Do you own Apple Devices like the Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch? If that’s the case then it is paramount for you to choose the right router to get the most out of their high-speed internet connection and works smoothly with the Apple Ecosystem.
If you’re looking for an Apple-made router then you must know that — Apple discontinued their router production to focus on their core revenue driving products such as Mac, iPhone, iWatch.
After a thorough analysis of multiple routers, the article ensures the aforementioned criterias are met. The features ensure you are getting the right router to cater to multiple Apple devices in your household.
- 9 Best Routers For Apple Devices in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Netgear RAX80
- 2. Best Port Arrangement: TP-Link AX6000
- 3. Best For MacBooks: Netgear XR500
- 4. Best For Parental Control: GRYPHON AC3000
- 5. Best Coverage: Synology RT2600ac
- 6. Best For Smart Homes: Google WiFi system
- 7. Best Tri-Band Option: Netgear Nighthawk X6S
- 8. Best Under 200: Linksys EA7500
- 9. Cheapest Option: TP-Link AC1750
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
9 Best Routers For Apple Devices in 2021
The article is an end product of a comprehensive analysis of comparing over 40 routers in the market with the mentioned features. After checking their price, features, and appropriateness to handle Apple devices, the final list is narrowed down to fit multiple scenarios.
The list comprises routers that will help you utilize the maximum potential of your internet speed, while not compromising on its ability to bring the best out of your Apple gadgets.
1. Best Overall: Netgear RAX80
Packed with powerful hardware and supported by the latest technology, Netgear RAX80 makes you consistent to internet speed demands for the foreseeable future. With support to 802.11 ax standards, the router can deliver speeds up to 1200mbps in 2.4GHz and 4804mbps in 5GHz.
A quad-core processor clocking at 1.8GHz on a Broadcom chipset forms the core of the router, supplemented by 1GB RAM and 512MB flash memory. Given the speed of the internet, this setup is capable of handling 4K media streaming with firestick, online gaming, Wi-Fi calling, VOIP, etc or all at the same time without any compromises.
Despite the parental controls being limited, the user interface allows you to curtail access to websites through keyword and domain name filtering. The option to block ports to limit access to certain services is available. The ability to dual port aggregation equips the router to handle ultra-fast internet speeds from the ISP.
The 4 hidden antennas inside the foldable wings disperse WiFi signals at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. With 8 simultaneous WiFi streams enabled by 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA, the router easily handles up to a maximum of 30 Apple gadgets spread across a large surface area of 2500 sq ft.
The Netgear router brings along 5 Gig Ethernet LAN and 1 Gig WAN port to take care of your wired high-speed connections. A pair of USB 3.0 ports enables sharing printers and storage devices within your home network.
At 2.82 lbs, this is a routing device, which hardly looks like one. It sports a pair of non-adjustable but foldable wings attached to a black base. The LED lights and the ports align at its rear end. With the latest Apple devices supporting WiFi 6, the router is a perfect companion to couple with iPhones, iPad pro or the latest Macintosh systems.
- 802.11 ax WiFi
- 4×4 MU-MIMO
- OFDMA, Beamforming
- Smart connect, Netgear Armor
- Alexa, Google assistant compatible
- The mobile application has limited functionality
- No manual QoS
2. Best Port Arrangement: TP-Link AX6000
The TP-Link AX6000 puts in a power-packed performance with its powerful hardware and the latest backward compatible 802.11 ax standards. The 160MHz channel has a higher speed potential reaching up to 1148mbps in 2.5GHz and 4804mbps in its 5GHz channel.
A powerful quad-core processor clocking at 1.8GHz in a Broadcom chipset and a couple of co-processors handles any task thrown by a medium household. The 1GB RAM and 128MB Flash storage ensure the device performance doesn’t get affected by loads of gaming through consoles or any other smart home applications not excluding the Apple devices.
The AX6000 interface comes with multiple options of content filtering. Blocking access to one or multiple devices based on categories or age-appropriate content or as individual websites is possible. The user can also restrict the internet by setting time limits or by pausing the internet connection completely.
The 8 amplified external antennas encircling the router operate in dual-frequency. Reinforced by 4×4 MU-MIMO, OFDMA, beamforming and a slick QoS, the router covers up multiple devices across a surface area up to 3000 sq ft.
With One 2.5 Gbps WAN port and 8 LAN ports, you will never run out of slots for wired high-speed internet connections on your MacBook or iPad. But the lack of a gigabit LAN port does limit the usage potential of the internet speed. Two USB 3.0 ports ensure slots for printers and storage devices.
The Tether mobile application isn’t as comprehensive as the web application nonetheless is as user-friendly as they come. It takes you through initial setup within a matter of a few minutes.
