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Airport Extreme quietly updated with no known changes

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
On the heels of Tuesday's Time Capsule update, Apple has quietly updated its Airport Extreme wireless base station without advertising any new features.

The imminent release of an updated Airport Extreme was telegraphed early Tuesday by a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The new base station went up on the Apple Online Store late Tuesday, but other than a new model number, it carries no new specifications, as discovered by Macworld. The device continues to sell for $179.

The new model number is MD031AM/A, compared to the previous generation's model number of MC340AM/A. Apple also quietly updated its Time Capsule base station on Tuesday, with a bump in a capacity from 1TB and 2TB models to 2TB and 3TB models. References to next-generation AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule devices were discovered in an Airport Utility update last week.

The release of both base stations puts to rest rumors that Apple would switch the products to run iOS to allow for features such as media streaming, wireless software updates and integration with iCloud.



Apple last updated its wireless networking and backup appliances in 2009 with minor updates to provide better wireless performance and range. The devices operate simultaneously over both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands.

An unverified report from earlier this week had suggested that Apple would add extended range and better heat dissipation to the products. While it remains possible that Apple did in fact add the new features without advertising them, other rumored additions such as guest networks and cached iOS and Mac OS X updates failed to materialize, although the report did correctly predict the release of a 3TB Time Capsule.
post #2 of 48
I wonder if these actually are the 'smart' iOS based base-stations, just not fully 'active' yet, being sneakly marketed as standard units for now, to get people set up now with them... Then when they fully activate icloud, like magic, everyone's new basestation just got more useful/features.

... Or not? Hehe
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uelogy View Post

I wonder if these actually are the 'smart' iOS based base-stations, just not fully 'active' yet, being sneakly marketed as standard units for now, to get people set up now with them... Then when they fully activate icloud, like magic, everyone's new basestation just got more useful/features.

... Or not? Hehe

I suspect it is just changes to either cut cost with cheaper parts or improve functionality, fix bugs, etc.
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoogH View Post

I suspect it is just changes to either cut cost with cheaper parts or improve functionality, fix bugs, etc.

Yeah I feel inclined to agree.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uelogy View Post

I wonder if these actually are the 'smart' iOS based base-stations, just not fully 'active' yet, being sneakly marketed as standard units for now, to get people set up now with them... Then when they fully activate icloud, like magic, everyone's new basestation just got more useful/features.

... Or not? Hehe

I think you hit the nail on the head. Once 'LION & IOS5 come out everything will fit into place. While the size increased from 1TB to 2 TB the real features have not been released yet.
post #6 of 48
Guest networks? The Airport Extreme line already has this feature.
post #7 of 48
it really upsets me that all the apple news sites are going around and keep publishing the same story over and over again about "no known changes for the airport extreme"

the changes are known, i figured it out early this morning and posted it to the apple discussions board for the airport. it never occured to these apple journalists to actually go to the fcc website and actually read the report

the new airport extreme features 2.81 x the maximum power output then the previous model.

i tried emailing crunch gear john and tips @ venturebeat about the actual difference i found but i guess the emails got lost as they always do.

i have read a lot of posts with people and always accusing apple of releasing wireless routers with low power (like 100 mw) and it looks like this time apple finally listened to us


link
https://discussions.apple.com/message/15457087#15457087

summary
there was a link on the news reports about a fcc database so i decided to look at the report and search the database for a prevous airport model

i found an airport model a1354, i believe this is the mc340ll model. this is what it says on test results:

frequency range / mode / output power dbm / output power milliwatts
2412-2462 802.11b 24.57 286.42
2412-2462 802.11g 21.56 143.22
2412-2462 802.11n(ht20) 21.17 130.92


5745-5825 802.11a 23.07 202.77
5745-5805 802.11n(ht20) 22.17 164.82
5755-5795 802.11n(ht40) 21.44 139.32

you compare this to the report of the newer model and these numbers are provided:

2412-2462 802.11b 24.10 257.04
2412-2462 802.11g 24.88 307.61
2412-2462 802.11n(ht20) 24.11 257.63


5745-5825 802.11a 25.14 326.59
5745-5805 802.11n(ht20) 25.28 337.29
5755-5795 802.11n(ht40) 25.94 392.64

ht 40 means 40 mhz wide mode

so based on tbhese numbers there is a improvement of 2.81x in terms of power output of the new md031ll model versus the older mc340ll model.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rigorkrad View Post

it really upsets me that all the apple news sites are going around and keep publishing the same story over and over again about "no known changes for the airport extreme"

I also don't know why they say rumours are 'put to bed'. There may well be nothing else new here (other than what you have found) but what tells us this is not iOS? Apple do not say what OS things run, the Apple TV changed OS with no information about it because the normal customer won't care.

