With Apple abandoning AirPort, here are the best alternative Wi-Fi routers for Mac users

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  • Reply 41 of 127
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,488member
    I'll be in denial for a little longer, at least until Apple formally announces the EOL of Airport products. I hate it when someone like Bloomberg Technology makes a statement based on who knows what about Apple's internal organization. All they're going on is another group of anonymous people making a statement: "Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced." If I were Apple, I'd find who made these statements and show them the door, without any severance pay! I'm tired of anonymous statements. If these people don't have the nerve to give their names, then either they are fictitious or they know they'd be fired and sued for disclosing corporate secrets. I'm also tired of companies using anonymous information and getting away with it. 

    That said, Apple's Airport Extreme is only $199, so it's at the lower end of the replacement routers described above. What happened to Apple products always costing the most? 
    williamlondonrandominternetpersonking editor the grateration alDan Andersenpscooter63
  • Reply 42 of 127
    ...and they are almost all ugly as hell. i don't even feel curious about seeing whether their software is as seamless as Apple's. 

    Thinking whether to quickly buy some of the current models while they last. 

    Yes, call me old-fashioned,  but what I always loved was a seamless experience across accessories as well. 

    Thats what really made a difference. 

    OTOH, I can't imagine the dedicated team has been sitting idle since the last update of the hw, until by coincidence someone noticed they were still around...

    I had the same thought on quickly buying some so I ordered one extreme and two expresses - of course, as none of my airports has yet died (some as old as 10 years), perhaps these will never leave their boxes.
  • Reply 43 of 127
    ejieji Posts: 36member
    Don't forget the Asus RT-AC88U. It's got built-in Time Machine functionality (just add external storage) plus a ton of other features like 802.11ad link aggregation, an iTunes server and OpenVPN support. After years of being a loyal DrayTek user, I moved to the RT-AC88U and have been pretty thrilled with its stability, features and performance. It would be my go-to alternative if Apple's Time Capsule is no longer available.
  • Reply 44 of 127
    Has anyone looked at the new Eero software that dropped a few days ago?

    I stent some time this morning looking at some good networking alternatives.

    After reading the above blog post, it is clear to me that Eero is pulling a few pages from Apple's playbook with their product. It appears to be a more Apple-like software experience than the AirPort has offered in quite some time.

    Has anyone here replaced an AirPort network with an Eero?

    More specifically, used an Eero with CenturyLink Fiber internet service?
  • Reply 45 of 127
    sunman42 said:
    Note to self: Head to Apple Store (physically or online) and buy two AirPort Expresses. Based on past experience, that should do me for the next 16 - 24 years.
    One possible problem will be when the switch is finally made to IPv6, a software upgrade may be required to the router which won't happen because it's not supported any more.
  • Reply 46 of 127
    larryjw said:
    Okay. Time for the Apple executives to be replaced....(snip)

    For Apple to abandon all products except their most profitable ones is guaranteed to kill the company. Companies grow based on the synergies from all their product lines. 

    Where were you when we tried to save the Newton PDA?
    macxpressRayz2016pscooter63
  • Reply 47 of 127
    bbhbbh Posts: 51member
    With the exception of the eero.... doesn't anybody give a damn about style ??????
  • Reply 48 of 127
    macxpress said:
    larryjw said:
    Okay. Time for the Apple executives to be replaced. I don't know if any should be kept on in executive or non-executive positions, or even with the company, but collectively these folks don't have a clue. This replacement needs to be done fast. Apple as no more than 5 years left as a viable company.

    Steve Jobs was adamant that one does not worry about stock prices and profit. Both come when one produces innovative products and sells them for what they are worth (maybe what the "market can bare"). 

    For Apple to abandon all products except their most profitable ones is guaranteed to kill the company. Companies grow based on the synergies from all their product lines. 

    Bottom line. The current crop of Apple executives are proving themselves to wholly incompetent. 

