Apple should return to making modern AirPort Wi-Fi routers

With its renewed attention on the Mac, Apple should return to making modern AirPort Wi-Fi routers, Bloomberg News’ Mark Gurman writes.

Apple's AirPort Extreme
Apple’s AirPort Extreme

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

Five years ago, Apple Inc.’s Mac business was a mess.

The MacBook Pro dropped key ports, added a confusing Touch Bar and sacrificed performance in favor of a thin design. The Mac Pro was a disaster for professional users, and key models such as the Mac mini and MacBook Air hadn’t been updated in years. Just as worrisome was Apple backing away from its Mac peripherals: The company stopped making external monitors and Wi-Fi routers.

The story today couldn’t be more different…

Now, I think Apple should go all-in and return to making wireless routers…

When you navigate to Apple’s old AirPort website, you’re referred to three Linksys mesh routers with HomeKit support that Apple sells on its online store. It doesn’t have to be this way. Apple should develop a modern mesh network version of the AirPort Extreme.

MacDailyNews Take: This is funny, as we’re currently in the market for a Wi-Fi router to replace a relative’s very aged AirPort Extreme. We wish we had an Apple option, too!

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      1. I replaced my Airport Extremes with Synology units at home and my two offices. They are a bit more complicated, but a normal person can figure them out. The Synology units also make a great mesh system which I set up at one of my office.

        I got hooked on Synology when I needed to replace my old cheese-grater Mac Pro that we used as a server in my office. The Synology NAS has turned out to be a far more capable system for server storage than the Mac Pro with Mac server software.

  1. I miss my Airport. Had to replace my Time Capsule that died with an Eero mesh system. Eero isn’t bad at all, but I would have preferred and Apple system.

    1. I was a die hard Airports fan but at some point they just couldn’t support my needs. I too ended up going with the Eero because of the “mesh” capabilities and speeds. With 900 Mbps Eero 6 and 550 Mbps on the extenders, even the most recent Airports could not compete. Plus, the ease of setting up, monitoring, and overall user experience was something Apple would envy. Maybe the quicker solution would be for Apple to buy Eero…….

        1. Well there is something I didn’t know. That does creep me out a little but unless Apple was to provide a different solution, I guess I’ll be keeping it.

  2. I had an Airport Extreme blitzed by a lighting strike. Of course I purchased another off ebay. When my MIL needed a router for her apt, I bought a used AE. Mine is in the rafters of our 110yr old homes basement and covers the whole home out to the alley in the back and nearly the sidewalk in front and up to the second floor. What more can I need?

  3. Maybe someone can help me out here.

    The main advantage to mesh (I was told) is the wireless communication between the radios, which doesn’t slowdown throughput.

    If your old Airport Extremes are on a wired network, would that not be as well?

    I currently have AT&T’s 1 gig service with wireless 802.11AC and wired extender. It’s range and speed aren’t that bad, but they aren’t amazing.

    I still have the original Netgear Orbi tri-band that worked well in a huge house I rented that wasn’t wired and may decide to use these again since there are three radios. which helps as switches for music gear. BUUUUUTT…….

    The house I now own is wired so I am considering using the two last Gen Extremes I have, 1 upstairs one down with a separate 5Ghz network (which I miss). Any thoughts???

    1. Most wireless router vendors seem to be having a competition to see who can make the ugliest devices. Kind of like when electric and hybrid cars were having a similar competition several years ago.

  4. Still on my AirPort Extreme, refitted with an internal 8 gig hard drive. All my movies, etc., on it, use it as a wireless content server along with macOS, tvOS and iOS versions of VLC. All devices stream all movies wirelessly at home, no hiccups. Backs up 3 computers, dump other files there as well. Wish Apple would go back to making routers, too.

  5. There seem to be a sufficient number of excellent routers already extant (perhaps too many). What I need are replacement/updated Airport Express Wi-Fi Portals to enable me to Airplay music from my iPad, iPod, and iPhone into my older receivers/sound systems that have no wi-fi connectivity.

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