Best Routers for Apple in 2022

Justin Caldwell Profile image

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Updated July 30, 2022

The best router for Apple products is one that’s compatible with the macOS and iOS operating systems. Many of them are simply the best router because they’re compatible with all operating systems, no matter which one you use. They’re built with quality materials, making them sturdy and long-lasting. They can support internet speeds up to 1 Gbps, meaning you get a faster connection for longer.

Apple routers offer a streamlined appearance, optimum performance, and easy initial setup for those who use Apple products daily and want to get the most out of their device’s internet connection. However, many routers for Apple products are more expensive than other routers that don’t support AC Wi-Fi technology, so they’re not ideal for those who want an affordable price.

Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about routers for Apple products.

Top Routers for Apple

 #1  NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS Router

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model provides an incredible wireless range and Gigabit speeds for users needing a consistent house-wide signal with minimal bandwidth spikes or dead zones. Additionally, this model offers multiple Ethernet ports and support for numerous simultaneous connections.

Pros
  • Easy setup
  • Great signal range
  • Four Ethernet ports
Cons
  • Sub-par web app

The NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS router is an excellent pick for users wanting an expansive Wi-Fi range and high-quality network optimization. This model offers tri-band Wi-Fi with two high-speed 5GHz signals for streaming HD video or playing games. Additionally, this model provides a slower 2.4GHz band for smart home connectivity and devices like printers or network bridges. While the web app isn’t very responsive, users will love the dedicated Orbi app for monitoring their network and activating the parental controls.

In addition to the strong wireless range and network optimization, the NETGEAR RBK852-100NAS router provides a user-friendly path to a stable mesh network. This model covers up to 5000 sq. ft. and delivers up to 6Gbps over Wi-Fi. Additionally, users will love the Orbi app, which grants access to advanced network tools like network monitoring, Smart Parental Controls, and device prioritization. Lastly, this model offers four Gigabit Ethernet ports on every unit of the mesh network.

 #2  ASUS CMAX6000 Router

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features the latest Wi-Fi standard so users can have numerous connectivity options with excellent browsing speeds. Users will love the network prioritization feature and multi-frequency connectivity, making it easy to attain lag-free gaming and streaming.

Pros
  • Impressive speed
  • Combo unit
  • Dual-band connectivity
Cons
  • No dedicated mobile app

The ASUS CMAX6000 router is a compelling option for users looking for a clean and modern solution for house-wide high-speed internet. This modem-router combo delivers a more pristine look than multi-unit internet setups, and the embedded Wi-Fi antenna helps the unit fit inconvenient places. Additionally, this model offers the latest Wi-Fi protocol, Wi-Fi 6, so users can enjoy excellent network efficiency, even during peak usage. While there isn’t a dedicated mobile app, this model’s web interface offers a user-friendly avenue to network control.

In addition to a clean look and the latest Wi-Fi protocol, the ASUS CMAX6000 router provides comprehensive coverage for a multistory home or mid-sized office space. This model provides up to 6000 Mbps across the entire network, so multi-user homes can enjoy streaming 4K content, playing online games, and working from home without suffering from network congestion or lag. Lastly, this unit features efficient passive cooling so users can focus on work or play without being distracted by a loud fan.

 #3  TP-Link Archer AX6000 Router

Award: BEST FOR SMART HOMES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This high-performance unit features a robust wire-free signal and numerous Ethernet connections for a shared workspace or gamer-centric setup. Additionally, this model provides enhanced network efficiency and exceeds the bandwidth limits of most internet plans.

Pros
  • Strong connectivity options
  • Powerful processor
  • 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Cons
  • Limited router software

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 router features a stunning design and delivers up to 6Gbps for users needing next-level performance for an interconnected smart home or gamer-centric home network. This model features an incredible device capacity, so users can connect all their wireless devices without worrying about overloading the router or suffering from lag. Additionally, this model features BSS color technology to mitigate interference and maximize available connections. While the router’s software is limited, users will love the TP-Link HomeCare compatibility that ensures simple network security.

In addition to an incredible maximum bandwidth and great wireless range, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 router offers 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports so users can experience outstanding speeds for important video conferences or gaming sessions. This unit provides a powerful processor to minimize network latency and allow for numerous simultaneous connections. Additionally, users will love the HomeCare app that ensures network security and active parental controls. With the app, users can limit device time, grant temporary guest access, and filter webpages and even video content from their network.

