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

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  • Reply 61 of 106
    What a shame. I'd really like to know Apple's reasons for doing this. I've been using Apple routers for over ten years and they've really worked well for me. Is it really too much for Apple to handle? Were they not getting enough profits from Time Capsules. Time Capsules seemed like such a great part of the Apple ecosystem and I've gotten so used to the Airport utility, and now I'll have to look forward to having to learn something else when my Time Capsule expires. I'm not ready to buy a new Time Capsule right now, so I guess they'll all be gone by the time I am ready. I suppose I'd better get that router support document so I'll know what alternatives I'll have. If Apple is willing to give direct support for a router of their choice, maybe that would be OK.

     I'm really not able to understand Apple anymore. So many things they do honestly don't make any sense to me. Couldn't they at least give some sort of explanation for the things they do. Considering Apple has so much money, you'd think they'd at least be able to keep up with their meager selection of products. Apple seems only interested in being some iPhone profit machine and it doesn't sit all that well with me. I'm a desktop computer guy at heart and I think they'll always be the most important devices to me.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 62 of 106
    macxpress said:
    slurpy said:
    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.

    No, it can't. To the vast majority of people, an airport router adds absolutely zero to the ecosystem, in terms of tangible, easily seen benefits. You cannot apply the same logic to ANY of the products you just listed. I've owned Airports, and although they were solid routers, they had pretty much zero effect on the rest of my Apple products.

    This could have been seen coming a mile away, Apple likes to develop products that it can differentiate in a big way. A router isn't one of those things. 
    I agree...were an all Apple household except 2 PC's used for gaming. We use a Linksys router and honestly, its no different from the Time Capsule it replaced. It sits in a closet and never gets touched unless there's an update or something that needs to be installed. Not having an Apple router has absolutely no effect on future Apple product purchases, nor does it using the current ones. 
    That's good to hear.  It makes me less anxious about when I'll have to upgrade from my current Time Capsule.  I definitely want a router that's just going to work consistently and I don't have to touch it.
  • Reply 63 of 106
    davendaven Posts: 645member
    My Netgear wifi router bit the dust a few months ago. I like the configuration options of Netgear and their app but I decided to give the Apple router a go based on Consumer Reports' review. I knew it was about to be end of life'd but as a refurb, the price was good and I figured the Apple base station would be good for several years. The Apple software is limiting but does what I need. It has fewer ethernet ports bug I ended up getting a low cost hub so I moved the Apple base station to a more central location in my house then ran an ethernet cable back to my media center where the cable modem is along with the hub for the stereo, tv, Apple TV, mini Mac, network hard drive, etc. Now everything at the entertainment center is gigabit speed between items though 60 megabits to the WAN. The rest of the house has strong wifi and works well. I'd say a bit better than before because there is less wifi congestion. Now I hope Apple continues with the OS level support for the base station for at least five years.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 64 of 106
    GillisGillis Posts: 1member
    Very disappointing 

    Hi have three hifi stéroïdes system rely on airport extreme that cover my home of music, including garden speaker.

    What I'm suppose to do now? I was wishing to be able to use airplay 2 with those device. Why developing an airplay 2 without the possibility to use it with our stereo system?
  • Reply 65 of 106
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,605member
    What a shame. I'd really like to know Apple's reasons for doing this..
    No doubt because nobody was buying them. It’s a great corporate strategy when you think about it. Get yourself in a position to say no to or delay the release of updates for a product your were not responsible for. Keep it on the shelf to demonstrate lack of sales. Look prescient. Repeat.
  • Reply 66 of 106
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,396member
    I was sure that HomePod would be the vanguard of a new mesh WiFi system with new routers that assured HomeKit security. I guess I was wrong, and that’s disappointing. Not for egotistical reasons, but because I like having everything in the house behind Apple security.  Relying on someone else’s hardware will feel less secure. It might even be less secure. Maybe I’ll buy a spare as backup to delay any need for switching to something else. By the time they sunset support, the landscape will be something altogether different. 
    edited April 2018 tallest skilwatto_cobra
  • Reply 67 of 106
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,186member
    eightzero said:
    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. 
    A fair point. But for a nearly trillion dollar company, just how much "energies" is this? It seems like a trivial amount of "energy." OTOH, it does seem that this technology is ripe for some innovation. But no one makes a lot of money selling a product that works for decades, never needs replacement, and requires periodic software updates. As others point out, they are install and forget. No money in that. Apple clearly wants to grow its services. This offers nothing to do that.

