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If you use Apple products throughout your home, you will want to make sure that you have the best router possible so that your Wi-Fi isn’t the limiting factor in you getting the absolute most out of these powerful devices.
In this buyer’s guide, we will take a look at a few key features you should be looking at when shopping for a new router as well as my recommendations for the 7 best routers for Apple devices.
In a hurry?
If you don’t have much time, use the links below to quickly find my favorite routers for Apple devices, based on your needs, on Amazon.
Best Overall: Linksys EA7500 AC1900
Best Premium: Netgear Nighthawk AX12 AX6000
Best Budget: TP-Link AC1750
Best for Coverage: Netgear Nighthawk X6S AC4000
Best for Multiple Devices: Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000
Best for Mesh Wi-Fi: Linksys AC2200
Best Portable: RAVPower AC750
The Comparison Table
|Linksys EA7500 AC1900||2.4 GHz - Up to 600 Mbps|
5 GHz - Up to 1,300 Mbps
|1,500 sq ft||15+ devices||$$|
|Netgear Nighthawk AX12 AX6000||2.4 GHz - Up to 1.2 Gbps|
5 GHz - Up to 4.8 Gbps
|3,500 sq ft||30+ devices||$$$$$|
|TP-Link AC1750||2.4 GHz - Up to 450 Mbps|
5 GHz - Up to 1,300 Mbps
|2,500 sq ft||50+ devices||$|
|Netgear Nighthawk X6S AC4000||2.4 GHz - Up to 800 Mbps|
5 GHz - Up to 1,733 Mbps
|3,500 sq ft||Up to 55 devices||$$$|
|Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000||2.4 GHz - Up to 1.2 Gbps|
5 GHz - Up to 4.8 Gbps
|2,500 sq ft||30+ devices||$$$$|
|Linksys AC2200||2.4 GHz - Up to 400 Mbps|
5 GHz - Up to 867 Mbps
|2,000 sq ft||20+ devices||$$|
|RAVPower AC750||2.4 GHz - Up to 300 Mbps|
5 GHz - Up to 433 Mbps
|Isolated||Up to 5 devices||$|
Best Routers for Apple Devices
1. Linksys EA7500 AC1900 – Best Overall
My favorite wireless router to use with Apple devices is the Linksys AC1900. It is a great all-rounder that has everything you would want in a router: reliability, performance, and coverage.
Even if you don’t have any Apple devices in your home, this router is still an excellent choice for any home network.
From a design perspective, the AC1900 has the typical black design that you find with many routers and modems and must sit horizontally. There are three high performing antennas that can be pointed in any direction to help provide the best signal to the devices that need it most.
The AC1900 is a dual-band router that provides speeds of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz. The Wi-Fi signal it emits has coverage of up to 1,500 sq. ft and can accommodate more than 15 wireless devices.
The “mu mimo” feature provides a Wi-Fi connection to multiple devices at once at the same high speed; no need to worry about the connection dropping on your Mac in the office whilst someone is streaming Netflix on their iPad in the bedroom.
Also, the AC1900 uses what is referred to as “beamforming technology”. This enables the router to strengthen the Wi-Fi signal to specific devices rather than sending out the signal in a general direction.
The result? A stronger Wi-Fi connection, better overall coverage, and faster speeds.
Both a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports are built into the router. The USB 3.0 port is recommended for connecting an external storage device, allowing you to share files amongst the devices on your network at high speeds.
The USB 2.0 is ten times slower, but it is still more than good enough for smaller file transfers or connecting a printer, for example.
Your Wi-Fi can be customized and managed wherever you are with Linksys’ Smart Wi-Fi.
This easy-to-use app provides you with real-time information about your home Wi-Fi, can send Wi-Fi passwords to guests, allows you to prioritize certain devices, set up parental controls and more.
Some people have reported that Linksys customer support can be difficult to get hold of at times, which is frustrating when you are already having trouble with your Internet connection.
Also, it has been reported that the guest network is not secured by WPA or any other security measure for that matter. It also uses a captive web portal similar to what you find in hotels or airports.
Not only is this insecure, having your guests connect to your Wi-Fi in this way can be annoying and troublesome at times. Something to consider if you receive frequent guests that need to connect to your network.
2. Netgear Nighthawk AX12 AX6000 – Best Premium
For those looking for the ultimate router and don’t mind paying the premium price, the Nighthawk AX12 by Netgear is the one for you.
