Apple Airport alternatives


Would be nice to hear from the UK users…with our thick walls on our “small” apartments, most of these devices don’t work properly. I tried extenders and end keeping just my airport and blind spots… :grinning: any great solution out there??


True if you look at if from a short-term economical point of view.

But our network and internet connections are the backbone of the user experience. Without a good network, our Apple devices lose most of their functionality. The Apple Airport Extremes have proven to be very reliable and secure wireless routers that most users can set up and manage themselves.

For the enthusiast or professional the Airports are lacking features to play with. But are way beyond the skills of the average user. Just look at how much effort Eero and Google put into simplifying their Apps to manage their devices.

As for hardware quality, the consumer routers usually last 2-3 years before starting to fail. Apple Airports usually last 8 years (not the time capsule dough…). Of course, there are alway’s exceptions.


That’s complete nonsense and not based on any facts. Surely not true for the brands that I mentioned.


Of course, there are alway’s exceptions.


Ah the inclusion of 1Password for a family is a nice bonus to offset the $10 per month cost :slight_smile:
You should be able to connect a network switch to the LAN port of the Eero switch. I was able to connect a couple of ethernet devices to a Google WiFi puck.


I was wondering if anyone has had experience with any of these routers:

  1. Netgear R7000P Nighthawk
  2. Netgear (R7800-100NAS) Nighthawk X4S AC2600

I like the idea of a mesh network, but my 1350 sq/ft home probably doesn’t need it. I current use an Apple router that has worked very well for 7+ years, but I think it is time for an upgrade. Currently I have MacBook Pro; 4 iPhones; iPad Air 2; 2 XBox Ones and an internet connected TV.


R7000P appears to be a revision of the R7000 that I have, which works great for my 1000 square foot apartment.


Eero Gen 2 owner here. If you’re looking for the “Apple” of mesh networks, this it. I’m quite pleased with it. Set up is very easy through their app, but it’s not so simplified you miss out on things. One base and one beacon cover my 1,600 square foot, 2 story house. Due to electric outlet locations, our placement on the beacon isn’t optimal, but it still covers just fine.

I don’t subscribe to them, but with including one password and the extra parental controls, I could see where one might see the value in that and pay the monthly fee.


Thanks for letting us know, I will get my hands on a set one day soon.


I’ve recently installed a Netgear Orbi WiFi System (RBK50) AC3000 in my small(ish) but old (thick walled) UK flat. The Orbi is connected via ethernet to sky fibre modem/router (with wifi turned off). The fibre comes in through the bedroom (blurgh) so I have the sky modem in bedroom (hidden) and two Orbi satellites placed in not ideal locations. But they are out of the way and I have consistent 75mbps down, 18mbps up throughout the flat. (I also configured the Orbi router as a wireless access point to solve a double NAT issue.). It’s not a mesh system (technically is a star topology), and it certainly wasn’t cheap, but I have seamless connections throughout. Very happy (compared with old time capsule connected through powerline adaptors).

As a side note, I now have the time capsule connected directly to one of the satellites in bridge mode and have a couple of time machines backups running to that (working a treat).



I use the Netgear R7000 (without the P) as a Wifi Access Point since June 2015 and it works great for me. Sidenote: I run ddwrt instead of the stock firmware.


I’ve recently installed an Netgear Orbi with two satellites. Certainly in comparison with my AirPort Extreme with AirPort Express satellites, my new set up is much better. I used to see regular drop outs, whereas I don’t now, the range is greater and download and upload speed better. I’m on the same ISP. I looked around extensively and whilst I would have probably chosen a Eero, they are not available in the UK. The Orbi set up is good though… thanks


You mentioned that there’s no need to ditch the AirPort. What about the fact that Apple no longer supplies software and firmware updates? Is this a security issue?


I did not hear about Apple no longer pushing out updates.
More imporantly Apple Airports never have had a big vulrnerablility problem because they need the Airport Utility on the local network to controll them. Also you have to set a password as an admin while most other routers allow you to stick with the factory default.
Lastly since Apple Airports are only a small percentage of the internet routers. Its much mure lucrative for hackers to develop tools for the most popular models. Most of witch are running on the same software to begin with. Unless you are a hot target there is litte to be worried about.


Thanks. I assumed that they would end support on day 1, but I just found this on 9to5Mac from April:

Customers can still expect these products to be supported for years to come, but not indefinitely and new hardware revisions are not coming. Apple could always choose to reenter the market if it decides it can make a meaningful impact, but for now Apple is conceding the market to ISP-supplied routers and other third-party solutions.


I personally use unifi behind my AirPort Extreme . 2 unifi ap’s have solved my WiFi issues. The airport plus 1 unifi wasn’t cutting it.

I installed a netgear orbi at my in laws with good succes. The setup was fairly easy. It solved their coverage issue. The app is decent.

I’m excited to try out meraki I will be getting one of those soon.


That’s some pretty bad advice.


I have a 2-unit Netgear Orbi AC3000 RBK50 tri-band wifi system for my 2-plane 140 square meters house with a lot of concrete walls. Bought it because of recommendations from sites I trust on the net. Not cheap. It works OK with 100 Mbit/s download speed within a few metres but a connection that is sometimes a little unsteady initially and progessively slower speed as the distance increases. But it is still much better than the single router I had before.
One ethernet connection to the main Orbi unit, from the peripherally located internet modem.
The location of the two Orbi units was important and required some testing before it was acceptable.
I still consider buying a third unit to improve things (if possible).

With the above in mind, I still would recommend this system. But there are others.

I’m definitely not an expert. But based on my experiences and background reading, it feels like the ideal Mesh- or Mesh-like all-wifi system for homes has not been presented yet. Although the technology, with several units spread out, seems promising. Maybe in a few years…


2 units dont make a mesh, your success is based on the most reliable method of establishing a WiFi access points by connecting them with a ethernet cable.

This is not a citisism but just to make other readers aware that for a setup that you discribe one doesnt need to spend extra for a mesh
system :slight_smile:


Even when you’re not really running a mesh network you do get features with the mesh network products (such as the way they handle choosing between APs, handoffs between multiple APs, etc.) that provide a benefit over two non-mesh APs.