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With Time Capsule discontinued, what's the best option for seamless network backups with Time Machine? Something that's out of mind, doesn't need babysitting and that can be trusted to work reliably when needed.

Some suggestions I've seen:

  • External storage attached to a Mac computer with macOS Server.
  • An AFP compatible NAS with the TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes option enabled.
  • Time Capsule is still the best solution, and we're stuck with that until it becomes painfully out of date and unmaintained.

The dedicated Mac solution seems clunky: aside from the cost of a dedicated computer, the Mac is yet another thing that needs to be maintained, updated, etc. The AFP NAS solution seems best, but I want to make it can be relied upon (relevant question). Does a NAS work as seamlessly as I'm used to with Time Capsule? (e.g. no need to mount/unmount, etc.)

What are the other options?

It would also be nice if this solution supported APFS, given High Sierra's direction.

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Yes, some NAS work as seamlessly as the Time Capsule. For example Synology DSM has great Time Machine support. There's no need need to manually mount/unmount the network share for each backup.

You can read Apple's list of other options here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202784

It is essentially either a local drive connected to your Mac (via USB, Thunderbolt, Firewire, SATA, whatever) or a network volume using AFP (NAS, PC/Mac, Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme with external drive connected).

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