Apple AirPort Extreme claims top marks in consumer-grade wireless router survey

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
A recent customer satisfaction survey of home router technologies places Apple comfortably on top of the heap, despite recent reports of the division closing down, and engineers re-assigned to other projects.




J.D. Power's U.S. Wireless Router Satisfaction Report measured overall satisfaction with wireless router manufacturers among 3037 customers who purchased a router during the 12-month period prior to responding.

Apple reportedly endangered AirPort Extreme family claimed first place handily with a rating of 876. Asus came in second at 860, with D-Link and TP-Link close behind. The average score came in at 847.

Satisfaction is measured by users ranking offerings on Wi-Fi range, reliability, speed of upload/download, ease of connection restoration, security capabilities, price, ease of use, variety of features, intuitive user interface, and customer service, in order of importance.

The survey also found that price is the primary reason for choosing a wireless router brand, followed by range of signal strength, brand reputation, and ease of use.




During the survey period, 16% of users experienced a problem with their router, with the most commonly reported problem being the frequency of the need to reset the device, followed closely by slow internet speeds.

On Nov. 21, reports started circulating that Apple had disbanded its wireless router team, and had assigned the engineers in the department to other projects within the company. The AirPort Extreme was last updated in 2013 with 802.11ac capability, with the AirPort Express range extender and audio streaming target still stuck on 802.11n.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 107
    I bet ASUS is very happy about Apple exiting this market.

    I actually was very impressed with the setup process for an ASUS router about 4 years ago. Worked perfectly with a Mac.
    potatoleeksoup
  • Reply 2 of 107
    I've used Apple Airports for many years now and I am generally happy.  I expect the high marks are because most people are intimidated by the idea of the setup of other brands (although they're mostly easy enough.)  Airports have fewer distinguishing features now as a many other routers can also do printer and drive sharing. The main advantage is Time Machine backup for multiple machines on the network.  If you only have one machine to back up, you may as well plug in a drive.

    The Airports are pretty weak when it comes to custom configuration options. In particular, competitors have some content-filter / child safety sorts of options that Airport doesn't have at all.  My kids are too old for that sort of control now, but for little kids it is something.
    durandal_1707
  • Reply 3 of 107
    "...and engineers re-assigned to other projects"

    Reassign them to the AirPods division.  It needs help, apparently.
    randominternetpersoncornchip
  • Reply 4 of 107
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,920member
    Watching Apple right now is like watching the X-Files in those years when they clearly had no idea where to take the show. 

    How does it make sense to cancel a product like this (or displays) but keep a very niche product like Logic?

    If you depend on any product from Apple other than the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook I suggest you start looking for alternatives because no matter how good the product is, no matter how popular within its market, and no matter how much you are willing to pay -- Apple can and in many cases will kill the product with no clear reason and no warning. 


    edited November 2016 potatoleeksoupboltsfan17boredumbaltivec88techprod1gyapplecoredlarryjwdysamoriaaegeanschlack
  • Reply 5 of 107
    Letting the news get out that the entire development staff for the Airport routers have been reassigned without putting out an official statement on the matter is the first sign of serious problems in Apple's management. How do you create a smart AI based home hub that does not have at its core a completely secure network router? To do a good job of routing packets to VOIP or NetFlix streaming requires deep network packet sniffing on the local network and that requires very strong encryption on the router. Only a router can sense that there are insecure devices on the network such as Chinese IP cameras and firewall them. This is a disaster for local network security. Apple needs to tell its millions of customers how they are now supposed to secure their home networks. Who else but Apple would you trust with your most private data?
    edited November 2016 anantksundarambadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 107
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,690member
    It seems as though Apple is getting the idea that the only products they want to have are major sellers that are iconic products. They don't want to deal with anything else such as monitors, routers, printers, etc.

    thats a shame, because even a business the size of Apple needs products that sell in small numbers and for less sales dollars overall. I think this is a mistake. I read that Apple has only so many resources, etc, but that's nonsense. A company that's much smaller, but yet has many more products, such as Sony, also has much less resources, but manages to have numerous product lines.

