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Are Apple’s Airport Base Stations Dead? How Do We Go Forward?

A customer wrote in recently, asking for Glenn’s take on the state of Apple base station line, and wondering how to go forward with improving his home network. Here’s what Glenn had to say:

We don’t have a great set of answers yet, partly because Apple hasn’t officially canceled its products. A lot of people like some of the new mesh networking systems, but they can be a steep investment ($300 to $500 to equip a home), and I expect prices will drop significantly this year due to competition among established companies and startups.

As long as your Wi-Fi hardware keeps working, don’t upgrade! And you can swap in third-party routers that are similar, but about 50% as expensive as Apple’s, if one of them fails. I like the TP-Link Archer C7 (not C8) and bought one for about $90 to replace a dead AirPort Extreme 802.11ac model. It’s worked perfectly and has required almost no administration after setup.

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)