Not only does it look very cool, resembling Kylo Ren’s ship from Star Wars, but it also has every feature imaginable and more than you could ever need in a router.
Increasing the number of devices in your home and stretching the Wi-Fi limits of your current router is no longer an issue with the Nighthawk. It features Wi-Fi 6 which has been designed to offer better speeds and more capacity whilst remaining 100% backward compatible.
4k, and even 8k, video streaming, lag-free online gaming, and uninterrupted video calls are all the norm as the AX12 offers speeds of up to 6 Gbps. That is truly lightspeed.
The Nighthawk also has 12 Wi-Fi streams, giving you six times the capacity than you are used to. More streams greatly increase the bandwidth available to all of your devices and the amount of data they can send and receive.
Connecting 30+ devices to this router is a piece of cake.
In terms of coverage, there is no need to worry about the AX12 as it has been specifically designed with larger homes in mind. Some people with a 3,500 sq ft home have reported no dead spots with the coverage even extending 30 ft beyond the building.
Other features include five Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Alexa voice control, smart parental controls, 8 built-in amplified antennas, and a very useful accompanying app to make managing everything a breeze.
One issue that some people have reported is that the 5 GHz network has gone down intermittently. It certainly isn’t often; maybe once every three months, but you still wouldn’t expect to experience this problem on such a high-value product.
Thankfully, a quick restart of the Nighthawk is all that it took to get the network back up and running.
The price is really what does let his router down as it will undoubtedly be way out of budget for most people. If you are happy to pay the premium price, however, you will certainly receive a premium product in return.
Plus who doesn’t want a router that looks like it came from a galaxy far, far away?
3. TP-Link AC1750 – Best Budget
If you are on a bit more of a budget when shopping for your next router, you may want to consider the AC1750 by TP-Link.
This very affordable router provides good performance and coverage, several connectivity options and fantastic technical support; the AC1750 has you covered if you aren’t fussed about the bells and whistles that come with other, more expensive, routers.
Performance-wise, you can expect to receive speeds of up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. This is certainly fast enough to be able to enjoy 4k video streaming without that annoying buffer.
In terms of coverage, the AC1750 can cover around 2,500 sq ft thanks to the three adjustable antennas and strong amplifiers.
TP-Link claim that the AC1750 can handle over 50 devices connected to it. This is quite a claim for a router that is more on the budget side; I am a bit dubious about this, to be honest. Yes, you may well be able to connect 50 devices to the router, but how well they will actually perform is a different story.
One feature I particularly like about the AC1750 is that it is compatible with Alexa and IFTTT (If This Then That). You can turn on the guest Wi-Fi through a voice command and then use IFTTT to trigger an action when devices connect or disconnect from your network.
Something you’ll want to show off to your visitors, I’m sure.
Even though it is a more budget-friendly router, TP-Link hasn’t forgotten about security. Advanced WPA2 encryption, parental controls, and guest Wi-Fi access help keep your family and your network safe and secure.
It was difficult to find anything to complain about with the AC1750 if I’m honest. Some people have reported a decrease in speed after a few months, but these reports were scarce so it may have been a localized issue rather than a problem with the router itself.
If you are looking for a no-frills wireless router that works great with Apple devices, and any other device for that matter, the TP-Link AC1750 is a great choice to consider.
4. Netgear Nighthawk X6S AC4000 – Best for Coverage
Another router from Netgear makes the list of best routers for Apple devices. The main reason for the Nighthawk X6S AC4000 making this list is because it offers the same fantastic coverage that the AX12 has, but with a considerably smaller price tag.
This tri-band router can easily cover up to 3,500 sq ft whilst being capable of speeds of up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1,1733 Mbps on the other bands.
Netgear recommends this router for home networks that have up to 55 devices connecting to it.
From a connectivity standpoint, you get what you would expect with the X6S AC4000. This includes four 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 3.0 port, and one USB 2.0 port. This way you could connect an external hard drive, a printer and a few of your most-used devices to get that bit of extra performance out of using a wired connection.
The Nighthawk does come with advanced parental controls that you won’t see on many other routers such as the ability to pause Internet access on certain devices, view site history usage and filter websites, which is nice.
If you want the additional features of setting online time limits and scheduling when certain devices can use the Internet, amongst others, you can expect to have to pay $5 per month, but you can get your first month as a free trial.
