Time Capsule is not only an excellent router with the capabilities to back up your Mac, but it actually turns into a network hard drive.
Doing this, however, is not a common thing, but there is certainly an option of turning AirPort Time Capsule into a network hard drive if you want to use it that way. The trick is to give the device a static private IP address and another static private IP address for the Ethernet adapter you connected it to.
Instead of using a LAN port, where your Ethernet adapter usually receives an address via DHCP, you connect via the WAN port.
Connect the Mac to the Time Capsule
Connect the network cable between the LAN port and your Mac. If your Mac does not have an Ethernet port, you need to use an adapter.
Then open the Airport Tools application on your Mac. If Time Capsule does not appear in the graphical interface or at the time when you click on Other Wi-Fi devices, a factory reset is needed. Apple has a great guide for this.
When Time Capsule is visible, select it and click ‘Edit’. Here you should choose a static IP address to make it reachable through your Mac.
In the Internet tab, select Static under Connect via In IPv4 addresses, Subnet mask and Router address, enter the addresses below in each order:
Then go to the Wireless tab and select Off in Network mode. Then navigate to the Network tab and select DHCP and NAT from the Router mode. Click on the Hard Drives tab and check ‘Share hard drives via WAN’. Click on update and wait for a restart.
Configure the Mac
When the restart is complete, change the port from LAN to Wan on your Time Capsule. On the Mac, open Network in System Preferences and if the lock at the bottom right is locked, click it and type in the computer’s administrator password, which is probably for your main user.
Select your Thunderbolt adapter (or other) from the list on the left. In the configuration section, set the following:
- Configure IPv4: Manually
- IPv4 address: 192.168.200.2
- Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
- Router: Blank
Click on ‘Run’ and as you click it, you will be able to mount your Time Capsule in the Finder as if it were any network hard drive. If you aren’t, then you have not performed the steps in the right way, so recheck the steps performed and fix any step that was not performed in the right way by you previously.