I can also see Apple putting in features and not bothering to announce them for now. When iCloud comes out, let us access the features and we're happy. Even the people who just purchased one in the weeks before will be happy since they're up to date.

I think things like the caching of updates is quite nice, but I'm not bothered by whether there's more to this or not. I just have no idea why it's been put to bed just yet.
post #9 of 48
I would be very interested in knowing if apple fixed the issue with the DHCP configuration of the guest network:

It currently is impossible to have different DNS settings on the Guest and Internal network.

This gives huge problems if one wants to have a secure internal network which also conains a DNS and DHCP server, and still provide dhcp to the guest network.

DHCP can only be enabled or disabled both internal and guest networks.

Allowing the administrator to activate the DHCP independently (and with independent settings) is a requirement.
post #10 of 48
So much for the rumors of iOS-powered Airports and Time Capsules. In some ways, those rumors made sense - it increases the iOS installed base and makes it possible to have smart storage. But they also don't make sense because Apple seems to be positioning the Mac Mini as their server product, at least for homes. In that case, there really is no need for a smart storage system.
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider999 View Post

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360

Stop f-ing spamming
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The release of both base stations puts to rest rumors that Apple would switch the products to run iOS to allow for features such as media streaming, wireless software updates and integration with iCloud.

It puts to rest none of those rumors. Just because Apple doesn't advertise them doesn't mean they don't exist. Let's wait for MacFixit to take one apart before jumping to conclusions about what's inside.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

But they also don't make sense because Apple seems to be positioning the Mac Mini as their server product, at least for homes. In that case, there really is no need for a smart storage system.

From the view of the 'post-PC' era, it does make sense - imho. Over-the-air updates of iPhones & iPads would seemingly happen MUCH faster. I would not be surprised if the Time Capsule also holds backups of the iDevices.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rigorkrad View Post

...the new airport extreme features 2.81 x the maximum power output then the previous model.

Thanks for this info.
I got nothin'.
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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uelogy View Post

I wonder if these actually are the 'smart' iOS based base-stations, just not fully 'active' yet, being sneakly marketed as standard units for now, to get people set up now with them... Then when they fully activate icloud, like magic, everyone's new basestation just got more useful/features.

... Or not? Hehe

That was my thoughts too. It's not like Apple to release a new revision without something new in it. The only time that I can remember Apple doing this is during the Intel transition. We found out from Steve Jobs in his keynote that x86 was secretly in Mac OS X for 5 years without anyone outside the transition team knowing it.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rigorkrad View Post

it really upsets me that all the apple news sites are going around and keep publishing the same story over and over again about "no known changes for the airport extreme"

the changes are known, i figured it out early this morning and posted it to the apple discussions board for the airport. it never occured to these apple journalists to actually go to the fcc website and actually read the report

Tell me about it. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. After our discussion on the apple board this morning I have been attempting to share this information with all of the tech sites I visit. Engadget, Gizmodo, MacRumors, AppleInsider, etc, etc. They all continue to say "no changes." Its crazy.

...btw, mine shipped this morning.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by academytim View Post

Tell me about it. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. After our discussion on the apple board this morning I have been attempting to share this information with all of the tech sites I visit. Engadget, Gizmodo, MacRumors, AppleInsider, etc, etc. They all continue to say "no changes." Its crazy.

...btw, mine shipped this morning.

Apple could have asked all those sites to keep whatever is going on secret so as to not ruin the surprise for the Apple community. I doubt it but who knows. Apple has a lot muscle to keep people in line. It's really odd how they rolled out these products. And why hasn't iFixIt disassembled any yet. They are usually super quick at doing it. Usually the same day. With a mystery like this I'd expect them to have done it in hours. But nothing.

Really Strange.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

Apple could have asked all those sites to keep whatever is going on secret so as to not ruin the surprise for the Apple community. I doubt it but who knows. Apple has a lot muscle to keep people in line. It's really odd how they rolled out these products. And why hasn't iFixIt disassembled any yet. They are usually super quick at doing it. Usually the same day. With a mystery like this I'd expect them to have done it in hours. But nothing.

Really Strange.

Its possible, I guess. Neil from AppleInsider replied to me this morning saying that he was going to publish this information today and that he was sorry that another store got published saying there were no known changes.