 #4  Amazon eero Pro Router

Award: BEST FOR A SIMPLE SETUP

WHY WE LIKE IT: This impressive model offers excellent wireless speeds and a user-friendly app for an easy initial setup. Additionally, this model delivers tri-band connectivity so users can organize their network and mitigate annoying internet lag and signal drops during streaming shows or gaming sessions.

Pros
  • Easy setup
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi
  • Strong wireless range
Cons
  • Networking options lack depth

The Amazon eero Pro router is a stellar pick for users needing rock-solid performance with a worry-free setup for most networking experience levels. This tri-band Wi-Fi device delivers an incredible wireless range that is big enough for a 5+ bedroom home so that users can perform bandwidth-intensive tasks, even from a basement or attic office. Additionally, this model stays up-to-date with automatic updates that keep your network and devices safe from viruses and hackers. While the networking options lack depth for experienced users, users will love the Apple HomeKit compatibility.

In addition to fantastic wireless range and speed, the Amazon eero Pro router delivers a kit that easily fits most rooms thanks to a modern look with minimal wires. Users will love the eero app that grants them advanced options that only require a few button presses to operate. The app lets users monitor their Wi-Fi status and coverage area. Additionally, users can pause internet access to kid’s devices, monitor network activity, and set Wi-Fi schedules that keep users focused on homework or in bed at appropriate hours.

 #5  Linksys EA8300 Router

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: BEST FOR ENTERTAINMENT

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is ideal for online entertainment like competitive online games or watching hours of HD content without interruptions or lag. This unit offers a robust wireless range and an impressive integrated app that ensures total control of your networking environment.

Pros
  • Great mobile app
  • 2000 sq. ft. range
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi
Cons
  • Sub-par stability

The Linksys EA8300 router provides a decent wireless range and excellent connectivity options for users needing high-quality internet for their office or home network. This model delivers tri-band Wi-Fi so users can easily optimize their network by assigning specific devices to the 2.4GHz band or multiple 5GHz bands. Additionally, this model offers 20+ simultaneous connections without lag thanks to the powerful processor. While the 2.4GHz band lacks stability, users will love the 2000 sq. ft. range for the ultra-fast 5GHz frequencies.

In addition to tri-band connectivity and an extended wireless range, the Linksys EA8300 router features cutting-edge MU-MIMO technology for communicating with multiple devices without limiting their bandwidth performance. Rather than casting a wide dispersed wireless signal, this model utilizes beamforming technology to focus internet signals directly to the devices on your network. Additionally, users will love the Linksys App that lets users grant temporary guest access, monitor network activity, and refine parental controls.

 #6  NETGEAR R6700-100NAS Router

Award: BEST FOR OFFICES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model features an impressive range and gigabit internet support so users can access the web or communicate with friends in a device-rich household or high-pace workspace. Additionally, users will love the dedicated app for monitoring their network and fine-tuning parental controls.

Pros
  • Strong safety features
  • Simple network management
  • Quick initial setup
Cons
  • Takes up space

The NETGEAR R6700-100NAS router delivers up to 1750Mbps over Wi-Fi and up to 1500 sq. ft. of coverage for users needing high-speed internet for a mid-sized home or shared workspace. This router utilizes dual-band Wi-Fi for enhanced network optimization and user-friendly device organization between 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. Additionally, the beamforming technology ensures a robust wireless connection, even at the edges of coverage. This model is large, so users will need a big enough spot with good ventilation, so the unit doesn’t overheat.

In addition to dual-band connectivity and beamforming technology, the NETGEAR R6700-100NAS router delivers 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for a stable wired connection for important remote work meetings or pro-level gaming sessions. This router can support up to 25 simultaneous connections between the dual frequencies with minimal interference and optimized speeds. Lastly, the Nighthawk App makes setup simple and allows users to activate their high-speed network within 5 minutes.

Beginner’s Guide to Routers for Apple

What is a Router for Apple?

A router for Apple products is a device that allows multiple computers and Wi-Fi devices connected to the internet through a single connection. The router receives the information from the internet and sends it to your computer, phone, or other wireless devices. You can also enable guest access to keep your network private.

A wifi router can also be used to increase the signal strength and performance of a wireless network, so your devices have a stronger connection. Apple products use the Wireless AC protocol, routers for Apple feature fast AC Wi-Fi wireless speed. If you already have an older router, it may be wise to upgrade your router if you’re planning to buy a new Apple laptop or phone.

Manufacturers that produce routers compatible with Apple products include NETGEAR, with the NETGEAR Nighthawk and NETGEAR Armor; Linksys, with the Linksys EA7500 dual-band wi-fi router; Amazon, with the Amazon Eero mesh router; and TP-Link, with the TP-Link Archer AX6000. Many of these have multiple antennas to increase internet access for connected devices, and they have a simple setup with parental controls, USB ports, and more.