Weighing 3.50 lbs the router is justifiably heavyweight via powerful hardware loaded with features. A unique octagonal design surrounded by 8 fixed antennas and a single LED in the center is a breath of fresh air in the world of routers. The LAN and USB ports are distributed on two sides, with the power outlet and WPS button.
An excellent traffic monitor with WPA2 encryption and the myriad of features that comes along with TP-Link AX6000 makes it a future-proof router for iOS Arcade gamers and twitch streamers, bringing the best out of your latest Apple devices.
- Sufficient ports
- 802.11 ax WiFi
- Compatible to Alexa voice control
- Comprehensive QoS and parental control
- No Multi-Gigabit LAN
- Limited mobile application functionality
3. Best For MacBooks: Netgear XR500
Packed with a DumaOS dashboard, geo-filters and private gaming VPN, the Netgear XR500 is a professional and students’ delight. WITH the MU-MIMO, beamforming technology at its helm, the device can fire up high speeds up to 800 mbps, 1733 mbps in 2.4GHz and 5GHz respectively.
The 1.7GHz dual-core processor in a Qualcomm chipset is powerful with system memory of 512MB and flash storage of 256MB acting along with it. It would suffice for multiple smart home devices (HomeKit), iPads, iPhones and MacOS simultaneously.
The device comes with parental controls that allow you to block and limit access to the internet with keywords, domain names, devices or the services. The XR500 is a standalone routing device with future-proofed higher internet speeds owing to its 160MHz channels if your ISP supports it.
The 4 detachable antennas help the router cover large homes measuring up to 2500 sq ft on dual-band. Explicit Beamforming and MU-MIMO keep the signal stable circumventing walls to up to 20 devices.
The router has 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports that take care of your wired connections. The 2 USB 3.0 ports are in place to manage shared network printers and storage devices within the home network.
The Nighthawk mobile application doesn’t offer comprehensive control like the web interface, but in both cases, the initial setup is as smooth as it comes.
Weighing 1.77 lbs, this model sports a futuristic look with four antennas placed on its rear, while the indicator light and heat ventilators adorn the front.
The Netgear XR500 comes with the ability to offer a quality experience and with the support to handle Mac and other Apple devices as a part of your smart home.
- Private Gaming VPN
- Parental control
- Traffic management
- Comprehensive gaming dashboard
- Only 802.11 ac
4. Best For Parental Control: GRYPHON AC3000
The Gryphon AC3000 standalone or as a part of the mesh WiFi system has the features to make it the right device for smart homes. With 4×4 MU-MIMO, the router can cater to multiple apple devices and smart devices simultaneously.
It can deliver speeds upto 400mbps in 2.5GHz and speeds upto 866mbps and 1733mbps in its dual 5GHz channels.
A Quad-core processor clocking at 700MHz in a Qualcomm chipset becomes a powerful combo with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage at its disposal. HD Streaming or online gaming, the router will be able to take care of it with ease.
The mobile application gives you comprehensive control over the network with parental control options. It comes with the ability to filter content, monitor surfing history, assign schedules for bedtime. The ability to limit children’s internet consumption by imposing safe (age-appropriate) content or suspending the network will be an efficient tool in your parenting arsenal.
You get stable Wi-Fi connectivity thanks to the 6 internal antennas supplemented with Beamforming and MU-MIMO. The router is suitable for large homes and can cover areas up to 3000 sq ft.
The absence of USB ports can be a limiting factor for sharing network storage devices and printers. 1 WAN port and 3 LAN ports should suffice for your wired high-speed requirements.
Weighing 1.8 lbs, the router sports a simple yet elegant design in a twisted rectangular tower. The ports and LED lights are aesthetically placed on the rear side. Bestowed with useful smart home features like intrusion detection, parental control and an efficient network management system, the router makes a strong case as a perfect companion for multiple apple devices despite its price tag.
- 802.11 ac WiFi
- Perfect for IoT setup
- Extensive parental control
- Efficient network optimization
- Advanced Internet security
- No USB ports
5. Best Coverage: Synology RT2600ac
The Synology RT2600 brings a comprehensive interface through the Synology Router Manager and the choice of handy add-on packages to improve security and shared storage features along with other additional functionalities.
It is capable as a standalone solution or as a part of the home WiFi system. The router can achieve high speeds up to 800mbps in 2.5GHz and 1733mbps in its 5GHz channel.
On the back of a powerful dual-core processor clocking at 1.7GHz in a Qualcomm chipset and aided by the combination of 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage, the router can ease through 4K Streaming, online gaming, and a myriad of smart home devices including iPhones, iPads and Mac systems.
The SRM brings in a comprehensive parental control feature for the users. The web-filters can limit access to websites based on category presets (social media, adult content, etc). It allows options to deny access to particular domains. It can also restrict access to listed devices, limit bandwidth and effectively monitor traffic with multiple reports.
