Macworld 2007: Apple updates Airport Extreme to 802.11n

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airport-extreme-80211n.jpgThough nothing was explicitly announced in the keynote speech, it appears from the Apple Store that the Airport Extreme wireless networking base station has been upgraded to include the draft 802.11n wireless specification that dramatically boosts the theoretical maximum data transfer speeds.

Practically, this could give 5x the performance and 2x the range of the existing 802.11g-based Airport Extreme base station.

It now supports 802.11a, b, g, and n (draft), with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security. It has 1 USB port meant for sharing printers and other devices, 1×10/100 BASE-T Ethernet WAN port for Net connection, and 3×10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN ports for local wired networking devices.

We’ve suspected for some time (along with others) that the latest Core 2 Duo iMacs contain 802.11n wireless chips, and the new Apple TV does, so it makes sense.

iMac owners may soon receive ‘802.11n Enabler’ software to unlock the extra speed – totally uselessly if you don’t have other draft-n compatible equipment, but good to know.

Costing £119, and styled very much like the new Apple TV box, it’ll be available to buy from February.

Apple Store UK

Andy Merrett