    5yrs? Right! It'll take a lot more than killing an extremely small part of Apple in their Airport lineup to kill off Apple. 

    Who cares, this isn't Steve's company. Why do we keep referring back to what Steve would do? How do we know Steve wouldn't have killed the Airport line already? Its not like he never killed off products. 

    But as long as you're so stuck on Steve Jobs, don't forget, this is the crop to executives he set in place before resigning. So, apparently he's not so smart after all? 
    Why I referred to Jobs. Because Steve Jobs was right. Most companies only know how to do financial accounting. They don't get it that products and services that look like they are not making enough money, are paying more than their fair share of company overhead. Routers are an example of a product that just gets built and sells. Requires little support, no executive involvement and little advertising. No question they're forced to pay more than they're fair share of Tim's salary. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 49 of 127
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,704member
    chadmad said:
    Has anyone thought about what a Apple TV/tvOS device might look like if it had its own integrated wireless router?

    Perhaps especially when you consider the potential of HomeKit?
    This is exactly what I think they're doing. Instead of everyone getting their panties in a bunch over this, why not, A, see if this is really true, B, see if something else is coming to replace them if they are in fact dropping this. If they can make an all-in-one product that does multiple things like wifi networking, routing, AppleTV, Siri, HomeKit, etc, perhaps they see people would buy this rather than buying 2 or 3 separate devices. 
    williamlondonrepressthisration al
  • Reply 50 of 127
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,409member
    rob53 said:
    I'll be in denial for a little longer, at least until Apple formally announces the EOL of Airport products. I hate it when someone like Bloomberg Technology makes a statement based on who knows what about Apple's internal organization. All they're going on is another group of anonymous people making a statement: "Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced." If I were Apple, I'd find who made these statements and show them the door, without any severance pay! I'm tired of anonymous statements. If these people don't have the nerve to give their names, then either they are fictitious or they know they'd be fired and sued for disclosing corporate secrets. I'm also tired of companies using anonymous information and getting away with it. 

    That said, Apple's Airport Extreme is only $199, so it's at the lower end of the replacement routers described above. What happened to Apple products always costing the most? 
    Yes, me too. At this stage this is just rumors - perhaps Apple will surprise us with a new product. Time Machine is important and needs to work wirelessly. Has anyone tried Time Machine using a wireless HD using only 3rd party hardware? Maybe it is common practice now, I just don't know, but last time I tried it was a disaster. For a quite a few years since then I have been relying on the Time Capsule.
    williamlondonration al
  • Reply 51 of 127
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,704member
    larryjw said:
    macxpress said:
    larryjw said:
    Okay. Time for the Apple executives to be replaced. I don't know if any should be kept on in executive or non-executive positions, or even with the company, but collectively these folks don't have a clue. This replacement needs to be done fast. Apple as no more than 5 years left as a viable company.

    Steve Jobs was adamant that one does not worry about stock prices and profit. Both come when one produces innovative products and sells them for what they are worth (maybe what the "market can bare"). 

    For Apple to abandon all products except their most profitable ones is guaranteed to kill the company. Companies grow based on the synergies from all their product lines. 

    Bottom line. The current crop of Apple executives are proving themselves to wholly incompetent. 

    5yrs? Right! It'll take a lot more than killing an extremely small part of Apple in their Airport lineup to kill off Apple. 

    Who cares, this isn't Steve's company. Why do we keep referring back to what Steve would do? How do we know Steve wouldn't have killed the Airport line already? Its not like he never killed off products. 

    But as long as you're so stuck on Steve Jobs, don't forget, this is the crop to executives he set in place before resigning. So, apparently he's not so smart after all? 
    Why I referred to Jobs. Because Steve Jobs was right. Most companies only know how to do financial accounting. They don't get it that products and services that look like they are not making enough money, are paying more than their fair share of company overhead. Routers are an example of a product that just gets built and sells. Requires little support, no executive involvement and little advertising. No question they're forced to pay more than they're fair share of Tim's salary. 
    First of all, Steve Jobs was not always right about things. He was not god. He made a lot of smart decisions yes, but he did make mistakes along the way.

