Apple Introduces New AirPort Extreme with 802.11n

by Hadley Stern Jan 09, 2007

Apple Introduces New AirPort Extreme with 802.11n: Five Times the Performance & Twice the Range

MACWORLD SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Apple(R) today introduced the new AirPort Extreme(R), a simple and elegant wireless networking solution delivering up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous AirPort Extreme. Based on 802.11n,* AirPort Extreme extends a wireless network to even more areas in a home or office and makes streaming digital content and transferring large files faster and easier. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station features a sleek, new design with connections for networked computers, printers and a USB hard drive to quickly and easily share files or back up valuable data and content.

“The new Airport Extreme is the most powerful and easy to use Wi-Fi base station that we have ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With five times the performance and twice the range, now you can transfer bigger files faster and get access to the Internet and your favorite digital media from many areas in your house you couldn’t reach before.”

Using MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) smart antennas and 802.11n technology, AirPort Extreme now delivers greater data throughput and extends the reach of wireless connectivity to more areas of the home, business or school. With the ability to operate in either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless frequencies, AirPort Extreme also reduces the possibility of interference from appliances and cordless phones that operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency. AirPort Extreme is backward compatible with Macs and PCs using previous generation 802.11b/g wireless technologies.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station features a simple, new design that is just 6.5 inches square and 1.3 inches tall, and a built-in USB port allows
users to print wirelessly to a USB printer or turn any external USB hard drive into a shared drive so they can share files or backup valuable data from
multiple computers on a network. New AirPort Utility software included with every AirPort Extreme makes it very easy to set up a secure, wireless network for up to 50 simultaneous users within minutes. Users can also set security restrictions, including Internet access limits on their childrens’ computers.

The AirPort Extreme Base Station also includes:

—802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking;
—MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) smart antennas;
—dual-band antennas for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies;
—three 10/100 Ethernet LAN ports;
—one 10/100 Ethernet WAN port;
—one USB port;
—Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA-2), 128-bit WEP encryption; and
—a built-in NAT firewall.

Pricing & Availability

The new AirPort Extreme Base Station will be available in February through the Apple Store(R) (, at Apple’s retail stores and Apple
Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $179 (US). Nearly all currently shipping Macs** support 802.11n when updated with 802.11n Enabler software, which ships with the AirPort Extreme Base Station.

*The AirPort Extreme Base Station is based on an IEEE 802.11n draft
specification and is compatible with IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g. Achieving the fastest data rates requires that all users have an 802.11n-enabled computer. Actual performance will vary based on range,
connection rate, site conditions, size of network and other factors.

**All Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel Xeon Macs except the entry 17-inch iMac(R) with 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor support the 802.11n


  • Five Times the Performance & Twice the Range


    I am a systems engineer at a wireless technology company and I can tell you, all that marketing hogwash is that: bullcrap!

    Marketing folks do over-“market” their products to set off a “buzz” but when done haphazardly, can backfire in an uncontrollable spiral. The Segway scooter is one example of over-marketing. The Zune is another recent example of a bombed marketing.

    802.11n’s claims of >200Mbps throughput and twice the range is unfounded will be disproved rather quickly upon practical tests (in homes) and not a controlled lab environment where there are no interference from a number of nearby access points, microwaves, garage openers, wireless phones, etc.

    So, call me a wireless pessimist but that is my job after all. I give specs to designers and I will test those designs to fall within my specs.

    As for .11n having that kind of a practical performance? Don’t hold your breath.

    Robomac had this to say on Jan 10, 2007 Posts: 846
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