Apple Quietly Releases 802.11n Capable Airport Extreme [Updated]

Although not mentioned during Steve Jobs' keynote address, Apple has updated their Airport Extreme base station to include 802.11n compatibility, producing up to 5x the performance and up to 2x the range as the previous Airport Extreme model. The new model also comes in a modified enclosure that closely resembles the Apple TV.

Features
- Protocol Support: 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n
- WEP/WPA/WPA2 for wireless security

Ports
- 1 USB (for sharing printers or USB Disk sharing)
- 1 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet WAN port for connecting to Internet
- 3 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN ports for connecting to local networked devices.
- Security slot and 12v power.

It also appears as though users of Core 2 Duo-based Macs which have been quietly shipping with 802.11n capable chipsets will be receiving "802.11n Enabler" software. The software is listed on the Airport Extreme specification page.

The new base station is priced at $179 and will ship in February, and can be purchased at the Apple Store (UK Apple Store).

A transcript and keynote photos from our live coverage are still available.

Update: According to both the Airport Extreme specification page and a 802.11 explanation page on Apple's website, it appears that the 802.11n Enabler software will only ship with the Airport Extreme.

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