Apple officially discontinues AirPort router product line, available while supplies last [...



  • Reply 21 of 106
    pasgropasgro Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Hugely disappointed but the graffiti has been on the wall for a long time. All the techs in the office like Ubiquiti so there is a high end replacement.  

    The latest Airports are quite easy to pick up second-hand these days and at a good price.  I run two identical Airport wifi networks at home (occupiers and guest) - an Airport Time Capsule G6 connected to a Airport Extreme G5 in wired bridge mode and never have any problems.  Easily managed with the Airport Utility.

    And to echo Racerhomie3 I finally pinged a set of Airpods last week and can't put them down except to charge. Also when stopping by the closest Apple store - its a mere 2,224 km away, I checked out the HomePod and wasn't initially impressed but then heard one playing in the Duty Free store.  It was a large open area and the Homepod sounds great.
  • Reply 22 of 106
    arthurbaarthurba Posts: 135member
    I've used and recommended the Airport routers for years.  When I've had influence over the decision, and pushed for Airport, other engineers have been truly surprised and impressed at the quality - I always got the impression that no-one except me had ever even heard of Airport.

    The fact that Apple never went for a web based admin was a good thing.  On all routers that have web based admin, almost all the security updates I see are for attack vectors on that.

    I've been experimenting lately with DD-WRT firmware on Linksys routers - and I guess that's the way of the future for my home installs.  For my professional work I use a mixture of Cisco for all the wired stuff and Airport for the wireless - but I guess I'll now switch to Cisco for wireless too, though I'll probably look at whatever HPE (Aruba?) are offering as an alternative. The problem is that the Cisco wireless stuff is overkill in most situations I face, and I'll have to pay for that.

    For the home market - I think Apple always struggled against the 'free router' that comes with your providers internet service (ISP).  All of the non-professionals I know just use that as their wireless hub.  In fact many 'professionals' I know do this too!  It is actually quite difficult to explain to someone why you should get extra hardware to have a different wireless network in your home.  I think at the end of the day - that's why Apple are getting out.  Linksys etc. all have the ISP's as their customer, and Cisco have the commercial market sewn up.

    It's a shame - because like other posts have said - there is a lot of value Apple already bring - and more value they could bring.  But I totally see that even if they did all that - their market share wouldn't go up - it would still be just me and you buying these things and everyone else shrugging their shoulders.

    That Apple are going to be pushing 'Airplay 2' soon, and it's the 'Airport Express' that really pushed the original 'Airplay' - I do wonder if maybe they have something new up their sleeves.  Eg: a Cellular/Wifi bridge with Airplay 2 (or is that just an old iPhone with a headphone port?).  Surely HomePod/AppleTV can't be their only Airplay 2 device?
    edited April 2018 sailorpaulbrucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 106
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,186member
    volcan said:
    racerhomie3 said:
     I will upgrade to the AC AirPort Extreme in 2 to 3 years, and continue to use all 3 as a mesh network. I will never be upgrading from that.
    A mesh network is different from just having several routers with the same SSID. If you are connected to a regular wifi router, it will hang on to that signal as long as it can even if it becomes really weak. Not until the connection is completely gone will it switch over to a closer router. A mesh network needs to have special software that always uses the strongest signal and routes the packets back to the main WAN access path. Apple Airport routers don't do that.

    Also never say never when it comes to technology.
    On AirPort it also switches automatically.
  • Reply 24 of 106
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,895member
    I’ve never used any other base station.  Got my first AirPort in 2001.  Upgraded to the Extreme like two years later. Then got an Express.  Then another, redesigned Extreme.  Got a time capsule refurbed a few years ago, and I use it along with my Extreme to cover the whole house.  

