Apple Time Capsule lives on with third-party antenna, 5TB hard drive update

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Upgrade vendor Quickertek has upgraded stock Apple 802.11ac 2-terabyte Time Capsules with larger hard drives and a high-gain external antenna in a bid to keep the hardware relevant — but the enhancements come at a price.

The base upgrade replaces the stock hard drive in the Time Capsule with a 5TB hard drive. An upgraded unit retails for $499 through the QuickerTek website.

A $699 version adds further modifications, with the stock device not only boasting a 5TB hard drive, but a very large combination 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz external six-antenna array added to the top of the unit.

Both models offered by QuickerTek have a one-year parts and labor warranty through the company, as either modification violates the Apple-provided warranty on the hardware.

Apple's Time Capsule last saw updated hardware on June 10, 2013. Apple's retail price for the 2TB Time Capsule remains $299, with a 3TB model available for $399.

The last software update for the product was at the end of 2016, and fixed a long-standing "Back to My Mac" bug.

Near the end of November, reports started circulating — backed by AppleInsider sources — suggesting that Apple may be ending the AirPort family hardware. Former AirPort engineers are now reportedly working on other teams, including Apple TV development.

The internal departmental changes suggest that Apple has no plans to update its existing lineup of routers, including the AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, and AirPort Express, but do not discount the possibility of the functionality being added to a different product. Apple's AirPort Express network extender and AirPlay audio target has not even been updated to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification.

Without specifically confirming the dissolution of the AirPort hardware division, were were told by our contacts within Apple speaking on the condition of anonymity that the AirPort ecosystem back to the 802.11n version of the AirPort Extreme basestation would be made "as safe as possible for as long as possible."