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

12346

Comments

  • Reply 101 of 127
    Soli said:
    designr said:
    VSzulc said:
    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.
    Excuse me, are you calling me a troll for the comment I made? Seriously?

    Secondly, I own a Mac (three in our home in fact) and no Airport. So now you know someone who has a Mac but no Airport.
    I know many people with all Apple products with smartphones, tablets, and/or PCs that still use some cheap-ass router, like a Netgear WRT54G. People are oddly really cheap about their routers and yet also seem to complain about them being slow and wonky.
    That may well be. But there seems to be this assumption that anything not-Apple sucks. There are certainly non-Apple options that will work fine for almost everyone.

    In my own case, I have the modem/WIFI router from CenturyLink and it works just fine for me. No complaints. Works just fine.
  • Reply 102 of 127
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,823member
    designr said:
    Soli said:
    I know many people with all Apple products with smartphones, tablets, and/or PCs that still use some cheap-ass router, like a Netgear WRT54G. People are oddly really cheap about their routers and yet also seem to complain about them being slow and wonky.
    That may well be. But there seems to be this assumption that anything not-Apple sucks. There are certainly non-Apple options that will work fine for almost everyone.

    In my own case, I have the modem/WIFI router from CenturyLink and it works just fine for me. No complaints. Works just fine.
    I didn't mean to suggest that all non-Apple routers suck. There are plenty of great options out there. My point was about people being cheap about their routers. I see a lot of people cringe at paying more than $50 for the device, which I assume is because they never see it. Granted, the tech is complicated so they don't necessarily know what they are looking at. I would bet that most people—even though in the tech field understand how we went from 802.11n to 802.11ac. Hell, I come across far too many people who consider themselves techies that don't even know that 802.11ac exists—which I find bizarre.
  • Reply 103 of 127
    Soli said:
    designr said:
    Soli said:
    I know many people with all Apple products with smartphones, tablets, and/or PCs that still use some cheap-ass router, like a Netgear WRT54G. People are oddly really cheap about their routers and yet also seem to complain about them being slow and wonky.
    That may well be. But there seems to be this assumption that anything not-Apple sucks. There are certainly non-Apple options that will work fine for almost everyone.

    In my own case, I have the modem/WIFI router from CenturyLink and it works just fine for me. No complaints. Works just fine.
    I didn't mean to suggest that all non-Apple routers suck. There are plenty of great options out there. My point was about people being cheap about their routers. I see a lot of people cringe at paying more than $50 for the device, which I assume is because they never see it. Granted, the tech is complicated so they don't necessarily know what they are looking at. I would bet that most people—even though in the tech field understand how we went from 802.11n to 802.11ac. Hell, I come across far too many people who consider themselves techies that don't even know that 802.11ac exists—which I find bizarre.
    I didn't mean you necessarily. There's just a tone from some about this rumor.

    I think most people simply don't have the time to keep up with all of this stuff. They get good enough and it's, well, good enough. I actually think this is why we are likely reaching "peak iPhone" as well. The smart phones have, frankly, become good enough for most people.
  • Reply 104 of 127
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,685member
    wiggin said:
    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)
    Yes, my friend. Yes, they should.

    Microsoft imploded because they had too many fingers in too many pies. The new guy has taken a knife to the company and cut a lot of the crap so they can focus on cloud services. 

    Apple is doing the same thing so they can focus on the core products before lack of focus takes them down the Microsoft route. 

    Ten minutes web web surfing is all it took for me to realise that there are already products on the market that are more versatile and as easy to set up as an Airport. 

    Can't remember who said it, but one of the reasons Apple is successful is because it behaves like a cash-strapped startup, not a company with 96% of the mobile profits. 


    edited November 2016 williamlondonpolymnia
  • Reply 105 of 127
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,685member
    volcan said:
    wiggin said:
    I suspect they are simply going to fold their Airport functionality into the Apple TV. It would be a great Trojan Horse to get Apple TV's into more homes, both for the media capabilities and as a home automation hub.

    I doubt it because people tend to have multiple Apple TVs in various rooms in their house but you only need one path to the Internet so it would sort of be overkill to have full router capabilities in every device.  I suppose they could make two models, one with and one without router functionality. 

