View Full Version : Potential dumb question about AirPort and attached hard drives (backing up)

2010-02-09, 20:31
I often see refurb AirPort base stations going for $129 ($50 off their new price). These have USB ports and I know they can share hard drives, etc. But if I connect a hard drive to it, can I use it as a wireless backup solution via Time Machine?

I love those Time Capsules, but a) they seem quite pricey, and b) what happens if you fill one up over time? I was thinking it might be better to just get a standalone base station and attach a roomy USB drive to it (and, down the road, that drive can be swapped out or upgraded as needed?

Is this possible? In the AirPort section of Apple's site, they lay out all the features and capabilities nicely, but it doesn't mention the above usage.

It seems like a simple, obvious thing...but it's not explicitly stated or diagrammed at Apple's site.

I have to believe such a simple thing is possible. It's really no different than a Time Capsule, except the hard drive isn't built-in and is, instead, connected via USB.

2010-02-09, 21:30
I remember it being in the 10.5 betas of Leopard, but it was taken out at release because it wasn't stable enough.

However, a later update brought the functionality back.

But, I can't seem to find anything about it now...

I'm using a Time Capsule, so same idea, just an all-in-one Apple solution.

Edit: This Apple Support Discussion (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2299608)says that it MAY work, but it's not supported by Apple. The backups may become corrupted, which kind of defeats the purpose of making a backup in the first place.