I would imagine iFixit hasn't been able to get their hands on one yet. I don't know if they are actually available in a store right now or are just available through apple.com. Mine shipped this morning with "international" shipping, so I would imagine that means they are coming from overseas. iFixit may do a teardown within the next day or two when they actually get their hands on one.
post #19 of 48
Would Apple need to file with the FCC if there was no inherent difference between this version of Airport Extreme and the previous one? I doubt it. There must be something more substantially changed than Apple is letting on. Looking forward to a tear-down....
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The new base station went up on the Apple Online Store late Tuesday, [...]

the only thing "late" is appleinsider getting on top of things.

it was discovered as new by an ai member commenting on an ai message board very early tuesday morning: Jackberger at 06:06 am.

the fact that ai didn't learn of the update until much later doesn't make it "late".
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
post #21 of 48
I'm sure one of those websites that take things apart will find something new in there
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

the only thing "late" is appleinsider getting on top of things.

it was discovered as new by an ai member commenting on an ai message board very early tuesday morning: Jackberger at 06:06 am.

the fact that ai didn't learn of the update until much later doesn't make it "late".

I think it was "late" as in late in the day. Not late as in a missed deadline.
post #23 of 48
I realized yesterday afternoon that the model numbers I posted on here, and Macworld.com, were for the Canadian models of the Airport Extreme (I'm in Canada). Now Macworld used those model numbers, and AI has used them from the Macworld story. If I had made up a model number would it have appeared in these stories (aka, do they check any of this info before posting it?)?

BTW, the US models end in LL/A.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordLacey View Post

I realized yesterday afternoon that the model numbers I posted on here, and Macworld.com, were for the Canadian models of the Airport Extreme (I'm in Canada). Now Macworld used those model numbers, and AI has used them from the Macworld story. If I had made up a model number would it have appeared in these stories (aka, do they check any of this info before posting it?)?

BTW, the US models end in LL/A.

So this entire thread is a waste.

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I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post

That is pretty geeky. Apple makes products that are simple to use.

Agreed. This need is definitely not required by a huge majority of users.
post #26 of 48
Hopefully it'll be the same as the iPhone bluetooth incident where it laid there dormant and unknown until Apple activated it with an update.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post

That is pretty geeky. Apple makes products that are simple to use.

My Mac is easy to use, but that doesn't mean I can't go in to the Terminal and enable some pretty fancy settings. Theoretically I could replace the Aqua interface with one of the ugly X11 window managers if I wanted to. I can (and do) script and automate tasks using the built-in Unix shell and php languages.

Apple makes products that are simple to use, but they also make products that are powerful to use. There's no reason they couldn't leave the simple on/off setting in place for those who just want to enable guest access and then include an advanced configuration open for those who want to lock down their guest networks. Frankly, I didn't realise that the guest network automatically shared the IP submit of the registered machines. This does open up a potential security hole and should be allowed to be closed.

Think of the possibilities if this was offered... How many times have you been to an auto shop or doctor's office (or any other business) where you can see a secured WiFi but you can't connect to it because it's secured for internal use only? With a secured guest connection open, they could maintain their internally secured network and still allow customer access to the outside world.
post #28 of 48
Does anyone know where applebitch.com got its info about the new Airport Extreme having a redesigned antenna and increased range?
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Think of the possibilities if this was offered... How many times have you been to an auto shop or doctor's office (or any other business) where you can see a secured WiFi but you can't connect to it because it's secured for internal use only? With a secured guest connection open, they could maintain their internally secured network and still allow customer access to the outside world.

You can already do this on several routers and AP's. Cisco Aironet AP's and 800 series wireless routers come to mind. You can broadcast separate SSID's and have a guest SSID on a different VLAN. If you're running a business you should run a business class product, not an Airport Extreme (IMHO). Also, just because you can doesn't mean you want to - these offices where you see a secured wireless connection may have the capabilities and simply have chosen to deny wireless access altogether.

15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

So this entire thread is a waste.

In what way? The device has been updated, but all these articles are based on posts made in forums - the writers haven't done any research themselves. To illustrate my point, I pointed out that the model numbers being used in the articles are ones I have posted, and they are the Canadian models. Had the writers researched this themselves they probably would have gone to the US Apple site and seen the slightly different model numbers, then used those in their stories.

As for the entire thread being a waste - no.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by faxthat View Post

Does anyone know where applebitch.com got its info about the new Airport Extreme having a redesigned antenna and increased range?

Don't know about that site, but a guy on the apple discussion boards found the FCC Test Reports for the current model as well as the previous model. It shows significant increases in output power for the radios...


