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Apple digs up new Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme

Apple has updated the AirPort Extreme base station and Time Capsule backup device. We absolutely promise not to bore you when talking about wireless networking frequencies. Promise

New iMacs, Mac Pros and expensive Mac Minis aside, Apple also injected the Time Capsule backup drive and AirPort Extreme base station with a healthy dose of new life today.

True, we were hoping for 2TB disks in the Time Capsule, which we didn't get. After deciding our 'suicide by Duffy album on repeat' protest wasn't going to bring us bigger Time Capsules any time soon, we settled on looking at a new feature in both products called 'guest networking'.

Guest networking allows you to create two simultaneous home networks: a secure private one for yourself, and a secondary open one that just allows guests to use your Internet connection. They don't need to know your network's security code to hop on the Net.

"I wish Wi-Fi was always as promisingly pain-free," said Brylcreem-and-white-shoes fan Rich Trenholm, a jaunty wink in one eye. "As we all know," he continued, "I'm no fan of Wi-Fi shenanigans."

The other new feature may not excite Average Joe and his average range of interests, but both models are now able to operate on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies simultaneously -- to us, that's 802.11g and 802.11n Wi-Fi, respectively.

Some devices can only use regular old Wi-Fi, while some can use the speedier new version. Previously, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme had to pick one -- just a pathetic single standard -- that suited all devices connected to it.

So someone, somewhere, decided Wi-Fi networks should be like trouser legs: for best results, just use two at once. Now connected devices get to hop on the frequency that offers the best-quality signal.

The AirPort Extreme costs £129, and the Time Capsule costs £229 for the 500GB version, £379 for the 1TB version. All are on sale now from the Apple Store.