Thankfully Netgear offers the features you are likely to use the most for free. I would be pretty disappointed if they make you pay to make use of any of the parental controls, to be honest.
In regards to security, Netgear hasn’t slacked with the X6S AC4000. It supports WPA2 wireless security protocols, guest Wi-Fi access, a built-in firewall and VPN, and more.
Some people have said that this router is terrific when it works, but Netgear support is poor when it comes to solving a problem. The takeaway is that the main problem with this router is not the equipment itself, but how it is supported.
5. Netgear Nighthawk AX6000 – Best for Multiple Devices
Yet another member of the Netgear Nighthawk family makes the list, with the AX6000 being great if you have a large home and are looking to connect multiple devices at the same time.
The AX6000 features 8 simultaneous streams, providing more capacity so more devices can use the Wi-Fi at the same time. There are also five 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back to connect your most used devices to.
Connecting to your router directly using an Ethernet cable will generally offer greater performance compared to relying on a Wi-Fi signal.
The Wi-Fi in this router is certainly not an issue, though. Similar to the other Nighthawk routers, the AX6000 uses Wi-Fi 6 which provides great coverage for large homes and offers speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps and 4.8 Gbps on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands respectively.
Other features include four amplified antennas, dynamic quality of service, Alexa voice control, two USB 3.0 ports, and smart parental controls.
As is to be expected with the Nighthawk range, the AX6000 supports the same security protocols as the previously mentioned AC4000.
Some people have said that the AX6000 is great when it works, but the initial setup can be tricky. There have been times where the mobile app installation hadn’t worked and so the setup via the web-based portal had to be resorted to.
Also, the same complaints about the Netgear support; poor customer service and it can take a long time to get an answer from a support agent.
6. Linksys AC2200 – Best for Mesh Wi-Fi
If perhaps you are looking for a router that can be part of a mesh Wi-Fi network, the AC2200 from Linksys is definitely one to consider.
It may not offer the same performance or coverage as some of the other routers featured on this list, but it is cheaper to buy whilst still having the essentials you need in a router.
The main selling point of the AC2200 is that is has been designed to seamlessly integrate with the Velop mesh Wi-Fi system for extended coverage. When used with a mesh Wi-Fi system, the AC2200 serves as the master node and can be a great way to extend the overall Wi-Fi signal in your home.
This is a tri-band router, so performance-wise you can expect to receive speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps across all three bands.
The AC2200 may not look as nice or have the same connectivity options that the Nighthawk routers have, but what it does have will certainly meet the needs of the majority of people. It has four adjustable antennas, a single USB 3.0 port, and four Ethernet ports.
Coverage and the number of devices that the AC2200 can support is also not as good as some of the other routers mentioned, but again, it is likely to be more than enough for many people. You can expect coverage of around 2,000 sq ft and be able to connect 20+ devices.
You may find, however, that integrating the AC2200 into a mesh Wi-Fi network helps extend the total coverage beyond that of what other standalone routers can provide.
There are a few potential issues with this Linksys, however. Whether you consider them to be applicable to you is dependent on whether you need parental controls, or are using other Linksys gear in your home.
Firstly, the parental controls are very limited. You are able to block certain sites by name, but the kick in the teeth is that you can only block a maximum of 10 sites. I don’t really understand why there would be a limit if the feature is already there, but that is unfortunately what Linksys have decided to implement.
Also, the AC2200 appears to not be compatible with older routers as they don’t have a bridge mode. One person was looking to add in an older Linksys router with a separate SSID as the Wi-Fi signal in a certain part of their home was a bit weak, but was unable to do so.
It is a bit disappointing that the AC2220 isn’t backward compatible with other routers from the same manufacturer. I guess this is so they can sell you their own newer mesh Wi-Fi nodes instead.
The Linksys AC2200 certainly isn’t a bad router and will fit the needs of most people, but there are other routers in this list I would recommend over this one.
7. RAVPower AC750 Travel Router – Best Portable
Probably not what you were expecting to see make the list of the best routers for Apple devices, but I wanted to feature it as I thought it was a really neat idea and that some people would get a great deal of use out of it.
As you would expect, the AC750 can’t offer the performance that any of the routers can, but what it can do is convert a wired network to a Wi-Fi network allowing multiple devices to share the connection.
The performance is better than I expected from something so small and portable. You can receive speeds of up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 433 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Given this, you may want to try and limit the number of devices you have connected at once to maximize performance; RAVPower say that the AC750 can support up to 5 devices connected to it at a time.
