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A Comprehensive Guide for Applying AirPort Time Capsule

Updated on Thursday, May 23, 2024

iBoysoft author Vain Rowe

Written by

Vain Rowe
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


A Comprehensive Guide for Applying AirPort Time Capsule

Summary: AirPort Time Capsule is a versatile product developed by Apple Inc, which can work as a router and backup drive. This article from iBoysoft leads you to know this splendid product in detail and you can learn how to complete the AirPort Time Capsule setup work.

AirPort Time Capsule

A detailed introduction to Apple AirPort Capsule

The Apple AirPort Time Capsule, also known as Time Capsule, is a wireless router designed with network-attached storage and a residential gateway router. In essential, AirPort Time Capsule is the version of AirPort Extreme with an internal hard drive, which supports a Wi-Fi connection and also a backup function through the network. 

Apple AirPort Time Capsule was introduced on Jan 15, 2008, and released on Feb 29, 2008. Apple kept on upgrading the AirPort Time Capsule diligently for staying in step with Extreme series routers. 

The first version of AirPort Time Capsule supported an 802.11n wireless network and a hard drive with 500GB storage space. In advance, the latest version of Apple AirPort Time Capsule introduced in 2013 can support an 802.11ac wireless network and a 3TB hard drive. 

Compared to the version of 2008, the network performance of the version of 2013 improved greatly, and storage space increases significantly.

In 2016, Apple claimed to have dissolved its development and research group on the wireless router, and the updates of AirPort Time Capsule stopped then. The AirPort product line was discontinued in 2018, then AirPort Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme routers withdrew from the market.

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How does AirPort Time Capsule work?

As mentioned, AirPort Time Capsule is a seamless combination of a Wi-Fi router and network storage server, then let's see how it fulfills its versatile functions:

How does AirPort Time Capsule backup?

According to Apple Inc, AirPort Time Capsule is a "Backup Appliance" designed to coordinate with Time Machine backup software on macOS Monterey, macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, and other macOS versions later than Mac OS X 10.5.

Generally speaking, the physical external drives are indispensable in backing up files or data in Time Machine or on Mac, while AirPort Time Capsule, is capable of backing up the system and files in Time Machine backup wirelessly and automatically. By default, AirPort Time Capsule backs up the files that are changed with DMG file format, also, it compresses the backup DMG files as they become older to save storage space.

Apple referred that even applying the 802.11n wireless or Gigabit Ethernet connection, the whole backup process of any Mac to AirPort Time Capsule requires "several hours or overnight to complete".

How does AirPort Time Capsule work in the network?

In fact, all Airport Time Capsules are designed with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, including 1 WAN port and 3 LAN ports, and a single USB port, which is used to connect external devices via sharing the same network, such as printers or external hard drives.

Gigabit ports on AirPort Time Capsule

Apple AirPort Time Capsule is a dual-band router, and it can offer Wi-Fi coverage on both 24.GHz and 5GHz frequency bands simultaneously. In other words, regardless of the standards and devices of the clients, they can apply a smooth network via AirPort Time Capsule. 

However, as a Wi-Fi router, AirPort Time Capsule is rigid for it is short of some customization options that are available in other routers on the market. 

For example, guest working is a feature that allows you to create an isolated Wi-Fi network for guests, which can be done in 2.4GHz but is not supported by 5GHz. You can save the IP Address of the connected devices, so they can have the same IP whenever they are connected. But it's extremely difficult because you need to find the device's MAC address and type it. 

While for other routers, it is quite easy because they can add the client to the connected client list straightforwardly.

If you want to complete this guest working in AipPort Time Capsule, knowing how to find IP Address on Mac is a must.

When you find the network of AirPort Time Capsule is not so well, you can use macOS networkQuality to check your download and upload speed and other network performance. 

How to complete the AirPort Time Capsule setup on Mac

To complete the AirPort Time Capsule setup work on Mac, the assistance of AirPort Utility is significant:

  1. Use Spotlight Search or Home Folder on Mac to launch AirPort Utility.
  2. Select the Time Capsule and click Continue.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete your AirPort Time Capsule setup work and enable your network.

If you don't find the Time capsule that you want to configure, scan for available wireless devices again and select it from the list.


AirPort Time Capsule is a multi-functional product that can work as a router and an external drive to backup files and systems from Time Machine backup. You can get to know this wonderful product from an all-rounded standpoint and learn how to set up it on Mac. 

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