhones, etc
 

DaveF

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iTunes:
She has her iMac with her music library and her ratings and playlists

I have my iMac with all of our music and and my ratings and playlists.

I also have a media PC with the music library and an outdated copy of ratings and playlists.

So, some sort of iTunes home server with a single copy of the music and user accounts for ratings and playlists could be good.

Shared ID (which we don’t do, since that would be more confusion than benefit to us) doesn’t do anything for local libraries.
 
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Ted Todorov

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Well, considering there isn't a single good third party equivalent to a Time Capsule, I'll go and buy one while they still exist. Sad day.
 

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