    Besides, with respect to backing up, Apple wants you to use iClould storage so they can bill you monthly not just a one time sale of a Time Capsule. All good - I respect that decision. I think other wifi manufacturers can fill the need just like LG is doing for monitors. Makes sense to me. Only my two cents.
    If people have multiple AppleTVs (which I very much doubt) then that's an ideal set up for a mesh network. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 106 of 127
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,685member

    designr said:
    VSzulc said:
    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.
    Excuse me, are you calling me a troll for the comment I made? Seriously?

    Secondly, I own a Mac (three in our home in fact) and no Airport. So now you know someone who has a Mac but no Airport.
    I know eight other people who use Macs at home; I'm the only one with an Airport setup. Because many places have a mixture of Macs and PCs, there's a tendency to use another router; folk think Airport is Mac only. 
    williamlondondesignr
  • Reply 107 of 127
    appexappex Posts: 510member
    With Apple abandoning AirPort, here is the best alternative for Mac users: a good wired connection, whenever possible, of course. Wired will always beat wireless.
  • Reply 108 of 127
    jdwjdw Posts: 464member
    Discontinuing its boxy wireless router isn't such a big loss in terms of aesthetics.  I don't side with the people who think 3rd party routers are ugly.  They are, after all, WIRELESS devices and to be good at what they do you need a plethora of antennae. 

    HOWEVER, Apple's decision to kill its external display line is indeed a loss seeing that LG did a pretty bad job of making their display look nice.  I just finished watching the video review of the 4K.  Matte borders around a glossy screen???  And based on what was said in that review, it would appear that there is insufficient anti-reflective coatings on the glass (even though the reviewer said he wasn't bothered by reflections since the display is so bright).

    Since a router is usually hidden and a display always in front of your face, it makes sense that the look of a router shouldn't matter but the display should.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 109 of 127
    PJ PJ Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    My guess is that apple is going to add the wifi extenders directly into the apple tv as there want is to make it the hub.
  • Reply 110 of 127
    Why are you recommending the  D-Link Ultra AC5300 when it has so many poor reviews at Amazon and the like?
  • Reply 111 of 127
    LeBart1968LeBart1968 Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    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? 
    Smart yes, but not a visionary regarding his executives.
  • Reply 112 of 127
    @pslice probably one from Cisco, they signed a partnership in 2015
  • Reply 113 of 127
    What many of you don't realize is that the demise of even the largest companies can happen very quickly.  I am still a huge Apple fan, but I have to say that I have seen more missteps in the last 12 months than the preceding 12 years.  

    I won't go over the array of issues and missed updates (overly delayed to the point of diminished productivity relative to the market, without logical reason) we are seeing from Apple at this time.

    Apple still make amazing products, no doubt.  Sadly, the evolution is becoming so minimal it is getting harder to see it, but the real issue is 2 fold: 1) Stagnation or discontinuation of existing product lines  2) failure to innovate

    With the Macbook Pro update falling in the, "so-so" to "disappointing" range, the iPhone 7 coming with some limited innovation and iPad sales weakening, we see the three most iconic Apple products (iPod is no longer relevant) all in a state of uncertainty.  

    The net effect of all this is that Apple is losing it's luster.  The 'panache" of owning an Apple product has taken a MASSIVE hit the last 1 to 2 years, I believe people are missing how BIG of a deal this aspect alone is.  It is only because they were held in such high regard that they could take that hit and still be among the top brands.

    I genuinely hope they can right the ship.  I was a very very early fan of Apple.  I would literally force Apple products on people because I loved them so much.  When the first iPhone came out I thought I would lose my mind.  When my first Macbook Air got delivered I marveled at it and had a manilla envelope in my briefcase that I would store it in.  I allowed 50+ people in my office and at the coffee shop, to play with my iPad on the release day.  Where are "those" types of Apple fans today ...?