    I smell a decision based on profit margin. But like others commenting here, it makes me sad.

    Once they start losing focus with a useless product, the trend might continue.
  • Reply 68 of 106
    webraiderwebraider Posts: 162member
    mystigo said:
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. 
    It may be a great router but it suffers from he same thing most of these new ones do.. NO ETHERNET PORTS.  I live in a small apartment and I'm limited on my power plugs.  To plug in two things now instead of one (router plus ethernet hub), but if you opt for a standard router that looks like a a miniature helicopter, it takes up too much space.  Would love something in the form like an Orbi that has 4-5 ports on it!  Oh wait.. that's my Extreme!  My Extreme is fairly new granted not as fast as the Orbi, but it works and it's fast enough for me!  Mesh is more for people who have houses, who will run an ethernet bridge off one of the mesh routers, plugging it in where it's convenient and calling it a day.  otherwise the rest of us are stuck with a hideously big drone looking wireless router.  This was the beauty of the Airport.   I for one was hoping (and still have a slight bit of hope) that Apple was going to do a wireless router/NAS which they had in Time capsule but something a but something that could hold like 4/5 drives.  Now this is something I would love to see. 

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's not a better system.  They just don't find MY needs. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 69 of 106
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 572member
    Why oh why? Apple has a money bin so large Uncle Scrooge's looks ridiculous. Is it so expensive to give us loyal addicts the full ecosystem? After even buying a HomePod although having a stereo?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 70 of 106
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,990member
    macxpress said:
    slurpy said:
    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.

    No, it can't. To the vast majority of people, an airport router adds absolutely zero to the ecosystem, in terms of tangible, easily seen benefits. You cannot apply the same logic to ANY of the products you just listed. I've owned Airports, and although they were solid routers, they had pretty much zero effect on the rest of my Apple products.

    This could have been seen coming a mile away, Apple likes to develop products that it can differentiate in a big way. A router isn't one of those things. 
    I agree...were an all Apple household except 2 PC's used for gaming. We use a Linksys router and honestly, its no different from the Time Capsule it replaced. It sits in a closet and never gets touched unless there's an update or something that needs to be installed. Not having an Apple router has absolutely no effect on future Apple product purchases, nor does it using the current ones. 
    Well, my experience with Linksys was the exact opposite.  They were the biggest, steaming pile of crap ever made.  I've bought so many of them over the years, I lost track.  They kept having "hiccups" every few weeks requiring a reset, or the unit would just fail completely.  They were even connected to a big, expensive UPS to make sure the power was clean.  Didn't make a difference.

    On a whim years ago, out of desperation (I worked remotely at times) I tried an Apple Extreme router and viola, all my stress disappeared.  To this day, I have a six Apple Extremes (the non-tower versions) stacked and individually connected to separate networks.  None of them ever required a reset.  Ever.  Linksys was the crazy girlfriend that always needed attention.  

    Apple just built the best.  I wish they upped their game on this.  I guess the bean-counters finally convinced Tim Cook it needed to go.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 71 of 106
    The reasons for Apple doing this are obvious.  They just weren't selling enough to continue this.  And the reason gets back to the major ISPs....Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, etc who all now include wifi routers with their cable modems.  You knew that sooner or later, this was going to be the result.  Why invest in an Airport when Comcast threw in a router already?  For 95%+ people, this was just fine.  That one hotspot did everything you needed.  A much small percentage of us needed additional features (multiple hotspots/mesh networks, gaming latency, etc).  And the other vendors were already moving down that path in a much smaller marketplace.  Apple, which had dominated the early wifi market 20 years ago was now in a position where Airport was just a rounding error in sales, but more importantly, no longer strategic in Apple's plans.

