Apple Updates AirPort Extreme And Time Capsule Networking Products

Apple's WWDC keynote today focused primarily on software, as well it should have, but a bit of hardware news also made it out. On the networking side, the company's long-standing AirPort line received a new AirPort Extreme. The design is actually massively different than anything we've seen before, with a taller and slimmer body replacing the flatter version that came before. From a technical standpoint, the ability to support 802.11ac transfers is all new, promising up to 3x faster local connections and transfers with hardware that supports it.

There are six total antennas, three for the 2.4GHz band and three for the 5GHz band. There's also a built-in firewall, three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a USB 2.0 port (for printers and such), and a built-in power supply. It'll support beamforming and up to 50 users, and it'll handle any device that supports the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac specification.

If you'd prefer to turn your AirPort Extreme into a NAS, there's also a new Time Capsule; it's essentially the same exterior, but with a 2TB ($299) or 3TB ($399) hard drive within. All of this stuff starts shipping this week, too.