Bjarne Larsen can no longer use his Time Capsule because of a work-required router on his home network that blocks Time Capsule over Wi-Fi. He’d like to turn it into a networked drive via ethernet instead.

However, even though he’s using a Thunderbolt-to-ethernet adapter plugged into one of the Time Capsule’s LAN ports, he can’t get it to show up, and wonders why.

(I’d suggest rather than convert it, erase the Time Capsule and sell it and use the proceeds to get a larger capacity drive you connect directly to your Mac.)

The reason is that the Time Capsule has to have a network address in order to work on a network. If it’s not connected via its WAN (wide-area network) ethernet port or extending an existing Wi-Fi network, it can’t receive an automatically assigned network address via DHCP (usually also coupled with NAT). As a result, the base station gives reverts to a “self-assigned” IP address in the range 169.254.x.x.

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