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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.

3
  • No cloud solutions please. My time on earth is limited.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 6, 2011 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, 2011 at 19:29
  • @CajunLake: I have corrected my question. Its the hardware.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 7, 2011 at 6:59

5 Answers 5

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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.

4
  • 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.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 8, 2011 at 5:16
  • I use a 2 TB LaCie disk with time machine and it works great.
    – neoneye
    Apr 11, 2011 at 8:55
  • The recent 10.7 release showed several third-party solutions to need firmware upgrades to work with 10.7 Jul 27, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 at 13:30
0

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.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 6, 2011 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.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 7, 2011 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, 2011 at 13:41
  • @bobbyalex I also waited months for CrashPlan to complete (internet is sloooow in Australia) but after that initial hit a few years ago, the incremental changes aren't even noticeable Mar 28, 2016 at 2:21
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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.

1
  • My mistake. I meant Time capsule.
    – bobbyalex
    Apr 6, 2011 at 13:03

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