06 March 2008

Time Capsule

I’ve had this draft sitting around since we got the Time Capsule. Might as well polish and post...

The NetGear wireless router we had—while fine feature-wise—had problems. Weekly, it would refuse wireless connections until you poked at it’s configuration. (You didn’t have to actually change the configuration.) It’d periodically just run slow until you power cycled it. I kept installing firmware updates, but the problems always remained.

We’d been needing a network disk to back-up our machines to as well. So, when the Time Capsule was announced, I wanted one. When I got some Apple Store credit as a work bonus, my beautiful—then Apple Store employed—wife brilliantly suggested that combined with her discount, we could afford one sooner than I’d expected.

When it arrived, setup was a very pleasant experience. Easier than any other wireless router I’ve setup. I soon had it up with the same network name and network password as I’d used with the NetGear. (Thus, no need to reconfigure the Macs or iPhones.) Even our USB printer—which never worked great with our Macs—was soon connected to the Time Capsule taking the “network print server” duties from my Mac mini. I was soon connected to the Time Capsule’s hard drive and backing up my Mac mini. (I was waiting until I could back it up before installing Leopard so that I could use Time Machine.) Setting up Time Machine on Andrea’s iBook to work with the Time Capsule went easy too.

OK, one little hiccup there. The initial Time Machine backup can take a long time. Probably the old iBook’s old AirPort card was a factor as well. I stopped it and connected it via ethernet instead. It still took a long time, but not as long as it would have. Still, that isn’t a fault in the product.

Ironically, Andrea told me that Time Capsule generated a lot of support calls. I have to assume that that is more due to the nature of the product—network, especially wireless networking, can be mysterious to a lot of users—than the product itself. If someone has trouble setting up a Time Capsule, they’d probably have even more trouble with...say...a NetGear one. (Not even considering the additional network disk and network printer features of the Time Capsule.)

So, I finally have a permanent fix for the problems with the my NetGear router. (^_^)

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