    We may all grouse about the fact that this day has come, but it's a surprise to no one.  Apple has been telegraphing this day for a few years now.  We can reminisce about "the good ol days".  We can discuss that Apple single handedly brought wifi out of Lucent's labs and to the world in a compelling product.  We can talk about how many files have been saved by Time Machine/Time Capsule over the years and that Apple made backups easy enough for anyone.  We can talk about that Apple really made streaming household music a thing that anyone could configure and use without expert knowledge.  But the fact of the matter is that this day is upon us and it's time to move on.
    edited April 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 72 of 106
    macxpress said:
    Apparently the AirPort Extreme is prone to fan failures...usually right around 12-16 months in. 
    It doesn't have a fan.

    tenthousandthingsSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 73 of 106
    mystigo said:
    cpsro said:
    Too bad!  AirPort Extremes are rock solid and are still about the cheapest way to roam seamlessly between base stations on the same network using identical SSIDs.  Newer mesh network hardware can do this but they're also proprietary and have their own limitations and problems.

    That comment about the original AirPort having been bought is a lame diversion from the fact that Apple was the first major OEM to champion wifi. Like that excuses the company from exiting the business, when it had a huge lead over the competition.  Simply, leads are lost if efforts aren't adequately funded going forward.

    Q: what wifi hardware does Apple now endorse for use with its products?
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. I upgraded my cable connection to 350 / 30 last year and the Apple basestations were only giving me about 30 / 12. I researched it very thoroughly and settled on the Orbis. They give me 330 / 20 virtually everywhere in the house. The download speed is literally 10 times better than the Airports were. They are trivially easy to set up, look nice, and are highly configurable. I get the distinct feeling that Apple gave up trying to compete in this space -they aren't even remotely close anymore.
    Which model did you get? I was hoping Apple would reconsider their unwise decision to abandon the wireless networking environment, but I could use a vastly improved Wi-Fi network and was looking at mesh networks. 
  • Reply 74 of 106
    macxpress said:
    Apparently the AirPort Extreme is prone to fan failures...usually right around 12-16 months in. 
    It doesn't have a fan.

    I think the Time Capsule does tho. The Extreme does not. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 75 of 106
    If you want to replace your AirPort, I recommend Ubiquiti’s AmpliFi system. You can choose between a base system that includes a small cube-shaped router/base station, or packages that add one or two remote mesh access points. It can be configured via an iOS app or web browser. It has multiple Ethernet ports, as well as dual-band 802.11ac wireless. If Apple were going to go out and acquire a product to replace AirPort, I think AmpliFi would be a top contender; it’s very Apple-like.

    For Time Machine on a single desktop Mac, an external USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt hard drive has always been a much better solution than an AirPort. If you’ve got multiple Macs, one of which stays put, macOS High Sierra includes the ability to share a disk as a Time Machine volume—that used to be part of the extra-cost macOS Server product. This capability is hidden deep in the File Sharing preferences, but it’s probably the most reliable way to do a networked Time Machine.
  • Reply 76 of 106
    adybadyb Posts: 202member
    macxpress said:
    Apparently the AirPort Extreme is prone to fan failures...usually right around 12-16 months in. 
    It doesn't have a fan.

    I think the Time Capsule does tho. The Extreme does not. 


    Thankfully my Time Capsule is running strong 5 years in, as is my 10 year old Extreme.

    Whilst I understand that with wifi routers being included by all (in the UK at least) ISP's this is not a growth area, when one (or both) of these eventually fail (or are no longer safe to use), I'm not looking forward to having to find something as simple & reliable to use.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 77 of 106
    macwhiz said:
    If you want to replace your AirPort, I recommend Ubiquiti’s AmpliFi system. You can choose between a base system that includes a small cube-shaped router/base station, or packages that add one or two remote mesh access points. It can be configured via an iOS app or web browser. It has multiple Ethernet ports, as well as dual-band 802.11ac wireless. If Apple were going to go out and acquire a product to replace AirPort, I think AmpliFi would be a top contender; it’s very Apple-like.

