The best alternatives to Apple's discontinued AirPort routers

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 99
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 502member
    Can’t we just get a Hompod 2.0 with AirPort functionality built in? 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 99
    How do the coverage areas stated translate to a home with multiple floors?  My router is located in the basement of a house with 2 floors above the basement. How much less coverage should I expect on the floors that don't contain the router?
  • Reply 23 of 99
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    I’ve been using the Google WiFi for a month. Setup was dead simple and it’s been working great so fat. No complaints.
  • Reply 24 of 99
    Interestingly these issues are unknown in Germany. They simply take their "Fritzboxes", plug them in, and done!
    https://en.avm.de/
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 25 of 99
    Beepy BeepBeepy Beep Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Would have loved some mention of printer sharing. I must be an edge case, but my non-networkable laser printer is hooked up to my AirPort via USB. Am I SOL when my AirPort dies?
  • Reply 26 of 99
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,192administrator
    Would have loved some mention of printer sharing. I must be an edge case, but my non-networkable laser printer is hooked up to my AirPort via USB. Am I SOL when my AirPort dies?
    As a general rule, but not always, if the router has a USB port, then you're good to go. So, in essence, in this piece, look for ones that are Time Machine compatible.
  • Reply 27 of 99
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,192administrator

    How do the coverage areas stated translate to a home with multiple floors?  My router is located in the basement of a house with 2 floors above the basement. How much less coverage should I expect on the floors that don't contain the router?
    There are WAY too many variables to coherently talk about this. What is your house made of, is it drywall, or plaster?

    It's worth looking at the tech specs and in-depth documentation for each router to get a feel for how each will perform.
  • Reply 28 of 99
    AjajkklAjajkkl Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I’m depressed.
    After you recommending those POS, even more depressed.

    monstrosity
  • Reply 29 of 99
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,699member
    This whole topic creates an uneasy gut-level reaction for me with respect to Apple. Apple seems to thrive in product areas that follow the "you get what you pay for" model so why not continue in this area? With the prices that these premium systems command, coupled with their criticality to establishing a robust and high performance connected home for automation and ambient intelligence, I feel that Apple is being shortsighted in getting out of this market and letting their destiny lay entirely in the hands of others. Unless of course they have some skunkworks project cooking in their labs that are going to do to these infrastructure companies what the iPhone did to Nokia, Blackberry, and others. 

    I guess we'll never know until it happens, but in my mind three of the essential pillars to the present and future of computing, at all levels and scales, are connectivity, software, and the contextualization of data that flows through the infrastructure at various levels. By pulling back from building their own connectivity infrastructure products I think Apple will have a harder time controlling the rollout of new connectivity capabilities to their own customers in much the same way that they are currently being throttled by Intel's processor release cycles. I know that Apple has to play nice with standards, but they can also play smarter with standards to enhance the value and/or performance of end devices and edge devices that Apple cares about in a preferential way within its own systems, like HomeKit. Apple could, for example, automatically elevate QoS for HomeKit nodes, automatically segment HomeKit nodes into their own VLAN for security, performance, link efficiency, service isolation, etc., if they owned the router and its firmware that has embedded HomeKit awareness. This would not preclude third party routers working well with non-Apple systems, but Apple systems would work better and more preferably with Apple routers. Even for run-of-the-mill concerns like security patches for firmware, I have a higher level of trust and expect more responsiveness from Apple than other vendors. I've had some nightmarish customer support experiences with non-Apple communication product vendors. Not so with Apple. YMMV.

    Sigh... I oftentimes wish that Apple had a bit more of the systems thinking approach in their DNA that makes Amazon such a threat to Apple (and other's). Amazon doesn't have the design or aesthetic sensibilities of Apple, not even in the same league, but in areas where function is exponentially more important than form, Amazon is a massive threat.


    entropyspscooter63rare comment
  • Reply 30 of 99
    lewklewk Posts: 16member
    Do any of these options have an audio output jack like the Airports do? One of the uses I have of them is feeding my iTunes music to different rooms in the house. Beats having to run speaker wire everywhere and I have a several perfectly usable older receivers that I can use. The main advantage I had found with the Airport units is that configuration was generally MUCH simpler than the other access points and routers - even with some unusual setups.
    Sezwhutwatto_cobrarare comment
  • Reply 31 of 99
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 262member
    stuke said:
    What about Plume?
    Haven't used it yet. Everything on the list one staffer or another has very recent experience with, and we're at least reasonably happy with integration and features.

    For everybody else: https://www.plumewifi.com
    I love Plume! It's truly set it and forget it, and all my devices instantly connect everywhere in the house and outside, unlike with my previous Airport Extreme. Their app is also beautiful and very easy to use. It's by far my best experience with wireless.

    I asked a question from their technical support, and you wouldn't believe the level of detail I got in the answer. They actually did a full diagnostic and reported everything that happened. Turned out it was the phone company modem at fault.


