Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Apple Quietly Upgrades AirPort Extreme to Pre-N

Without fanfare or even a whisper from Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo last week, Apple did release a revised AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi network base station.

Shipping in February, the new Wi-Fi device exhibits several new features including so-called "Pre-N" wireless networking standards and support for a network-accessible USB hard drive. The latter is very welcome to serve as a backup drive appropriate for the SOHO (small office, home office). The new AirPort continues to offer USB print server support as well.

See my previous posting regarding "Pre-N" networking, but suffice it to say that the new standard is caught in standards squabbling until at least early next year, 2008. The hardware in current models of Mac support "Pre-N," but not in fact. AirPort software does not yet support this standard. The real news is in the network file sharing and storage capabilities.

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