Best Wireless Routers for Mac Users

Apple Airport Express

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 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.

15 thoughts on “Best Wireless Routers for Mac Users”

  1. Nice post. I agree that the airport extreme is a good router. It is too bad that it is a bit on the expensive side. However, paying a little extra for something that works and causes little hassle can be worth it most times.

  2. wow that is a great news, I agree that the airport extreme is a good router. It is too bad that it is a bit on the expensive side.

  3. I think the premise of this article is flawed. All routers are compatible with any computer than has a standard wired/wireless ethernet connection. Yes if you buy and Apple router you get extra Apple features, but any router should get you on the Internet just fine. BTW some people have nothing but problems with the Airport Xtreme so I’m not convinced of its superiority yet. I might buy one and try it out against my best router, ASUS RT-N16 running Tomato firmware.

  4. Didn’t know that wireless router may not be compatible with a Mac. I hooked up my Cisco router and thanfully it just worked without problems 😀

  5. I am not a mac user but to have a router that gives you full internet speed is pretty cool. Specially if you have multiple computers around the house.

  6. I’m sure these Apple routers are the best chice for all-MAC environments (and maybe even mixed).

    But I have a mixed Win 7 and MAC environment and decided to go with a high end Netgear dual band product. Seems to work well.

  7. I’ve a stack of Apple stuff and bought a Time Capsule 20 months ago – it’s now died on me. Obviously I expected it to last a bit longer than that – for the price I paid. If I’d done my research I’d have known that the TC has quite a list of unhappy owners and that Apple’s not interested in the problems you might have.

    Don’t get me wrong I still love Apple’s tech and don’t know if the newer versions are ok but I’d advise caution if you’re contemplating buying that particular product.

  8. does apple routers for mac users only, how about for other computer unit? I want to have a apple router but i don’t know how much does it cause can someone help me?

  9. Thank you for the post. I have heard about Airport Extreme as my cousin is using it. Though expensive it is really good in quality as most of the Apple stuff.

  10. I definitely i like this post, good thing Apple has established good reputation that customers would not mind spending hundreds of dollars to buy their products. For me if you have apple gadgets and you need a parts it is better to buy the original apple items, rather than buying a items which only say it is compatible.

  11. This is one advantage of being a Mac or Apple user. You just need to choose from the Apple lineup. Unlike in other platforms, there are hundreds of router to choose from. Some good but most of them are not.

  12. Apple has probably the most aggressive wifi modules. I think I’ve seen a test where they established that Apple’s algorithms for intercepting signal work at 4 times the frequency of a standard module.

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