Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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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.

 
 

“Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network” Updated

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When Apple released the highly graphical AirPort Utility for iOS in 2011, we didn’t realize that its graphical user interface was a preview of the interface that we’d find in AirPort Utility 6 for Mac OS X, which Apple pushed out in early 2012. AirPort Utility 6 runs only in 10.7 Lion, and lacks some rarely used features found in AirPort Utility 5 (see “AirPort Utility 6.0 Adds iCloud Support but Removes Many Features,” 1 February 2012). The massive changes in AirPort Utility 6 forced us to revamp Glenn Fleishman’s “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network,” the second edition of which had been designed to cover Lion and AirPort Utility 5.

We’ve caught up with Apple in the 187-page “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, Third Edition,” which focuses on AirPort Utility 6 and includes coverage of AirPort Utility for iOS. The core content remains roughly the same otherwise, but because we removed the AirPort Utility 5 information, we’re providing the second edition for free to anyone who buys the third edition. And, although everyone should have already received email about this, we’ve given the third edition to all second edition owners for free (check your Take Control account for the download if you didn’t see our email).

The $20 ebook is available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket formats, and we’ve been steadily improving the visual look of the EPUB to work around limitations in the Pages EPUB export. If you have a Kindle Fire, we feel EPUB is still a better experience than Mobipocket. See my in-depth look at working with the various different formats on the Kindle Fire in “How to Download EPUB, PDF, and Mobipocket to the Kindle Fire” (22 April 2012).

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Read real-world advice from Wi-Fi wizard Glenn Fleishman on setting up a wireless network using Apple's 802.11n and 802.11ac base stations. Learn to maximize performance, extend range, connect multiple base stations, handle complex configs, share USB disks and printers, and more.

 

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