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Time Capsule, 802.11n, and My Home Network

My current home network is pretty simple:

  1. A white dome AirPort Extreme (APE) in my office hooked up to cable modem.
  2. An AirPort Express (APX) in my kitchen that extends the range of my network. I could probably do without this.
  3. Another APX in the TV stand, connected to an ethernet hub, which connects my Xbox 360 and DVR to the network.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in a situation where upgrading to include an AppleTV and/or a Time Capsule simply doesn't make much sense. I'll be caught in redundancy or wasting technology.

Redundancy
The AppleTV does wireless but can't bridge via its ethernet port, so I'd still need the APX. Similarly, Time Capsule doesn't do anything AppleTV-like. In either case I'd have two Apple wireless devices right next to each other below the TV.

Waste of Technology
Even if I eliminate the desire for an AppleTV, I shouldn't upgrade the base station to a Time Capsule (or even a plain 802.11n APE) because the APX doesn't do 802.11n.

Ideally
If AppleTV supported bridging via the ethernet port, I'd buy one of those and a Time Capsule. I would replace the domed APE with the TC for laptop backup and the APX in the living room with an AppleTV. I would remove the APX in the kitchen as it'd be unnecessary with the added range of 802.11n. BAM, all my devices would work and I'd be on an 802.11n network with an AppleTV and backups.

That one teeny little feature is holding me back.

Pie in the Sky
"Time Capsule TV": One product that did all that AppleTV did as well as the base station + backup duties of Time Capsule. I'd plug my cable modem in to the basement beneath the TV stand, wire the Xbox and DVR in that way, and just have a single access point to my home network and the Internet.

The Best I Could Do

  1. Put the cable modem in the basement. Hook a Time Capsule up to it.
  2. Connect the DVR and Xbox to the Time Capsule.
  3. Put an AppleTV beneath the TV.
  4. Use an existing AirPort Express to do wireless printing.

That's not too bad and may be what I end up doing… if I don't flip back the other way on the value of the AppleTV. And my receiver may not have the input for it.

7 Responses to "Time Capsule, 802.11n, and My Home Network"

  1. Oh, and one more addition: I can't simply replace the APX under the TV with a Time Capsule (and move the cable modem downstairs) because I'd not only be giving up the AppleTV functionality, but basic AirPort Express (sending audio from computer to receiver) as well!

  2. The fact that the TV didn't do bridging is something that's always bugged me. From what I understand it has a regular wireless card in it, but most of these cards still support Host AP mode and therefore should be able to do bridging. It's just a little software (and if it's running Mac OS X (slim) then it's probably already written).

  3. Umm... Mac mini?

  4. [...] Capsule Great idea, good price, but it won't fit into my network without being redundant. I may still get one depending on the feasibility of a few options (see the [...]

  5. How about hooking up a Time Capsule to your current APE and -- assuming Time Capsule has all the functionality of the current-model Airport base station -- set it to work as an access point only in the 5GHz band? All your 802.11n/5Ghz-capable devices such as an Apple TV could connect to the Time Capsule at full Draft N speeds, and your 802.11g like your APX devices could connect to your APE at 2.4 GHz. You'd still have the redundancy of an APX and an Apple TV next to each other, but you would get the benefit of being to stream at Draft N speeds from your computer to the Apple TV. I plan on using two routers (or a dual-band router like the D-Link DIR855, though it looks to be pricey) after I move, because I still have a couple of 802.11b devices hanging around and I don't want them dragging down my future 802.11n network.

  6. How do you set up a dual band network using TC and AE? Which would connected to the cable router?

  7. [...] described my network setup in a previous post, so I won't do it again. My Time Capsule will arrive shortly, and I was quite [...]


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