There are dozens of wireless routers in the retailers’ electronics departments that infamously claim to be “Mac compatible.” If you or one of your friends has ever purchased one of these routers, they either own a PC or know that compatible is used quite loosely. So what router should you buy if you have a Mac and don’t want to find out what “Mac compatible” means? Check out these three products by Apple:
Apple AirPort Extreme
Admittedly this is not the cheapest router on the market, but it syncs beautifully with Macs and has additional features that make it a top pick. The AirPort Extreme meets most users’ needs working with 802.11n and 802.11a/b/g connections. It also features 2.4GHz/5GHz operation to keep newer machines and older machines working separately allowing for full internet speed to be reached every time. Guest networking for up to 50 simultaneous connections and hard drive sharing capabilities deliver more functionality for those who do more than simply surf the web. Some may find having only three Ethernet LAN ports to be a drawback, but for a strong Macs-Only connection with enhanced features, the AirPort Extreme is the clear choice.
Apple AirPort Express
Staying on the runway and sticking with the Apple theme is the AirPort Express. This router is significantly cheaper than AirPort Extreme. Designed for simpler use, this router has no Ethernet ports, but can still connect up to 10 users. A favored feature of the Express is the ease of wireless printing which involves simply connecting the printer to the router. Though it is an 802.11n router, it still has backwards compatibility for those who use an 802.11a/b/g connection. A fun feature of the Express is the AirPlay function. This allows users to stream their iTunes library to any stereo or speaker system in their home. No longer will you have to balance your laptop in the living room or burn a bunch of CDs to access all of your music and playlists.
Apple Time Capsule MC343LL/A 1TB
The Time Capsule is a pricey piece of Apple equipment, but it offers much more than a wireless connection. This router is very similar to the AirPort Extreme, but has also incorporated a 1TB hard drive which can be upgraded to 2TB if you have a monster of an iTunes library. The Ethernet ports, backwards compatibility and 802.11n connection from the Extreme have all made the transition to the Time Capsule. Your files are backed up automatically, so if you are plagued with a crash or nasty virus, your files will have been saved without any manual work. Though you could probably save money by purchasing an external hard drive and combining it with the less expensive, AirPort Express, those who are looking for an all-in-one solution are likely to fall in love with the Time Capsule.
If you’re a Mac owner, it’s better to keep it in the family than risk your internet connection on a “Mac compatible” router. Though you can usually get those routers a bit cheaper, they were designed with PCs in mind. For peace of mind, choose a router that was designed for you, then surf, shop, download, and email frustration and worry free.
Guest article written by: Katie Campbell is a Computers Expert for Bestcovery.com where she seeks to help discover the best of everything. She is a dedicated Mac convert and hasn’t missed her PC since she made the switch. She is interested in a variety of computer topics including the best wireless router for Mac computers.
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