Apple updates AirPort Utility, base station firmware

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If AirPort troubles have got you blue going into the holiday season, then perhaps this will help: Apple on Thursday released both a firmware update for AirPort Base Stations and Time Capsules that fixes a number of bugs in the wireless routers and an update for its AirPort Utility.

AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware Update 7.5.2—and isn’t that a mouthful—patches a number of issues related to stability, as well as fixing some specific problems with Apple’s new AirPlay streaming technology. The firmware update also improves USB connectivity—including hooking up external storage devices—and fixes bugs with NAT port mapping settings. Finally, as per the Wi-Fi Alliance’s specifications, TKIP security is now disabled with 802.11n rates.

The update also patches five known security holes, including a vulnerability that could cause the router to restart, a flaw that could potentially expose services behind NAT, and a possible denial of service risk. All users of 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Stations, 802.11n AirPort Express models, and all models of Time Capsules should update to the new firmware. The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later, Windows XP SP3 or later, Windows Vista SP1 or later, or Windows 7.

Of course, in order to run the firmware update, Apple recommends you first download AirPort Utility 5.5.2 for Mac or Windows. Besides allowing you to update your base station’s firmware, the new versions of the utility come with their own fixes.

On the Mac side, the 10.29MB update resolves an issue where the DHCP tab won’t show up correctly, fixes a problem where the utility would quit when launched, and squashes a bug where the network password wouldn’t get stored in the Keychain. You’ll need Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later to install it.

The 10.70MB Windows update addresses an issue where not all settings would be imported and one where MAC address control lists wouldn’t be propagated over an extended network; it requires Windows XP SP3 or later, Windows Vista SP1 or later, or Windows 7.

You can download the AirPort Utility updates from Apple’s support downloads site or via Software Update. To install the new base station firmware, follow the instructions in this knowledge base document.

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