The best alternatives to Apple's discontinued AirPort routers

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 99
    rare commentrare comment Posts: 193member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    1983 said:
    None of these I believe are as good or elegant as Airport was. I’ve used routers from some of these brands and was overall, not pleased. But there’s no choice but to use these third party devices now. Which is a shame...RIP Airport.
    Two things bother me about your statement:

          1) As the article states, you can still buy the AirPort products while supplies last.
          2) Apple no longer selling AirPort products doesn't mean your current ones no longer work.

    I've been using Apple's 6th gen AirPort Extreme since it came out in June 2013—5 years ago!—and I plan on using it so long as 802.11ac is fastest wireless option supported; but even then, there's a good chance I won't upgrade my router to support, say, 802.11ad simply because a future MBP supports 802.11ad because that's not where my network bottleneck is. I'm more likely to wait until 802.11ad is pervasive enough that nearly everything I had supports it before upgrading my router, which could be another 5 years for all I know. A lot can happen in two years.

    For reference, remember in 2016 when people freaked out about Apple not making their own external display, just to have Schiller say this year that they are making a Pro display likely set for release in 2019? That may even get demoed alongside a new Mac Pro at WWDC this year for all we know. On that notion, maybe Apple isn't out of the router game, but just out for now until 802.11ad or other technologies are viable. I think there's a lot Apple can still offer in this area.

    Exactly this.

    When Apple does stuff like this, the immediate reaction from folk is that this is some kind of bean counting exercise. I think this comes from a natural inability to see anything beyond their own narrow view of the world. 

    So Apple has decided to end the Airport product line. Well, that's not surprising. I doubt they sell that many, given most ISPs hand out modems and routers anyway. Folk point to the ease with which they can set up an Airport network; very true, but the new Mesh routers also come with iOS apps that allow for easy configuration, and with a lot more options for parental control and guest access. Apple decided that they couldn't do much to improve on that, so there was really no point in entering the market. And if they had entered the market, then you can guarantee that the likes of Rogifan would be complaining how they were taking revenue from their partners.

    What about Time Machine? That has always struck me as a phenomenally bad idea. What is the point of backing up your computer to a device that's in the same building? 

    But if we ignore the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes straight after an Apple discontinuation (in which the same people who said the discontinued product was crap the day before, now claim they cannot live without it), then we can probably look more closely at what Apple said. And what they said what they were discontinuing a product line; they didn't say they were not working on something else. The question is, what is the 'something else'.

    In the same month that Apple announced the discontinuation of Airport, there has been an explosion in articles covering 5G technology: the UK government has just fleeced the mobile operators for access to the 5G spectrum (though I'm not sure who told the government they own it); we've had 5G consortiums start up, along with meet ups, conferences and demonstrations of IoT and vehicle control which will rely on high speed and low latency. Apple, meanwhile, has created a load of job postings for engineers to help them build out their 5G technology stack. 

    https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#&ss=mmwave&t=0&so=&lo=0*USA&pN=0

    So the reason that Apple has not decided to upgrade the Airport line is because it's had its day. The reason they've decided not to go the Mesh route is because that is where the puck is; they're already heading for where the puck is going to be. The internet will not be beamed into your home through a cable; it'll come through the air. The next gen Airport will take the 5G signal directly and beam it to receivers built into every Apple device. When you're out of the house, the same receivers will pick up 5G from the air. 

    If 5G is successful (and there are still a lot of hurdles) then Apple will be in a much better position to build out its own comms network which can be partly its own dedicated infrastructure (we know they have 460 locations where they can build the kit without too much trouble), and partly virtual networks to cover areas it doesn't.

    But as you rightly said, Apple didn't announce that existing kit would now stop working. I have a couple of Airports here that have worked reliably for years; I don't see the need to move off them because there's nothing out there that will make a significant improvement to what I have now.
    All sensible except - why kill the line now?  Why not work on a 5G system but continue to sell airports until 5G is rolled out?  
  • Reply 82 of 99
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,028member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    1983 said:
    None of these I believe are as good or elegant as Airport was. I’ve used routers from some of these brands and was overall, not pleased. But there’s no choice but to use these third party devices now. Which is a shame...RIP Airport.
    Two things bother me about your statement:

          1) As the article states, you can still buy the AirPort products while supplies last.
          2) Apple no longer selling AirPort products doesn't mean your current ones no longer work.

    I've been using Apple's 6th gen AirPort Extreme since it came out in June 2013—5 years ago!—and I plan on using it so long as 802.11ac is fastest wireless option supported; but even then, there's a good chance I won't upgrade my router to support, say, 802.11ad simply because a future MBP supports 802.11ad because that's not where my network bottleneck is. I'm more likely to wait until 802.11ad is pervasive enough that nearly everything I had supports it before upgrading my router, which could be another 5 years for all I know. A lot can happen in two years.

