If you’re a Mac user who wants to maximize Apple’s Time Machine software, good news from Macworld. Apple has unveiled a new router/backup device called Time Capsule that works seamlessly (and wirelessly) to deliver hands-off backups. The device, essentially an Airport Extreme Base Station fused with your choice of 500GB ($299) or 1TB ($499) hard drive, will be available in February.
I’ve been using Time Machine, which is built into the Leopard OS, on my Mac PowerBook. It’s impressive but, because my laptop has only one disk, I have to plug in an external drive to use as the backup target. This setup works OK, but it’s un-Apply inelegant.
The Time Capsule could change all that. The 802.11n base station can serve as a no-brainer backup solution for networked computers, automatically updating all Macs pretty much constantly. It packs three Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. It also has a USB 2.0 port, which enables you to network your printer, and a built-in NAT firewall. A nice touch is that it doesn’t have the unwieldy power brick that you’ll find dangling from network-attached storage devices.
What I like about it: It’s inexpensive compared with Windows Home Server devices like the HP MediaSmart Server.
What I don’t like: I am pretty sure that it will not offer seamless backup capabilities for Windows PCs on your network.