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Question: Time Capsule losing connection

I have a Time Capsule (it's a 2TB Time Capsule) and an Arris TM1602 modem from Optimum. The problem I'm having is that the Time Capsule will intermittently lose internet connection even though I can see that the modem is still online (all lights on the modem are blue, my fax machine connected to the modem has a dial tone AND I can plug a computer directly into the modem and get online). What's even more strange is that when this happens, my iphone x and ipad cannot connect to the time capsule even though they both see the wifi networks that the time capsule is putting out (both the iphone and ipad will display "No Internet Connection" in orange in the wifi settings of each device). I also have problems getting my MBP and MB to connect to the time capsule when this happens and the time capsule's light displays solid green the entire time.


I should also mention that I have already tried swapping out both the modem AND the time capsule (both for the same exact models, only new) and the problems intermittently persists. Is this an issue where this particular modem just doesn't play well with the Time Capsule? I've done some reading here and I saw some posts mention some compatibility issues with certain modems, but I'm not sure if this modem is one of the problematic ones. It is a modem only if that makes a difference.

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Nov 16, 2017 11:04 AM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

Excellent choice.. it is actually the successor to the RT-AC68U I listed.. almost identical with a more powerful processor.

Plus it is supported by Merlin firmware which is very popular as alternative but fully compatible with Asus firmware. ie you can swap between them. Merlin includes some extra features without changing layout at all.

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Nov 16, 2017 5:12 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

I have not used the Asus for TM backup.. At the present time I have too many valid network targets to worry about it.. I have two Time Capsules.. plus a Synology NAS..

And I do have some doubts about USB drives plugged into routers. I would recommend using a powered drive not self powered type.. powered drive can use 2.5" drive if you want it to be small.. but routers often do not have sufficient power to handle drive demands. A desktop 3.5" drive is also more reliable in the long run. Just a few thoughts ..

Give it a try and see if it is reliable. I would be interested in your assessment.


Time Machine itself can be rather difficult when used with non-apple targets. We are seeing in these discussion areas a huge increase in the number of people posting with TM issues in networks.. since Sierra upped the security to network drives.. it has led to huge increase in the failure rate of backup. This has continued unabated with High Sierra.

Our current recommendation is keep TM to local targets.. ie USB disk plugged into a computer.. this has been ok. Use an alternative like Carbon Copy Cloner to network targets. Just another few thoughts.

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Nov 15, 2017 3:16 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

Yes.. ARRIS is just Surfboard by another name.. and yes.. they are the model that is problematic.


Make up your mind now.. will you replace with ARRIS with another brand or the TC as main router.. either is fine.. and neither is bad.. it is just apple has no idea how to make their stuff work .. no other router has this issue.


There are a couple of work arounds.. eg using a switch between the modem and the TC.. or a crossover cable used to work for some people. But the simple fact is.. Apple is going to blame Arris.. and Arris more correctly.. since it only happens on apple routers.. blame Apple.. you need to get out of infinity loop (pun intended).

Nov 15, 2017 3:16 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 3:30 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Thank you for your reply. I don’t really want to replace the TC since I rely on it for backups of my MB and my MBP, but I’m not opposed to replacing the modem since they charge me $5/month to rent it anyway. I’ll have to figure out which one to get though since I need one with VOIP capabilities as well. Or if the switch you mentioned is cheaper and/or easier, maybe I would do that.

Nov 15, 2017 3:30 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 3:46 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

VOIP modem may be not easily replaced.. and your ISP might not give you setup info or authenticate it.. Check with the ISP for retail models that can do both cable with phone.. at the speed you have signed for.


I don’t really want to replace the TC since I rely on it for backups of my MB and my MBP

Replacing the TC as router does not mean replacing the TC altogether.. it can work happily in the network bridged to whatever router you buy.


Or if the switch you mentioned is cheaper and/or easier, maybe I would do that.

I would rate that pretty low as working solution. I mentioned it... more if you have one available.. do not bother buying one .. you will be disappointed 80% of the time.

Nov 15, 2017 3:46 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 4:44 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Doesn’t look like a lot of good options for replacing the modem.


http://optimum.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3832/~/optimum-online-provid ed-modem


I could do a new router but it doesn’t seem right to have to spend another $200 or whatever it is for a new router AND add to what is already a cluttered desk area. Not happy at all that this is a known issue and tech support mentioned nothing of it on numerous calls with them.

Nov 15, 2017 4:44 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 4:50 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

I understand.. sorry there is no fix known.. and I have not personally experienced the issue .. if I did I would have some hope of figuring out how to fix it.


How fast is your download / upload speed?


It could be possible to fix the speed of the ethernet port via a switch to 100mbit.. but that means if your speed is over that, you are wasting your connection.


You don't need an expensive router.. since you already have wireless in the airport.. so if you give me the speed I can advise you on a suitable router that is not so expensive.

Nov 15, 2017 4:50 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 5:55 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

Ok.. that is a great connection when you do get close.


The TC will just make that connection speed.. so you do need a fairly decent router..


TP-Link stuff is usually my go to .. for cheaper end, reasonable hardware.