    For reference, remember in 2016 when people freaked out about Apple not making their own external display, just to have Schiller say this year that they are making a Pro display likely set for release in 2019? That may even get demoed alongside a new Mac Pro at WWDC this year for all we know. On that notion, maybe Apple isn't out of the router game, but just out for now until 802.11ad or other technologies are viable. I think there's a lot Apple can still offer in this area.

    Exactly this.

    When Apple does stuff like this, the immediate reaction from folk is that this is some kind of bean counting exercise. I think this comes from a natural inability to see anything beyond their own narrow view of the world. 

    So Apple has decided to end the Airport product line. Well, that's not surprising. I doubt they sell that many, given most ISPs hand out modems and routers anyway. Folk point to the ease with which they can set up an Airport network; very true, but the new Mesh routers also come with iOS apps that allow for easy configuration, and with a lot more options for parental control and guest access. Apple decided that they couldn't do much to improve on that, so there was really no point in entering the market. And if they had entered the market, then you can guarantee that the likes of Rogifan would be complaining how they were taking revenue from their partners.

    What about Time Machine? That has always struck me as a phenomenally bad idea. What is the point of backing up your computer to a device that's in the same building? 

    But if we ignore the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes straight after an Apple discontinuation (in which the same people who said the discontinued product was crap the day before, now claim they cannot live without it), then we can probably look more closely at what Apple said. And what they said what they were discontinuing a product line; they didn't say they were not working on something else. The question is, what is the 'something else'.

    In the same month that Apple announced the discontinuation of Airport, there has been an explosion in articles covering 5G technology: the UK government has just fleeced the mobile operators for access to the 5G spectrum (though I'm not sure who told the government they own it); we've had 5G consortiums start up, along with meet ups, conferences and demonstrations of IoT and vehicle control which will rely on high speed and low latency. Apple, meanwhile, has created a load of job postings for engineers to help them build out their 5G technology stack. 

    https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#&ss=mmwave&t=0&so=&lo=0*USA&pN=0

    So the reason that Apple has not decided to upgrade the Airport line is because it's had its day. The reason they've decided not to go the Mesh route is because that is where the puck is; they're already heading for where the puck is going to be. The internet will not be beamed into your home through a cable; it'll come through the air. The next gen Airport will take the 5G signal directly and beam it to receivers built into every Apple device. When you're out of the house, the same receivers will pick up 5G from the air. 

    If 5G is successful (and there are still a lot of hurdles) then Apple will be in a much better position to build out its own comms network which can be partly its own dedicated infrastructure (we know they have 460 locations where they can build the kit without too much trouble), and partly virtual networks to cover areas it doesn't.

    But as you rightly said, Apple didn't announce that existing kit would now stop working. I have a couple of Airports here that have worked reliably for years; I don't see the need to move off them because there's nothing out there that will make a significant improvement to what I have now.
    All sensible except - why kill the line now?  Why not work on a 5G system but continue to sell airports until 5G is rolled out?  
    Maybe for a similar reason they stopped producing the original iPhone months before the next one would be available for sale so there was about 2 months with no supply. Maybe the cost of the components and/or manufacturing was too advantageous for the number of units to be sold and/or they needed to put resources elsewhere. It's not like there was an AirPort assembly line sitting there in China with a bunch of people sitting around reading the newspaper all day until an order came in. I assume they ramp up an make a large batch, then rejigger it for a different product.
  • Reply 83 of 99
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 420member
    Here goes... This is one area of tech I haven't had much luck fully understanding or implementing.

    We own a mid-century fourplex.  The building is made out of cinderblock with wood framing inside. It has a basement with a 1 bedroom and laundry area and three 2 bedroom apartments above.

    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.

    Would any of these modems replace our existing one? or do they compliment the one from the cable company? Are any of these options best to work with extenders?

    I should probably note that money isn't really an issue. I don't want to burn any unnecessarily but happy to spend for a great setup.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 84 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,023member
    Here goes... This is one area of tech I haven't had much luck fully understanding or implementing.

    We own a mid-century fourplex.  The building is made out of cinderblock with wood framing inside. It has a basement with a 1 bedroom and laundry area and three 2 bedroom apartments above.

    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.

    Would any of these modems replace our existing one? or do they compliment the one from the cable company? Are any of these options best to work with extenders?

    I should probably note that money isn't really an issue. I don't want to burn any unnecessarily but happy to spend for a great setup.
    You sound like the ideal candidate for a mesh system. It does not need to replace your Rogers modem either but can work in tandem with it which simplifies things. 
    edited May 2018 allmypeople
  • Reply 85 of 99
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 420member
    gatorguy said:
    Here goes... This is one area of tech I haven't had much luck fully understanding or implementing.

