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Monday, March 17, 2008, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

Apple updates AirPort Express with 802.11n


True to weekend rumors, Apple on Monday updated its AirPort Express mobile base station with 802.11n wireless technology, which delivers up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous 802.11g model.

Priced at just $99, AirPort Express remains the world's smallest 802.11n-based mobile base station. It can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connectivity and USB printing at home or easily brought on the road for wireless freedom wherever there is an Internet connection. AirPort Express also features AirTunes, which works with iTunes to give users a simple and inexpensive way to wirelessly stream iTunes music from a PC or Mac to any room in the house.

"Apple is leading the way with a broad range of innovative 802.11n base stations for almost any wireless networking need," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "From the small and portable AirPort Express, to AirPort Extreme for workgroups of up to 50 users and the new Time Capsule for automated backups, Apple customers now have more great ways to extend their wireless networks with 802.11n."

AirPort Express features a single-piece, compact design weighing just 6.7 ounces, providing maximum portability. The device offers both PC and Mac users the ability to share a single DSL or cable broadband connection with up to 10 simultaneous users. Users can also share a printer wirelessly that is connected to the USB port. Apple's AirPort Utility software provides easy step-by-step instructions for setting up and configuring AirPort Express; and with its advanced security features, AirPort Express safeguards data on networked computers with support for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), 128-bit WEP encryption and a built-in firewall.

With the release of the updated AirPort Express on Monday, Apple now includes 802.11n as standard in its entire line of AirPort base stations and Mac notebooks as well as iMac, Apple TV and Time Capsule.

AirPort Express includes a built-in combination digital and analog audio connector allowing users to connect to a home stereo or powered speakers. iTunes automatically detects remote speakers and displays them in a simple pop-up list for the user to select. Once the remote speakers are selected, AirTunes wirelessly streams iTunes music from the computer to the AirPort Express base station.

AirPort Express 802.11n


Multiple AirPort Express base stations can be set up around a home, each connected to a set of powered speakers for a whole-home music experience. AirPort Express can also extend the range of an existing AirPort Extreme wireless network.

AirPort Express is available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $99 (US).