What is AirPort

AirPort is a brand under the computer company Apple Inc. for wireless local area networks (WLAN), introduced commercially on July 21, 1999. It is based in the 802.11b or "Wi-Fi" standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and it has been certified as compatible with other IEEE 802.11b devices. In common usage, the term "AirPort" may refer to the 802.11b protocol, the expansion card or the base station. It is sold under the name "AirMac" in Japan, since the name "AirPort" had already been registered by a local company, I-O DATA.

The first commercial release of the AirPort system allowed data transmission rates of up to 11 Mbps, and it came with an optional expansion card for the new line of Apple iBook notebooks, as well as an AirPort base station, which is used to connect AirPort-enabled computers to other devices or computers, a local area network (LAN), or to the Internet. Later on, the AirPort card, used to connect to wireless networks, became an option for most Apple products, excluding Xserves. The Apple products carrying the AirPort card option include eMacs, iMacs, PowerBooks and Power Macs. All AirPort cards and AirPort base stations are fully compatible with all third-party wireless cards and base stations that conform to the 802.11b wireless networking standard.

The original AirPort base station was known as Graphite, and it is functionally identical to the Lucent RG-1000 wireless base station. It featured a modem and an Ethernet port, and it used an embedded 486 processor. In November 13, 2001, a second generation model, the Dual Ethernet or Snow AirPort Base Station, was released. The model was based on the Motorola PowerPC 860 processor. It featured the ability to connect to the America Online (AOL) dial-up service, and a second Ethernet port, used to share a wired network connection with wired and wireless clients.

The original AirPort Card, which was user-installable, was a re-branded Lucent WaveLAN Gold PC card that was in a modified housing without the integrated antenna. The AirPort Card could not be used in a regular PCMCIA slot.

AirPort had a new feature called AirTunes, which enabled the simultaneous streaming of music from an AirPort-enabled computer with the iTunes music player to about three to six stereos connected to an AirPort Express. AirTunes may be controlled using a Keyspan USB-enabled infrared remote control attached to a USB port.

In order to prevent unwanted eavesdropping and unauthorized access to a wireless AirPort network, AirPort made use of cryptography, as well as a variety of security technologies such as 40-bit or 128-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.

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