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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 
 

AirPort Utility 5.5.3

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There’s likely no urgency in downloading this update, but AirPort Utility 5.5.3 fixes various unspecified bugs, along with one that could cause a crash during setup. Snag a copy next time you’re updating other software unless you need to set up an AirPort base station before then. AirPort Utility 5.5.3 requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later. (Free, 10.8 MB)

 

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Comments about AirPort Utility 5.5.3
(Comments are closed.)

Greg C  2011-06-15 21:49
Ahh, this gives me another opportunity to voice a pet peeve. In this post-PC world that Apple has essentially pioneered, what with iPads/iPhones and the like, configuring your Airport Express from your iOS device is as simple as, .... impossible.

I think this is a glaring oversight in the Apple product lineup, but I seem to be the only one who thinks so. My home wifi network uses an Airport Express and I carry another when on the road. But without a Mac (or PC), there is no way to configure the Express. They can't be configured from a browser, like most routers, so users are completely stuck.

If you need to change the Express configuration on the road, you are out of luck. Unless you can borrow a PC. And have a thick skin while your friends laugh that one Apple device cannot be configured to talk to another Apple device without the help of a PC. Embarrassing.

Apple has created the odd app for mildly useful functions before. How about an app for this absolutely essential function?
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-06-15 22:01
I give you an amen and two thumbs up. Perhaps an SNMP-based app could use those hooks to monitor an Apple base station, but it remains a closed format locked away against outside configuration. Until Apple opens this up (unlikely: they'd cite security) or creates an AirPort app, we're stuck.
Gord Locke  2011-06-16 11:47
Maybe you missed the coverage of the new feature in iOS 5 that will allow you to set up Apple routers. Same functionality as Airport Utility. 'PC Free,' baby.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-06-16 12:08
I did miss that, since it's not publicly announced. MacRumors has a few screen captures: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1167222
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-06-16 15:17
Also, a video of iOS 5 configuring a Time Capsule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkWokTEYwtA&feature=player_embedded#t=98s
Greg C  2011-06-16 17:41
I hadn't heard about iOS 5. Will look into it. I certainly hope it fills the gap. Long overdue.