If I ask you to picture a router now, you’re probably thinking of the one the operator gave you at home, or at most some of the additional mesh networking solutions that some manufacturers offer you.
But if you’re of a certain age, you might remember that Apple had their own routers, or rather, their own Wi-Fi access points. They are AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and AirPort Time Capsuleand they presented an integrated solution that some not too experienced users lack.
From rolling out the first Wi-Fi networks to managing backups throughout the home
The first time we saw an AirPort product was in 1999 at an event you can see in the video above if you make an effort to adjust to the poor quality of the times. Steve Jobs would throw it next to an iBook and demonstrate its wireless prowess by hula-hooping around the laptop: 24 years ago, wireless web surfing seemed like magic.
The first airport station included a 56K modem and two network ports and was capable of generating a Wi-Fi network. It was very rudimentary, but it already let us see what would be normal years later.
Over the years, the product has been improved and expanded to offer three aspects: a simple Wi-Fi access point with AirPort Express, a more powerful and complete access point with AirPort Extreme, and finally a powerful access point that integrates a hard drive with the AirPort Time Capsule . This last solution was ideal for a multi-Mac household, since they could take care of it over Wi-Fi Make copies of Time Machine from all the computers in the house.
But one day, Apple suddenly and without prior notice decided to stop selling the AirPort lineup in spring 2018. This surprised us all, because in Cupertino, solutions from other brands, such as Linksys, were even officially recommended. I myself currently have a mesh Wi-Fi network managed by one of these solutions, the Velop. The bad news is that no manufacturer has dared to try the idea of an integrated hard drive.
Despite several rumors of a possible AirPort revival, Apple doesn’t appear to be doing so. And they are missed because they had some key advantages like ease of configuration compared to other routers on the market. Everything could be customized to our liking through the AirPort Utility appwhich still exists in the App Store for anyone who continues to use one.
There are still users using AirPort products, but Time Capsule hard drives no longer work as they should and I don’t recommend trusting them
Because yes, there are still users who continue to use these routers to be able to deploy their networks. I check this with my clients myself, and actually I encourage them to prepare: AirPort Time Capsule hard drives are many years old, and those that still work are doing it very slowly. If you use one of these hard drives to create your Time Machine copies, I advise you to check that the copies are still complete because they are no longer allowed.
With the exception of those brave few who continue to use their devices, the AirPort family officially died fifteen years ago and is unlikely to come back. The retail market for wireless access points is very saturated and it would be very difficult to justify selling more expensive alternatives with the bitten apple logo.
And it’s not that Apple doesn’t want to keep up with new connectivity technologies: Matter and Thread are already built into accessories like the Apple TV 4K and HomePod mini. In Cupertino, they made the decision to embrace the new standards and ensure their devices work with them at the highest speeds possible. Next stop: Wi-Fi 7.
Images | Wikipedia
Source : www.applesfera.com