  • Reply 32 of 99

    How do the coverage areas stated translate to a home with multiple floors?  My router is located in the basement of a house with 2 floors above the basement. How much less coverage should I expect on the floors that don't contain the router?
    There are WAY too many variables to coherently talk about this. What is your house made of, is it drywall, or plaster?

    It's worth looking at the tech specs and in-depth documentation for each router to get a feel for how each will perform.
    Drywall. I currently have a Time Capsule as the router in the basement, with a refurbished airport express that I picked up on sale on each of the other 2 floors as extenders. I'm not sure if I really need the extenders, but they were cheap enough so I bought them a few years ago.  One of those I also have plugged into an audio receiver to stream music via AirPlay.
  • Reply 33 of 99
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Since my Time Capsule was retired I've had a Luma Mesh system (did fine) and then upgraded to the 3pk Velop system which is also good. 

    A wired backhaul is a must if you want real performance.  My Velops still struggle at times to maintain a strong connection between the nodes. 

    My next step is a Luxul component system.   

    1. Wifi Controller 
    2. Rack based Router 
    3. POE Switch 
    4. 3-4 Access Points 
    I'm moving away from consumer hardware because of this idiotic need to have accounts.  I feel like my network should be solely MINE
  • Reply 34 of 99
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,011member
    Would have loved some mention of printer sharing. I must be an edge case, but my non-networkable laser printer is hooked up to my AirPort via USB. Am I SOL when my AirPort dies?
    In addition to Mike W's suggestion, there are plenty of other options for add-on print servers. Do a search on "USB print server." Some even support Airprint. YMMV.
  • Reply 35 of 99
    dkhaleydkhaley Posts: 56member
    I like the the Google Wifi routers, as they work well.

    Google pushes updates to the router, which is great for people like me who never checked whether my router had the latest firmware.

    I also like that ability to tag "kids" devices, which allows you to block unsafe sites or set schedules when they can connect. And yes, I'm well aware the children will be able to find ways around this, but it works for preventing accidental exposure.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 36 of 99
    What’s wrong with the built in routers from your ISP?  I have 75mb FiOS from Verizon, with a quantum gateway modem/router and get fantastic coverage in my while house. Gateway is on top floor, and still get 65mb/sec in my basement two floors down.  I used to bridge an AirPort Extreme to this but it actually gumed up the works so I got rid of it. I get special needs but I am guessing Apple is getting out of this business because most ISP provide the needed solution.
  • Reply 37 of 99
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 482member
    I sure hope Apple comes out with a Chromecast Audio-like AirPlay 2 dongle. No, the $350 HomePod is not a suitable substitute. 
  • Reply 38 of 99
    blah64blah64 Posts: 986member
    There's a router line that I'm not hearing people talk about that should be getting more press, especially in light of all the security issues and phone-home-ing that many routers seem to be doing these days; Peplink.

    Anyone that cares about security issues should be reading:

    http://routersecurity.org/ - written and maintained by Michael Horowitz.  Dude really knows his shit, up, down, left and right.

    His top recommendation is the Pepwave Surf SOHO router, from Peplink.  I have one of these as well, and they're great pieces of gear.

    They provide a lot of options (including ethernet VLANs and up to 3 simultaneous VPNs), they've been awesome about making updates available (Krack patch was very fast), and as a great "feature", they're not managed by google. ;-)

    They may not be the best option for people who don't know anything about networks, given the tons of configuration options, but if you know someone who does, that's another option.


    edited April 2018
  • Reply 39 of 99
    dewme said:
    This whole topic creates an uneasy gut-level reaction for me with respect to Apple. Apple seems to thrive in product areas that follow the "you get what you pay for" model so why not continue in this area? 
    Why not? Because they don't currently have an in-house hardware technology to leverage in this type of product vs. their competitors. I think Apple has progressed to the point where they don't feel industrial design by itself is enough of a reason to have an Apple branded product. There needs to be more to it than that. 
  • Reply 40 of 99
    Erich's tiny studioErich's tiny studio Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I'm using a $150-ish Netgear router that works flawlessly with my slowest grade Comcast (directly, no additional gear needed) and around 5 Macs, Xbox, Roku, Wii (the original one), 2 Wintendos and a total of around 8 iPod Touches, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and my Android car stereo when I'm parked in the driveway (to download updates and apps when I don't want to use my cell modem). It covers my 2200 sq foot house, InLaw unit (my music studio) and back to the hot tub in the back yard. I'm unclear on what the AirPort routers brought to the table that a generic WiFi router doesn't.... maybe other than Time Machine-over-WiFi support. I just have a few backup drives for various machines I care about, and manually plug them in once a week or so. "Get what you paid for" is mostly BS, as far as I can tell... at least if you don't buy the cheapest of the cheap, and buy a well established brand.
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