Apple today announced an update to the AirPort Express. The form factor and feature set are unchanged, except the device now supports 802.11n networking. Users of the older 802.11b/g technology will be astounded at the speed boost offered by this upgrade, especially when doing wireless backups to a Time Capsule and generally transferring big files across wireless networks. It’s still not as fast as gigabit ethernet, but it’s fast enough to stream high definition video from wireless network storage to another machine on your network.

When I bought a new-style AirPort Extreme with 802.11n about a year ago, I had to run an ethernet cable to my 3-year-old Express. When you introduce a slower client to an 802.11n network, the entire network slows to the speed of the slowest client. Once I hook up the new Express, I’ll finally lose the last wire tucked along the baseboard of my living room!

The new Express is available for preorder here: http://www.smalldog.com/product/71133

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