Time Capsule/network/FileVault question

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Nautilus, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Nautilus

    Nautilus Guest

    This morning I bought a Time Capsule, originally just to use it with
    Time Machine for my iMac. But when I read the installation handbook,
    I thought I should do more.

    - Connect the DSL modem and printer to the Time Capsule and connect
    each computer to the TC, so I could use printer and internet on my
    MacBook and iMac without having to change the USB and ethernet plug
    all the time.

    That should be no problem, since it is in the handbook, right?

    I don't like wireless networks, so I would like to use cables. Where
    would I attach the cable from the iMac to the TC: Ethernet, FireWire
    or is it all the same?

    - If I create a second (smallish) shared partition on the TC, will I
    be able to put files on this partition from the iMac and get them
    from the MacBook *with FileVault working on my accounts*? I suppose
    the answer is No, since that doesn't work with a FireWire connection
    between two Macs.

    So I would have to create an extra account on both computers that is
    not filevaulted and use the non-filevaulted accounts to exchange
    files between the two computers. But that is more complicated than
    using an USB stick...

    Or should I simply give up FileVault?

    Nautilus, Jun 21, 2008
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  2. Nautilus

    David Empson Guest

    Correct so far.

    Note that it works with most USB printers, but not all of them. It also
    doesn't allow access to other featues of multi-function devices (e.g.
    scanner, fax).
    The Time Capsule doesn't do Firewire.

    You would run Ethernet cables from each of your computers to the LAN
    ports on the Time Capsule. There are three LAN ports, labelled with a
    symbol that looks sort of like this:


    The Ethernet connection to the DSL model goes to the WAN port on the
    Time Capsule, which has a symbol that looks like a "ring of small
    You can't create partitions on a Time Capsule's internal drive.

    (Some people have apparently done this successfully by dismantling their
    Time Capsule, connecting the drive to a computer, partitioning it, then
    reassembling the Time Capsule, but this will almost certainly void the
    warranty, and the Time Capsule is not designed to be easy to dismantle.)

    If you plugged an external drive into a Time Capsule (via the USB port,
    which would also need a hub if you want to connect a printer), then you
    can partition that drive by plugging it into a Mac first.

    As for FileVault: that only affects the home folders on each computer.
    The Time Capsule (or network file sharing in general) doesn't have much
    to do with FileVault. (Sharing files directly between two
    FileVault-enabled computers is tricky, unless the user is logged in
    locally on both at the same time.)

    If you put files on the Time Capsule they can be accessible from the
    other computer. You can select between a few methods of dealing with
    authentication, e.g. no restrictions, requring knowledge of the Time
    Capsule's password, or having distinct accounts for multiple users.

    The Time Capsule has no built-in encryption, so someone getting physical
    access to it could steal it and easily access all data on it.

    If you are doing Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule, this will
    completely defeat the benefit of using FileVault on your computers.

    It might be possible to use Disk Utility to convert the disk image
    created by Time Machine into an encrypted disk image, but I haven't seen
    any discussion on that topic so I don't know if anyone has tried.

    Sharing files via the Time Capsule will also be insecure, and in that
    case I don't think it would be a good idea to use an encrypted disk
    image because you can't safely mount a disk image on two computers at
    once - that would probably result in a corrupted file system inside the
    disk image. It would be OK as long as you have the discipline to always
    unmount the disk image on one computer before mounting it on the other
    That isn't necessary if you are using the Time Capsule to transfer data.

    It also isn't necessary if you are running Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5),
    because you can create a shared folder anywhere on your computer, not
    just inside your home folder. This folder can be accessed from the other
    computer and used as a place to copy files (preferably requiring
    password access). The shared folder isn't protected by FileVault and
    will be available any time the computer is switched on, without
    requiring you to be logged in locally.

    You can also do this with earlier versions of Mac OS X but it requires
    third party software (SharePoints) to set up sharing of arbitrary
    David Empson, Jun 22, 2008
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  3. Although it probably doesn't address the OP's situation, you can create
    partitions in the sparse bundle. Actually, I don't know what benefit
    there would be in doing that.
    Michelle Steiner, Jun 22, 2008
  4. Nautilus

    Nautilus Guest


    Thank you, that was very helpful!
    I needed a bit of trial and error, but everything seems to be working
    fine, except for the printer.
    Nautilus, Jun 22, 2008
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