Glenn Fleishman has been writing about wireless networking for many years now, both for TidBITS and on his Wi-Fi Networking News site, and I've served as his editor through many editions and versions of his various AirPort ebooks in the Take Control series. Earlier this year, when Apple released new models of the AirPort Express and Time Capsule, and added Back to My Mac capabilities to various 802.11n-capable AirPort base stations, Glenn started on a new version of his "Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network." We first thought it would be a small rewrite, but by the end it grew by about 20 pages, as Glenn handled the scenarios that can now arise depending on which base station model you use, and depending on how you mix newer and older models.
Now clocking in at 265 pages, the just-updated version 1.5 of "Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network" serves as a definitive guide to setting up, extending, and optimizing Wi-Fi networks. It provides assistance with maximizing performance, extending range with multiple base stations, choosing between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, understanding channels, complex Internet configurations, backing up with Time Machine and a Time Capsule, streaming music via AirTunes, adding old gear to a new network without impacting performance, sharing USB disks and printers, and lots more that you can read about at the book's page linked above. Important changes in this update include:
- We integrated coverage of the new simultaneous dual-band models of the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule into the ebook, while retaining information about all older 802.11n AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models and advice for mixing even older gear with 802.11n devices.
- We updated and expanded the tables that summarize all the Apple base station models.
- We added directions for setting up Back to My Mac access, a new feature for all 802.11n base stations released in 2007 or later. Apple made Back to My Mac access available via a firmware update earlier this year.
- We added a short new section, "Light Reading," that helps you decode what the light on your base station is trying to tell you.
- We reworked the section about extending a network via Wi-Fi for enhanced clarity.
- We made small revisions throughout the ebook to account for numerous changes in AirPort Utility, Mac OS X Leopard, and base station firmware that occurred since the October 2008 release of the previous version of the ebook.
The new version costs $15, but if you own an older version of one of Glenn's AirPort titles, you can upgrade for free or at a discount, depending on which version you own. Check your email for an upgrade notice or open your PDF to the first page and click Check for Updates.