One feature I really liked is that wireless data transfers and backups can be performed using the AC750.
It is as simple as inserting a USB storage device or SD card, setting up the Filehub Wi-Fi, and then logging in to the Filehub app on your device. From there, you can create, copy and delete files and folders on the external storage which also being able to watch movies, listen to music or view documents simultaneously.
There is also an in-app camera that allows you to save photos or videos directly to the SD card or USB storage via the Filehub. This will not only save space on your iPhone or iPad, but your families and friends can access these files by logging in as a guest user when they are within range of Filehub’s Wi-Fi signal.
Many people have praised the AC750 for all of its features whilst it remaining as a very affordable product. Some have even gone as far to say that it is the best way to offload pictures and videos from Apple devices where you have a Windows PC and don’t like to use iTunes to transfer your media.
The customer support that RAVPower provides has also been well received; they seem to genuinely care about their customers and want them to get the best experience possible using their products.
Some people have said the AC750 is an incredibly useful device but can be hard to use at times. The app works, but could be improved, and the file transfer process could have been implemented better. You cannot transfer files whilst the app is minimized on your iPhone or iPad; you must keep the app open and wait for the transfer to complete.
That being said, the AC750 certainly needed a place on this list due to its unique capabilities that not many other portable routers can offer, and how effectively it can be used with your Apple devices.
Choosing the right router for your needs can be a daunting task with the vast choice that is available. Before purchasing a new router, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Size of your home
- Your internet speeds
- How many devices you have
- Router type
- Wi-Fi standards
- Number of frequency bands
- Other features you are looking for
Size of Your Home
The physical size of your home, as well as the size of each room, are factors to consider when shopping for a new router.
If you have a smaller home, like an apartment, you will likely get away with a router that doesn’t have as great a reach.
In a large home, however, this is more important as you may find that some areas of the home do not receive a Wi-Fi signal, depending on the router you have and its coverage.
A mesh Wi-Fi solution may be just what you are looking for if you have a particularly large home.
Your Internet Speeds
Before being tempted to purchase a router that offers incredibly fast speeds of up to 6 Gbps, remember that you will be greatly limited by the Internet package you are signed up to with your ISP.
For example, you may be on a 150 Mbps plan where this is the absolute maximum speed you can expect to receive, regardless of which router you have.
Purchasing a router purely because it offers the best speeds compared to the others may well end up proving to be a waste of money.
It is definitely an important factor to consider, but one that must be thought-about alongside the rest of this buyer’s guide.
How Many Devices You Have
All Internet traffic gets routed through the router, so it needs to be up to the task should many devices wish to connect to it in order to access the Internet.
Having a router that can only handle a device or two connecting to it simply isn’t good enough these days.
With a large number of devices that are found in almost every home, the router can’t be the bottleneck and must be able to fulfill the needs of your home network.
You must be certain that the router you are looking to purchase is able to accommodate the number of devices you expect to be connected at the same time. My advice is to overestimate just so you have a bit of a buffer.
It’s also worth bearing in mind what each device will be doing when they are connected; streaming high-quality video online is going to take up more of the router’s resources compared to some very basic web browsing.
Without the relevant security measures in place, it can be easy for nearby troublemakers to leech on to your Internet connection, monitor what you are doing online, access files that are stored on your devices, infect your network with a virus, and generally cause you a nuisance.
You must ensure that any router you purchase supports at least WPA2; the second implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol.
In addition, every device you plan on connecting to the router must also support WPA2 for this security measure to be effective.
Remember this: Your entire network is only as secure as the least secure device that is connected to it.
The previous generation of WPA is better than nothing, but definitely not ideal, and it isn’t a good idea to rely on WEP security as this can easily be cracked by tools that are free and easy access online.
Some routers will come with extra security functions, such as having an extra layer of encryption, the ability to monitor devices and block certain devices or people from the network entirely.
Getting a router with these features should be considered if you are particularly concerned about the security of your entire home network.
When it comes to choosing a router, you will typically come across two different types. These are the traditional single-unit routers and the newer form of technology being mesh routers.
The single-unit routers are still incredibly common and what I personally use in my own home network.
These get plugged into the modem to create a local area network and allow access to the internet to be shared with all of the devices that connect to the router.
