The best alternatives to Apple's discontinued AirPort routers



Apple has made official the alleged disappearance of the AirPort line of routers yesterday, and the remaining inventory has been sold in the coming weeks or months. If you are looking for a new router, AppleInsider has made a list for you, the ones we have used and the like.

  AirPort Extreme Routers

Many expected this with rumors dating from 2016 and claimed that Apple dissolved the AirPort hardware group.

Many users had hopes and had postponed the update of the network equipment with the expectation that Apple would finally update the hardware once again. With that it is no longer the case, AppleInsider has created a list of solid alternatives that will work well with your other Apple products.

As described in the new Apple support document, there are two basic types of routers to explore, and some basic qualifications to go with them. Smaller houses would benefit from using a single router, while larger houses could benefit from a mesh system.

All our recommended routers are compatible with 802.11ac and offer dual-band or tri-band support.

Eero (second generation)

  second generation mesh network eero

Eero has long been one of our favorites. They were the first to popularize the idea of ​​mesh networks in everyday homes. When we reviewed the original Eero a few years ago, we fell in love with the simplicity of the application, and it seemed that Apple would have launched it.

When the second-generation Eero was launched, they fixed most of the problems experienced. with the original. There are several different options, but the most popular option includes a large Eero and two beacons, more suitable for a two to four bedroom home.

The second generation model is twice as powerful as the original and now has a third 5 GHz antenna. It also adopted USB-C and even supports Thread, Google's new smart start protocol.

Of all the routers we tested, they also had our favorite mobile application. It was clean, easy to use and offered a lot of additional features.

Unfortunately, there is no additional USB port on these devices, so if you need Time Machine support, you will need an external NAS.

you can pick up the starter pack at Amazon or at B & H Photo for $ 399. If you have a smaller home, there is a package with a lighthouse for $ 298. Larger homes can get the Pro setup that has three Full-sized Eros for $ 499, also available at Amazon and B & H. To save additional costs, B & H will not charge sales taxes on orders shipped outside of New York and New Jersey (residents of Colorado and Vermont, see here ).

Linksys Velop

  Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi

Another of our favorites is the Linksys Velop router system. Like the second-generation Eero, the Velop are tri-band routers and tall towers that look like a block version of Apple's latest AirPort devices.

Linksys says that each node is suitable for 2,000 square feet, and you can buy three packages together, or individually to meet your needs. Velop is also one of the few routers that supports MU-MIMO, or multiple input multiple users, multiple output.

The Velop application is nice and simple, allowing you to see the devices on your network, prioritize specific devices, enable parental controls, run speed tests and more.

Like Eero, they do not have USB ports, so any storage connected to Time Machine will have to be a NAS over Ethernet.

A three-node start package of Linksys Velop routers can be purchased at Amazon and at B & H for $ 449.97.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD

  Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi System

Ubiquiti HD AmpliFi is by far the best for exceptionally large homes. Even older buildings that have extremely dense walls or many other obstructions.

Included is the main router and two external beacons. They all look very flashy, and the primary router even has a full color LCD touch screen to get the time, date, Internet speed, IP address and current performance speed.

Like the others, a mobile application is included that allows you to manipulate and monitor your network. Guest access is a highlight here, allowing you to create a guest network that has expired.

There is a USB port on the back of the unit, but it does not appear to be active. Which means that a NAS is your solution for Time Machine support.

The Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi system is available on Amazon and B & H Photo for $ 329.99 with free shipping.

Google WiFi

  Google WiFi System

As Apple exits the router market, Google has been making important advances. They first partnered with other manufacturers for a line of routers before launching their own Google Wi-Fi system. The routers look modern and elegant, and like the others, they come in pure white.

Each "Wi-Fi Point" is capable of covering up to 1,500 square feet of your home. They lack USB ports, so you can not connect any USB storage or other peripherals, which may be inconvenient for some.

The Google application allows you to configure it quickly and easily, with another simplified design. The lack of USB ports means that this is another mesh router that depends on the NAS for backup copies.