    the reason Apple doesn't persue more products is because they don't want to, not that they can't. An apparent step back is the auto business. If what we read is true, then Apple spent a lot of money buying and leasing property, mostly for the purpose of coming out with a car, but because they though it would be difficult, they abandoned much of the project. This worries me. They need to do the most difficult things, not the easiest.
    edited November 2016 altivec88techprod1gyapplecoredanantksundaramschlackhmmdurandal_1707cornchipjdwpscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 107
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,690member
    williamh said:
    I've used Apple Airports for many years now and I am generally happy.  I expect the high marks are because most people are intimidated by the idea of the setup of other brands (although they're mostly easy enough.)  Airports have fewer distinguishing features now as a many other routers can also do printer and drive sharing. The main advantage is Time Machine backup for multiple machines on the network.  If you only have one machine to back up, you may as well plug in a drive.

    The Airports are pretty weak when it comes to custom configuration options. In particular, competitors have some content-filter / child safety sorts of options that Airport doesn't have at all.  My kids are too old for that sort of control now, but for little kids it is something.
    Most people never use any of these features on the routers that have them, and most aren't even aware of those features. Apple sells products like these to people who want a reliable product that's easy to set up and maintain, with very good performance. That's Apple's router line. It's not for the wonks who want to do what 99.9% of people aren't interested in.
    techprod1gyanantksundaramschlacklostkiwicornchipbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 107
    blastdoor said:
    Watching Apple right now is like watching the X-Files in those years when they clearly had no idea where to take the show. 

    How does it make sense to cancel a product like this (or displays) but keep a very niche product like Logic?

    If you depend on any product from Apple other than the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook I suggest you start looking for alternatives because no matter how good the product is, no matter how popular within its market, and no matter how much you are willing to pay -- Apple can and in many cases will kill the product with no clear reason and no warning. 


    Logic is no niche product. It is used in professional recording studios all over the world. 
    calialtivec88dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 9 of 107
    I was in the market for a new router about 2 months ago. Mine was frequently having operational issues. I almost bought an Apple router but finally elected to get a different brand. Glad I didn't buy an Apple if they will no longer be making them; I figured I would give this one to my brother and by an Apple router once they released a new one. Looks like I will not be doing that. My house is going to start looking less Apple-like in the future.

    After electing to get the iPhone 7 because of the carrier promotions, my iPhone has crashed more times than any new iPhone I have ever owned (3G,4,5,6+). More so than my S7 for work. Generally, I am just using native iOS applications. Seems to be improving of late but Apple really seems to be getting sloppy. Just my mileage.
  • Reply 10 of 107
    I bet ASUS is very happy about Apple exiting this market.

    This is a RUMOR, Not a fact.
    Stop spreading FAKE NEWS!!

    …which happens to be a major problem all over the internet
    paxmanrandominternetpersoniqatedocornchippscooter63
  • Reply 11 of 107
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,920member
    melgross said:
    It seems as though Apple is getting the idea that the only products they want to have are major sellers that are iconic products. They don't want to deal with anything else such as monitors, routers, printers, etc.

    thats a shame, because even a business the size of Apple needs products that sell in small numbers and for less sales dollars overall. I think this is a mistake. I read that Apple has only so many resources, etc, but that's nonsense. A company that's much smaller, but yet has many more products, such as Sony, also has much less resources, but manages to have numerous product lines.

    the reason Apple doesn't persue more products is because they don't want to, not that they can't. An apparent step back is the auto business. If what we read is true, then Apple spendt a lot of money buying and leasing property, mostly for the purpose of coming out with a car, but because they though it would be difficult, they abandoned much of the project. This worries me. They need to do the most difficult things, not the easiest.
    I generally agree. 

    In some ways they are starting to look like IBM -- running away from anything that's difficult. 

