One week after the IEEE ratified the 802.11g specification for higher-speed wireless equipment, Apple has released AirPort 3.1 for Mac OS X, which updates Macs using AirPort Extreme (see "802.11g (AirPort Extreme) Ratified" in TidBITS 684). The update includes the AirPort Extreme Firmware v5.1 (also available as a separate 2 MB download) to update AirPort Extreme base stations and AirPort Extreme cards. In addition to implementing the formalized 802.11g spec, the update also adds packet bursting, which improves throughput on 802.11g networks. Apple also slipped in a few other improvements: a base station can be set up as a "relay" device within a network containing multiple base stations, and networking speed is improved when interfering equipment (such as 2.4 GHz cordless phones and microwave ovens) is in the vicinity. Finally, Apple also released a beta version of AirPort Extreme Admin Utility for Windows XP and 2000, something the company said was requested by many users in mixed computing environments. The AirPort 3.1 update requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 and later, and is available through Software Update or as a separate 7 MB download.
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