14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2011 9:10 PM by AndyTNZ
AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I currently run Time Machine backups from my iMac via USB to a Seagate FreeAgent external HD - which works well.

 

I have a Netgear modem / router at the heart of the home wifi - which also works well.

 

I like the idea of Time Capsule in principle but before I incur the not inconsiderable expenditure, I'd be interested in the community's views on the technical benefits of moving to Time Capsule backups?


iMac 27" : iPad : iPhone 4 : iPods
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,885 points)

    The Time Capsule is a wireless router with a built-in hard drive.

     

    Depending on what version of the Time Capsule you are looking at, probably a third to half of the cost is tied up in the wireless router function of the device.

     

    So, the first question to really ask is.....do you need another wireless router?

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Bob..... strictly not I guess but I like the versatility of the Time Capsule.

     

    What is the best way to set up the TC with the current system comprising:

     

    1. a Netgear DG834N modem / router which is ethernet connected to the iMac
    2. a Netgear WN2000RPT wifi extender
    3. an Airport Express 802.11N connected to an anologue hifi system

     

    Several thoughts:

     

    1. Should I run the DG834N as a modem only and use the full TC wireless router + HDD functioanlity? Is the TC's wireless router better than the DG834N's other than that it operates in dual band?
    2. Or should I use the DG834 as the primary modem + router and use the TC for wireless back-ups only
    3. Or can I run both TC (in 5Ghz mode only ) and the DG834N (in 2.4Ghz mode only) both at the same time?
    4. Can the DG834N be used as a modem + repeater?

     

    You can see I'm no wireless expert so your help and advice is much appreciated

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,885 points)

    If you are happy with your current wireless network, the easiest (and best) way to add the TC to your network is connect an Ethernet cable from one of the available LAN <-> ports on the Netgear router to the WAN port (circle of dots icon) on the TC, and then configure the TC to act as a "bridge" on your network.

     

    Backups will occur over your current Netgear wireless network, and you also will have the option of connecting your computer directly to one of the Ethernet ports on the TC to allow backups to occur 3-4 times faster than wireless will allow.

     

    Since you probably don't need another wireless network, you can simply turn off the wireless on the TC.

     

    Another configuration option....although it is more difficult.....is to configure the TC to "join" your existing wireless network. Backups will occur over wireless only, so you could locate the TC anywhere you want as long as it can receive a good wireless signal. It this type of configuration, the TC functions simply as a wireless hard drive.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I guess it boils down to whether the TC ( 2011 4th generation dual band model )wireless function performs better than the Netgears (2009 single band model) If it does the TC should be the primary unit fed by the modem element of the Netgear. If it doesn't I should run with your first option. What's your view on the TC's wireless performance?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,885 points)

    The TC's dual band wireless network would be a better choice in terms of performance, but your Netgear "extender" will not work with the TC, so although you will have a faster network with TC, it will not cover as much area as your current setup.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Mmmm .... can I then run the Netgear system "as is" but create a new network with a new name etc running concurrently, with the TC fed from the Netgear's modem. The more recent gear we have could then take advantage of the 5Ghz band in the vicinity of the TC?

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,885 points)

    You could, but the chances of wireless interference issues between the two networks comes into play now. It is not possible to know in advance whether this will work well or not if you run 2 wireless networks in the same area. You would simply have to try it to see.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob .... thanks for all your advice .... final question though ..... How do I extract the modem feed from the Netgear router to go into the TC without disrupting the existing network? Can I simply connect a LAN port on the Netgear to a WAN port on the TC and take it from there?

  • LaPastenague Level 8 Level 8 (44,425 points)

    Just to pop in.. your two wireless networks will not compete with each other if you can use 5ghz.. which has more channels and bandwidth available than 2.4ghz which is restricted. If your clients can use 5ghz and you can place the TC close to where they are used 5ghz is faster and suffers less interference.. but it doesn't handle passing through materials like walls as well. If you do run both on 2.4ghz set to manual for wireless and setup with fixed channel. The TC only uses a single channel.. 20mhz on 2.4ghz.. they do not allow high speed so the netgear may well work better. There are only 3 non-overlapping wireless channels, 1, 6 and 11 (12-14 in some parts of the world). So if you use netgear on 1 and use 40mhz it will need two channels and so the TC should use 11(12, or 13 also possible depending on location).

     

    The actual setup of the TC into the existing network is easy as Bob already indicated. Just bridge the TC and plug it into the netgear via ethernet.. when you do so, the TC will pick up an ip from the netgear and all routing functions will be handled by netgear. The TC will also swap the WAN port to LAN so you have 4 LAN ports effectively.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks Bob & LaPastenague ..... update on status: I've set the TC up in bridged mode connected via ethernet to the Netgear modem / router. I haven't however disbaled the TC's wireless functionality - I set it to channel 11 for 2.4Ghz and channel 149 for 5 Ghz and everything appears fine and stable with all clients picking up the new Apple network as an option on the original & extended Netgear network which operates on channel 6. The Mac and iPad are connecting to the 5Ghz network and the iPhone to the 2.4Ghz.

     

    PS Not sure how to give "correct answer" response as I would like to do to both of you in the Apple system ... but I think LaPastenague came closest to what I was looking for on the 5Ghz question.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    A bit of an issue has emerged in that the Netgear wifi extender now drops its signal spasmodically presumably as a result of the interference between the two networks Bob mentions four postings up the thread.

     

    Any ideas how to overcome this? Some thoughts.....

     

    1. Would changing the Netgear channel from 6 to 1 perhaps help?
    2. LaPestanague said " ....if you use netgear on 1 and use 40mhz it will need two channels " ......but I'm not sure what this means in practice ..... can you please elaborate a little if it might help the problem?
    3. How do I restrict the TC to operate at 5Ghz only .... as presumably its interference at 2.4 Ghz that's causing the problem?

     

    Cheers!

  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (91,885 points)
    How do I restrict the TC to operate at 5Ghz only .... as presumably its interference at 2.4 Ghz that's causing the problem?

    This is not possible with the dual band TC as both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are always enabled.

     

    1. Would changing the Netgear channel from 6 to 1 perhaps help?

    Probably not....since you already have things between the TC and Netgear separated by 5 channels....but it could not hurt to try in case you are picking up some 2.4 GHz interference from another nearby wireless network.

     

    Remember....most scanners cannot pick up a "closed" network, so there is always a possibility that you are picking up interference from a network that you cannot "see".

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Many thanks Bob.

  • AndyTNZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bob .... on further refelction, I'm sure that when configuring the TC in Airport I selected a 5Ghz network name and assumed I was switching on 5Ghz as an option ... and I was thinking that somewhere else in Airport I could likewise switch off 2.4Ghz ..... but I guess the 5Ghz naming has some other purpose and that both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz run concurrently at all times?