    Second, what you don't know that Apple does...is how well its selling? You're assuming that everyone who owns an Apple product has an AirPort thats simply not true, I'm betting not even close. Sure, core Apple people may have one (maybe 2), but not everyone does and they cannot expect everyone to buy one either. If nobody is buying it then its not worth putting time and money into when those folks can put their time and energy into something people will want to buy. Even Steve would do the same thing. He's done it before (Xserve, Newton, Macs, etc).
    edited November 2016 designr
  • Reply 52 of 127
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 585member
    larryjw said:
    Okay. Time for the Apple executives to be replaced. I don't know if any should be kept on in executive or non-executive positions, or even with the company, but collectively these folks don't have a clue. This replacement needs to be done fast. Apple as no more than 5 years left as a viable company.

    Steve Jobs was adamant that one does not worry about stock prices and profit. Both come when one produces innovative products and sells them for what they are worth (maybe what the "market can bare"). 

    For Apple to abandon all products except their most profitable ones is guaranteed to kill the company. Companies grow based on the synergies from all their product lines. 

    Bottom line. The current crop of Apple executives are proving themselves to wholly incompetent. 
    This is the beginning of the end of "It just works"

    Tnen when people get frustrated with MACs they will kill off the computers.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 53 of 127

    Looks like people have taken their positions: 


    A ) Apple's management is doing exactly what they are supposed to  


    B ) they are killing Apple by abandoning the idea of an inclusive ecosystem. 


    The only thing that seems clear at this point, is that what they are doing is focussing on immediately profitable products. The effect? We'll have to meet again in five or ten years and see who was right... I believe second is true, but I really hope I'm wrong. I hope very much indeed.

    edited November 2016 duervo
  • Reply 54 of 127
    macxpress said:
    chadmad said:
    Has anyone thought about what a Apple TV/tvOS device might look like if it had its own integrated wireless router?

    Perhaps especially when you consider the potential of HomeKit?
    This is exactly what I think they're doing. Instead of everyone getting their panties in a bunch over this, why not, A, see if this is really true, B, see if something else is coming to replace them if they are in fact dropping this. If they can make an all-in-one product that does multiple things like wifi networking, routing, AppleTV, Siri, HomeKit, etc, perhaps they see people would buy this rather than buying 2 or 3 separate devices. 
    We're working on A and B.
    chadmad
  • Reply 55 of 127
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,685member
    k2kw said:
    larryjw said:
    Okay. Time for the Apple executives to be replaced. I don't know if any should be kept on in executive or non-executive positions, or even with the company, but collectively these folks don't have a clue. This replacement needs to be done fast. Apple as no more than 5 years left as a viable company.

    Steve Jobs was adamant that one does not worry about stock prices and profit. Both come when one produces innovative products and sells them for what they are worth (maybe what the "market can bare"). 

    For Apple to abandon all products except their most profitable ones is guaranteed to kill the company. Companies grow based on the synergies from all their product lines. 

    Bottom line. The current crop of Apple executives are proving themselves to wholly incompetent. 
    This is the beginning of the end of "It just works"

    Tnen when people get frustrated with MACs they will kill off the computers.
    I dunno. 

    I've just been looking at those Mesh routers. They're not cheap but the look like a doddle to set up and they offer more options than the Airport setup. 

    It could just be the case that Apple is now happy to let third parties take this on.

