The Apple Time Capsule 802.11n Wi-Fi Hard drive is a hard drive external backup unit and router all in one.
My husband recently purchased us his and her MacBook Pro's. At that time he also purchased the Time Capsule. I am not very technical when it comes to computers so I will share my experience along with the more technical information from the packaging which I will try to explain the best I can.
The Time Capsule provides wireless Internet access for our Mac's, our PC's and my daughters Ipod touch. We currently do not have Iphones or Apple TV but if we did or if we get them in the future, it provides access for them as well.
The Time capsule has USB 2.0 and Gigabyte Ethernet ports. This allows us to have wireless access to our printer from any room in our house which I am so excited to finally have. It can also connect wireless to a DSL, Cable or local network.
From our Macs, it backs up all the files from our computers automatically so we never have to even think about it. After hearing story after story from friends who had their computers crash and they lost all their files and pictures, this gives us piece of mind that we will not be faced with that same situation. It comes with a 500 gigabyte internal hard drive so there is plenty of space for multiple users to store files and not have to worry about running out of space on it anytime soon.
From a girl's perspective, the Time Capsule is a pretty. It's a small white square with the silver Apple logo on the very top. All the ports and plugs are located on the back of the unit with the only visible thing on the front being the on light so there are no ugly holes or plugs to look at.
My husband said it was relatively easy to set up and it only took him a few hours to have it all up and running on all our devices. Like our Mac's there where no written instructions and the device itself walked you through all the steps needed to get it going.
One of the things we like about the Time capsule is that in addition to the regular network which we are all connected to there is also a guest network. The trend with my daughters and her teenage friends is that when one of them comes over to visit they bring along their laptops. Then one of them sits on one couch and the other on the other couch. They then spend the night instant messaging each other or chatting on Facebook instead of actually talking. Why? I have no clue but it's nice to have the guest network available so when they are over so we do not have to tap them into ours.
As far as security goes, there is a built in firewall, Wi-Fi protected access and 128 bit WEP security.
For speed, this is the fastest router we have ever used. It's hard for me to judge completely since we started using it the same time as we switched to Mac's from PC's but my speed is incredible now compared to how my PC was.
Technically speaking, I can not tell you how the Time Capsule compares to like devices on the market simply because I have never had any experience with them. What I can say is that I love the speed of the router, the ability to print wireless, the distance I can use my computer wireless and the safety and security knowing that my files and memories are being stored somewhere other than just on my computer and I never even have to lift a finger to do it.