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Will Apple ever upgrade the Time Capsule/AirPort?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ted Todorov, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. 1 Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
    Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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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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  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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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.
     
  3. 3 Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    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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  4. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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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.
     
  5. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  6. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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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.
     
  7. Raul Marquez

    Raul Marquez Supporting Actor

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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.
     
  8. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

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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
     
  9. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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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.
     
  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The LG wifi issue was corrected by LG soon after the display was released.
     
  11. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

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    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
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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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.
     
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