    I remember the excitement of Apple products back then.  I went to the King of Prussia, PA store opening and it was a mob scene.  It’s just not the same.  
  • Reply 25 of 106
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    mystigo said:
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. 
    Plus you can install DD WRT firmware if you need a VPN to be able to access copyrighted content when outside of the US. Of course it is not exactly legal and many free VPN servers are blocked now but still useful if you have the time and knowledge to set it up.
  • Reply 26 of 106
    In Canada the ISPs now provide a free WiFi router/modem with new installs and any upgrades.  As a Mac tech, who always suggested an Airport prior to this switch, the need has disappeared.  Hard to suggest spending an extra $200 when an “adequate” device is already in the house.
  • Reply 27 of 106
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 945member
    Seems problematic given where IoT is going. Seems Apple needs Hub products for HomeKit and IoT. HomePod is not the product. Apple TV is not that product. MacMini? 

    Router products seem just the thing. 

    Apple had better be bringing something to market otherwise they're not going to have a market. 

  • Reply 28 of 106
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    racerhomie3 said:
    On AirPort it also switches automatically.
    Its doesn't really have anything to do with the routers. The mobile device itself is controlling the connection. Normally the device will stay connected to the same wifi signal as long as it is still functioning. There is no way for an iPhone to really determine which signal is actually stronger or switch automatically. I believe there are apps that assist with that but you really don't want the device constantly searching for signals because it will disrupt the performance. Best to have separate SSIDs and switch manually as necessary.
    edited April 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 106
    RIP AirPort Time Capsule.  While time machine backups were slow as hell, I was really happy with the APTC because 'it just worked', as in reliable Wi-Fi and time machine backups.  I got friends/family to adopt APx/APTC in their homes as it made my life easier.

    That all changed in mid-2016 when Apple released a firmware that caused my APTC to become unresponsive to the AirPort Utility on iOS and Mac and time machine backups.  It still served up Wi-Fi but time machine stopped completing most backups - I had to power cycle it to get it to resolve these issues, and even then only for 12-24 hours.  I opened a case and invested hours with support to capture and send logs, rebuild my Mac from scratch, and test APTC configuration changes (including disabling Back to my Mac, relocate the APTC to be directly Ethernet-connected to the Mac I wanted to backup, stop using bridge mode, and even disable Wi-Fi).  Apple Support was always ever hopeful, and I was only too accommodating since I wanted to make it work. 

    In spring of 2017, Apple finally gave me a 3TB external thunderbolt drive for my troubles and closed the case unresolved.  I knew then that such a concession meant there was no future for this product.  All it does for me now is act as a layer-2 switch and I'm using another brand for Wi-Fi.  All is back to normal except I have to reboot this AP whenever some of my HomeKit devices become responsive.  Can't help but wonder if an APx or APTC would result in the same HomeKit hiccups.

    Apple and Cisco have partnered to delver better business-grade Wi-Fi.  Hopefully a consumer-level partnership emerges, if not a stand-alone product, that is aligned with Apple's development and brings back the 'it just works' days.
    edited April 2018 radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 106
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    So when does Apple announce they’re killing off the Mac mini?
  • Reply 31 of 106
    I’m betting on a HomePod update that gives it mesh capabilities. With Bluetooth 5, it could be an iBeacon, integrating with HomeKit in useful ways. Then you’ll want one for every room. Just because no one’s talking about it doesn’t mean anything. But I can’t believe they’re ditching the wireless market, the security aspect alone is too important to not have control of.
  • Reply 32 of 106
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,214member
    Redline45 said:
    In Canada the ISPs now provide a free WiFi router/modem with new installs and any upgrades.  As a Mac tech, who always suggested an Airport prior to this switch, the need has disappeared.  Hard to suggest spending an extra $200 when an “adequate” device is already in the house.
    True. I COULD get a WAP from Shaw, our ISP. But you know I'm someone who is always concerned about security. I don't know what Shaw has programmed into the WAP. I don't know what monitoring they do. I'd much rather have my own unit, with my own security settings. 