A lot of people, including myself, will actually have the router and modem built into a single unit, in which case it is just a case of connecting it up to however you receive the internet connection in your home. In my case, this is DSL which makes use of the existing telephone line.
Technically, these single-unit devices also act as a switch and wireless point too given that they contain several built-in ethernet ports and emit a wireless signal.
Although these single-unit routers may be perfectly suitable for a lot of people, there will be some that find them not to be quite good enough in terms of wireless range, depending on the size of the home and if there are any obstructions in the way of particular materials that affect the wireless signal.
This is where mesh routers are becoming increasingly popular; they are made of up of several individual units that are placed throughout the home evenly to provide wider coverage.
The primary unit will connect to the modem, which then communicates wirelessly with the other nodes to form a mesh network and more effectively share the wireless signal throughout the entire home.
If you have a particularly large home, you may want to consider looking at a mesh-based router, but that being said, many people will still choose a single-unit router and then help to improve the coverage of a wireless signal through something like a wireless access point.
At the time of writing, we are almost a quarter of the way through 2021, which means we are all in the process of moving away from the Wi-Fi 5 standard to the newer, more powerful Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Wi-Fi 6 routers are being increasingly more available, with them not only being faster but also having better support for lots of devices being connected at the same time.
Devices that only support the Wi-Fi 5 standard will absolutely still work with Wi-Fi 6 routers, but you won’t be able to take full advantage of what Wi-Fi 6 has to offer.
You can also still purchase Wi-Fi 5 routers if you would prefer and are looking to save a bit of money, but I would suggest at least considering a Wi-Fi 6 router just to future-proof yourself more than anything.
This is especially true if you are looking to upgrade some of your other tech in the future which will undoubtedly be able to make use of Wi-Fi 6.
Number of Frequency Bands
Most wireless routers these days will be dual-band, but there are some out there that are tri-band. The number of frequency bands the router can operate on is definitely something you want to keep an eye out for when doing your comparison work.
Dual-band routers all came about because of the traditional 2.4 GHz frequency band becoming very crowded, so manufacturers decided to also offer the 5 GHz frequency band to help balance the load better.
Some routers will only allow one frequency band or the other to be used, but most will allow both bands to be used at the same time.
Tri-band routers broadcast three different wireless signals, which makes it appear like it is hosting three different wireless networks at the same time.
You may be expecting a tri-band router to be broadcasting a third frequency band, but this isn’t actually the case. It broadcasts a single 2.4 GHz signal and then two separate 5 GHz signals.
Tri-band routers work in a similar way to dual-band ones and broadcast the different signals to help reduce congestion and offer more speed that will be shared amongst all of the connected devices.
At first thought, you may be wondering why the appearance of the router even matters and why it features on this buyer’s guide, but consider this: there are many routers out there that all offer similar features and performance, so it could be the appearance of the router that makes you choose one over another.
In order to get the best wireless connection possible, you will want the router positioned somewhere central and prominent, so it will undoubtedly be seen.
You may be willing to part with a bit more cash for a router that looks aesthetically pleasing given that you will likely find yourself seeing it pretty often.
Other Features of a Router
In addition to the extra security features that come with some routers, there are routers available that come with a vast array of other useful features.
These include USB 3.0 ports for connecting an external hard drive which then becomes a NAS, quality of service for giving priority of network traffic to particular devices, and gigabit ports to get the best possible performance for certain devices.
What you are looking to get out of your router, other than its ability to get you connected to the Internet, will vary from person to person and network to network.
Carefully read the product description and feature list of each router you are considering before making a purchase to ensure that it will fit your needs and come with the features that will be most useful to you.
These are the best routers for Apple devices I have found that provide the speeds, coverage, and features I feel would work very well as part of any home network that uses, but isn’t limited to, Apple devices.
When choosing a router, remember to consider the physical size of your home, the download and upload speeds you receive from your Internet service provider, how many devices you plan on connecting to your Wi-Fi, whether adequate security protocols are in place, and any other features you may want, such as USB 3.0 ports or advanced parental controls.
If I were to recommend one of the routers devices featured on this list, it would have to be the Linksys EA7500 AC1900.
It is simply a fantastic all-rounder that offers great performance, coverage and features, all whilst being relatively affordable. You certainly get a lot for your money with this router.
It may not have as good as coverage or the ability to handle more devices like some of the other routers featured on this list, but the AC1900 is considerably cheaper and I feel will be perfect for the majority of people.