Apple quietly updates the AirPort Extreme

It’s updates all around for Apple’s full-sized routers, as the AirPort Extreme joins the Time Capsule with a new model number today. The AirPort Extreme and the Time Capsule both haven’t been updated since early 2009, so refreshed hardware isn’t really a surprise. But what’s changed?

Get more space for your private cloud with new 3TB Time Capsule

Apple unveiled new Time Capsule wireless router / hard drive combo options today, including a 3 TB version that ups the maximum storage available for the device. It’s a sign that despite its move to the cloud, Apple still respects the average Mac users’ local storage needs.

Apple to Time Capsule Customers: All Your Files Are Belong to Us

Back In October ’09 I wrote an article about a disturbing failure-rate in Apple’s Time Capsules that was starting to gain some attention in the press. An apparent design flaw in the device was causing some units to die after about 12-18 months in operation. Reports on the Apple discussion forum at that time suggested the same flaw also affected Apple’s Airport Extreme, a device that shares an almost identical form factor.

In what would prove disastrously precognitive, I wrote:

Imagine, then, the pain when a well-used Time Capsule croaks, taking up to 18 months’ worth of incremental backups with it. I don’t mind admitting that the thought of it strikes fear into my heart. I use two Time Capsules every hour of every day.

I can’t help thinking that I don’t own two Time Capsules; I own two ticking Time bombs.

Fast forward to early last week when my Mac Pro’s 1TB Time Capsule breathed its last and died a sudden — if not entirely unexpected — death.

I called Apple Support and the guy on the other end of the phone asked me for the TC’s serial number. A moment later he confirmed Apple was aware of “a fault” with that model and offered to replace it for free. So far so good.

The process was explained to me; I would receive the replacement TC in a few days, whereupon I had to return the dead TC to Apple. Immediately alarm bells rang in my brain. Read More about Apple to Time Capsule Customers: All Your Files Are Belong to Us

Time Capsule Memorial Web Site Launches, Shames Apple

Time Capsule MemorialEnterprising Apple (s aapl) customers unhappy with the inexplicable death of their Time Capsules have taken matters into their own hands and launched a dedicated web site to record and discuss their experiences. It’s called The Apple Time Capsule Memorial Register, and it’s hauntingly beautiful.

The site has been created to provide a central support hub for Time Capsule customers who have suffered the sudden death of their devices, but feel neglected or ignored by Apple, which has yet to acknowledge there’s even a problem.

It seems the main culprit in most cases of Time Capsule Death are fried capacitors. Users are reporting that the lack of adequate ventilation/cooling in the Time Capsules causes the capacitors to run very hot and, eventually, die. For affected customers, “eventually” turns out to be approximately 18 months. Read More about Time Capsule Memorial Web Site Launches, Shames Apple

Apple Adds 2TB Time Capsule, Now Available

apple-time-capsule-1

Without much fanfare, and over a day later than it usually announces products, Apple (s aapl) has released a new version of its integrated network storage/Wi-Fi router today.

The new Time Capsule sports an industry pace-keeping 2TB of hard drive space, and can be yours for a mere $499. Not bad, considering your average external USB 2TB drive will cost you around $250 at the low end, and an Airport Extreme on its own is $199. Read More about Apple Adds 2TB Time Capsule, Now Available

How-To: Access Your Time Capsule Over the Internet

apple-time-capsule-1The other day my friend called me to tell me that he bought this new product called Pogoplug. The Pogoplug is pretty cool; you plug it into the wall, connect a hard drive to it, then connect it to your local Internet, and you have an NAS ready to go. I thought it was a pretty neat product idea, and the ease of use was great, but when he showed me that he could mount it over the Internet so that you could access your files over the Net, I knew I needed to have one — almost.

After a few minutes of of shopping, I had found a 2TB USB hard drive and had the Pogoplug in my cart, but then saw I was going to spend about three hundred bucks. I then started thinking that I already had a Time Capsule 1TB hard drive with all my media on it, and that there must be a way to mount my Time Capsule over the Internet just like the Pogoplug. Unfortunately, there is really no documentation on how to mount the Time Capsule over the Internet, but after a few minutes, I ended up figuring it out myself. I can now have my files wherever I am! Read More about How-To: Access Your Time Capsule Over the Internet

How-To: Port Forwarding On an Airport Extreme & Time Capsule

apple-time-capsule-1When I moved into my new apartment I brought with me a 1TB Time Capsule that I was previously using as a network storage device because my old roommate already had a Linksys router. None of my new roommates had routers, so I decided to use the Time Capsule as both our router and network storage device. Pre-Time Capsule, I have always used Linksys routers — and throughout the years became very comfortable with their web configuration tool. In my Internet travels, I have found it a little tricky to find proper documentation for a lot of the more technical questions I have with Apple (s aapl) products.

Recently, I figured out how to do port forwarding on the Time Capsule, so let’s take a look at what it is, why you’d want to do it, and how to set it up.

What is port forwarding?

The act of forwarding a network port from one network node to another. This technique can allow an external user to reach a port on a private IP address (inside a LAN) from the outside via a NAT-enabled router.

Why would I want to port forward?

Port forwarding greatly increases torrent speeds. It can also be used to access files on your computer or NAS at home over the Internet (i.e., mount a file server over the Internet). Read More about How-To: Port Forwarding On an Airport Extreme & Time Capsule

New Airport Extreme and Time Capsule

airportextreme

The Airport Extreme and Time Capsule were updated today with some new features that, while they don’t change the basic capabilities of the devices, do make them more flexible. Both devices now offer “guest networking” and simultaneous dual-band networks. All of the new features apply equally to the Airport Extreme and the Time Capsule. The Airport Express, sadly, has been left out of today’s update cycle.

While most people won’t run out to exchange their existing Airports, it is worth considering the new features to see if they are something you could use. Read More about New Airport Extreme and Time Capsule

First Look: Drive Backup 9 Express

Backup! Backup! Backup! This should be the mantra of all web workers! Our ability to earn and work is of course dependent on the digital infrastructure around us, but more importantly, the sphere of our personal and professional data that’s our digital DNA.

Today sees the public launch of Paragon Software’s Drive Backup 9.0 Express, designed for novice users to replicate and backup their entire PC – from OS and apps to preferences, settings and data…a little like Apple’s Time Capsule + Time Machine combo, but for Windows PCs and not quite as pretty.

What’s really interesting about Paragon’s software is that users can create emergency bootable media (CD, DVD, Flash drive) to recover an imaged machine quickly…something I could really have done with when I dropped my MacBook in San Diego earlier this year… Oh, Drive Backup 9 Express is also free and users are provided with an upgrade path to more sophisticated Personal and Professional editions that provide backup schedules, the ability to image individual files as well as drives, along with the ability to directly mount a backup image prior to re-installation.

Backup seems to be a perennially failure-ridden activity for most users- wavering between fatalist, zero-backup strategies and replicating data on multiple drives at home as well as at online services.

I have the feeling that no, one service provider is getting this right for users – do we need something with the ease-of use of Time Capsule+Machine, coupled with the distributed resilience of Amazon’s S3 Simple Storage Service. Come to think of it, why can’t a Time Capsule replicate itself to S3?