Information Technology Reference
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You could, of course, disconnect the drive from the Time Capsule,
hook it up directly to your computer, and make a bootable duplicate
onto a spare partition. But why bother? Just use the Time Capsule's
built-in drive for versioned backups and use a separate drive,
connected locally to your Mac, for duplicates.
Network backups are slow(er): Like any network device,
Time Capsule will nearly always be much slower than a drive that's
connected directly to your Mac. You'll notice this especially on your
first backup, which could take days. And it will be more pronounced
if you connect to the Time Capsule wirelessly via Wi-Fi rather than
over Ethernet—even if both the Mac and the Time Capsule use the
relatively speedy 802.11n protocol. (If you're lucky enough to have
both a new Mac and a new Time Capsule with 802.11ac support,
you may find wireless performance to be more than adequate, and
in some cases even faster than Ethernet access.)
Maintenance could be tricky: If an external drive develops
disk errors, you can run Disk Utility or another disk repair program
on it. But what if your Time Capsule's built-in drive has problems?
I know of no way to repair one, short of sending the entire unit back
to Apple or removing the hard drive (voiding the warranty). If a
damaged Time Machine disk image can be mounted, Disk Utility
may be able to repair it, but this is distinct from problems on the
drive itself. It can be erased via AirPort Utility, but not repaired.
If you decide to go ahead and buy a Time Capsule, I suggest getting
the 3 TB model (despite the price premium), since you may want more
room later and you can't upgrade to a larger drive without voiding the
device's warranty.
Tip: Time Capsule isn't the only game in town for people who want
network backups via Time Machine. I list a number of third-party NAS
devices that support Time Machine in the Online Appendixes .
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