Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 29 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals
11 comments

AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.8.1

Apple has released a firmware update for older AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule base stations with 802.11n Wi-Fi (not the current 802.11ac models that recently received their own firmware update; see “AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.9.1,” 20 June 2019). Focused on improving base station security, the update resolves vulnerabilities that could allow remote attackers to cause arbitrary code execution or a system denial of service, and it fixes a bug where not all user data was deleted after a base station factory reset. You must update your AirPort base station using AirPort Utility on your Mac or an iOS device with Apple’s AirPort Utility app installed. (Free, release notes)

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For 28 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

Comments About AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.8.1

Notable Replies

  1. Whoa, that’s freaky! I imagine Apple wasn’t thinking that people would need to install AirPort Utility at this point. @glennf, have you seen this?

    Do you have an iOS device you can try instead?

  2. Huh! I didn’t notice that happening. However, I have version 6.3.9 on both my Macs. (On one Mac, it has a weird double window: there’s a window embedded into the AirPort Utility window also named AirPort Utility. No idea why that happened.)

    I cannot find a download installer later than 6.3.1. This must mean that Apple assumes you have the version that was installed with a macOS update. So you could copy this from someone else with Mojave. You would have had to remove AirPort Utility manually, as it’s included in each OS update.

    iOS AirPort Utility is really the only option if you don’t have access to another system running a later version of macOS.

  3. I would agree that links to Airport Utility should probably not have been included, but each OS includes the correct version in /Applications/Utilities/ already, so there should never be a reason to download anything new (unless you mistakenly were able to delete them) in order to update the 802.11ac or 802.11n base stations.

  4. Used IOS
    Thanks for quick reply…y’all are GREAT.

  5. El Capitan has Airport Utility 6.3.6
    Sierra has 6.3.7
    High Sierra has 6.3.8
    Mojave has 6.3.9

    Based on that AirPort Utility 6.3.1 is from Snow Leopard!

  6. Actually…

    System Requirements:
    OS X 10.7.5 or later
    OS X 10.8.3 or later

  7. Yeah, I took them out. It’s not common that providing links causes more questions than it answers!

  8. Ken

    I’m keeping an old Mac running Snow Leopard—the latest version it supports—because my High Sierra Mac’s Airport Utility can’t talk to my older (white flying saucer) model Airport Extreme. Wondering if there will be a way to install this firmware update.

  9. Your older model Airport Extreme is unable to be upgraded with either of these firmware upgrades. They are only for 802.11ac and 802.11n models.

  10. Ken, unless that really (really!) old AirPort base station is behind a firewall, it poses a security risk. In the decade-plus since that device has been discontinued, a myriad security vulnerabilities and fixes have come and gone. My advice would be to replace it a.s.a.p.

Join the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum

Participants