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Question: how do I connect and set up a time capsule to an exisiting mesh network router?]

I have two Time Capsules (the 3 TB and the 2 TB models) - I've reset them each to factory settings. What I want to do is connect them to the Orbi router and use them just as Time Capsules. Can't find instructions that work (the current Airport Utility doesn't seem to have any way to do that.


MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch,Early 2015), macOS High Sierra (10.13.1), Using the Netgear Orbi mesh network

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Answer:

Always start ethernet to WAN.. once completed it won't matter.. but for setup using WAN is important.


Remove one TC.. configure one first then you can plug the second one into the first.. if you like.


Start the actual setup by doing a factory reset.. this kicks things off and will cause no issues to your existing backups..


Start from a factory reset. No files are lost on the hard disk doing this.

Factory reset universal

Power off the TC.. ie pull the power cord or power off at the wall.. wait 10sec.. hold in the reset button.. be gentle.. power on again still holding in reset.. and keep holding it in for another 10sec. You may need some help as it is hard to both hold in reset and apply power. It will show success by rapidly blinking the front led. Release the reset.. and wait a couple of min for the TC to reset and come back with factory settings. If the front LED doesn’t blink rapidly you missed it and simply try again. The reset is fairly fragile in these.. press it so you feel it just click and no more.. I have seen people bend the lever or even break it. I use a toothpick as tool.

N.B. None of your files on the hard disk of the TC are deleted.. this simply clears out the router settings of the TC.

Basically the setup should run when you click on the

Other WiFi Devices (1) box..


Give it a name.. short.. no spaces and pure alphanumerics..

Password similar but can be much longer. Depends on your level of paranoia.


If you get the wrong setup don't worry .. we will fix it manually.. main thing is to complete the setup.. doing a min of fiddling.


Assuming it now shows up again in the airport utility.. click the icon of the TC and click edit on the summary page..


Now you can fix up anything that does not suit you..


eg Wireless should be off.. so set it off.


User uploaded file


Most important is the next tab.. network.. should be set to off (bridge mode)


User uploaded file


When finished update .. and see that everything is working and all errors are fixed.


Then plug in the second TC and do the same.


Post any issues you have with a screenshot.

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:37 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

But I don't see how to invoke set up manual

Apple makes it very difficult for you to do this, and even if it works, it is complicated.


Better to to use the setup "wizard" to set things up in a basic way, then tweak the settings accordingly.


I'm not clear on whether you want to try a setup that is not officially supported by Apple, or whether you want to set up the Time Capsules in a way that will be supported by Apple, and then turn off the WiFi on the Time Capsule(s) to see if you can then back up over the Orbi wireless.


Will the Time Capsules each connect to a separate Orbi access point, or will they both connect to the same Orbi access point? (assuming the access point has multiple Ethernet ports).


Once we have a better understanding of what you want to do, we can go over a step by step setup that may.....or may not.....do what you want.

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 6:30 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

After a day or two the TC can disappear from Mac.. this is due to really poor DNS system Apple uses.


Also the TC can get a different IP from your Netgear router.. so there are a couple of recommendations.

You don't need to do these things.. until you see you have a problem.. when the problem starts.. simply reboot everything.. it will almost always come back.. for another day or so.


1. Use static IP in the TC Internet tab.

Here is mine.. as you can guess all screenshots are my own setup.. not too different to yours.. but I am using Asus main router.

User uploaded file


Lets say your Netgear Orbi is using 192.168.1.1 as home address.. and TC1 got IP of 192.168.1.100 and the second TC got 192.168.1.101.. your current setup is DHCP.. change that over to static.. but use the identical same address.. same subnet mask.. same router address.. and same DNS servers as you have now.. (most likely the Orbi home address only.. but you can add your ISP to that as second DNS.. or Google public.. 8.8.8.8 never bad to have multiple DNS servers).


I can give you exact info if this is confusing to you .. just give me your screenshot of the Internet tab of each TC.


Write down the actual numbers.. as these will be useful to remember .. a label on the router with the IP..


2. Optional.. but helpful.

In the Netgear Orbi router it should have a method of setting static addresses.. DHCP reservation.. if you can set the two addresses you now have as static in the TC also identically on the Orbi you double your chances of the system never forgetting where you are.

eg from my Asus..

(I will try and find Orbi manual to give this to you. My TC above is named TCgen5.)


User uploaded file


3. Optional also .. but also helpful.

Domain is something you probably never set.. but if Netgear is using a default domain e.g. lan or blank change it to local. The setting in the TC is fixed and cannot be changed so you have to use the main router to fix it.


