Apple Releases Airport Software Updates

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Date: Wednesday, March 4th, 2009, 02:10
Category: Software, wireless

Along with the bevy of hardware updates Apple released this Tuesday, they also released some new software. Apple AirPort Utility 5.4.1 and Airport Client Update 2009-001 were released to complement the new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule.
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According to Apple’s site regarding the Client Update, “It addresses issues with roaming and network selection in dual-band environments“. Dual band wireless was one of the new features added to the announced hardware.
Little was explained on the site regarding what was new about the updated Airport Utility, but sources say an internal Apple site mentions the following,
Existing AirPort Extreme (MA073 and MB053) and Time Capsule (MB276 and MB277) customers can access their AirPort Disk / Time Capsule disk through Mobile Me over the Internet by upgrading to AirPort Utility 5.4.1 and AirPort firmware 7.4.1“.
So it seems owners of the older Airport Extreme and Time Capsule units can also benefit from the new internet disk-sharing feature as well. However, a MobileMe subscription is required to utilize this feature.

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Sierra Introduces Wireless USB Modem Lineup

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Date: Wednesday, August 29th, 2007, 10:35
Category: wireless

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On Wednesday, Sierra Wireless introduced its new AirCard 880U and 881U model USB modems.
According the Macworld News, the new modems are designed around the High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) protocol and can function at a theoretical upload speed of two megabits per second and can download at 7.2 megabits per second. The units are also compatible with the HSPDA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS and GSM networks.
Where regional access is concerned, the 880U is optimized for use in Europe and Asia while the 881U is optimized for use in North America. Both models feature their own internal batteries to ensure sufficient power in peak or fringe area transmission requirements. The units also feature power control, a patent-pending antenna that Sierra Wireless claims boosts data performance and an architecture geared towards data traffic management.
Final pricing for the USB modems has yet to be announced and may be set by the cell service carries that resell the units to their customers.
If you have any thoughts on this or a favorite USB modem of your own, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Waav Introduces AirBox Units as iPhone Compliment

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Date: Friday, August 17th, 2007, 07:10
Category: wireless

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On Thursday, Waav, a mobile technology provider, announced that it’s been selling its AirBox units to iPhone owners as a means of providing in-car Wi-Fi access to the Internet while on the road.
The AirBox, which retails for US$499.99 and US$1,099.99, provides a bounce point for wireless Internet access as well as faster data speeds than AT&T’s EDGE network as well as other services for when a call is in place on an iPhone.
A bit on the pricey side, but if in-car wireless access is proving crucial, this might be the best thing out there.
If you have thoughts or feedback, let us know in the forums.

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Apple Stealth-Releases Gigabit-Equipped AirPort Extreme Base Station

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Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 13:42
Category: wireless

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Between the quiet Mac Mini updates and this, Apple qualified for its stealth ninja merit badge yesterday. Amid the updates, the company also released a new AirPort Extreme Base Station now featuring gigabit Ethernet ports onboard.
According to Macworld News, the revised wireless router still functions on the 802.11b, g and n protocols and features a USB port as well as three switched gigabit Ethernet ports. The unit remains priced at US$179.99 and is available immediately.
As always, let us know what you think via the comments of forums.

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Apple Releases AirPort Base Station Update

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2007, 17:59
Category: wireless

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On Thursday, Apple released AirPort Base Station Update – 2007-001, the first software update to its AirPort wireless router stations of 2007. The update, a 12.7 megabyte download, provides general fixes and compatibility updates for the AirPort Utility, AirPort Admin Utility (for graphite and snow base stations), AirPort Disk Utility and AirPort Disk Agent programs.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and AirPort Utility 5.0 to run.
If you’ve tried the update and had a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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iFixit Benchmarks, Disassembles 802.11n Airport Extreme

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Date: Monday, February 5th, 2007, 20:45
Category: wireless

Computer thumbnailiFixIt.com got a new Airport Extreme 802.11n and has posted takeapart pictures and benchmarks of the new Apple access point.

We decided to deviate from our standard modus operandi and run some benchmarks before we took it apart. (I know, I know– our screwdrivers were lonely for a while.)

The new base station is amazing. We achieved a 10x performance boost, and a 3x usable range increase! We achieved over 9 MB/s in short range lab testing with a MacBook Pro. Long range testing was equally impressive. At 300 feet (with a building in the way), we reached transfer rates of 500 KB/s.

