Is it possible to use Time Capsule without the Internet as an offline private wifi network for backup?

I have read only tales of terror in my search for anecdotes and instructions regarding set-up other than using the time capsule as the cornerstone of my

I have live power outlets in some pretty obscure places, and as sleek as this little white box is, I see only trouble having it anywhere near the kids or even me for that matter. I might even run some power and make a little shelf between studs before I finish up the drywall.

I would like to leave my existing, hassle-free cable wifi setup completely untouched.

Time Capsule model year 2013-2014, Laptop is 2013 MacBook Air.

  • I used to have TCs (the flat pre-2013 models though). I remember they got pretty hot and can be a fire hazzard especially inside a drywall!
    – EDP
    Nov 11, 2015 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


Time Capsule does not require an active internet connection to function correctly. I would, however, caution that these units are notorious for getting 'unhappy' when used in an area that does not have sufficient cooling. Putting one inside the drywall is a bad idea, IMO. Unless you're using a wired connection to connect to your TC, then you're either going to need to set the TC up to extend your existing wireless network or you'll need to have it on its own network. That latter makes no sense, as your Air will not simultaneously connect to multiple wireless networks. To make Time Machine work as intended (hourly, autonomous backups), you need your TC on the same network as you use for surfing and working.

A TC will quite happily operate without creating a wireless network (Wireless | Network Mode 'Off'). I'd suggest that your ideal configuration would be to have the TC connected with Ethernet to your existing wireless AP running in bridge mode. The TC would get an IP address from the DHCP server in your router. You can then configure the share in the TC and point Time Machine from your Mac to use the share.

  • Thank you! Unclear which of TC and AP needs bridge mode. Sep 21, 2014 at 15:19
  • I assumed from your question that your cable router is also supplying your wifi, which suggests that it is also doing all the assigning of IP addresses. If so, the TC would be configured to run in bridge mode so that it would pick up its IP address from the DHCP server on the network. You would have its wireless set to off so as to not interfere with your existing wireless access point (presumably in the cable modem, but if not that really doesn't matter). Sep 22, 2014 at 0:09

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