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By Dan Moren for Macworld
Ah, the humble wireless router: a staple of the internet age, something we’ve all got tucked away in our house somewhere (or worse, out in full view). They’re a pain, a thing that sometimes just needs to be rebooted for no apparent reason, whose errors can be mystifying, and whose troubleshooting and management can make even the most tech-savvy among us grit their teeth in frustration.
It didn’t have to be this way. Once upon a time, Apple was in the business of making wireless routers. The AirPort line debuted in 1999, at the same event where Apple introduced the iBook, the first consumer computer to offer built-in wireless networking. Over the course of nearly more than a decade, Apple made a succession of the devices, until it finally discontinued the line in 2018.
And now, more than ever, it’s starting to feel like that might have been a mistake. Is it too late? Could an AirPort resurgence save us from the pain of dealing with substandard routers? Or are we consigned to a future of annoyance and irritation?