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Apple Time Capsule

Apple Time Capsule

One network, multiple standards, simultaneously

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Review This update of Apple’s Time Capsule Wi-fi access point-cum-NAS box went rather unnoticed amid the recent barrage of Mac revamps. However, it works well and boasts an ease of use that justifies its slightly above-average price tag.

Apple Time Capsule

Apple's Time Capsule: updated for simultaneous dual-band wireless usage

For those who aren’t familiar with it already, the Time Capsule takes one of Apple’s standard Airport Extreme wireless routers and bolts a hard disk into it in order to provide a network storage system. It’s primarily designed for use with the Time Machine backup software that's built into Mac’s OS X 10.5, but it uses standard 802.11a, b, g and n wireless technology so it can be used with older Macs and Windows PCs too.

We tested the 500GB version, which costs £229, and there’s a 1TB model as well, although this is priced at a far less attractive £379.

Not surprisingly, the Time Capsule looks much like the Airport wireless router, although the built-in hard disk means that it’s a little larger. The AC adaptor brick is built in too. It’s a gleaming white square box, measuring just under 200mm wide and deep, and less than 50mm high.

It’s a lot neater than many other wireless routers and NAS drives that we’ve seen recently, and the hard disk is virtually silent, even when copying files onto it from multiple machines simultaneously, so you can place it in any convenient location without worrying about the noise.

Apple Time Capsule

Decent array of ports

In addition to its wireless capabilities, the Time Capsule also has three Gigabit Ethernet ports for conventional wired networking, along with a USB 2.0 port for connecting a printer or another USB hard disk in order to add extra storage. There’s also a fourth Ethernet port that takes the feed from an ADSL or cable modem, or to an existing network router.

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