Apple Time Capsule Wi-Fi router
The latest version of Apple's Wi-Fi router with an integrated hard drive offers simultaneous dual-band operation.
- Simultaneous dual-band operation, guest networking, integrated hard drive, fast, WDS configuration
- No backup utility for Windows, won't backup to external hard disks, expensive
The latest update to the Apple Time Capsule brings new features that make it a more versatile wireless router. If it wasn't for an exorbitant price tag, it would be a must-buy.
Price$ 779.00 (AUD)
The latest version of the Time Capsule — Apple's Wi-Fi router with an integrated hard drive — has some new tricks up its sleeve that make it a more versatile backbone for a home wireless network. Its cost and a lack of compatibility with Windows-based backup utilities are a trade-off for simultaneous dual-band operation and decent speeds.
Apple has offered 802.11 draft-n networking in its AirPort wireless routers for some time, but the new Time Capsule adds simultaneous dual-band operation as well. Like the Linksys WRT610N, this means that the Time Capsule can operate a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi access point — used by 802.11b/g devices and prone to interference from other consumer devices — while simultaneously providing a 802.11a-compatible Wi-Fi access point over the 5GHz spectrum for bandwidth-heavy uses. A network can also be set up for guests, with a separate password and the ability to share the Internet connection or grant read/write access to the Time Capsule's integrated hard drive.
This version of the Apple Time Capsule has Wireless Distribution System (WDS) technology, allowing you to extend a network using multiple access points without requiring a single networked backbone. The system is a little tricky to set up, requiring you to link MAC addresses, but thanks to a firmware update to older AirPort devices, your AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express can still become a part of a WDS configuration. Since it is not a Wi-Fi Alliance–certified technology it may only work with Apple network routers, but computers and other wireless devices will have no trouble accessing WDS-enabled networks. WPA, WPA2 and WEP security options are all supported.
The back of the Time Capsule has four Gigabit Ethernet ports — though one is reserved as a WAN connection — and a USB port for sharing printers and external hard drives.
We tested wireless throughput speeds by transferring 5GB worth of files between an Apple iMac and a notebook with a 7200rpm hard drive. At a range of 2m, the router transferred data at 5.9 megabytes per second over the 2.4GHz network and 12.8MBps over 5GHz. At 20m, these speeds dropped to 1.4MBps over 2.4GHz and 3.7MBps over 5GHz. During simultaneous operation the Time Capsule acquitted itself well, slowing only slightly to 4.5MBps over 2.4GHz and 8.9MBps over 5GHz at close range. The Time Capsule rivals the Linksys WRT610N for speed, and will handle tasks like high-definition media streaming well.
Most routers rely on a Web-based interface for configuration, but the Time Capsule wireless router uses dedicated software. The Windows version of the application is cumbersome compared to its Mac counterpart, and, annoyingly, you have to restart the router after making even minor settings changes.
The hard drive component of the Apple Time Capsule can be used as a simple network drive, but it is designed primarily for use with MacOS X Leopard's integrated backup software, Time Machine. The Time Capsule acts as a networked backup drive for Time Machine, and backs up the contents of your computer in its entirety or in increments. Apple doesn't provide any backup utility for Windows.
Our main gripe with this wireless router is its price. The Time Capsule is essentially an Airport Extreme wireless base station with an internal hard drive tacked on, for which Apple adds a $200 premium for the 500GB model, and a $500 premium for the 1TB version. Given that you can pick up an external 1TB hard drive for anywhere between $280 and $400, it means that Apple is charging at least $100 too much. If you require a network drive to use with Time Machine then the price is justified, but otherwise it is hard to come to terms with.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- EC says LCD screen cartel is active globally
- Sharp to increase LCD panel production on higher demand
- Dick Smith report says Australians keen to switch to digital radio
- Samsung, Numonyx to develop PCM specifications
- Faster SD cards could reach devices next year
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTechnical WriterNSW
- CCNetIQ Development OR Netiq Access ManagerNSW
- CCFilenet DeveloperQLD
- TPRelease ManagerQLD
- CCBusiness Project Manager - TelcoVIC
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- FTSenior Technical Business AnalystOther
- CCDesktop Support Analyst / EngineerNSW
- CCSenior DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Project ManagerOther
- FTSenior Consultant TechnicalNSW
- FTChief Information OfficerNZ
- FTSenior Project ManagerACT
- TPBusiness Analyst - TechnicalWA
- FTCognos DeveloperACT
- CCSupply Chain Management Business ArchitectQLD
- FTNetwork & Infrastructure ArchitectOther
- TPStorage & VMware AdministratorQLD
- TPDigital Operations Support AnalystNSW
- CCL2 Service Desk TechnicianWA
- FTSenior UX Designer | Initial 6 Month ContractOther
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTImplementation ManagerOther
- FTPractice Manager - SecurityVIC