    For Time Machine on a single desktop Mac, an external USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt hard drive has always been a much better solution than an AirPort. If you’ve got multiple Macs, one of which stays put, macOS High Sierra includes the ability to share a disk as a Time Machine volume—that used to be part of the extra-cost macOS Server product. This capability is hidden deep in the File Sharing preferences, but it’s probably the most reliable way to do a networked Time Machine.
    Well I’ve seen three recommendations here now for mesh systems, from three different vendors. Why should I choose one over the other?  Which is easiest to set up? Do any “just work”?  I’ve always read that mesh speeds weren’t that great, so as someone who has never owned a mesh network, I could use some valuable insight here from the other fellow gurus 

    also, I couldn’t find the Time Machine setting in File Sharing, only the SMB/AFP/CIFS stuff. A little more detail on where this setting is?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 78 of 106
    mystigomystigo Posts: 151member
    webraider said:
    mystigo said:
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. 
    It may be a great router but it suffers from he same thing most of these new ones do.. NO ETHERNET PORTS.  I live in a small apartment and I'm limited on my power plugs.  To plug in two things now instead of one (router plus ethernet hub), but if you opt for a standard router that looks like a a miniature helicopter, it takes up too much space.  Would love something in the form like an Orbi that has 4-5 ports on it!  Oh wait.. that's my Extreme!  My Extreme is fairly new granted not as fast as the Orbi, but it works and it's fast enough for me!  Mesh is more for people who have houses, who will run an ethernet bridge off one of the mesh routers, plugging it in where it's convenient and calling it a day.  otherwise the rest of us are stuck with a hideously big drone looking wireless router.  This was the beauty of the Airport.   I for one was hoping (and still have a slight bit of hope) that Apple was going to do a wireless router/NAS which they had in Time capsule but something a but something that could hold like 4/5 drives.  Now this is something I would love to see. 

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's not a better system.  They just don't find MY needs. 
    I just did a quick count. The Orbi base and satellite both have 4 ethernet ports each. They appear to work since my rather old office printers are both plugged into the satellite and I have been printing things :wink: I have a microcell plugged into the satellite as well.
    edited April 2018 dblanch369dblanch369
  • Reply 79 of 106
    mystigomystigo Posts: 151member
    mystigo said:
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. I upgraded my cable connection to 350 / 30 last year and the Apple basestations were only giving me about 30 / 12. I researched it very thoroughly and settled on the Orbis. They give me 330 / 20 virtually everywhere in the house. The download speed is literally 10 times better than the Airports were. They are trivially easy to set up, look nice, and are highly configurable. I get the distinct feeling that Apple gave up trying to compete in this space -they aren't even remotely close anymore.
    Which model did you get? I was hoping Apple would reconsider their unwise decision to abandon the wireless networking environment, but I could use a vastly improved Wi-Fi network and was looking at mesh networks. 
    I got the NETGEAR Orbi Home Mesh WiFi System (RBK50) which has gone down in price significantly since I bought it. I would still pay what I did for it though.The two units, base and satellite) are strong enough to cover 5000 sq feet. I bought a wall plug in satellite as well to cover a room over my garage since it was getting less than 100 / 10 up there due to pretty solid walls and cabinetry in the way. Now the bandwidth up there is back on par with the rest of the house.
    dblanch369
  • Reply 80 of 106
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,023member
    mystigo said:
    cpsro said:
    Too bad!  AirPort Extremes are rock solid and are still about the cheapest way to roam seamlessly between base stations on the same network using identical SSIDs.  Newer mesh network hardware can do this but they're also proprietary and have their own limitations and problems.

    That comment about the original AirPort having been bought is a lame diversion from the fact that Apple was the first major OEM to champion wifi. Like that excuses the company from exiting the business, when it had a huge lead over the competition.  Simply, leads are lost if efforts aren't adequately funded going forward.

    Q: what wifi hardware does Apple now endorse for use with its products?
    I highly recommend the Netgear Orbi. It is an absolutely fantastic wireless "mesh" router system and worth every penny. I upgraded my cable connection to 350 / 30 last year and the Apple basestations were only giving me about 30 / 12. I researched it very thoroughly and settled on the Orbis. They give me 330 / 20 virtually everywhere in the house. The download speed is literally 10 times better than the Airports were. They are trivially easy to set up, look nice, and are highly configurable. I get the distinct feeling that Apple gave up trying to compete in this space -they aren't even remotely close anymore.
    100% agree. I purchased mine a year ago and it's worked flawlessly. The base and one satellite covers my entire house and most of the yard. I'm thinking of picking up one of the smaller satellites to plug in outside and supplement coverage in the yard.
    mystigo
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