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I've been hunting for the answer to this, but I have not found it. When I back up my laptop using Time Machine to a remote Time Machine server (Time Capsule, or Mac Mini with an external drive), is the data on the network encrypted?

Note that I don't care about the encryption of the data on the hard drives at either end, just about the ethernet/wifi in the middle.

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Is there any workaround for this? Maybe VPN or SSH tunnel? I really want to use Time Machine backups over a network but don't want the data transferred unencrypted. Would FileVault2 work? Not sure I want to use FileVault because of the added CPU overhead, but would at least like to know if would work. –  user90575 Sep 13 '14 at 16:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Short answer, no it's not. As with most of the file transfer protocols(SMB, FTP, NFS) it transfers data in plain text.

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Your password for authentication may be encrypted depending on what you are authenticating to, but the AFP transfer is not encrypted.

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If the WiFi has encryption, it is encrypted over-the-air.

However, wired ethernet is not encrypted or protected in any way.

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