An Updated AirPort Book for 802.11ac

For those of you who use Apple's AirPort base stations (Extreme, Express, and Time Capsule), you may be interested to know that I've got a revised edition out of Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network  — version 3.2 of the book now covers the new 802.11ac base stations (Extreme and Time Capsule) Apple released a few months ago, the updated features in AirPort Utility for Mac OS X and iOS, and Mountain Lion's Wireless Diagnostics utility.

(We had to keep the title the same for complicated reasons of how ebooks are listed! It can be baroque. We'll update the title for the next major release after Mac OS X 10.9 and iOS 7 ship.) 

What's the book good for? If you're trying to set up a network, swap out old base stations, or add new ones, I've got step-by-step instructions on how to do those and many other common configurations. I also explain all the security options available and using attached and internal disks. The 802.11ac update brings a ton of minor changes and issues, and I run through those from the spectrum and settings' standpoints.

I've been revising this book for nearly 10 years now through every base station and software and functionality change. It's always fun to dig down and see what little improvements were made (or major overhauls), and to figure out workarounds for places Apple missed the boat. 

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The book is a $20 download, and has encryption/protection (DRM): you buy it, and it's in your account forever, and you can download it as many times as you like in PDF, MOBI (Kindle-compatible), and EPUB (general ereader compatible) versions. There are paid and free updates if you own a previous edition — if you own a previous edition, you should get email from Take Control, or contact them for details about upgrades.

Here's the full list of what's new in this update! 

This update takes account of several changes that have occurred since version 3.1 of the ebook came out in 2012:

This update takes account of several changes that have occurred since version 3.1 of the ebook came out in 2012:

  • New AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule: Introduced in June 2013, these new models feature 802.11ac, a newer (still in progress) version of Wi-Fi that offers higher data transfer rates and better coverage. The shape of the base stations was also changed. 802.11ac is now mentioned throughout the ebook.
  • More support for guest networks: Guest networking can now be set up on all base stations in a network, due to a change in AirPort Utility and updated firmware released in early 2013.
  • WPS for Wi-Fi printers: A Wi-Fi–enabled printer can be simply added to a network without entering an encryption key, due to the same early 2013 firmware update. This method of adding a printer relies on Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), a no-entry system for connecting devices to a Wi-Fi network. (Apple once included WPS to connect computers and some other devices, but removed it in an earlier release. The ability to connect printers is new.)
  • Wireless Diagnostics utility: The Wi-Fi Diagnostics program found in the first release of OS X 10.08 Mountain Lion has been substantially changed yet again.
  • Windows 8: With Windows 8.1 expected in October 2013, I’ve inserted directions for adding a printer and connecting to a Wi-Fi network with Windows 8.1.