Previous Version...
http://goo.gl/B8PIu

Current Verison...
http://goo.gl/3yKRl


Follow those links, then click on the Test Report for each.
post #32 of 48
Just a software update to the Apple TV might be able to turn it into an iOS Airport Extreme.
post #33 of 48
You say "no improvements" ? Take that!

Link to Wikipedia



Additional: from the above testing, I conclude that it is possible to make AEBS work in 802.11n-ONLY mode (HT40)

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Test Report - Previous version
Test Report - Current version

And that is not because of six antennas: I have checked the sources above, there are still three antennas.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

Agreed. This need is definitely not required by a huge majority of users.

I gave a use case: small to medium business having MacOS server (or linux, windows server) on it's internal network on which it has DNS running for efficient management of internal applications. Add a guest network for visitors, and prevent guests accessing internal servers for safety. This means that the internal DNS is no longer available to the guest network. But there is no option to specify different DNS config on guest network, so it becomes crippled.
It's not a very exotic use case, I've seen many businesses using such setups as a consultant.

Apple could have specified "automatic" or manual as options. Users who don't know anything about networking would leave it at automatic.

Apple hardware & software is indeed easy for consumers, but putting an "advanced options" menu will not drive consumers away, and allows professionals to use the devices where the current limited configuration options make it a failure.
Apple could also publish a technical document regarding configuration and logging options using snmp v3. Only for the experts, I agree, but I would certainly make use of it !
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by adm View Post

I gave a use case: small to medium business having MacOS server (or linux, windows server) on it's internal network on which it has DNS running for efficient management of internal applications. Add a guest network for visitors, and prevent guests accessing internal servers for safety. This means that the internal DNS is no longer available to the guest network. But there is no option to specify different DNS config on guest network, so it becomes crippled.
It's not a very exotic use case, I've seen many businesses using such setups as a consultant.

Guest access can be easily configured to use different DNS servers in the DHCP service on Mac OS X Server. It's not necessary to support this on the AEBS.
post #36 of 48
The part number for the currently available Refurbished AirPort Extreme Base Station is part number: FC340LL/A

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC...E0NjA#overview

Is the the refurbished part number equivalent of MC340LL/A?
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrclark411 View Post

The part number for the currently available Refurbished AirPort Extreme Base Station is part number: FC340LL/A

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC...E0NjA#overview

Is the the refurbished part number equivalent of MC340LL/A?

I think, yes. Non-USA countries have a slightly different models, while numbers usually stay the same.

But you have learned from my previous post that new AEBS has a much stronger signal, so please don't make a mistake.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by adm View Post

I gave a use case: Add a guest network for visitors … but there is no option to specify different DNS config on guest network, so it becomes crippled. It's not a very exotic use case… Apple could have specified "automatic" or manual as options. Users who don't know anything about networking would leave it at automatic. Apple hardware & software is indeed easy for consumers, but putting an "advanced options" menu will not drive consumers away, and allows professionals to use the devices where the current limited configuration options make it a failure. Only for the experts, I agree, but I would certainly make use of it !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Guest access can be easily configured to use different DNS servers in the DHCP service on Mac OS X Server. It's not necessary to support this on the AEBS.

Having more advanced options on the AEBS (or Time Capsule) may not be necessary, but would be helpful for people who don't have Mac OS X Server and want the extra control.

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

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post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacFinder View Post

I think, yes. Non-USA countries have a slightly different models, while numbers usually stay the same.

I can confirm this as a non-US Apple distributor. Our parts end with X/A instead of LL/A in most cases, so the new Airport Extreme is MD031X/A and the Time Capsules are MD032X/A and MD033X/A.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

That was my thoughts too. It's not like Apple to release a new revision without something new in it. The only time that I can remember Apple doing this is during the Intel transition. We found out from Steve Jobs in his keynote that x86 was secretly in Mac OS X for 5 years without anyone outside the transition team knowing it.

Except that both of these devices have been pretty buggy/prone to failure. The TCs apparently had a significant heat dissipation issue causing them to fail regularly after 18 months or so (google TC failure rate), and speaking personally, I've had a bloody tough time with my AEBS spitting the dummy and requiring semi-regular hard resets along with the attendant re-setting up of everything.

Fingers crossed through some minor design changes they've been able to address these issues.
15" uMacbook Pro 2.4Ghz 8GB 128GB SSD/500GB 7200rpm, iMac 27" i5 16GB 1TB, MacBook Air 8GB 256GB, iPhone 5s 64GB, iPhone 4 32GB, iPad 4 64GB, Apple TV2/3, iPod Nano 2nd gen, iPod Touch 4th gen,...
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