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Friday, January 26, 2007, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

AirPort: AirPort Utility 1.0, 802.11n manuals, Core Duo Extreme fix

Apple has released a pair of manuals for its forthcoming 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station revealing the new AirPort Utility software interface. Meanwhile, the company has also issued an AirPort Extreme update for Core Duo Macs.

AirPort Extreme 802.11n manuals

Ahead of availability of its new 802.11n wireless base station, Apple has posted to its website an "AirPort Extreme (802.11n) Setup Guide" (515KB PDF) and a manual on "Designing AirPort Extreme 802.11n Networks" (1.8MB PDF).

When the AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless base station begins shipping next month, it will include a new application dubbed AirPort Utility that will replace existing versions of both AirPort Setup Assistant and AirPort Admin Utility.

AirPort Utility will be backwards compatible with Apple's previous generation AirPort Extreme and Express base stations. It will also add new features, such as the ability to monitor all connected clients on the AirPort wireless network — an essential tool for businesses, schools, and other large wireless environments.

When configuring the new Extreme base station, users can select between "802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)" or "802.11n only (2.4 GHz)" from the software's Radio Mode pop-up menu. Each
client computer will connect to the network and transmit network traffic at its highest speed. (Some screenshots of the new application interface are included below.)

According Apple's official specification list, the new Extreme base station produces radio output power of 20 dBm, up from 15 dBm on previous models. This indicates that users will see a noticeable increase in the range of their wireless networks as the device is indeed putting out a stronger signal.

AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001

Meanwhile, Apple yesterday evening released "AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001" (6.5MB), which is recommended for all Intel-based Macintosh computers and provides compatibility with AirPort Extreme base stations and networks.

Specifically, Apple said the update patches a vulnerability where attackers on the wireless network could cause system crashes on Core Duo version of the Mac mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro. Other systems, including the Core 2 Duo versions are not affected.

"An out-of-bounds memory read may occur while handling wireless frames," the company said. "An attacker in local proximity may be able to trigger a system crash by sending a maliciously-crafted frame to an affected system.

AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001 addresses the issue by performing additional validation of wireless frames, Apple added.

AirPort Utility 1.0 screenshots

Apple AirPort Utility 1.0


Apple AirPort Utility 1.0


Apple AirPort Utility 1.0


Apple AirPort Utility 1.0


Apple AirPort Utility 1.0


Apple AirPort Utility 1.0