    But I also suspect there's a uniquely Apple problem here which is that the way they are structured, there may very well be a shortage of a key resource: the attention of senior management. Their management structure was built around a CEO who wanted to weigh in on almost every single product they sold before it went out the door. That worked well 10 years ago when their CEO was a product genius and workaholic. I doubt that Tim Cook is trying to take on that role -- instead, it's probably Ive's job. But Ive is not Steve Jobs. He's a good designer, but that's just one aspect of making a great product. Jobs also had a pretty good intuition for the needs of a lot of his customers, he could "see where the puck is going", and he could see how all the products and features fit together into a coherent whole. I'm not sure Ive has that. Jobs was also very passionate about his work -- Ive seems bored. 

    So I suspect that a big part of the reason that Apple is abandoning good products and markets is that Jony Ive just doesn't have the time or interest, and that leaves the products withering. Apple may need to figure out how to tweak their structure so that one guy (or a small number of guys) don't become major bottle necks. 


    anantksundaramrandominternetpersonpalomine
  • Reply 12 of 107
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,920member
    blastdoor said:
    Watching Apple right now is like watching the X-Files in those years when they clearly had no idea where to take the show. 

    How does it make sense to cancel a product like this (or displays) but keep a very niche product like Logic?

    If you depend on any product from Apple other than the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook I suggest you start looking for alternatives because no matter how good the product is, no matter how popular within its market, and no matter how much you are willing to pay -- Apple can and in many cases will kill the product with no clear reason and no warning. 


    Logic is no niche product. It is used in professional recording studios all over the world. 
    That sure sounds like a niche product to me. 

    Ponder this:

    1. What fraction of mac users use wifi and backup their files?
    2. What fraction of mac users work in a professional recording studio? 
    3. Which is more of a niche product -- AirPort/TimeCapsule or Logic? 
    jbishop1039kirkgraycornchip
  • Reply 13 of 107
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,920member

    melgross said:
    williamh said:
    I've used Apple Airports for many years now and I am generally happy.  I expect the high marks are because most people are intimidated by the idea of the setup of other brands (although they're mostly easy enough.)  Airports have fewer distinguishing features now as a many other routers can also do printer and drive sharing. The main advantage is Time Machine backup for multiple machines on the network.  If you only have one machine to back up, you may as well plug in a drive.

    The Airports are pretty weak when it comes to custom configuration options. In particular, competitors have some content-filter / child safety sorts of options that Airport doesn't have at all.  My kids are too old for that sort of control now, but for little kids it is something.
    Most people never use any of these features on the routers that have them, and most aren't even aware of those features. Apple sells products like these to people who want a reliable product that's easy to set up and maintain, with very good performance. That's Apple's router line. It's not for the wonks who want to do what 99.9% of people aren't interested in.
    Exactly. It's a fantastic Apple product in that sense. 
  • Reply 14 of 107
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 195member
    Reassign them to the AirPods division.  It needs help, apparently.

    $200 billion in the bank. 115,000 employees. 

    And are late delivering wireless f-ing earphones. 

    In any other industry, that's a fail. But with Apple, it's "We're taking the time to make sure we're doing it right," and everyone nods in agreement. 

    Nice job. 
    edited November 2016 blastdooraltivec88durandal_1707
  • Reply 15 of 107
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    melgross said:
    It seems as though Apple is getting the idea that the only products they want to have are major sellers that are iconic products. They don't want to deal with anything else such as monitors, routers, printers, etc.

    thats a shame, because even a business the size of Apple needs products that sell in small numbers and for less sales dollars overall. I think this is a mistake. I read that Apple has only so many resources, etc, but that's nonsense. A company that's much smaller, but yet has many more products, such as Sony, also has much less resources, but manages to have numerous product lines.

    the reason Apple doesn't persue more products is because they don't want to, not that they can't. An apparent step back is the auto business. If what we read is true, then Apple spent a lot of money buying and leasing property, mostly for the purpose of coming out with a car, but because they though it would be difficult, they abandoned much of the project. This worries me. They need to do the most difficult things, not the easiest.
    "...We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..."
    JFK

