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

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  • Reply 61 of 127
    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.
    That's funny, I've used a USB hard drive connected to my AirPort Extremes (both current and previous) for Time Machine backups for several years now, no problems. I've got an older Mac that is giving me problems (I refuse to get rid of it, too sentimental I suppose) and the number of times it's saved my bacon recently - too many times to count. Not sure why they say they don't support it, it works fine, super easy to use, multiple machines are backed up to it nightly, no problems.
  • Reply 62 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.

    Looks pretty good.  Funny how the cool cuboid base station doesn't seem to require a power cord or any wires at all.  Or perhaps that's artistic license.  At $199, it's worth a second look.
  • Reply 63 of 127
    VSzulcVSzulc Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    designr said:
    Not sure what all the hand-wringing is about. This make sense (like the display decision only probably more so). There are plenty of other products that are likely cheaper and better. As for the "ugly" comments...come on...I just have stuff like this behind or under something anyway. I'm not interested in my router as a piece of artwork or furniture.

    I view this as a good sign that Apple is evaluating and focusing more. They've (almost) gotten to the point of product diversity and complexity they were at when Steve Jobs returned to the company and radically streamlined the product family. That was clearly a necessity then and I don't anticipate such a move today. But some more focus is in order.

    In terms of whether Apple customers want these products, it seems obvious the majority don't. I haven't used a Air Port for at least 5 years (just used the combo DSL modem, router and WIFI access point I got from CenturyLink) and have been quite content.

    Are you kidding me? Obvious troll is obvious!

    I don't know anybody with a Mac who doesn't have an Airport. Usually in combination with the crappy DSL Modem/router combos your cable company gets you.
    king editor the gratemacbear01
  • Reply 64 of 127
    VSzulcVSzulc Posts: 31unconfirmed, member
    You know what all these have in common?

    They're all ugly as hell. 

    Goodbye AirPort, you'll be sorely missed!
    king editor the gratezroger73dysamoriamacbear01
  • Reply 65 of 127
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,258member
    Why do the F these vendors have to make routers looke like giant fucking ugly spiders?
    go get your a TimeCapsule from refurbished store for $179 while supplies last.
    Dan Andersendbolanderking editor the grate
  • Reply 66 of 127
    I think Apple's decision to discontinue building their own wireless router has more to do with economics than anything else. Apple's routers appeal mainly to Mac users and thus this limits their sales volume. I am also very intrigued at the emergence of mesh routers for the home. Mesh has been the norm in commercial for many years, but these systems have been too expensive for home use. With wireless routers, like AmpliFi and eero, the price is almost low enough for mainstream use. 
    designr
  • Reply 67 of 127
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 167member
    The biggest problem I have with this decision is this.... WiFi is the Glue... the true Glue!!! that binds it all together... why is Apple going to abandon the one single point that binds the experience together. This is insane and very very disturbing. I am speechless.
    larryjwdysamoriamacbear01
  • Reply 68 of 127
    Now I really want to see on my shelf kid toy like alien with many spikes. Very "elegant" design for mature person. No thank you. I prefer simplicity. I wish Apple continues this product cause I will have to put that weird device in a shoebox in warderobe otherwise.
    ration alking editor the gratemacbear01
  • Reply 69 of 127
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,247member
    Thinking whether to quickly buy some of the current models while they last. 

    Don't waste your money. There is a new protocol which is certified by WiFi Alliance coming soon called AC Wave 2. It has super high speed, long distance range and lots of new features. Check it out.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/wi-fi-alliance-certifies-wave-2-wi-fi-features/
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 70 of 127
    The Amplifi is nice, but I prefer the app on the Eero better. Another commenter in the thread mentioned the latest update, and it really pushes it over the Amplifi, at least for now.
  • Reply 71 of 127
    Eero: Security and networking services: WPA2 personal wireless encryption, DHCP, NAT, VPN passthrough, UPnP That seems rather lacking in security features. I'll just pick up a couple base station extremes and slave a NAT off them.
  • Reply 72 of 127
    Has Apple actually come out and said it is no longer going to introduce new routers? I see plenty of articles about no more Apple routers but most articles say that Apple has made no comment about abandoning its routers. Isn't this just a rumor at this point? Why believe these articles if it doesn't come directly from Apple?
    yoyo2222randominternetpersonration al
  • Reply 73 of 127
    ipilya said:
    The biggest problem I have with this decision is this.... WiFi is the Glue... the true Glue!!! that binds it all together... why is Apple going to abandon the one single point that binds the experience together. This is insane and very very disturbing. I am speechless.
    I agree that WiFi is the glue!    

