Apple Airport alternatives


Glad to hear your success with Eero; it inspires confidence.
Interesting bundles…I already have 1Password and a 3 year subscription to NordVPN (which has caused problems, but that is another story) and use the free version of Malwarebytes.
Thank you.


Time Capsule - thanks for clarifying. One step at a time - Eero first, then a new back up system. Good to get confirmation about solving my problem.


2-3 years usable lifetime for WiFi in consumer routers has been my experience as well - across multiple brands. I’m reading this thread because the WiFi is failing on yet another ISP-provided router (Technicolor in this case, Actiontec before that, and I forget before that one). Router failure is also the number one reason that I get support calls from neighbors.

I hope that it’s better for dedicated WiFi gear.

I’ve also had this experience on gigabit hubs, although in that case it’s usually more like 5-6 years.


What actually might cause the failure after the timeframes you mention is the power supply. Those are still the weakest links.


I have a whole house Airport Network that is slowly aging out. Fios from the box on cat 5 to AirPort Extreme in office. Everything on this side of house hardwired in office. Hardwired Time Machine in center of house was acting as wireless to blanket that side of the house as well as hardwire junction point for HTPC in den. About 6 months ago the hd in the Time Capsule started aging out and I started thinking about updating my network. I tried Eero and while they were extremely easy to setup - I didn’t find it offered any advantage over my current airport wired/wireless network. Took the Eero back. About 3 months ago I saw a sale on the AmplifiHD so I decided to try it fully we’ll expecting it to go back as well. Three months later the AmplifiHD is still here and doing all the heavy wireless lifting in the house so I guess I’m keeping it. Absolutely ZERO issues with wireless in last few months (although my network has always been pretty stable). The AirPort Extreme is still the first box the Fios hits when it enters the house and it currently handles DNS, routing, firewall etc for the whole house. I have been thinking about transitioning to using only the AmplifiHD HD but have yet found the time to implement it. Not currently sure how to easily get the hardwired signal from the fios input to the center of the house where the main Amplifi Unit is located. All in all though I have been very happy with the Amplifi HD setup for wireless.

FWIW - high traffic household, 2 teens, 1 preteen, multiple personal devices, desktops, and IOT devices.


I bought a flock of HomePods via the various holiday sales (they really are like tribbles). They ended up exposing some weaknesses in my existing WiFi network. I ended up going with three Eeros, each connected via wired Ethernet to provide a link back to the router. This is probably massive overkill in my 2-bedroom apartment, but it completely solved all of my connectivity issues.


Decided to throw my AirPort Extreme out of the window.

Measured speed of the AirPort Extreme (with iperf3, MBP15 to wired Mac mini):

Connecting to host macmini.local, port 5201
[ 7] local mbp.local port 49961 connected to macmini.local port 5201
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bitrate
[ 7] 0.00-1.00 sec 14.1 MBytes 119 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 1.00-2.00 sec 15.9 MBytes 133 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 2.00-3.00 sec 17.7 MBytes 148 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 3.00-4.00 sec 17.5 MBytes 147 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 4.00-5.00 sec 16.1 MBytes 135 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 5.00-6.00 sec 14.5 MBytes 121 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 6.00-7.00 sec 9.35 MBytes 78.4 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 7.00-8.00 sec 4.36 MBytes 36.5 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 8.00-9.00 sec 2.96 MBytes 24.9 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 9.00-10.00 sec 817 KBytes 6.67 Mbits/sec

[ ID] Interval Transfer Bitrate
[ 7] 0.00-10.00 sec 113 MBytes 94.9 Mbits/sec sender
[ 7] 0.00-10.03 sec 113 MBytes 94.7 Mbits/sec receiver

iperf Done.

Got a Synology RT2600:

Connecting to host macmini.local, port 5201
[ 7] local fe80::145f:3139:b355:1ea3 port 59233 connected to fe80::18c9:b755:f48a:c5e0 port 5201
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bitrate
[ 7] 0.00-1.00 sec 70.1 MBytes 588 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 1.00-2.00 sec 73.8 MBytes 619 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 2.00-3.00 sec 74.2 MBytes 622 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 3.00-4.00 sec 75.2 MBytes 631 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 4.00-5.00 sec 71.9 MBytes 604 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 5.00-6.00 sec 67.6 MBytes 567 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 6.00-7.00 sec 73.9 MBytes 620 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 7.00-8.00 sec 73.6 MBytes 617 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 8.00-9.00 sec 39.2 MBytes 328 Mbits/sec
[ 7] 9.00-10.00 sec 12.1 MBytes 101 Mbits/sec

[ ID] Interval Transfer Bitrate
[ 7] 0.00-10.00 sec 632 MBytes 530 Mbits/sec sender
[ 7] 0.00-10.01 sec 631 MBytes 529 Mbits/sec receiver


I replaced my AirPort Extreme with a Netgear Orbi system (Main unit and two satellites) about thee years ago. For about a year and a half Netgear have been releasing solid firmware updates, so it’s been a great + solid experience since then.

The reason I chose Orbi it was speed - it’s a mesh ‘type’ system, but the performance using the dedicated backhaul is the fastest overall still I believe. I am also amazed how far one of the satellites in particular reaches with a solid backhaul connection and still get fast performance.

The other system I’d now look at is the Eero 2nd Generation - super easy set-up (plus their plus security system if you want to pay for that), but not quite as fast as Orbi still I believe, but still fast!


If you’re looking for ease of use and speed at close to Orbi’s take a look at Plume’s 2nd-gen ‘Superpods’. They’re getting rave reviews. Dave Hamilton from MacObserver/MacGeekGab said recently that his two favorite home mesh hardware units are eero and Plume. Some info:


That Synology is the top recommendation by Dave Hamilton (of MacObserver/MacGeekGab) for a non-mesh router.

I’ve set up a couple of Synology NASes for friends - simple, powerful. The naming scheme for their models seems opaque but there are some basic rules to understand the model differences. QNAP is generally considered equivalent in quality, but the installable apps for Synology beat everything else in the consumer market.

I was never a fan of Drobo. I know too many people who have had issues over the years, and the biggest fan of it I know still had to send his in for repairs.

(I don’t use a NAS.)


I own two of them. Not a fan.