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I have an AirPort Time Capsule (model 802.11ac 2TB). I connect to the internet via my work's WiFi. I have managed to set up the AirPort as my Time Machine backup, and can connect to the device by switching my WiFi to the new WiFi network that the device creates. Although this allows me to perform backups, I cannot use the internet whilst I am connected to this WiFi device. Similarly, if I connect to my work's WiFi network, my MacBook cannot see the AirPort device and therefore cannot perform Time Machine backups.

How do I enable both use of the internet and background backups at the same time? Surely this must be possible.

Note that I have a spare ethernet socket nearby, which I could plug into the AirPort device if this helps. Or, if the AirPort device is capable of doing so, I could register the device on the network and connect it to the work WiFi as well.

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To start, you are using the wrong device in that environment. You should be using a USB (or Thunderbolt) external hard drive. A network connection, wired and especially wireless will never be as fast as USB.

Could you plug your Airport into the "spare Ethernet socket." Probably, but given that you said you have to "register the device on the network to connect via WiFi" tells me they have some sort of RADIUS or similar authorization taking place. I doubt your network admins would appreciate the network being saturated with Time Machine traffic.

Your solution:

I would keep your TM off the corporate network altogether. Get an Ethernet cable and connect your MacBook directly to the TM. You will have to manually set the the IP addresses, but this is pretty straight forward. This will give you a fast connection to your TM, you won't put unnecessary traffic on the corporate LAN and you will still be able to use your WiFi.

Preferred solution:

Get an external USB drive and backup to that. There's much less complexity translating into higher reliability.

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You could connect your AirPort Time Capsule via Ethernet and turn off the box’s Wifi altogether. This way, it will become part of your existing (wireless?) network and you can back up and access the Internet at the same time.

Any Airport device can be set up in “bridge mode” and they will join a network like any other computer as opposed to making their own network and requiring correct routing setup.

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