    I don't agree that, if this article is true, Apple is abandoning WiFi!  Rather, they could just be discontinuing their WiFi routers in their current form.   Again, If the article is true, Apple is reassigning its WiFi talent to other areas of the business.  This could mean that Apple is rethinking its non-router devices and OSes to be more than just senders and receivers of WiFi data.


    As posted in another thread:

    A bit oversimplified, but:

    Let's assume that the future of home and SMB Wi-Fi is a wireless mesh network.

    Given that, new Macs, iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs, etc. will have more powerful (or dual) WiFi/Cell radios -- so that each device is a full node on the mesh network -- with the ability to navigate/route/send/receive to other nodes on the network.

    In that way, each device added to the mesh network would enhance the network (accessibility, speed, reliability, etc.) rather than detract from it.

    edited November 2016 ration aldesignrpscooter63
  • Reply 74 of 127
    Eero: Security and networking services: WPA2 personal wireless encryption, DHCP, NAT, VPN passthrough, UPnP That seems rather lacking in security features. I'll just pick up a couple base station extremes and slave a NAT off them.
    You're missing the WPA2-PSK (AES) part. What security features is it lacking?
  • Reply 75 of 127

    Like so many other posts, I used to have router problems up the ka-zoo.  Paid the money for an Apple airport extreme, bam.. easy peezy... done. Update firmware - click yes bam done. Gosh so easy

    Now if the new routers out there have similar  'set-up' for 'stupid-o'(me)  that is easy like airport extreme... , great go ahead Apple and kill it ---- if not... IMO- one more nail in the Apple coffin.

    Obviously I do not know, but I have read things that implied Steve Jobs would install all this crap in his home, he would get PO that it would not just work. Thus what we have. (could all be RDF)

    I wonder who installs this stuff in Timmy and Jony's home(s's plural?)?

    dysamoria
  • Reply 76 of 127
    Before Apple released the "new" Apple TV, there were rumours swirling that Apple was going to integrate, among other things, a TV tuner and Airport Express functionality. Here's one of the articles on that rumour from 9to5 Mac from 2014:

    http://https//9to5mac.com/2014/01/28/apple-tv-graduates-from-hobbyaccessory-to-product-line-ahead-of-major-changes/#more-308177

    I was super-excited about the idea at the time, and maybe now we're not too far from such a product. Fingers crossed!!
  • Reply 77 of 127
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,409member
    ipilya said:
    The biggest problem I have with this decision is this.... WiFi is the Glue... the true Glue!!! that binds it all together... why is Apple going to abandon the one single point that binds the experience together. This is insane and very very disturbing. I am speechless.
    My guess is that they will replace it with something.
    macbear01
  • Reply 78 of 127
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,238member
    pslice said:
    Okay, abandoning products sounds ugly. I want to know which router Mr Cook uses.
    Whichever one his IT staff sets up for him.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 79 of 127
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,238member
    polymnia 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. 
    Killing all products except the most profitable is EXACTLY what Steve did when he came back.

    He also killed the OS.

    Within a decade Apple was well on its way to the biggest, most profitable company ever.

    But, who knows, maybe you are right.
    LOL  I always love when people try to point to what Apple did when Steve came back as a justification for actions today. Apple was a VERY different company back then, on the brink of bankruptcy. "Beleaguered", was the word commonly used to describe Apple. They had little capital, poor credit, and a rats nest of a product lineup. It was literally focus or die. The actions Apple took then were a necessity, driven by a short-term goal of not disappearing from the map entirely.

    So you are suggesting that today's Apple with, what, over a quarter trillion dollars in the bank, practically zero corporate debt (other than that the choose to have due to much of the money being offshore), and one of the highest market capitalization in history, should behave the same as a nearly bankrupt, irrelevancy? That's brilliant! (not)
    gatorguydysamoria
  • Reply 80 of 127
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,238member
    rg19 said:
    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
    This full history on this is that when Apple first announced Time Machine they said you'd be able to use a USB drive connected to the Airport Extreme, but by the time Time Machine was released (was it with Leopard?) they changed their tune, to the great disappointment of many people who can already purchased an Airport in anticipation of using it with Time Machine. I don't think Apple ever officially stated why, but one theory was that the drive controller and memory in the Extreme was simply not up to the task of managing the huge number of hardlinks that Time Machine uses to manage the backups. Many of use used it anyway (Apple didn't block it), but you ran the risk of corrupting your backup's directory structure. I think perhaps Apple simply misjudged the resources needed to handle TM backups once you have large volumes with millions of files on them.

    The Time Capsule, and later Extreme models, have a more robust drive controller which can better handle the Time Machine file structures. Even when the Extreme first became "officially" supported, Apple was very quiet about it. Perhaps because they preferred you purchase the more expensive Time Capsule.
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