Apple today announced the second generation AirPort wireless network. The 802.11b based solution features a new AirPort Base Station offering the first-ever support for America Online users (AOL 5.0 and AOL for Mac OS X only), a built-in firewall for greater protection, 128-bit encryption for added wireless security, and support for up to 50 users sharing one base station.
“Apple has consistently led the industry in 802.11 wireless networking,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Now we’re adding another industry first with support for America Online, and great new security features like a built-in firewall and 128-bit encryption.”
AirPort’s new features include:
compatibility with AOL
two Ethernet ports, one 10BASE-T for wide area connections such as DSL or cable modem, and a new 10/100BASE-T port for local area networking;
firewall protection providing added security from unauthorized access via the Internet;
support for up to 128-bit password and data encryption;
RADIUS support enabling schools and businesses to centrally manage user access control; and
AirPort Card compatibility with Cisco’s LEAP security method, popular in many higher-education institutions.
AirPort offers a data rate of up to 11 megabits per second, enabling simultaneous sharing of a single Internet connection by up to 50 users and has a typical range of 150-foot radius from the base station.
Apple has also released AirPort Software 2.0 available as an online download from their
in both native Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 versions. (The software was not available as we went to press with this article).
Apple’s new Airport is available immediately through
The Apple Store, at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of US$99 for the AirPort Card and $299 for the AirPort Base Station.