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Can someone tell me the best alternative to Apple Time capsule? Common question, I know, but couldn't find it in the list.

People who have actually tried out the alternatives only please.

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No cloud solutions please. My time on earth is limited. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 6 '11 at 13:01
    
Do you mean Time Capsule the hardware device or Time Machine the backup system that uses Time Capsules or hard drives? Most of the answers seem to be answering the latter question and you seem to be asking the former. –  CajunLuke Apr 6 '11 at 19:29
    
@CajunLake: I have corrected my question. Its the hardware. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 7 '11 at 6:59
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5 Answers 5

Since there have been no "hardware" answers by someone who has used one, I'll add that there are third party drives who support Time Machine. Just as some examples, LaCie has support in their NAS products and Drobos also have support. I've used neither, although I have a LaCie d2 Network 2 on order.

The cautionary note here is that "support" means that they (a) make it possible to connect to the NAS from Time Machine and (b) typically provide size restrictions on Time Machine so that it doesn't eventually consume all free space on the drive. Apple does not support any NAS other than a Time Capsule, so there is no guarantee that the third party drives won't stop working with a future Time Machine software update, or have other problems.

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I have heard that the TC has a real bad failure rate after it runs for a year... right on time when the warranty expires. I wonder if Apple programs it to self destruct. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 8 '11 at 5:16
    
I use a 2 TB LaCie disk with time machine and it works great. –  neoneye Apr 11 '11 at 8:55
    
The recent 10.7 release showed several third-party solutions to need firmware upgrades to work with 10.7 –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jul 27 '11 at 13:36
    
Indeed. I am somewhat regretting having purchased the LaCie right now, although there are many other NAS vendors who have equally dropped the ball. –  David Jul 27 '11 at 15:38
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I use tar with rsync and it works very well, it's also scriptable which make it even more powerfull!

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And if you're command-line averse check out arRsync -- a GUI front end to rsync for OS X. –  Ian C. Apr 6 '11 at 13:30
    
May be intersting, I'll check it out ;) Thanks –  Geoffroy Apr 6 '11 at 13:31
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I use both, but if I had to ditch TM for some reason, I'd continue to use Arq for backing up to "the cloud".

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I am looking for a hardware alternative. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 6 '11 at 13:01
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You can use CrashPlan, for free, to do incremental backups to another drive, another computer or to a friends computer. As long as you can mount the drive on your Mac, you can backup to it. That means you could use a router that supports sharing a USB-attached drive. Or a NAS box on your network. Or the drive from another machine. You get the idea.

And when you're ready to back up to the cloud, CrashPlan does that too. It's been doing cloud-based backups for me for about 6 weeks now and I'm pretty pleased with how it performs. Initial seeding took a few weeks, but now it can complete the incrementals in an evening.

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Dude, you need an award for your patience. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 7 '11 at 7:01
    
I love my data. Knowing it's safe is worth waiting for. In the long view two weeks isn't much time at all. And it was 1/2 a terabyte. –  Ian C. Apr 7 '11 at 13:41
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DéjàVu is a nice System Pref that do the job

EDIT : The answer stays the same. DejaVu + an external or NAS disk will do the job.

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My mistake. I meant Time capsule. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 6 '11 at 13:03
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