If you want to buy or upgrade your AirPort router, you may be surprised to find that the product has been abandoned by Apple. Fortunately, there are many powerful replacements for the AirPort.
Apple AirPort is a modern, reputed router that looks great and works as it should. Unfortunately, he was arrested. And with the rise of Wi-Fi mesh systems and gigabit routers overpowered, a slightly obsolete AirPort (but surprisingly expensive) may no longer be worth your time.
The disappearance of AirPort is disappointing, but Apple does not leave its fans in the water. After announcing the death of the AirPort, Apple has released a support page that explains how to find the perfect alternative for AirPort. They explain that the company’s products work best with MIMO or MU-MIMO routers that support the IEEE 802.11ac standard and simultaneous dual-band connections. In simple terms, Apple products work well with relatively expensive modern routers.
Of course, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a good router and a bad router, especially if you do not know anything about the router’s specifications. That’s why we took the time to find direct alternatives to the AirPort router. All of these routers meet Apple’s AirPort specifications, and some of them are actually Wi-Fi mesh systems that ensure easy coverage throughout the home.
Linksys Velop Wi-Fi Mesh System ($ 262)
If you are looking for a router that looks like AirPort, you need to find out about the Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi system. In fact, Apple sells the Linksys Velop on its website as a direct alternative to the AirPort router, and for good reason. It has the same Wi-Fi standards as the AirPort, but each beacon has a range of 1500 feet.
Like the Apple AirPort, the Linksys Velop is very easy to configure. You connect a tag to your modem and then plug the other two into power outlets in the house. Each beacon transmits a high-speed Wi-Fi signal and you can use the Ethernet port of any beacon around your home (even if it is not plugged into your modem).
Google Mesh Wi-Fi System ($ 260)
Google Wi-Fi is one of our favorite Wi-Fi mesh systems. It’s easy to install (and forget about), but it’s also open to a lot of DIY and customization. And since the Google Wi-Fi Hub has a range of 1500 feet, you can expect your home to be fully covered. Google Wi-Fi is also open to the Google Assistant ecosystem, which is fine if you have a lot of Smarthome products integrated into your home.
Google’s Wi-Fi complies with the same standards as Apple’s AirPort. So you do not have to worry about low speeds or connectivity issues. And because it’s a mesh Wi-Fi system, you can use it to bring reliable Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity to any room in your home. In addition to being an AirPort alternative, Google Wi-Fi is a great replacement for your obsolete Apple router.
Eero Home Mesh Wi-Fi System ($ 400)
If you are a fan of Amazon smarthome products, you should consider the eero Home mesh WiFi system as an alternative to AirPort. Amazon bought eero earlier this year and the company has been working to integrate eero routers into the Alexa ecosystem. It’s a great device for those who wish to activate parental control with a simple voice command.
The eero mesh Wi-Fi system complies with Apple’s Wi-Fi standards and each eero tag has a range of 1500 feet. Because it’s a mesh Wi-Fi system, you can expect the eero to deliver reliable signals and Ethernet connectivity to any room in your home.
NETGEAR N900 Router with 2 TB of Integrated Storage ($ 215)
If you are looking for an alternative to Airport that can function as an Airport Time Capsule, you should inquire about the NETGEAR N900 router. The AirPort Time Capsule was essentially an AirPort router with built-in network storage. It’s a great device for people who work at home, like graphic designers or writers, or for people who want to have remote storage without having to pay for a cloud service.
The N9000 comes with 2TB of built-in storage, so you can use it as a NAS immediately. If 2 TB is not enough, you can always upgrade the external storage or connect an external drive via USB. The NETGEAR N900 complies with Apple’s AirPort standards and works perfectly as a Time Capsule replacement. That said, it’s not a Wi-Fi mesh system (of course, the AirPort is not synonymous). If you want a consistent home-wide connection with NAS features, you can link a Wi-Fi mesh system such as Google Wi-Fi to a NAS product such as Synology DiscStation.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Router ($ 388)
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is a popular and powerful router. This is a great alternative to AirPort, especially if you need a fast router, ready to be used by the players. It’s not a Wi-Fi mesh router, but its four antennas emit a signal that can cover even the largest houses. In addition, it is built with dynamic QoS software that can automatically prioritize bandwidth allocation for different devices. In other words, your Kindle update will not smother your Fortnite connection.
Because NETGEAR Nighthawk has a gigabit connection port, it is an ideal router for gamers and geeks using an Ethernet connection. That said, the Nighthawk costs about the same price as some high quality Wi-Fi mesh systems. If you’re more interested in Wi-Fi connectivity than wired connections, you should consider getting a Wi-Fi mesh system.
Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 MU-MIMO Router ($ 144)
If you are looking for a powerful and easy-to-use AirPort alternative, you should find out about the Linksys Max-Stream AC2200. The AC2200 can prioritize bandwidth allocation for different devices, making it an excellent gaming router. And while it’s not a mesh Wi-Fi system, it emits a powerful signal that can easily cover a big house.
Like the NETGEAR Nighthawk, the Linksys AC2200 has a gigabit connection port. This makes it ideal for people who want to make the most of an Ethernet connection to play or download large files.