    Anyway, I have an Airport Extreme. It's been rock solid for the last 5 years. Someone mentioned fan failure. I have no idea what that means. Maybe that's something on the newer ones. Mine has been unstoppable. Even when we've had power outages, it just wakes up when the lights come on, and starts working. The only time I've had to restart it is after Firmware updates. The little beastie is a tank. Professionally I've worked with a fair number of routers. Someday I will have to update my Airport Extreme and I'm afraid going with any other brand is going to seem like a huge step down. If anything embodies the "it just works" ethos it is the Airport line..
    edited April 2018 pscooter63racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 106
    About the whole Airport Extreme fan issue - ours just went south. Bought the part (and the necessary tool) on Amazon and I'm going to try to give it a go. Almost decided to replace it but didn't want to spend the cash.

    On a side note - I have a ton of music on my computer and send it to 3 different Airport Expresses throughout the house; they're each hooked up to a different stereo in my home office, dining room and garage. Thinking ahead, is there an alternative to this? Something that will show up in iTunes or my phone as I try to send music to different locations around my house or am I going to have to stock up on these guys :  :(
  • Reply 34 of 106
    mubailimubaili Posts: 449member
    i don’t get it with all the money in the world they don’t want to own this essential business.
  • Reply 35 of 106
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member

    Boy I sure miss Steve Jobs vision of a unified Apple universe. Apple airport extreme is easy to use and rock solid. No fuss, no muss... in other words... they are great.

    However now it appears some MBA point paper /spreadsheet has kicked in--- since Apple cannot sell a gazillion (but probably still makes money) --- skeeech off with its head. Standard busyschool ops says re-allocate your cash for better returns. But wait... Apple has $500 billion doing nothing!!!!   ugh... I do not get the world these guys live in.

  • Reply 36 of 106
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,022member
    cpsro said:
    Q: what wifi hardware does Apple now endorse for use with its products?
    Linksys Velop
    Those look fine but they do have only one downstream ethernet port (vs. AirPort Extreme's 3 ports); no USB; they use a wall wart; and they're nearly as expensive as AirPort Extremes.
    If I had to dump my Extremes today, I'd probably go with Ubiquiti UAP HD devices (with wired backhauls as I have now).
  • Reply 37 of 106
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    1. No more security firmware update is the most worrying. 
    2. Will there be any substitutes to do a Time Machine backup over Wi-Fi to Airport Time Capsules’ HDD?
    3. Are newer mesh routers capable of pooling devices from Wi-Fi and Ethernet into a simple network as it does with Airport devices?
    4. What’s the fade of the Airport Utility after High Sierra?
    5. The fade of Time Machine app?

  • Reply 38 of 106
    So without the Airport Express what are we to do now when we want to AirPlay to a sound system? Just when AirPlay 2 is about to come out, they take away a major way of using it? Can't even use the Apple TV for this purpose since they removed the audio output.
  • Reply 39 of 106
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    Redline45 said:
    In Canada the ISPs now provide a free WiFi router/modem with new installs and any upgrades.  As a Mac tech, who always suggested an Airport prior to this switch, the need has disappeared.  Hard to suggest spending an extra $200 when an “adequate” device is already in the house.
    Comcast is doing the same thing here, pushing their xfinity Technicolor-based gateway. The whole idea is to lock their customers into their ecosystem all the way to the computer device. These gateways are garbage with garbage software. After going with their triple-play plan, I finally was able to return one because it wouldn't let me bridge to my Airport devices. I ended up buying an older telephony modem for the phone portion and a standard Arris cable modem for the rest. Just because someone gives you something for "free" (not in the US, Comcast charges monthly fees for it) doesn't mean it's worth anything.
  • Reply 40 of 106
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,526moderator
    This is quite disappointing. Yes, there are alternatives, and yes, we knew this was coming, but I always thought that the Airport was an important part of the Apple ecosystem. 

    A logic similar to the one with this decision could easily be applied to headphones, AirPods, HomePod, AppleTV, and pretty much every Apple-made accessory for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Watch.
    Maybe not.  A WiFi router doesn’t yield the same sort of personalized UX as those other products you mentioned.  Thats the Apple magic and I think Apple doesn’t desire to spend its energies on too many things that don’t deliver it. 
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