Router for Apple vs Traditional Routers

For the most part, routers for Apple aren’t that much different from traditional routers. You can see this with our comparison mashup of the Airport Extreme vs Airport Express. They both receive and send information on the internet, and handle security by blocking connections that seem suspicious. Top routers for Apple also offer security standard features that help you keep your network safe using network security settings. This ensures that your network environment is suitable for anyone using it.

The best router for Apple devices is compatible with all operating systems, and not only Apple products. They also have faster transfer rates than the traditional 802.11 wireless standard, which is perfect for a great gaming router for PS4. This is because they use Wireless AC technology, which can support speeds of 1 Gbps, although your ISP might not support this internet speed. A router for Apple is a very powerful router.

Most routers support the 2.4 GHz band, but many also support the 5 GHz band, which is an important distinction. You’ll find a dual-band router that supports both, so you can get excellent performance, quality of service, and a better Wi-Fi signal if you choose the right one for you. You may even want to be on the lookout for a tri-band router or WiFi mesh system for Apple.

It’s also important to choose the best router for Frontier Fios if you subscribe to their gigabit internet or any other high-speed internet service provider. You’ll want to do the same if you get a router for Google Fiber.

How Routers for Apple Work

Routers for Apple are essentially computers, so they have similar hardware to PCs. They have processors, software, memory, and networking abilities. They are often combined with storage devices called NAS servers.

The router is connected to the internet through a modem. The modem does not allow you to connect any devices directly to it (unless you have a modem-router), so the router is used to send information between your devices and the Wi-Fi network.

A router’s job is to keep all of your devices connected seamlessly, without any disconnections, regardless of network congestion. It passes along data to other computers on the network by identifying where it came from, then sending it to that computer or phone through your internet provider.

Many of these routers will contain external antennas in addition to internal antennas, which can enhance your maximum speed and feet of coverage. This is convenient for playing games or streaming on your smart devices. Having a 1 gigabit ethernet port for wired connections also helps with connectivity when you don’t have the strongest signal.

While routers for Apple products run AC Wi-Fi, not all routers do. If you have a router that doesn’t support this type of wifi, you need to buy an AC Wi-Fi wireless adapter to use with your phone or laptop.

Why Should You Buy a Router for Apple?

If you don’t already have a router for Apple, but you use Apple devices, invest in an upgrade so you experience the fastest connection and extended coverage. You may also need to upgrade your devices to the latest version of your operating system to ensure they work properly and perform at the fastest speeds with your new router.

Are Routers for Apple Worth Buying?

  • They offer a fast connection: Wireless AC routers can support speeds of up to 1 Gbps to help combat network traffic. These are even the best routers for 200Mbps internet, simply because they can process your transactions quickly, maximizing your experience.
  • They’re compatible with all operating systems: They run the 802.11ac protocol, which is backward-compatible with older operating systems like Windows XP and macOS X 10.8+. Even if you have people in your family or friends who don’t use Apple products, your router will still work for them.
  • They support storage devices: If you use an Apple TV, this means your router will be compatible with it. You can experience fast internet on every device without worrying about whether your router can handle the load.
  • They last longer: Apple products tend to have a longer lifespan than PCs, so a router for Apple is an investment that will be worth the money to ensure that your Apple devices run smoothly for their entire usable life.
  • They allow you to use voice control: As long as you connect your smart home device to your router, you can configure it to use voice controls for all of your other smart home items, making life simpler and easier for you.

Why a Router for Apple Might Not be for You

  • They can be expensive: Compared to regular routers, they’re pricier. Depending on your budget and how often you buy Apple products, this might not be something you can afford.
  • They may not support all operating systems out of the box: If you have a Windows phone or laptop, you need an excellent router that supports the 802.11 b/g/n protocols for it to work. While you can connect all devices to the same router, you have to configure your wireless settings properly on each device.
  • They don’t have as much range: Because they use a lot of power to support fast speeds, internet routers for Apple products tend to only cover 1,500-2,459 square feet. In comparison, traditional routers can easily reach 3,000-3,500 square feet.
  • They’re bigger and heavier: You don’t want it to take up too much space in your home or office, so you have to find a router for Apple that fits. You also need to make sure they’re kept away from large appliances, which can interfere with their signal.

How Long Will a Router for Apple Last?