    We own a mid-century fourplex.  The building is made out of cinderblock with wood framing inside. It has a basement with a 1 bedroom and laundry area and three 2 bedroom apartments above.

    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.

    You sound like the ideal candidate for a mesh system. It does not need to replace your Rogers modem either but can work in tandem with it which simplifies things. 
    Thank you! So, in your opinion, the modems that now come from cable companies (like the one I posted) are more than adequate? No need to focus on that aspect? 
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 86 of 99
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,028member
    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.
    Not that this is the case with your setup, but I often see people place entenders (and mesh satellite) routers closest to the end devices, and very often behind something dense or near other WiFi signals (like under a smart TV and behind HEC components).

    Have you tried putting it on the 1st floor so it’s closer to the main router?
    edited May 2018 allmypeople
  • Reply 87 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,023member
    gatorguy said:
    Here goes... This is one area of tech I haven't had much luck fully understanding or implementing.

    We own a mid-century fourplex.  The building is made out of cinderblock with wood framing inside. It has a basement with a 1 bedroom and laundry area and three 2 bedroom apartments above.

    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.

    You sound like the ideal candidate for a mesh system. It does not need to replace your Rogers modem either but can work in tandem with it which simplifies things. 
    Thank you! So, in your opinion, the modems that now come from cable companies (like the one I posted) are more than adequate? No need to focus on that aspect? 
    I don't have any particular concern over the router itself since everything downstream from it is now much more secure, more frequently updated and becomes a much faster connection overall (if wireless). The first point gets a direct cable connect and the remaining nodes are wireless. Use the mesh network and ignore the router wifi network. Stupid easy to setup too depending on whose system you choose.
    edited May 2018 allmypeople
  • Reply 88 of 99
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,842member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    1983 said:
    None of these I believe are as good or elegant as Airport was. I’ve used routers from some of these brands and was overall, not pleased. But there’s no choice but to use these third party devices now. Which is a shame...RIP Airport.
    Two things bother me about your statement:

          1) As the article states, you can still buy the AirPort products while supplies last.
          2) Apple no longer selling AirPort products doesn't mean your current ones no longer work.

    I've been using Apple's 6th gen AirPort Extreme since it came out in June 2013—5 years ago!—and I plan on using it so long as 802.11ac is fastest wireless option supported; but even then, there's a good chance I won't upgrade my router to support, say, 802.11ad simply because a future MBP supports 802.11ad because that's not where my network bottleneck is. I'm more likely to wait until 802.11ad is pervasive enough that nearly everything I had supports it before upgrading my router, which could be another 5 years for all I know. A lot can happen in two years.

    For reference, remember in 2016 when people freaked out about Apple not making their own external display, just to have Schiller say this year that they are making a Pro display likely set for release in 2019? That may even get demoed alongside a new Mac Pro at WWDC this year for all we know. On that notion, maybe Apple isn't out of the router game, but just out for now until 802.11ad or other technologies are viable. I think there's a lot Apple can still offer in this area.

    Exactly this.

    When Apple does stuff like this, the immediate reaction from folk is that this is some kind of bean counting exercise. I think this comes from a natural inability to see anything beyond their own narrow view of the world. 

    So Apple has decided to end the Airport product line. Well, that's not surprising. I doubt they sell that many, given most ISPs hand out modems and routers anyway. Folk point to the ease with which they can set up an Airport network; very true, but the new Mesh routers also come with iOS apps that allow for easy configuration, and with a lot more options for parental control and guest access. Apple decided that they couldn't do much to improve on that, so there was really no point in entering the market. And if they had entered the market, then you can guarantee that the likes of Rogifan would be complaining how they were taking revenue from their partners.

    What about Time Machine? That has always struck me as a phenomenally bad idea. What is the point of backing up your computer to a device that's in the same building? 

    But if we ignore the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth that comes straight after an Apple discontinuation (in which the same people who said the discontinued product was crap the day before, now claim they cannot live without it), then we can probably look more closely at what Apple said. And what they said what they were discontinuing a product line; they didn't say they were not working on something else. The question is, what is the 'something else'.

    In the same month that Apple announced the discontinuation of Airport, there has been an explosion in articles covering 5G technology: the UK government has just fleeced the mobile operators for access to the 5G spectrum (though I'm not sure who told the government they own it); we've had 5G consortiums start up, along with meet ups, conferences and demonstrations of IoT and vehicle control which will rely on high speed and low latency. Apple, meanwhile, has created a load of job postings for engineers to help them build out their 5G technology stack. 

    https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#&ss=mmwave&t=0&so=&lo=0*USA&pN=0

    So the reason that Apple has not decided to upgrade the Airport line is because it's had its day. The reason they've decided not to go the Mesh route is because that is where the puck is; they're already heading for where the puck is going to be. The internet will not be beamed into your home through a cable; it'll come through the air. The next gen Airport will take the 5G signal directly and beam it to receivers built into every Apple device. When you're out of the house, the same receivers will pick up 5G from the air. 

