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26 'AirPort' stories

June 2011 - November 2013


Apple’s AirPort family of wireless routers begins with two accessories: the $99 AirPort Express and the $199 AirPort Extreme. Since June 2012, the AirPort Express has looked identical to the Apple TV, a small rounded square, but made from white plastic with slightly different ports on the back. It offers 802.11n support, twin Ethernet ports, a full-sized USB port for connecting a printer, and an analog/optical audio port. Previously, it was designed to rest next to a wall outlet, but now it is meant to sit on a table or desk.

In part because it needs significantly more space inside to hold large antennas for 802.11ac wireless support, the current AirPort Extreme looks like a much taller version of the AirPort Express. Introduced in June 2013, it features three inbound Ethernet ports, plus one for communication with a broadband modem, and one full-sized USB port for connecting a printer or hard drive. The exact same design is used in the AirPort Time Capsule, a version that includes either a 2TB or 3TB hard drive for backup purposes, selling for $299 or $399.

Need extra cash to upgrade? Sell your Airport to Gazelle.

AirPort Stories November 21, 2013

Apple issues AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule firmware update with fixes for WAN connectivity and USB hard drives

Apple issued a minor firmware update today to address issues specifically related to customers using USB hard drives with their routers, and fixes for intermittent loss in WAN connectivity as well as issues that may cause a network loop. You can view the full release notes below:

  • Addresses an issue that prevents a USB hard drive connected to an AirPort Extreme from appearing as an available disk in Time Machine
  • Resolves an issue that may intermittently cause a loss in WAN connectivity
  • Resolves an issue that may result in a network loop

If you own an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule, you can view more information about grabbing new firmware updates here. 

AirPort Stories October 6, 2013

AirPort Utility is a built-in Mac app that is used to configure and control Wi-Fi networks using Apple’s AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule. The AirPort Extreme is a base station router like you would use when setting up your Wi-Fi network. An AirPort Express is used to extend a Wi-Fi network to a larger area, or can be used to stream audio using AirPlay. A Time Capsule is a combination of an AirPort Extreme and an external hard drive, and comes in 2 TB or 3 TB. It automatically backs up all Macs on your network.

AirPort Utility has the ability to set limits on what time of day the network (and therefore the internet) can be accessed from specific wireless devices. This can be helpful in situations where parents want to keep kids off of the internet after a certain time. Time limits can be set for different times on different days of the week.

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AirPort Stories September 27, 2013

A few Apple map related stories have popped up today starting with the departure of early Placebase founder– the mapping company Apple bought back in 2009–  Jaron Waldman. After Apple bought Placebase, Waldman started and lead the Apple Geo team behind the Apple Maps infrastructure and location services on iOS and Mac like MapKit and CoreLocation. He was at Apple up until last month and even filed for numerous Apple mapping patents, but recently left to work at a “new startup” according sources and verified by his LinkedIn page.

As Waldman is on his way out, the Apple Maps team today posted a job listing (via Macrumors) seeking a web UI designer to “design, develop, and maintain complex front-end code for a new secret project.” Unfortunately we don’t get many hints at what the project would consist of, but the job listing adds that the successful applicant would join “a small team working on an advanced web platform upon which many of Apple’s future services will be based.” It is almost like Apple knows the listing will get lots of publicity if it adds ‘secret project’ therefore attracting a wider audience of potential candidates.

Finally, over a year into Apple’s Maps launch, Apple is still getting press for some hiccups it is yet to work out. A couple days ago news broke that Apple’s Maps app was directing drivers in Alaska down a dangerous route across a Fairbanks International Airport runway and taxiway. It’s certainly not the first time that Apple’s Maps app has given dangerous directions to drivers (those lacking common sense anyway) since its controversial launch, and today airport officials confirmed that Apple has disabled directions to the airport until it fixes the directions: expand full story

AirPort Stories July 11, 2013

Apple pushes bug fix updates to AirPort Utility on iOS, OS X & Mavericks Recovery mode

Apple has issued a minor bug fix update to both AirPort Utility on OS X and on iOS. The OS X Update is available via Software Update on the Mac App Store, while the iOS version is in the App Store on iOS and iTunes. 

The update, on both platforms, is to squash a bug for AirPort Base Stations not begin recognized by the app. Apple, last month, pushed out AirPort Utility updates to add compatibility for the new 802.11ac AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsules.

In OS X Mavericks-specific news, Apple has pushed out an update to testers for the OS X Recovery function. Thanks, D!

AirPort Stories May 14, 2013

Gear up for new Macs, D-Link releases four next generation ultra-fast 11AC WiFi routers

From 9to5Toys.com:

Last month we were tipped to some clues in the latest OS X 10.8.4 beta which indicated that Apple is ramping up to release new Macs and accessories sporting the next generation wireless technology, 802.11ac. It’s entirely possible that we could see these Macs introduced as early as next month at Apple’s WWDC. If you’re planning to upgrade your Mac, you’re going to need an AC compatible router to take advantage of this new wireless technology. Below are four new options for you to consider when making the switch.

D-Link announced the immediate availability of four new 11AC wireless routers, starting at just $80.  The next generation wireless technology, 11AC delivers more coverage and up to 3 times the speed of the current wireless standard “N.” The proliferation of mobile devices and streaming content has necessitated the move towards AC wireless as a faster, more reliable wireless connection for home and businesses users.

The new D-Link wireless router lineup consists of the AC750 (DIR-810L), AC1000 (DIR-820L), AC1200 (DIR-860L) and AC1750 (DIR-868L), ranging from $80 up to $170. These cloud routers offer remote network management via the free D-Link Lite iOS app, which “enables users to see what websites are being visited, block unwanted connections, and set up automatic email alerts when unauthorized connections are made.”  The top of the line AC1750 and AC1200 feature four ultra fast Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Even though most devices we have aren’t AC compatible yet, if you’re currently in the market for a new router it may make sense to go AC in an effort to future proof your network.

All four of these routers are now available for order from D-Link or major retailers like Amazon.

AirPort Stories May 7, 2013

Boingo Wireless’s iOS app updated with $7.99/month subscription billing via iTunes accounts

Boingo Wireless has updated its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch “WiFi Finder” application with the ability to sign up for WiFi hotspot subscriptions with iTunes credentials. Boingo has over 600,000 WiFi hotspots worldwide, and I typically see Boingo hotspots at airports across the country. Being able to sign up via an iTunes-based subcription will make using a Boingo hotspot easier than ever, so even though Boingo is seemingly giving up a 30% cut to Apple for these new subscriptions, their user base will probably grow due to the easier sign up process. The plan via iTunes is $7.99 per month. As it has always done, the WiFi Finder app features a data tracker and a VPN service. The app is available for free on the App Store. 

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