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Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 08:35 am PT (11:35 am ET)

Apple updates Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme with speed boost

Both the AirPort Extreme wireless networking tool and Time Capsule backup appliance were given speed and performance upgrades by Apple on Tuesday.

The minor hardware updates for the AirPort Extrem and Time Capsule include a new antenna design, which offers up to 50 percent better wireless performance, along with a 25 percent improvement in range over previous models.

The hardware operates simultaneously over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, allowing multiband devices to use the best available band. That ensures better compatibility with devices that may interfere with one another through wireless transmission.

In addition, the 1TB and 2TB Time Capsule offerings have been given a speed boost with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple's new operating system.

"Even better, new technologies in Time Capsule and refinements to Time Machine make backing up to Time Capsule using Snow Leopard up to 60 percent faster than before," Apple said.

In July, Apple released a new 2TB Time Capsule at a price of $499, and the 1TB option is $299. The AirPort Extreme Base Station costs $179.

This past summer, numerous users reported instances of Time Capsules allegedly dying in a spontaneous matter. Many who had issues reported purchasing the hardware in early 2008. Problems were said to lie with the device's internal power supply.