    If 5G is successful (and there are still a lot of hurdles) then Apple will be in a much better position to build out its own comms network which can be partly its own dedicated infrastructure (we know they have 460 locations where they can build the kit without too much trouble), and partly virtual networks to cover areas it doesn't.

    But as you rightly said, Apple didn't announce that existing kit would now stop working. I have a couple of Airports here that have worked reliably for years; I don't see the need to move off them because there's nothing out there that will make a significant improvement to what I have now.
    All sensible except - why kill the line now?  Why not work on a 5G system but continue to sell airports until 5G is rolled out?  
    Because not enough people are buying them to make it worthwhile? 
  • Reply 89 of 99
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,378member
    How about an article on the best Time Capsule replacements?!  ;)
  • Reply 90 of 99
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,193administrator
    How about an article on the best Time Capsule replacements?!  ;)
    Not exactly the same, but we're working on a NAS piece.
  • Reply 91 of 99
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 420member
    Soli said:
    Our cable comes into the basement where we have a new Wi-Fi modem from rogers. I have a Netgear wifi extender setup on the 2nd floor. All in all, it's O-K. Not great.
    Not that this is the case with your setup, but I often see people place entenders (and mesh satellite) routers closest to the end devices, and very often begins something dense or near other WiFi signals (like under a smart TV and next to HEC components).

    Have you tried putting it on the 1st floor so it’s closer to the main router?
    I thought it was close enough but maybe not. It's about 25-30ft away but it could be moved 15ft away more towards the middle of the building. I think that's what I may do but with a better extender. I just need to build a place for it with an outlet. We're about to move into the upper unit for 6 months so I'm going to dive into this and get it as close to great as I possibly can... to not have to deal with it again for a long time. lol
  • Reply 92 of 99
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 420member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Thank you! So, in your opinion, the modems that now come from cable companies (like the one I posted) are more than adequate? No need to focus on that aspect? 
    I don't have any particular concern over the router itself since everything downstream from it is now much more secure, more frequently updated and becomes a much faster connection overall (if wireless). The first point gets a direct cable connect and the remaining nodes are wireless. Use the mesh network and ignore the router wifi network. Stupid easy to setup too depending on whose system you choose.
    Digging into them now. These seem so much better than extenders!! 
  • Reply 93 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,023member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Thank you! So, in your opinion, the modems that now come from cable companies (like the one I posted) are more than adequate? No need to focus on that aspect? 
    I don't have any particular concern over the router itself since everything downstream from it is now much more secure, more frequently updated and becomes a much faster connection overall (if wireless). The first point gets a direct cable connect and the remaining nodes are wireless. Use the mesh network and ignore the router wifi network. Stupid easy to setup too depending on whose system you choose.
    Digging into them now. These seem so much better than extenders!! 
    They are. 
  • Reply 94 of 99
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 868member
    I’ve been using the Google WiFi for a month. Setup was dead simple and it’s been working great so fat. No complaints.
    Google Thanks You!
    They used to have to drive around neighborhoods to collect your WiFi data...
    Indeed! I take note of all people who have Google WiFi in this thread so I would never take any of their recommendations in the future seriously. 
  • Reply 95 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,023member
    matrix077 said:
    I’ve been using the Google WiFi for a month. Setup was dead simple and it’s been working great so fat. No complaints.
    Google Thanks You!
    They used to have to drive around neighborhoods to collect your WiFi data...
    Indeed! I take note of all people who have Google WiFi in this thread so I would never take any of their recommendations in the future seriously. 
    You mean you took them seriously before ??
    :)
  • Reply 96 of 99
    I am worried that more and more vendors of wireless devices want to keep the installation information in the "cloud" at their end. That gives them the option to snoop up information which no one knows about. And they are not really telling anyone what information they collect, how it's stored, and with home it's shared.
  • Reply 97 of 99
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,023member
    I am worried that more and more vendors of wireless devices want to keep the installation information in the "cloud" at their end. That gives them the option to snoop up information which no one knows about. And they are not really telling anyone what information they collect, how it's stored, and with home it's shared.
    Do you read any of their TOS and privacy policies? 
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 98 of 99
    Is there a chance that AppleInsider might update this article now that new version of soft and hardware have come out?  Is there more of a consensus now about the most Apple-esque solution for those who were comfortable with the reasonably decent Airport line?

    Much obliged.
  • Reply 99 of 99
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,193administrator
    nospamman said:
    Is there a chance that AppleInsider might update this article now that new version of soft and hardware have come out?  Is there more of a consensus now about the most Apple-esque solution for those who were comfortable with the reasonably decent Airport line?

    Much obliged.
    Yup, in the next few weeks.
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