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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 capabilities to add HDD

Hello there - Firstly my apologies for asking this question for third time. My question though is slightly different.

I own a Airport Extreme 802.11ac and i now wish if i can add a HDD internal for NAS and backup sake.

I wasn't smart enough to understand the advantage of opting for a Time Capsule instead of Extreme at the time of purchase. My ignorance came with a price.

So, to cover it up, i am in the seek of a methodology to plug in a 3.5" HDD to the Extreme.

I have seen the differences between A1521 and A1470 is that the extreme (not so) doesn't possess "the magic port" which can host power and data to an HDD.

It was also mentioned in Step 4 that theoretically it is possible to plug a HDD to a extreme.

Has anyone tried this up? If so which port in extreme would actually juice the needed power and data for the HDD?

Thanks in advance for your responses. Once again my apologies for spamming here on similar ground of question.

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What's the possibility of selling your Airport Extreme and then buying a Time Capsule? I think you'll find it will be cheaper and less risky, if you must have the drive internally.

The problem you face here is there are quite a few parts missing in the Extreme version to make it into a Time Capsule. Many of these parts are custom and will be difficult to get. Then you still need the proper tools to solder some of them onto the logic board without killing it.

If you do go forward please document your part sources and take pictures of the process so you can publish how you did it here on IFIXIT so others can learn from you.

I do believe you are the first to tackle such an undertaking - Good Luck!

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Dan, thanks for your response and suggestion. Appreciate it.

I have taken a leap to check fitting in the possibilities of a port to read getting soldered to the board. It is ain't quite an option is what I was able to infer at the very end.

It's a PCB and there aren't any opportunity to find the right areas to get the port soldered.

So long story short, I gotta find a buyer for the Extreme and go for a Time Capsule.

Thanks once again Dan.


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The first thing I would do is to plug in a USB flash thumb drive and see if it will read it. If it does try a self power external enclosure hard drive.

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Thank you Mayer. Yea that definitely works and I have tried it. My point is to find out installing a HDD internally to the Extreme (HDD within console).


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