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Apple Time Capsule, Airport Extreme receive small (possibly significant) upgrades

With ninja-like stealth, Apple updates its Time Capsule and Airport Extreme Base Station.

"I'll give you two guesses as to this product's identity. Is it the Base Station or Time Capsule? Only the astute among you will know for sure. Apple

Along with the major Apple announcements that took place Tuesday, Apple also--quite stealthily, I might add--announced upgraded performance, specs, and support for both its Time Capsule and Airport Extreme Base Station.

Time Capsule received the most updates, with Apple claiming that with the new technologies and refinements added to both Time Capsule and the Time Machine software, backing up using Snow Leopard is up to "60 percent faster than before."

That number is based on internal testing done by Apple comparing a new preproduction (unreleased) Time Capsule with the version released earlier this year.

Apple also claims that by using the latest 802.11n wireless technology, you'll see "up to five times the Wi-Fi performance and up to twice the range of 802.11g wireless networks."

This, also based on Apple testing comparing both Time Capsule and the Airport Extreme Base Station to "Apple's 802.11g products." The company doesn't specify which products it compares them to, however.

Finally, Apple claims that improvements to both Time Capsule's and the Airport Extreme Base Station's antenna design can give "up to 50 percent better performance and up to 25 percent better range than with the previous-generation Time Capsule and Airport Extreme base Station."

This performance is based on Apple testing comparing the Time Capsule and Airport based Station to "Apple's 802.11n products." Again, although we can safely assume they're basing the comparison on apples to apples test results on the previous versions of the versions of the same hardware, we can't be certain.

We'll of course be conducting our own testing as soon as we get these updated versions of the products in for review. It'll be interesting to see how close our performance numbers match up with theirs.

According to Apple's site, both new versions of the hardware are shipping now.