Airport Extreme 802.11n Disassembly >> iFixIt.com

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Apple to call 802.11n WiFi Airport Extreme X2 and X4

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Date: Monday, January 8th, 2007, 16:00
Category: wireless

It’s surprising that no one has found this yet. This is taken directly from the course description for Apple’s WiFi session at Macworld this year: “Wireless networking is about to undergo major changes, with 802.11n, or Airport Extreme X2 and X4. Starting with the basics of wireless networks, we will show how to design, deploy and test wireless…”

digg – Apple to call 802.11n WiFi Airport Extreme X2 and X4

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Fixing Your Airport Woes

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Date: Wednesday, October 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: wireless

airport-extreme.jpgBen at MacFixIt sent along these WiFi tips after I complained about poor WiFi performance after installing Mac OS 10.4.8 and AirPort Update 2006-001 (version 1.0). So far, removing Coconut WiFi seems to have fixed the problem.
- Try changing the wireless specification mode used by your router (or base station). Try switching from 802.11g to 802.11b, for instance.
- Disabling coconutWiFi — an application displays you a small aqua-bubble at the top of your screen which indicates whether you’re in range of a wireless network or not — may resolve an issue where AirPort connections toggle between normal speed and dismal speed.
- Delete all stored wireless networks from the Preferred networks list, then add back any used networks via the following process:
Open System Preferences
Go to the “Network’ pane
Select “AirPort” from the “Show:” menu
Click on the “AirPort” tab
Select “Preferred networks” from the “By default, join:” menu
Delete any networks from the list (using the “-” button) that you do not regularly use
Click the “Apply Now” button
- Reset the PMU.
- Turn off the Mac OS X Firewall (in the Sharing pane of System Preferences) resolved the issues in his case.
- In some cases, deleting the AirPort preferences can resolve the issue:
/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
If any of these solutions work for you, post your results in the comments below.

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AirPort Deafness After 10.4.8 and AirPort Update

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Date: Wednesday, October 11th, 2006, 09:32
Category: wireless

airport-extreme.jpgThe weirdest thing happened to my MacBook Pro (2.0GHz, week 7) recently. Some time after installing Mac OS 10.4.8 and AirPort Update 2006-001 (version 1.0) my AirPort performance got completely hosed. I can download Web pages for a few minutes but then my WiFi connection goes almost dead. The bits trickle in so slowly that I can’t even load a full Web page. Sometimes turning AirPort on and off will get it working again but only briefly.
My AirPort throughput is abysmal when it actually works – sub 1k/sec downloads according to MenuMeters. I’ve tried rebooting my Verizon DSL modem and my AirPort Extreme to no avail and last night isolated the problem to my MacBook Pro’s WiFi drivers because my iMac 20-inch works fine on the same WiFi network and my MacBook Pro flies when connected via Ethernet.
So I’m appealing to you, fair reader. Have you experienced any WiFi voodoo on a MacBook or MBP since installing 10.4.8 or the Airport Update? I could really use a tip here as I’m not really eager to tinker with the AirPort libraries or to ‘nuke and pave.’ Not to mention that the 50-foot Ethernet cable looks really lame running through my house.
Please post your suggestions in the comments below.
UPDATE: I’ve tried repairing disk permissions in Disk Utility (no errors reported), cleaning my system and user prefernces Preferential Treatment and Tiger Cache Cleaner to no avail. I also haven’t found anything related at MacFixIt or Apple’s Discussion boards. Should I just re-run the 10.4.8 installer?

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REVIEW: Verizon Wireless ExpressCard/34

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Date: Friday, September 29th, 2006, 12:21
Category: wireless

Bare Feats gave the Verizon Wireless ExpressCard/34 (Novatal V640) wireless PC card a two week try (spoiler: they returned it.)

As many of you know, we’ve been using CardBus versions of the wirelessbroadband in our PowerBooks since early 2005. But when we bought theMacBook Pro for the lab back in March 2006, it had an ExpressCard/34slot but no cellular company had an ExpressCard broadband wireless PCcard available. That’s changed. As of August 2006, the Novatel V640ExpressCard/34 became available through Verizon Wireless. (Neither Sprint nor Cingular have an ExpressCard wireless broadband solution as of this posting.)

I first activated the V640, the download speed was peaking at 144K.That was unacceptably slow — but sounded awfully familiar. Sureenough, when I called to complain, they admitted the tech designated”National Access” (max download 144K) instead of “Broadband Access” (upto 2Mbit/s bursts) when the account was set up.

After that was addressed, I did more speed testing. Now the downloadspeed (according to DSLreports.com) was running between 850K and 1000K.That’s as good as it gets for an “air card” from Verizon Wireless.

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Bare Feats >> Wireless Broadband ExpressCard/34 from Verizon Wireless

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