Revamping Apple’s AirPort Time Capsule

Apple’s Backup Offerings Should Be Retooled

The Problem

In November 2016, a rumor was floated that suggested Apple will be exiting the wireless router business, which will be a shame.  Out of all the routers I’ve used, Apple’s offerings are the only ones I’ve found that take longer to remove from their packaging than to set up or maintain.

Along with Apple’s AirPort Extreme router, Apple offers a network-attached storage device (often called a NAS device) called the AirPort Time Capsule.  Anyone who has used a NAS device knows that accessing them is far slower than a drive connected directly to a computer (called a DAS drive in the tech industry), especially when needing to restore a computer after a catastrophic failure, and they’re no less prone to failure than any other backup drive, so an offsite backup should also be made.

The Solution

To solve the issues of slow access to Apple’s AirPort Time Capsule and the need to keep an offsite backup solution, Apple should retool its AirPort Time Capsule so that it’s connected directly to a Mac by a Thunderbolt connector for fast backups and restoration operations.

To accommodate iOS device users, a couple of Lightning connectors should be added for overnight backup and recharging.

In addition to retaining the device’s wireless router functionality, the device’s operating system should be expanded to push its hourly Time Machine snapshots and regular iOS device backups to iCloud storage on a regular basis in order to provide a user’s needed and automatic offsite backup.

As for software, iTunes should be reworked to allow for backups to and device restoration from the new AirPort Time Capsule rather than solely within the app.  Currently, macOS Server provides a number of services related to backups and caching, and some of these might also be retooled to run on the new AirPort Time Capsule for users who might wish to actually share an AirPort Time Capsule with other users.

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