The cheapest WR1043ND should be ok.. but C7 is a good option.. Also the Asus models are a favourite.. the standard is RT-AC68U but you can get a bit cheaper one.. RT-AC58U.. but I haven't used it.. all the others I have.

Nov 15, 2017 5:55 PM

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Nov 15, 2017 6:19 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Thank you so much! I will definitely look into those but my preference would be to try to find a different modem and save the $5/month that I’m paying Optimum. After 18-24 months the modem will likely have paid for itself, but that’s only if l can find one that fits the bill. If not, one of these routers will have to do. I’ve spent so much time troubleshooting this at this point. and I’m ready to just get it fixed and move on. So frustrated that I have to go down this road at all.

Nov 15, 2017 6:19 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 5:49 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

How about the Asus RT-AC1900P? I can get that from my local Best Buy so it's a quick fix (although definitely more expensive than the T-Link options you mentioned). Asus seems to have a good reputation and this one is Time Machine-compatible if I decide to get rid of my Time Capsule at any point.

Nov 16, 2017 5:49 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 11:04 AM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

Excellent choice.. it is actually the successor to the RT-AC68U I listed.. almost identical with a more powerful processor.

Plus it is supported by Merlin firmware which is very popular as alternative but fully compatible with Asus firmware. ie you can swap between them. Merlin includes some extra features without changing layout at all.

Nov 16, 2017 11:04 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 11:09 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Thank you. I’m going to give it a shot and I’m also going to buy a 2TB WD external HD to use for my Time Machine backups. If that combo proves reliable maybe I’ll give my sister the Time Capsule as an upgrade to her old AirPort Extreme so she can back up her MBP to it - that would be a nice upgrade for her from that old router anyway. I’ll just have to see what modem she has to see if she will experience the same issues that I am experiencing.


I know that I could still use the Time Capsule in bridge mode but that seems less than elegant. If I’m going to spend close to $200 for a new router, spending another $80 or so for the HD isn’t a big deal.

Nov 16, 2017 11:09 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 5:12 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

I have not used the Asus for TM backup.. At the present time I have too many valid network targets to worry about it.. I have two Time Capsules.. plus a Synology NAS..

And I do have some doubts about USB drives plugged into routers. I would recommend using a powered drive not self powered type.. powered drive can use 2.5" drive if you want it to be small.. but routers often do not have sufficient power to handle drive demands. A desktop 3.5" drive is also more reliable in the long run. Just a few thoughts ..

Give it a try and see if it is reliable. I would be interested in your assessment.


Time Machine itself can be rather difficult when used with non-apple targets. We are seeing in these discussion areas a huge increase in the number of people posting with TM issues in networks.. since Sierra upped the security to network drives.. it has led to huge increase in the failure rate of backup. This has continued unabated with High Sierra.

Our current recommendation is keep TM to local targets.. ie USB disk plugged into a computer.. this has been ok. Use an alternative like Carbon Copy Cloner to network targets. Just another few thoughts.

Nov 16, 2017 5:12 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 5:12 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Understood. I have everything hooked up right now and I’m attempting to do initial backups of both my MB and my MBP wirelessly at the same time - that should be a pretty good test for this particular setup. If the initial backups can complete successfully given their large size you would think that the incremental backups thereafter should go off without any issue. We’ll see though.

Nov 16, 2017 5:12 PM

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Nov 18, 2017 11:39 AM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

So both initial backups have already completed (one over 600GB and the other one over 150GB) and there have been several successful incremental backups since then as well. That’s a pretty good sign, although I know I have to give it more time before I declare this setup a success. I also have to figure out what settings to use to maximize this new router. I live in a 1500sq. ft. townhouse so you’d think this router should be capable of providing good coverage throughout my entire house. The TC did not do so and I had to use a wireless extender, so I’m hoping this one performs better so I can eliminate the extender.

Nov 18, 2017 11:39 AM

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Nov 18, 2017 12:19 PM in response to deanfromocean In response to deanfromocean

Very good chance of it..


External Antenna might look unattractive but they still work better than internal set.. just the extra size and spacing makes a difference.


There is not a lot of settings.. by default wireless will choose the best channels for your area and will set wireless power to max.

But wireless also has limitations.. 5ghz which is the fast AC wireless has limited range and penetration of solid walls.. which is more often the case in townhouse than standard timber frame home. Do a wireless survey around your house.. and check what signal strength you get in locations you would typically be using internet.


If you do need more wireless in a dead area.. DO NOT extend wireless if at all possible.

Your TC would be perfect as a WAP but must be connected back to the Asus by ethernet or alternative like powerline adapter.. which can work very well (or poorly or not at all). If you own the place we always recommend people spend the money and properly install ethernet. It is hugely better than other methods.


BUT Asus is well aware of what is happening and new firmware coming out has added MESH ability.. so if you get another Asus router it can be set up not just as wireless extender but proper mesh system.. !! Worth a look.. albeit the cost of installing ethernet IMHO always gives better results.. always.

Nov 18, 2017 12:19 PM

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Question: Time Capsule losing connection