With 4 external antennas attached to its rear end, reinforced with 4×4 MU-MIMO, the router has a laudable range covering up to 3000 sq ft, operating in dual-band which is perfect if you live in an apartment with a crowded wireless environment.
The 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports come with dual WAN ability to take care of your wired and high-speed internet requirements. The SRM works like an operating system with a familiar user interface which keeps the initial setup and other network management easy. One USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and a sdcard slot come in handy to accommodate shared printers and hard drives.
The savvy can have their way with comprehensive customizations. The mobile application allows you to monitor user activities, track usage and take care of security actions on the go.
Weighing 1.54 lbs, the router is lightweight. The design is simplistic, comprising a black base with generous ventilation. The revolutionary SRM brings ease of operations to features like intrusion detection, parental control, QoS and the ability to support Time Machine backup upon adding a network storage device makes this the perfect substitute for apple products.
- 802.11 ac Wave 2
- Synology Router Management
- Supports third-party applications
- Intrusion prevention system
- No port aggregation
- Limited ethernet ports
6. Best For Smart Homes: Google WiFi system
The Google Wi-Fi system brings ease of installation, a simple setup and easy management to cover large homes with aggregated speeds up to 1200mbps in 2.4GHz and 5GHz together.
A quad-core processor 710 MHz on a Qualcomm chipset supplemented by 512MB RAM and 4GB flash memory can take care of media streaming, surfing, VOIP calling along with other smart home devices simultaneously.
Google WiFi has limited control over customizations. It can limit the usage by enabling SafeSearch for devices within the home network, which gets updated in real-time.
The three-pack system has internal antennas to deliver signals across the big office or house space. The MU-MIMO and beamforming ensure the router can maintain a stable internet connection for over 30 devices extending across 4500 sq ft. It offers a perfect solution for smart home devices spread in every nook and corner of the household.
The Google mesh system brings only 1 Gig Ethernet LAN and 1 Gig WAN port to take care of your wired high-speed connections. This limits device exposure to high-speed wired connections. The absence of USB ports takes away the option of sharing network and hard drives within the home network. The WiFi system is managed via the mobile-based interface (iOS or Android) through a google account.
Weighing 0.750 lbs each, this is an elegant looking short cylindrical router. With a simple LED light encircling at the center, and the ports set up underneath, accessed through the rear side, this is as simple as they come.
If decent internet speeds, simple setup and management for a large home setup is your requirement, the router offers an affordable solution for your smart home devices.
- The affordable mesh Wi-Fi system
- Easy setup
- Limited customizability
- Limited Ethernet and No USB port
7. Best Tri-Band Option: Netgear Nighthawk X6S
The Netgear X6S offers high-speed internet in tri-band, that can keep your home networking demands fulfilled. The router is geared up to deliver speeds up to 750mbps in 2.4GHz & 1625mbps in dual 5GHz, which ensures a steady uninterrupted connection across multiple apple devices in your home.
A powerful 1.8GHz dual-core processor in a Broadcom chipset has the assistance of three offload processors in powering the router. It is further supplemented by 512MB RAM and 128MB flash memory to support the operation load across multiple devices. The hardware makes sure the router has sufficient power to handle a medium-sized household.
The router doesn’t come with inbuilt parental controls. Registration with a third party OpemDNS is required to set up and customize parental controls settings. It gives a choice to schedule internet downtimes and block access to websites using keywords and URLs. The user can also maintain a list of devices.
With MU-MIMO and beamforming+, the router gets the capacity to handle up to 55 devices covering a surface area of 3500 sq ft.
The 6 antennas deliver WiFi signals at tri-band frequencies. The Netgear router has 4 Gig Ethernet LAN and one Gig WAN port and a pair of USB ports to handle wired connections and shared printer/hard drives.
The initial installation router is easy with the Netgear genie application, which also brings a multitude of customization options to your home network.
Weighing 2.43 lbs, the X6S has a total of six foldable antennas attached on its sides. The LED lights find themselves in the center of the router, while the ports and buttons accommodate the rear end. With consistent throughput in both frequencies, the router can handle 4K streaming, gaming and remote desktop connectivity efficiently on high-speed internet plans including 200 Mbps.
Even with the latest iPhones, iPad pro or latest Macintosh system and smart home gadgets sharing the internet, the router is not bound to disappoint with its performance.
- 1.8GHz and three offload processors
- Netgear genie App
- Port Aggregation
- DLNA compatible
- No inbuilt parental controls
8. Best Under 200: Linksys EA7500
The Linksys EA7500 can achieve speeds up to 600mbps in 2.4GHz and 1300mbps in 5GHz. Despite the limited range, the routers perform well owing to their powerful processor aided by MU-MIMO and beamforming.
