How to update your AirPort networking hardware

If you have an Apple AirPort Extreme base station, an Apple Time Capsule or an AirPort Express networking device, you should probably check to make sure it’s running the latest firmware. Apple this week released new firmware for all of its 802.11n and 802.11ac-based network routers – that goes back 7 years. The update “improves the stability and performance of your base station,” according to Apple.

Specific changes include: 

  • Fixes an issue which may prevent communication between clients on the same network
  • Improves performance with an extended guest network
  • Addresses potential naming conflicts with Bonjour Sleep Proxy

Not sure if your AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express or Time Capsule is up to date? Here’s how you can check using your Mac.

To check your AirPort base station firmware

  1. Click the Spotlight icon in your menu bar (it looks like a magnifying glass).
  2. Type “airport utility.” Spotlight will find the AirPort Utility. Double-click to launch the app. (Alternately, find AirPort Utility inside the Utilities folder on your Mac.)
  3. If a firmware update is available for your device, it should pop up with a notification badge to let you know. Click on the device’s icon to get more information.Update
  4. Click on the Update button to download the new firmware and begin the update process.Updatebutton
  5. During the update, the network device will be unavailable. Click the Continue button to proceed.Continue

The update should download and install, and the device should reset automatically.

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