Mayer originally posted for advice last month on buying a new wireless router for her home use, noting that "it needs to have support for 20+ connections and good range in terms of distance."
Her Google+ follower Saravana Shanmuga advised "Netgear is worth and we can customize !! where apple is good we cant customize."
Today, Mayer reported that she had initially bought a replacement Netgear N600 wireless router from Walmart, but said "I had continued problems even with the new router, with range and devices getting conflicting IP [addresses]" among her wirelessly connected devices at home, which included "a bunch of phones, tablets, Tivos, Google TVs, Apple TVs, etc."
Mayer added, "So, for Christmas, I asked for an Airport Extreme and 2 Airport Expresses (to chain together and create a mesh with better range). I set them all up last night, got all the devices connecting, and so far so good. It's not really a fair comparison, since there are 3 routers to the Netgear's 1, but iStumbler showed a lot more signal strength throughout the house, rarely less than 45%."
Mayer concluded, "I was really impressed with Apple's Airport Utility and how simple it made the set-up and chaining of routers. Hard to make the experience of setting up of a home network beautiful, but at least it was easy. I kind of wish I had gotten a Time Capsule for backups, but I was pretty focused on getting a good router system. Plus, that's what DropBox is for."
Apple quietly updated its Airport Extreme and Time Capsule products last June without fanfare, increasing their output power up to 2.8 times for improved range and reception while switching to a new Broadcom chip shared by the 2011 MacBook Pro.
While NPD hasn't published recent market share figures for WiFi routers, but its last public figures from mid 2008 indicated Apple's share of the router market was 10.6 percent, larger than the Mac's share of PC sales at the time. Apple was reported to be in fourth place behind Cisco's Linksys brand, D-Link, and Netgear, which Mayer reported issues with, despite its reputed "customization" options.