User uploaded file


Let me explain why this is important.. if the main domain is called lan but the TC is on local it is just that bit more difficult to get things to talk to each other.. eg my printer doesn't work unless I refresh the network connection.. even though I can ping its IP.


4. If you ever lose the TC.. a real possibility.. ping it.. so I just open a terminal and type ping followed by the IP address.


ping 192.168.2.201

PING 192.168.2.201 (192.168.2.201): 56 data bytes

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=2.583 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=4.384 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=3.334 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=3.025 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=3.038 ms

^C (use control + C to stop the command).

--- 192.168.2.201 ping statistics ---

5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0.0% packet loss

round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.583/3.273/4.384/0.605 ms


Now if your TC replies you know the network is running fine.. and it is just playing hide and seek.


Manually open it in airport utility.


User uploaded file


User uploaded file


You can also connect to it manually as a server in finder.. although that won't help you much as the TM setup will still expect the name not IP.



Bob might have some other tricks.. but these are ones I use..


It still occasionally needs a kick.. ie unplug the TC and plug it in again.. but this is pretty much standard domestic network gear.. the Netgear will need the same.

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Nov 15, 2017 3:10 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

The Orbi router or other Orbi access points will need to have an Ethernet port, to which the Time Capsules will connect permanently.


Apple expects you to use the Time Capsule wireless to back up, so they do not support a setup where a third party wireless network will be used for backups. That being said, things might work OK.....and if they do, you probably won't really care that Apple does not officially support this type of setup.

Nov 15, 2017 3:10 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:11 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

You cannot connect the TC via wireless.. it must plug into the main Orbi router by ethernet .. once you do that.. the setup should be relatively simple.. the TC will be in bridge mode and I presume you want the wireless off.


If you find the automatic setup doesn't work.. simply do it manually.. if you need specific instructions to help we can do that for you too!!

Nov 15, 2017 3:11 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:19 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

I would love to have precise instructions - when I use the OSX (high sierra) version of the Airport Utility app it sees both Time Capsules. But I don't see how to invoke set up manual. Rather it seems I only have choices to set it up as a basestation or to extend the network.


So, let's begin, I connect the ethernet cable to the time capsule on which port (WAN or LAN)? Then what?


Nov 15, 2017 3:19 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:20 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

I would love to have precise instructions - when I use the OSX (high sierra) version of the Airport Utility app it sees both Time Capsules (which I have reset to factory settings). But I don't see how to invoke set up manual. Rather it seems I only have choices to set it up as a basestation or to extend the network.


So, let's begin, I connect the ethernet cable to the time capsule on which port (WAN or LAN)? Then what?

Nov 15, 2017 3:20 PM

Reply Helpful
Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:37 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

But I don't see how to invoke set up manual

Apple makes it very difficult for you to do this, and even if it works, it is complicated.


Better to to use the setup "wizard" to set things up in a basic way, then tweak the settings accordingly.


I'm not clear on whether you want to try a setup that is not officially supported by Apple, or whether you want to set up the Time Capsules in a way that will be supported by Apple, and then turn off the WiFi on the Time Capsule(s) to see if you can then back up over the Orbi wireless.


Will the Time Capsules each connect to a separate Orbi access point, or will they both connect to the same Orbi access point? (assuming the access point has multiple Ethernet ports).


Once we have a better understanding of what you want to do, we can go over a step by step setup that may.....or may not.....do what you want.

Nov 15, 2017 3:37 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Solved

Nov 15, 2017 3:38 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

Always start ethernet to WAN.. once completed it won't matter.. but for setup using WAN is important.


Remove one TC.. configure one first then you can plug the second one into the first.. if you like.


Start the actual setup by doing a factory reset.. this kicks things off and will cause no issues to your existing backups..


Start from a factory reset. No files are lost on the hard disk doing this.

Factory reset universal

Power off the TC.. ie pull the power cord or power off at the wall.. wait 10sec.. hold in the reset button.. be gentle.. power on again still holding in reset.. and keep holding it in for another 10sec. You may need some help as it is hard to both hold in reset and apply power. It will show success by rapidly blinking the front led. Release the reset.. and wait a couple of min for the TC to reset and come back with factory settings. If the front LED doesn’t blink rapidly you missed it and simply try again. The reset is fairly fragile in these.. press it so you feel it just click and no more.. I have seen people bend the lever or even break it. I use a toothpick as tool.

N.B. None of your files on the hard disk of the TC are deleted.. this simply clears out the router settings of the TC.