Amazon has Google's Wi-Fi system (set of 3) available for $ 258.97. B & H Photo also stores the 3 pack for $ 258.99 with free expedited shipping to the US. UU Contiguous The retailer will not collect sales taxes on orders shipped outside of New York and New Jersey as well (residents of Colorado and Vermont, see here).

Netgear Orbi

  Netgear Orbi Whole Home WiFi

There are many admirers of the Netgear Orbi routers, although when we tried them, they had a lot of problems. Namely, slow Internet speeds that we do not experience with other routers. Since then, multiple updates to the devices and positive reviews have been issued since the first problems could indicate that these problems have been eliminated since then.

They have an impressive list of specifications with tri-band support, MU-MIMO, six antennas for 5,000 feet of coverage and a litany of ports. In the main router there are three Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port and one USB 2.0. The satellite beacon has its own four Gigabit Ethernet ports and an additional USB 2.0 port for more peripherals. Unfortunately, the USB port at this time only supports printers with ReadyShare and no hard drives. Then, if a Time Machine backup is needed, consider a NAS option.

They are available on Amazon for $ 291.99 with free shipping.

Netgear Nighthawk AC2300

  Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 Router

When looking for individual routers, one of the most powerful is the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300. This router works well under heavy loads and can be amazing for the players. Everything can be configured through a web interface with all the functions that is easy for beginners and professionals.

One thing that we liked is the ability to prioritize traffic in two different ways. Outbound traffic can be prioritized for games, while incoming traffic can be prioritized for video streaming.

One disadvantage is that it is just a dual-band router, which may not work well in crowded environments such as apartment buildings in the city. Fortunately, the USB port can be used for a hard drive, so both USB storage and NAS work for Time Machine.

Amazon currently has the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 on sale for $ 167.99, a $ 32 discount from MSRP.

Synology RT-2600ac

  Synology RT2600ac Router

This dual-band router supports MU-MIMO like others and can even function as a Time Machine backup. Simply connect your storage to the back of the router and it's set to go.

It also has built-in content control and parental control. VPN Plus allows RT2600ac to function as a powerful VPN server, which can provide even more secure access.

The back of Synology RT-2600ac has a USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port and even an SD card reader that is something we do not normally see in routers.

You can find the Synology RT-2600ac on Amazon for $ 194.99.

Netgear Nighthawk AD7200

  Netgear Nighthawk AD7200 Router

This is a powerful router that not only supports 802.11ac but also 802.11ad wireless. Around the back there are 7 LAN ports and 1 WAN port that reduce the need for an additional Ethernet switch.

With incredibly fast speeds and MU-MIMO support, this is a great router if you are looking for a secure future network. Netgear does not explicitly mention the support of Time Machine, so proceed with caution.

Retail for $ 449.99, Amazon currently has the AD7200 on sale for $ 377.84 with free shipping, a discount of $ 72.

Asus RT-AC3200 [19659008] Router Asus RT-AC3200 "height = "372" class = "lazy" data-original = "https://apple.insidercdn.com/gallery/25830-35807-asus_rt-ac3200_a_1831_0-l.jpg" />

This three-band router has a performance Although it is expensive, there are many useful functions.

If you connect a flash drive or other USB storage device to the back of the RT-AC3200, you can access those files from anywhere. Asus AiCloud or a web browser, but that is a very useful feature to have at your disposal.

It also acts as your own security software, known as AiProtection, it will detect any infected device in your network and prevent you from stealing information also blocks the malicious website known gone and constantly running security checks.

Although the Asus RT-AC3200 has a cost of $ 279.99, it currently has a discount of 32 percent on Amazon, lowering the price to $ 191.19.

You get what you pay for [19659064] The routers really vary in their performance and abilities. Like everything else, you get what you pay for.

Apple's routers have never been the fastest in general, but they have always been reliable and highly recommended. The opportune moment for Apple to leave the AirPort line is that we are seeing a rebirth in the home network market with many new independent and mesh systems that are coming to market.

Many routers are available for less than $ 100, but these are rarely reliable. Especially with frightening security feats like KRACK that would largely not be fixed in these budget devices.

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