A dual-core processor clocking at 1.4GHz on a Qualcomm chipset works in tandem with 256MB RAM and 128MB flash memory. This setup can cater to most of the requirements, shave a few data-intensive activities.
The Linksys application allows you to set up access controls for devices individually with provisions to limit access to different time slots. The application lets you block a device’s access to specific URLs too.
The 3 antennas towering on the rear side of the Linksys router operate in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. The MU-MIMO and Beamforming ensure the router can tackle the requirements of 15+ devices dispersed across a surface area of 1500 sq ft. It would suffice for a small-medium household.
The router comes with 4 Gig Ethernet LAN and one Gig WAN that caters to the wired connections. A pair of USB ports provide the room for printers and storage devices to be shared amongst the members accessing the home network.
The Linksys application has a user-friendly interface that reduces the setting up and managing the router into an easy task.
At 2.05 lbs, the router is neither heavy nor lightweight but has a simple, pleasant design with a black body. The rear end has sufficient room for the antennas, ports, power outlet and other buttons.
If you require a router that finds itself halfway between the available features and the price, this router offers a solution to keep all your Apple devices connected to the internet.
- 802.11 ac WiFi
- VPN support
- QoS by device
- Limited range
- Limited parental controls
9. Cheapest Option: TP-Link AC1750
The TP-Link Archer A7 can handle the requirements with ease in a home setup. Limited by the lack of MU-MIMO or Beamforming technologies, yet the router is geared to achieve maximum speeds of up to 450mps in 2.4GHz while upto 1300mbps in 5GHz.
The Archer A7 has a single-core 750MHz processor over a Qualcomm chipset, accompanied by 128MB RAM and 16MB flash memory. This entry-level router will be able to handle multiple apple devices within a small household. Data-intensive online gaming or 4K streaming may strain the overall performance of the router.
This dual-band wireless router comes with a set of parental controls that allows the user to create a list of devices and control the access time for devices with a custom schedule.
The 3 towering antennas rise from its rear end to direct WiFi signals up to a maximum of 50 devices over an area of 2500 sq ft. Minimizing concurrent connections and optimizing the load across multiple devices, avoids strain on the performance on the router.
The TP-Link router comes with 4 Gig Ethernet LAN and 1 Gig WAN, which takes care of the wired connection requirements. The speed of the USB 2.0 port can limit the data transfer speeds for network storage devices. Nonetheless, it is suitable to handle a shared network printer within the network.
The tether application is as user-friendly as they come, be it Android or iOS. The initial setup is easy, with the router being up and running in less than a few minutes.
Weighing 0.90 lbs the router is as lightweight as it is light on your wallet. Sporting a traditional glossy black design, the ports aligned at the rear and indicators on the front.
The wireless device carries a bunch of features like parental and access controls, QoS. With an easy on the eye Tether iOS mobile application, the A7 makes a perfect sub-$100 budget router for iPhone, Mac’s and iPads.
- 802.11 ac WiFi
- QoS priority settings by devices
- Compatibility to Mesh Network
- No USB 3.0
- Limited memory
Frequently Asked Questions
The choice of the best router for apple devices depends on the preferences, requirements and budget. The Netgear RAX80 and TP-Link AX6000 offer a powerhouse solution to routing needs which might include gaming.
The Apple Time Capsule is a router with an inbuilt network-attached storage device. While there are multiple NAS ready products from Synology and QNAT, the routers Netgear XR500 and TP-Link AX6000 are perfectly capable of replacing the time capsule upon addition of an external hard drive.
Apple took pride in being the innovator with its products. With a rapidly evolving router market space and the rise of multiple brands and products, they decided to focus on innovating its core revenue generators. So, Apple stopped the production with the latest AirPort products supporting 802.11 ac standards.
The Apple phones starting from iPhone 11 and later offer support to the latest networking standards WiFi6. Tablets from Apple namely iPad Air and iPad Pro support the latest standards. The latest Mac computers with Apple Silicon is amongst the Macintosh powered systems to come with the latest networking standards of WiFi 6.
Personal preferences and additional requirements play a vital role in deciding the best router that can keep your Apple devices connected to the internet.
- The Netgear Nighthawk X6S, TP-Link AX6000 are backed by powerful hardware to handle gaming requirements but they come with a price premium.
- If you have an array of smart home devices across a large surface area, the Google WiFi system offers a solution to handle them along with the set of apple devices. For homes limited by budget constraints,
- The Synology RT2600, with its revolutionary SRM interface and a plethora of features, offers the balance between price and utility.
In case of any special scenario that appear to be beyond the purview of this article, the market space is flush with multiple players catering to a niche customer base.