Sixth generation of Apple’s wireless base station, released June 2013. The tower provides dual-band support wireless access and is Apple’s first router with 802.11ac technology.

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upgrade Airtport extreme to time capsule?

Do you think it will be possible to add a hard drive in the last generation of Airport Extreme and get a Time Capsule?

Thank you.

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Asked & Answered here: Adding a hard drive?

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Possible, but it is a very bad idea because it is actually more expensive to buy separate parts to make a time capsule than just buy one. You also have to add quite a lot of small components on the logic board of the base station and modify the firmware.

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What if a person ALREADY HAS an AirPort Extreme? Do you think that person should by a Time Capsule as well? Then the economics are not what you say. How can you say that? A new 2TB Time Capsule is 300 bucks. A 2TB SATA drive is $68 from Amazon. As for "add quite a lot of small components on the logic board of the base station and modify the firmware", where did you hear that? It has a SATA connector. What more is needed? Who says the firmware is not correct?


You missed the point here as well. You'll need to find all of the parts (over 15 parts) and then you still need to put things together. Not worth the effort or the costs!

Sell your Extreme unit and get a Time Capsule if you really want to go that way.

Frankly, I would just buy a USB drive and plug it in! The unit has a USB port and if you have the newer firmware it will support it.


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Install a WD portable HD 1T wire to USB port

works well for Time machine. or a NAS.

Remember not to us the external USB if you install the HD internal.

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The USB port on the Airport Extreme or Time Capsule is only USB2 so its very slow Vs USB3. The best I/O is using the FireWire or Thunder Port on the system or on the newer systems the USB3 port. An Ethernet NAS (Time Capsule) has the advantage of being a shared resource on a common connection scheme. It's not as fast as a directly connected HD. More so when it's concurrently being accessed by multiple systems.


You are comparing apples and oranges. A drive that slows when five computers use it at once is, of course, slower than a drive with only one computer connected. Can you comment about the speed of five users posting files for each to use in a work group? Try that with one USB external drive.... connect to one computer, save file, unplug drive, connect to second computer, save file....


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Dan you are correct is speed limits on USB 2

limited by USB port all i did was simply installed USB drive inside over external

i also recommend the Time capsule over the extreme

It is possible with the new Extreme to install a pair of USB drive and still be able to use the usb port for external devices

From my box of parts

Only for advanced user Mods

one laptop power supply removed the plastic case $10.00

one Buck unit to supply power to drives $3.50 12vx5v @ 5amp

one powered USB hub $4.50 4 port

Two WD USB portable drives 1T each used value $50.00

Lift the two center pins on USB port on the Extreme hard wire the two center pins of

Extreme USB to one of the USB ports of Hub not the primary

primary pins from hub back to the motherboard of extreme two center pins only

note the primary pins of hub normally be plugged into USB port now hard wired

to Extreme motherboard where USB pins were lifted

observe polarity of both center pins

when finished two hard drives 2.5 inside the extreme powered separately from the buck

lifting the two center pins on the usb port and routing back though the USB hub

allows for external devices to be attached to external USB port of the Extreme .

Not knowing of a software Raid that will work ?

Note unless you have extra parts it is not cost effective .and not recommended for average user

The power pac i used is rated at 3 amp.old 12v IBM was small enough Not knowing the power rated of Extreme USB port assuming rated for only one device.

doing any mod voids the warrant

The previous airport extreme is limited by space only one HD is possible by a small mod to heat sink for clearance.

Adding network storage is always welcome to home network.

Thank you Dan for the tactical input ,sad the extreme only has USB 2

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You can also achieve this using the external USB port using a USB hub externally.


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So I just signed up to answer this topic and ask more :

I have an old 2tb airport time capsule flat one and the new airport express. I was thinking if I can move the harddrive to the new one or link them to use new airport extreme as WIFI station and the other one only storage.

Heard about another thing using the time capsule only as a desktop Hard drive but not sure what to do.

Let me know guys worth to try or not.


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