Apple quietly revised the hardware of its Time Capsule wireless appliance and AirPort Extreme base station this past Tuesday. New models sport updated hardware that enables dual-band support which utilizes both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz bands simultaneously to maximize wireless network performance, even with slower 802.11b/g clients on a network, like the iPhone, that would have otherwise degraded overall performance of a whole network. Guest networking is another new feature enabled in hardware that lets you create a separate guest network, password-protected or not, which is isolated from the rest of your network – great when a friend stops by and wants to check his email but you don’t like the idea of handing him your network credentials.
Remote drive sharing is the third new feature and the only one which works on both new and previous-generation base station models because it is enabled via software. Remote drive sharing allows users to remotely access files stored on an internal or external hard drive attached to a base station utilizing paid $99 a year MobileMe subscription. On Tuesday and Thursday evening, Apple posted 7.4.1 firmware updates for both new and previous base station models and AirPort Utility 5.4.1 that are essential if you want to take advantage of new features.