Apple intros Airport Extreme with iPhone-ready dual-band mode

Along with across-the-board updates to its Mac desktop computers, Apple today quietly introduced a new version of its Airport Extreme Base Station, featuring a new dual-band Wi-Fi mode that improves wireless performance on recent computers that share networks with devices such as the iPhone and iPod touch. The new dual-band support lets 802.11b/g devices, such as older computers, the iPhone, and the iPod touch, connect using the 2.4GHz wireless band, while simultaneously allowing 802.11n devices, such as modern computers and the Apple TV, to connect over the higher-speed 5GHz band, ensuring the fastest possible wireless performance for all devices on the network.

In addition, the new Extreme offers guest networking features, support for up to 50 devices, the ability to share an external USB printer or hard drive—including over the Internet via a MobileMe account—and more. Apple’s new Airport Extreme Base Station is available now and sells for $180; the same dual-band and other features were added to the company’s Time Capsule wireless backup routers, which remain priced at $299 for the 500GB model and $499 for the 1TB model.