Basically the setup should run when you click on the

Other WiFi Devices (1) box..


Give it a name.. short.. no spaces and pure alphanumerics..

Password similar but can be much longer. Depends on your level of paranoia.


If you get the wrong setup don't worry .. we will fix it manually.. main thing is to complete the setup.. doing a min of fiddling.


Assuming it now shows up again in the airport utility.. click the icon of the TC and click edit on the summary page..


Now you can fix up anything that does not suit you..


eg Wireless should be off.. so set it off.


User uploaded file


Most important is the next tab.. network.. should be set to off (bridge mode)


User uploaded file


When finished update .. and see that everything is working and all errors are fixed.


Then plug in the second TC and do the same.


Post any issues you have with a screenshot.

Nov 15, 2017 3:38 PM

Reply Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 3:39 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Thanks for the fast reply - much appreciated. What I would like to do is have the two TC's (one I use, the other for my wife) wired (ethernet) to the Orbi router (I do have a satellite unit of the Orbi but the router is in a closet so that's best for the two TC's). I don't need to use a wifi connection. so, ethernet cable to the router is fine.


I've already reset each to factory settings. So, which ports to use on each? then how to set up so that the Time Machine app will find each?

Nov 15, 2017 3:39 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 3:44 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

It looks like LaPastenague has already provided some setup information.


For now, because there are different ways to skin a cat....and to avoid confusion......I'm going to hold off on my suggested setup to see if you want to try the info provided by LaPastenague.

Nov 15, 2017 3:44 PM

Reply Helpful
Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2017 6:30 PM in response to George Marcus In response to George Marcus

After a day or two the TC can disappear from Mac.. this is due to really poor DNS system Apple uses.


Also the TC can get a different IP from your Netgear router.. so there are a couple of recommendations.

You don't need to do these things.. until you see you have a problem.. when the problem starts.. simply reboot everything.. it will almost always come back.. for another day or so.


1. Use static IP in the TC Internet tab.

Here is mine.. as you can guess all screenshots are my own setup.. not too different to yours.. but I am using Asus main router.

User uploaded file


Lets say your Netgear Orbi is using 192.168.1.1 as home address.. and TC1 got IP of 192.168.1.100 and the second TC got 192.168.1.101.. your current setup is DHCP.. change that over to static.. but use the identical same address.. same subnet mask.. same router address.. and same DNS servers as you have now.. (most likely the Orbi home address only.. but you can add your ISP to that as second DNS.. or Google public.. 8.8.8.8 never bad to have multiple DNS servers).


I can give you exact info if this is confusing to you .. just give me your screenshot of the Internet tab of each TC.


Write down the actual numbers.. as these will be useful to remember .. a label on the router with the IP..


2. Optional.. but helpful.

In the Netgear Orbi router it should have a method of setting static addresses.. DHCP reservation.. if you can set the two addresses you now have as static in the TC also identically on the Orbi you double your chances of the system never forgetting where you are.

eg from my Asus..

(I will try and find Orbi manual to give this to you. My TC above is named TCgen5.)


User uploaded file


3. Optional also .. but also helpful.

Domain is something you probably never set.. but if Netgear is using a default domain e.g. lan or blank change it to local. The setting in the TC is fixed and cannot be changed so you have to use the main router to fix it.


User uploaded file


Let me explain why this is important.. if the main domain is called lan but the TC is on local it is just that bit more difficult to get things to talk to each other.. eg my printer doesn't work unless I refresh the network connection.. even though I can ping its IP.


4. If you ever lose the TC.. a real possibility.. ping it.. so I just open a terminal and type ping followed by the IP address.


ping 192.168.2.201

PING 192.168.2.201 (192.168.2.201): 56 data bytes

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=2.583 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=4.384 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=3.334 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=3.025 ms

64 bytes from 192.168.2.201: icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=3.038 ms

^C (use control + C to stop the command).

--- 192.168.2.201 ping statistics ---

5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0.0% packet loss

round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 2.583/3.273/4.384/0.605 ms


Now if your TC replies you know the network is running fine.. and it is just playing hide and seek.


Manually open it in airport utility.


User uploaded file


User uploaded file


You can also connect to it manually as a server in finder.. although that won't help you much as the TM setup will still expect the name not IP.



Bob might have some other tricks.. but these are ones I use..


It still occasionally needs a kick.. ie unplug the TC and plug it in again.. but this is pretty much standard domestic network gear.. the Netgear will need the same.

Nov 15, 2017 6:30 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
User profile for user: George Marcus

Question: how do I connect and set up a time capsule to an exisiting mesh network router?]