    It's like Tang...when you are working on solving a specific problem, you are likely to learn many useful things that may be applied in new ways...
    not to mention the value of learning ways to make all aspects of all your things work together better.  I think this might be essential to that "innovation" thing.
    So it makes no sense to back away from products integral to your core, although perhaps it makes a little sense to back away from the car.
  • Reply 16 of 107
    I wonder about Apple's router sales. At first sight, it's a good product for Apple: almost all of its products have WiFi and it's an important feature. You'd expect a lot of synergy between the expertise required there and that needed to produce routers. Producing your own router also allows for optimisation of particular features, relevant to Apple as it produces its own WiFi services that it wants to see working well (e.g. Airplay).

    However, in the UK, every customer for a Broadband connection is given (well, gets no discount for not accepting) a WiFi router. Leaving aside the cognoscenti, like many of the readers here, how many of those people will pay to replace or supplement their 'free' device? It may be that sales have been sufficiently small to render the whole thing unattractive. It's clear that Apple's engineering resources are stretched so a pool of experienced engineers ready to redeploy might be more attractive.

    As to monitors, that keep being mentioned in the same context, what's in it for Apple? A monitor is essentially a high-value display screen in a box, with very little opportunity for value adding (hence speakers that few people want, a very-standard hub, another camera to supplement the iSight in every Mac etc). So its all about the display ... that Apple buys-in from an expert. So why not partner with someone like LG to get a minor variant for Apple devices and let customers benefit from cutting out the middle-man?
    ai46brucemc
  • Reply 17 of 107
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    Watching Apple right now is like watching the X-Files in those years when they clearly had no idea where to take the show. 

    How does it make sense to cancel a product like this (or displays) but keep a very niche product like Logic?

    If you depend on any product from Apple other than the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook I suggest you start looking for alternatives because no matter how good the product is, no matter how popular within its market, and no matter how much you are willing to pay -- Apple can and in many cases will kill the product with no clear reason and no warning. 


    Logic is no niche product. It is used in professional recording studios all over the world. 
    That sure sounds like a niche product to me. 

    Ponder this:

    1. What fraction of mac users use wifi and backup their files?
    2. What fraction of mac users work in a professional recording studio? 
    3. Which is more of a niche product -- AirPort/TimeCapsule or Logic? 
    Logic is Huge. Only 2nd to Pro Tools. 

     What Apple can do is give away logic to every Mac user and give it more attention. Let Dr. Dre handle some of the engineering plug-ins and this program could easily take over Pro Tools which has had a ton of complaints lately. 

    Allow logic and Final Cut Pro to integrate with each other seamlessly and in a few years you'll have 90% of media created on Apple hardware and software. 

     It's kind of funny how you think logic is too niche well another poster said the same thing about Apple routers. 
    palomine
  • Reply 18 of 107
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,920member
    mtbnut said:
    Reassign them to the AirPods division.  It needs help, apparently.

    $200 billion in the bank. 115,000 employees. 

    And are late delivering wireless f-ing earphones. 

    In any other industry, that's a fail. But with Apple, it's "We're taking the time to make sure we're doing it right," and everyone nods in agreement. 

    Nice job. 
    Agreed! 

    Not only that, but by removing the audio jack from the iPhone, this delay ends up hurting their most important product. 

    They should have released AirPods a year before they removed the audio jack. If people loved the AirPods, then there would have been a strong case to remove the jack. 

    Something is wrong in Cupertino. 
    dysamoriabigpicstokyojimu
  • Reply 19 of 107
    And again I say "What the hell is wrong with Apple?"  Why on earth would you kill off something working?  They did this to their Bluetooth ear device. It worked perfectly. Looked high tech. Super small and has noise reduction then WHAM they just pulled it. 

    So iphone has top honors they're killing that next?
    durandal_1707
  • Reply 20 of 107
    And we have validated that Apple is discontinuing routers? I heard it on the internet? Let's get serious people...until Apple makes an announcement it is not true.
    randominternetpersonmagman1979lostkiwicornchip
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