When I backup using time machine to my Time Capsule, does this use network bandwidth? I'm uncertain as I could see it creating some sort of ad-hoc network between the computer and the disc to do the back up but I'm completely unsure. Just don't want to be backing up hundreds of gigabytes over a network connection

1 Answer 1


When backing up to a Time Capsule, it backs up over the network.

The first backup will be several hundreds of gigabytes; this takes a while. However, subsequent backups are smaller, since it only transfers files that have changed.

Also, if the Time Capsule is not available (eg MacBook taken offsite), then it creates local snapshots and waits for the Time Capsule to become available again. It won't attempt to transfer the data over your Internet connection.

More info:

  • Alright thanks! I was debating buying a Thunderbolt 2 or USB 3 drive to use as my backup instead, just in case comcast ever decided to re-implement their 250 gb internet quota, since I usually go well over 250 anyway Jan 14, 2015 at 19:01
  • Thunderbolt/USB3 will be a lot quicker and cheaper than a Time Capsule, which makes them a good choice for an iMac or Mac Pro. But the biggest advantage of Time Capsule is 100% automation, and it defeats the purpose if you have to attach an external disk to your MacBook every time you make a backup. Time Capsule is a lot more convenient for MacBooks. Jan 15, 2015 at 1:08
  • Oh, and take a look at AirPort Extreme; for most of them, you can add an external self-powered USB hard disk and use it for time machine backups. Often cheaper than the Time Capsule. support.apple.com/en-au/HT201712 Jan 15, 2015 at 1:10
  • I purchased my time capsule awhile back, when I bought my MacBook Pro, but I recently sold that and purchased one of the new 5K iMacs so detaching isn't a problem for me. I was really wanting to get a thunderbolt 2 drive, but I did some research on them and saw that unless you drop the big bucks to get an SSD one, it's barely better than USB 3 Jan 15, 2015 at 1:51

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