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

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Comments

  • Reply 121 of 127
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,902moderator
    Rayz2016 said:
    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. 
    The Apple TV makes a lot of sense as a router for a few reasons. If multiple people are watching the same content, it can cache TV shows and send it locally instead of opening multiple streams (this would work for iOS devices too, not just multiple Apple TVs). It could also allow someone to watch their TV shows abroad easily. Someone could be in a hotel in another country and not have access to their local TV shows. The Apple TV box could allow someone to connect like a VPN and stream shows as if they were at home. It also allows for automatic QoS (quality of service) where sometimes a file upload or excessive download will affect the video streams. The Apple TV box would be able to assess which traffic gets the priority so an iCloud backup for example doesn't interrupt a live sports game.

    The Airport Express is very similar to the Apple TV:



    The first gen model was just a plug:


    They could put wifi repeater functionality into their power plugs.

    The market for routers can be determined by looking at the revenues of the biggest companies selling them: TP-Link, Asus, D-Link, NetGear, Linksys

    http://investor.netgear.com/financials-Statements.cfm
    http://www.corpasia.net/taiwan/2332/irwebsite/index.php?mod=annual
    http://www.tplink.com/ie/about/?categoryid=103
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-features/32666-smallnetbuilders-router-market-share-report-q1-2015

    Router Sales By Detailed Class

    TP-Link = $1.83b, D-Link=$0.8b, Netgear=$1.3b. Linksys is part of Belkin now and Asus sells a lot of things so it's harder to figure out how much their routers make.

    TP-Link + Netgear + D-Link = 60% of the market = $3.93b so total market is around $6.55b and this includes routers that people get from their ISP. Apple is included in these numbers too. In terms of $100 routers, this is 65 million units per year. The following says TP-Link sold 57.8m routers in 2015:

    https://threatpost.com/top-router-maker-tp-link-loses-control-over-configuration-domain/119072/

    Some companies will sell a large number of cheaper products and others fewer but at a higher price.

    Apple's marketshare has to be under 1% or it would be in the chart so 650k units per year maximum. This is 1 router for every 40 Mac buyers. Apple TVs sell about 5-8 million per year.

    Wifi functionality is needed but the standalone routers aren't selling. If they can fold the functionality into another product line without making them get too hot, that would be the better route to go. The vast majority of home users will stick with their ISP's router and like I say, these numbers are included above so standalone sales for networking equipment are even lower.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 122 of 127
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 2,770member
    Marvin said:

    TP-Link = $1.83b, D-Link=$0.8b, Netgear=$1.3b. Linksys is part of Belkin now and Asus sells a lot of things so it's harder to figure out how much their routers make.

    TP-Link + Netgear + D-Link = 60% of the market = $3.93b so total market is around $6.55b and this includes routers that people get from their ISP. Apple is included in these numbers too. In terms of $100 routers, this is 65 million units per year. The following says TP-Link sold 57.8m routers in 2015:

    https://threatpost.com/top-router-maker-tp-link-loses-control-over-configuration-domain/119072/

    Some companies will sell a large number of cheaper products and others fewer but at a higher price.

    Apple's marketshare has to be under 1% or it would be in the chart so 650k units per year maximum. This is 1 router for every 40 Mac buyers. Apple TVs sell about 5-8 million per year.

    Wifi functionality is needed but the standalone routers aren't selling. If they can fold the functionality into another product line without making them get too hot, that would be the better route to go. The vast majority of home users will stick with their ISP's router and like I say, these numbers are included above so standalone sales for networking equipment are even lower.
    Interesting point about Linksys being part of Belkin, which is Apple's go-to third party accessory maker. Apple might turn over their AirPort development to Belkin/Linksys. 
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 123 of 127
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,823member
    Marvin said:


    This design was brilliant for traveling, or in the case of some people that I know have split residences being able to easily pack and setup their secure router in a new location with two simple plugins.
  • Reply 124 of 127
    For us, a very important feature is printing to a USB printer attached to the router. I have not found ANY non Apple routers support this - that is, they all do for Windows, but they don't have drivers that work for Macs. But yeah - Steve Jobs was happy to lose money on products that were a part of the ecosystem.
  • Reply 125 of 127
    Rayz2016 said:
    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. 
    I have two ATV4s in my home. The idea of making ATVs into mesh network devices is intriguing. They have already entrusted their HomeKit communication hubs to the ATV hardware & software. Not to mention iPads, which can also operate as HomeKit hubs. Perhaps Apple will make ATVs into main mesh hubs and iPads could be used to support further excursions into basements, corners of the yards, etc, by operating as mesh nodes as well.

    It would explain why the AirPort engineers were reported as 'reassigned' rather than 'offered the opportunity to interview for other positions or a severance package if they declined'. The core competency is likely going to come in handy if they are transitioning their routers into the AppleTV platform.

    I am strongly considering a mesh network solution for my next WiFi upgrade. I have a medium-sized suburban rambler home on a medium-sized lot that I spend a lot of time in during the summer, I also own an adjacent lot which I am gardening extensively where I'd love to get some WiFi coverage. Granted, two lots of WiFi coverage is an edge-case, but larger suburban or rural properties cover this much area on a single lot. The single base station model seems to have gone as far as it can, mesh seems to be a breakthrough that is smashing the former limits without even needing new WiFi protocols.

    The eero looks great right now, but because it cannot directly connect to my PPPOE fiber internet service, I'm holding tight.

    I'll be watching the WiFi space carefully.
  • Reply 126 of 127
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 39member
    My home wireless network has been flaky. 
    I had a cable tech redo most of the wiring so, the signal to the modem is good. 
    What's left? My 2011 AirPort Extreme 5th generation router. 

    I figure, get a new router. I look at all the miniature space ships being sold by other companies and I say no thanks. 
    I remember hassling with Linksys customer support many years ago. Never again. 

    Apple still sells the AirPort Extreme 6th generation router and I'm getting one this weekend. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 127 of 127
    I saw the headline for this article and thought "AirPorts?   Do people still really use these things?"
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