I bought an Airport Express this week. They’ve been around for a while now, and I’m sure they’re probably going to end up being refreshed in the near future, but I couldn’t hold off any longer. For various reasons, it made no sense to put it off any longer.

So far, I’ve been really impressed with it. Not so much what it does; it does exactly what I ask of it, which is exactly what the site said it will do. What’s impressive is the way it does it. The experience of owning it, of using it, has been excellent.

Wireless networking is complicated. It’s not designed to be user friendly. It’s not too hard to get a router/modem up and running and sharing around a nice, public, stealable connection, but fine-tuning and configuring it is a total pain for most users. The terminology is complex and unintuitive.

To make matters worse, almost every router (wireless or otherwise) has a miniature webserver in it running an administration interface. This sounds like a good idea for most users: the controls and interactions are familiar, and no special software is required. But in practice, it’s a disaster.

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