    Just a thought. 


    designrpscooter63
  • Reply 56 of 127
    Time Machine backups can be made to a AirPort Time Capsule, or to a hard drive connected to the USB port on an AirPort Extreme
    Wrong.  I used to do this, and it worked for a while, and for many it still may work.  Then one day I had problems and while on the phone with Apple they explained to me, and supported it with the fine print on their website, that Time Machine backups may only be made to a USB hard drive if it is connected to an AirPort Time Capsule, and not an AirPort Extreme.  It seems odd.  It also seems silly to only allow USB Hard Drive Time Machine backups through a device that already has a hard drive (the Time Capsule).  But, that's the reality from Apple's perspective.  Apple does not support Time Machine backups made to a USB Hard Drive connect to an AirPort Extreme.
  • Reply 57 of 127
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,704member
    rg19 said:
    Time Machine backups can be made to a AirPort Time Capsule, or to a hard drive connected to the USB port on an AirPort Extreme
    Wrong.  I used to do this, and it worked for a while, and for many it still may work.  Then one day I had problems and while on the phone with Apple they explained to me, and supported it with the fine print on their website, that Time Machine backups may only be made to a USB hard drive if it is connected to an AirPort Time Capsule, and not an AirPort Extreme.  It seems odd.  It also seems silly to only allow USB Hard Drive Time Machine backups through a device that already has a hard drive (the Time Capsule).  But, that's the reality from Apple's perspective.  Apple does not support Time Machine backups made to a USB Hard Drive connect to an AirPort Extreme.
    I think you were told wrong...It says right on Apple's website you can plug a hard drive and/or printer into it. I think the USB port even supports a USB hub so you can plug both into it at the same time. The only one that does not support it is an AirPort Express, which I don't recall that ever supporting a hard drive, only a printer. Perhaps you're confusing an AirPort Extreme with an AirPort Express? Is yours tall or about the same of an AppleTV?

    http://www.apple.com/compare-wifi-models/
    edited November 2016 Dan Andersen
  • Reply 58 of 127
    macxpress said:
    rg19 said:
    Time Machine backups can be made to a AirPort Time Capsule, or to a hard drive connected to the USB port on an AirPort Extreme
    Wrong.  I used to do this, and it worked for a while, and for many it still may work.  Then one day I had problems and while on the phone with Apple they explained to me, and supported it with the fine print on their website, that Time Machine backups may only be made to a USB hard drive if it is connected to an AirPort Time Capsule, and not an AirPort Extreme.  It seems odd.  It also seems silly to only allow USB Hard Drive Time Machine backups through a device that already has a hard drive (the Time Capsule).  But, that's the reality from Apple's perspective.  Apple does not support Time Machine backups made to a USB Hard Drive connect to an AirPort Extreme.
    I think you were told wrong...It says right on Apple's website you can plug a hard drive and/or printer into it. I think the USB port even supports a USB hub so you can plug both into it at the same time. The only one that does not support it is an AirPort Express, which I don't recall that ever supporting a hard drive, only a printer. Perhaps you're confusing an AirPort Express with an AirPort Extreme?

    http://www.apple.com/compare-wifi-models/
    You can plug a USB Hard Drive into it and use that as a networked drive.  But using that drive as your Time Machine backup drive is what is not supported.

    EDIT TO ADD: Okay they fixed this for the 802.11ac version of the AirPort Extreme.  You can attach a USB hard drive to that model for Time Machine backups.  For all prior versions of the AirPort Extreme, what I said above is still accurate.

    EDIT TWO: Source
    edited November 2016 randominternetpersondysamoria
  • Reply 59 of 127
    sockrolid said:
    "We believe in a wireless future."
    - Jony Ive's first sentence in the AirPods introduction video

    "... except for boring stuff like routers and Time Capsules."
    - possible update to Jony Ive's first sentence in the AirPods introduction video

    Speaking of "wireless future" where are the darn AirPods??  I finally found something I could put on my Christmas list and they still aren't available.
  • Reply 60 of 127
    Terrible selections.  http://amplifi.com/ is likely the best product for any AirPort user.  Throw a NAS drive in with support for TimeMachine and live happy.  Mesh network, so fills in dead zones easily.
    Rayz2016
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