House Call: Apple Time Capsule

I was contacted over the weekend by someone who needed help installing an Apple Time Capsule. She and her girlfriend were bringing their laptops on a trip and wanted to make sure their stuff was backed up before leaving. I’ve never used a Time Capsule before, so I was looking forward to setting it up.

Here’s how to setup the Time Capsule…

  1. Make note of the existing wireless network name and password. Use the same network and password when the old router is replaced with the Time Capsule. That way, no settings on any wireless internet devices have to change.
  2. Disconnect old router.
  3. Reset modem by power cycling.
  4. Hook up Time Capsule to modem, a USB printer, and up to 3 desktops. The Time Capsule has no power button, so hook up the power last.
  5. Put in the CD that Time Capsule came with to install AirPort Utility.
  6. Run AirPort Utility and it will automatically detect the Time Capsule and will update it with any new firmware.
  7. Give the Time Capsule a name and password. This name and password will be used so the hard drive can be mounted over the network.
  8. Create a new wireless network with the same name and password from the old router you noted from step 1.
  9. Enable guest network with a different name and password. Enabling a guest network will create a separate network for house guests to connect to. That way, your personal files are kept private.
  10. Choose the option to connect to the internet using DHCP from your modem.
  11. Choose the option to let Time Machine back up to the Time Capsule.
  12. When you update the settings on the Time Capsule, the light should turn green.
  13. On each wireless device, connect to the wireless network you created in step 8.
  14. On each computer on the network, add the new Bonjour shared printer. Each computer needs to have the printer driver installed. Windows computers need to have Bonjour installed also.
  15. On each computer on the network, mount Time Capsule’s hard drive with the password you gave in step 7.
  16. On each computer on the network with Time Machine, setup automatic backups to the Time Capsule. The initial backup may take several hours.

Those were the steps I took to setup their wired network, personal wireless network, guest wireless network, wireless printing, automatic wireless backup, and wireless network attached storage (NAS).

In addition to that, I setup their AirPort Express to extend their wireless network, so they can be connected to the internet outside of their house.

Also, I taught her how to free up massive amounts of space on her laptop’s hard drive by properly archiving her iMovie projects. I showed her how to export a DV version of her completed iMovie projects and move it to the Time Capsule’s hard drive. Then she can delete the project and its raw footage from her laptop’s hard drive.

Afterwards, she treated me to lunch, gave me her old wireless router, and tipped me which were all very generous.

The Time Capsule is a very cool device. To have similar functionality, I’m considering turning an EEE Box into a server.

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