Perhaps, the most obvious observation in recent years is the fact that we all spend a large part of our time on the Internet. We communicate, become closer, learn, work, seek interesting ideas, and get inspired on the web. Our good old friend Wi-Fi never changes, and thanks to it we have an Internet access almost anywhere in the world. Each of us has a Wi-Fi router, such an unremarkable gray little plastic box with wires. The functionality of this little box is the core of the quality and speed of the Wi-Fi signal, and the reliability of the network itself.
Well, the most important characteristic of a good Wi-Fi router is the speed of a signal. After all, we use the Internet not only on desktop computers, but also from portable computers, iPhones, iPads, other smartphones, which definitely make the load on the router itself, and affect the signal quality. Also, the latest technologies and online 3D games require fast data transfer in the network. For a Mac router to cope with any tasks, it must be of high performance and provide very fast and reliable Wi-Fi network.
The current version of Wi-Fi is 802.11ac, and now many users have 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers. The novelty comes in the form of ‘Wave 2’ routers, which apart from the basic functions have also ‘MU-MIMO’ (multi-user, multiple inputs, multiple output) – a specific feature that boosts the performance of sending data to multiple devices.
There are plenty of various wireless available routers, but today we’ve picked up the best and most efficient routers for your Mac. Enjoy!
Choose the Perfect Wi-Fi Router for Mac
1. Netgear AC2300 Nighthawk R7000P
The R7000P is a good quality Wi-Fi router that guarantees high performance and has many features. Since it is a ‘Wave 2’ router, it supports dual-band 802.11ac with speed of 2300 Mbps. Not the fastest, but for only £ 150, is there anything to be desired? However, this speed is enough to cope with complex tasks, such as streaming 4K video.
Importantly, the R7000P supports the MU-MIMO function, and also uses a ‘beamforming’ technology to deliver the Wi-Fi signal with the highest accuracy to every device.
A special feature of this Wi-Fi router is a specific Circle application developed by Disney. In simple words, this is the parental control of the use of Wi-Fi. With the help of Circle, you can manage the router at your own discretion, control the time for Internet using, create profiles for children, and disable Internet access at certain times.
The only major drawback of this router is that it does not come with a modem, so you should connect it to your existing modem.
2. BT Smart Hub
The BT Smart Hub produced by the biggest broadband provider in the UK successfully works with both conventional ADSL broadband and BT’s high-speed Infinity fiber broadband. The good thing about this device is that it combines the functions of a modem and Wi-Fi router.
The Smart Hub’s fixed price is about £130, and it really pays it off. It provides dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths and has the same perfect slimline design as its predecessor, the Home Hub 5. But it’s quite better since it now has seven internal antennae for MU-MIMO support, four Gigabit Ethernet ports for games consoles, for example, and a USB port to connect it with other devices.
3. TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
Archer C9 TP-Link is not the best option among all presented in this list, but it has some valuable features to consider. The C9 is a dual-band 802.11ac router for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to provide data at a speed of 1900Mbps per second. It has an accurate white design and contains four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections, as well as USB 2 and USB 3 interfaces. Archer C9 TP-Link is able to set up a temporary guest network, or the FTP server option to offer remote access.
This particular Wi-Fi router has some drawbacks, for instance, it needs to be connected to an existing modem or router to provide an access to Internet in your home. What is more, at such a price it cannot provide so popular Wave 2 features.
4. Google Wifi
A brand-new thing that has recently appeared is the mesh networking that provides fast and sufficient Wi-Fi signal for large homes. The best options for today are Google WiFi, available at a price for about £130 per one disc-shaped router. Since they are mesh devices designed for bigger homes, a Mac owner would need to buy a twin-pack of two routers.
Google Wifi routers are easy and convenient to use, all you need to do is to link them together, connect them to the network and gain your Internet access. Of course, those dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers are not the fastest in the world, but they help you test the speed of your network and offer extra parental controls.
5. D-Link Ac5300 MU-MIMO Ultra (DIR-895L)
Despite the fact that the DIR-895L looks extremely large and awkward, it is very powerful and effective, and will definitely attract the attention of your guests. Its eight protruding antennas are able to quickly transmit a signal to several devices at once. The DIR-895L is a tri-band router that broadcasts a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal, which allows getting a total speed of 5332 Mbps.
This is rightfully one of the best Wi-Fi routers for Mac, and also the most expensive on this list. At a price of £300 and also ultra-modern functions, it surpasses all the routers in the list. The DIR-895L provides incredible speed for online games and 4K video streaming, supports MU-MIMO for multiple devices, and also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 2 and USB 3 ports.
6. Apple AirPort Extreme
The latest in our list of the best Mac Wi-Fi routers in 2017 is Apple AirPort Extreme, another dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but at a speed of 1.3Gbps. Obviously, the manufacturer’s price does not quite match the signal speed of this router (and it does not support the latest Wave 2 features, like MU-MIMO, for example). But it has a nice vertical design that hides a six internal antennae, which will provide a good supply of Wi-Fi signal.