You can’t predict exactly how long your router lasts because there are several factors that contribute to its decline. On average, a router will last up to 5 years, but technology changes rapidly. As such, you may want to upgrade your router before it dies, simply because advancements in technology dictate it. This means that it will probably last longer than your PC.

How often you use it has a big impact. If you use it non-stop throughout the day, you’ll need to replace your router more often than if you only use it occasionally. If it’s used frequently but not for long periods of time, the router will last longer because there are fewer opportunities for wear and tear on its components.

Where you position your router in relation to other products can also make a big difference in how long it lasts. Large appliances like TVs and microwaves can interfere with routers, so you might need to keep yours further away from them.

How to Choose a Router for Apple

If you’re looking for a router for Apple products, there are a few things to consider. First, look for a router that supports 802.11 AC or AC3.0. Next, think about how many ports and what type of ports you may need for your devices. Also, consider which operating systems you want to support.

Finally, think about whether your location is a factor and how much use you’ll get out of your router.

Best Router for Apple Key Factors

1. What kind of wifi support should my router have?

If you’re going to be connecting your Apple products to the router, it needs to support 802.11 AC or AC3.0. You also need to make sure it supports 802.11 b/g/n protocols if you have Windows devices or laptops.

2. Do I want wired or wireless ports?

You need enough ports for all of your devices and any network storage that you might use. Wired ports are better than wireless ports because they’re more reliable and secure, but having both is ideal so you can connect your devices as they change.

You want a router with as many ports as necessary for your Apple products, plus some extra ports to support other devices like printers and external hard drives. It’s more convenient to have fewer cords running through your home or office than to have to switch up your devices all the time.

If you need to connect multiple devices, the more options the better. Look for a router that has at least one gigabit ethernet port so you can plug in an ethernet cable for a direct and reliable connection to the internet.

3. What operating systems should my router support?

Apple products usually only support Apple operating systems. Windows devices aren’t compatible with Apple routers unless they support both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Many routers for Apple products support Apple operating systems, but not all of them will support other operating systems like Windows. If you want to connect your Windows devices or laptops, look for a router that supports both operating systems.

4. Is the location of my router important?

Placing your router too far away from where you work or play can degrade its signals. If you’re using it for Apple products, place it close to where you use your Apple products most so the signal doesn’t become weak.

Ideally, your router will be centrally located with a clear line of sight for maximum access and coverage, meaning devices in any room will be able to reach it. If you can’t buy a router for Apple that’s centrally located, try to at least locate it where the signals won’t be disrupted by other appliances like microwaves or TVs.

You can increase the coverage of your standalone router by setting up a mesh network to expand the range. You may deal with decreased speed, but you’ll be able to connect mobile devices in the far reaches of your house for more control over your wi-fi connection, video streaming, and more.

5. Does it matter how I use my router?

If your Internet usage is sporadic, with long gaps in between processes, you’ll get more use out of your router than if you use it constantly. If you’re heavy on streaming or online gaming, those activities will cause your router to wear out more quickly.

If you work from home or host a lot of guests, your router will also get more use. Routers for Apple products last about 5 years, so if you’ll be using it heavily, think about buying a new one before your current model dies to avoid disruptions in service.

Best Router for Apple FAQs

Why did Apple stop making AirPort routers?

Their design and tech couldn't keep up with the increasing demands on wireless routers. Apple's tech became outdated over time, and they didn't want to continue buying and updating outdated products because it would be a waste of resources. If you already have an AirPort router, you can keep using it, but you won't be able to connect any additional Apple products to it. The router will remain functional for both Mac and Windows devices, but Apple devices won't be able to connect to it.

What Apple products support Wi-Fi 6?

The AirPort Time Capsule, AirPort Express, and AirPort Extreme are the only Apple routers that support Wi-Fi 6. However, if you have a wifi 6 router, there are plenty of Apple devices that you can connect to it, like the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, the 12-inch MacBook, the iPhone 5s or later generations, and even Apple TVs.

What about Apple's proprietary base station features?

Wi-Fi 6 base stations cannot support AirPlay 2, AirDrop, or any of Apple's other proprietary features. Apple is very protective of its base station capabilities because it has invested a lot into them. They're not just some regular wireless router you can buy on the shelves - they have specific settings that are only compatible with Apple products.

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6 is also known as Wi-Fi 802.11ax and has a spec number of 8064. It's the newest version of wireless technology that can connect up to 10 devices at once with faster speeds than previous versions. Apple makes routers that support this standard. If you want to be compatible with Apple's wireless tech, make sure you buy a router for apple devices that supports wifi 6.
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