    I ordered a new Macbook Pro this weekend.  It will be here in 2 weeks.  Am I excited?  .. A little.  Form factor is cool.  Disappointed about a few things as well.  I purchased because I needed a new computer.  If I didn't, I wouldn't have convinced myself I did need one as I had in years past.  The iPhone 7 is the first iPhone I haven't purchased.  My iPad Pro 12.9 is crucial to my daily life and probably less "replaceable" than my iPhone at the moment.  That said, I had to purchase the USB-c charger a few months ago because the charge times with the included adaptor were simply terrible.  My apple Watch is ok, I won't be picking up the new one.  My Apple Airport is awesome, sorry to hear when it dies there may not be one to take it's place.  These aren't the words of someone adoring a company and their products.

    So while we may see a small decline in Apple's current "numbers" what I think we are seeing is the beginning of a change in the tide.  I am still purchasing, but the passion is gone.  Another company can steal me and that hasn't been the case in almost 15 years.  When the real sales drop sets in, I think it is going to be rapid and brutal.  My hope is that they get their magic back and this day never comes, but sadly with each passing month and each release, or lack thereof, it seems more likely not less.

    Mr. Cook is a great man, but maybe not the man Apple needs.
    jdw
  • Reply 114 of 127
    I'm sure the current AirPort products will remain available for years to come. There isn't any need to upgrade them anyway.

    williamlondon
  • Reply 115 of 127
    Hard to know, but if I had to guess I would imagine Apple pulling the airports into a new class of products all associated with Homekit.
    macxpresswilliamlondon
  • Reply 116 of 127
    jdwjdw Posts: 464member
    Has Apple Insider really tried their top recommendation?  Clicking on the link provided in the article reveals an expensive product that gets only 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, having been reviewed by all of 43 people.  Scrolling down that same page on Amazon reveals similar products with better ratings.  For example...

    ASUS RT-AC5300, 4/5 stars reviewed by almost 5100 people.

    D-Link AC3200, 4/5 stars reviewed by almost 850 people.

    Netgear AC5300, 4.5/5 stars reviewed by 11,150 people!

    Being a Mac user and having used Apple wireless routers exclusively, I don't know anything about the setup hassles that may accompany these routers, but in terms of quality and reliability, it would appear that the Netgear AC5300 aces them all.  It might be nice if AppleInsider would buy one to review extensively.


  • Reply 117 of 127
    Rayz2016 said:
    If people have multiple AppleTVs (which I very much doubt) then that's an ideal set up for a mesh network. 
    I have 4 AppleTVs.  One on each TV in and around my house. Why would that be surprising to you? (and yes, it would make for an ideal mesh network!)
    macbear01
  • Reply 118 of 127
    ... i don't even feel curious about seeing whether their software is as seamless as Apple's. ...Yes, call me old-fashioned,  but what I always loved was a seamless experience across accessories as well. 

    Thats what really [makes] a difference.... 

    My point is that it is all about the eco-system.Go back 5 years and talk to your average consumer wanting to connect their MacBook, iMac, iPhone, iPod. A lot of them didn't have a clue how this could be done. With the purchase of a single device (Apple router and a cable) - they ultimately had a choice, Apple or 3rd-party. If they went 3rd party it generally involved some research on the web and try to figure out how to connect to the new box to config it. If they chose Apple they plugged it in and inserted the Airport Utility CD; follow a couple steps (with pix of your equip) and voila you had a network and for a few bucks more you had an automatic TimeMachine backup system for your net also! P.S. Have you ever tried connecting to your provider supplied modem (COMCAST) to find out that the user could not configure something as simple as the setting to make it a bridge - not fun!?
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 119 of 127
    Looks like eero is on sale for Black Friday for $399: https://store.eero.com/

    Same deal appears to be going on at Amazon and Best Buy. I'm going to probably give it a shot, given I hear I can bridge my airport express to it for Airplay anyways.
  • Reply 120 of 127
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,823member
    Rayz2016 said:
    If people have multiple AppleTVs (which I very much doubt) then that's an ideal set up for a mesh network. 
    I have 4 AppleTVs.  One on each TV in and around my house. Why would that be surprising to you? (and yes, it would make for an ideal mesh network!)
    I guarantee that 4 Apple TVs in a home is exceedingly atypical.
Sign In or Register to comment.