If you have a Mac or Apple computer, you will certainly want the best router for Mac possible.
Since Apple ceased production of the AirPort Extreme routers back in 2018, because of its inability to keep up with modern technological progress, you will need to look beyond AirPort to find the ideal wireless Macintosh router.
Looking for the right router might seem daunting, but it is not. You will need to think about your ISP, internet speed package, and even what you are going online throughout your network before committing.
Here’s what you need to know before you buy a new router.
Choosing A Wireless Router For Mac & Apple Devices
Your Internet Speed
Your internet speed package will greatly affect the speeds that you can get from your best router for Mac. There is no reason to look for a router that can reach up to 7 Gbps if your internet package is only 200 Mbps.
If the Macintosh router you would like naturally comes with higher speeds, then that is great, but be prepared to only get the speeds you pay for rather than the speeds your router can reach.
Size Of Your Home
Whether you have a one, two, or even three story home will affect the type of router that you need. The number of rooms that you have also should be taken into account.
If you have a large home, you might need a mesh network rather than a single device, but if you live in a smaller apartment, your router will not need to have that kind of reach.
Number Of Connected Devices
There is a difference between having one device browsing the internet and having five devices streaming at the same time. Your router needs to be able to meet the needs of your network.
Every router can accommodate a certain amount of connected devices at a time, so make sure that yours will be able to handle your needs. What you are doing online also goes into this since a heavy streaming network will have different needs.
WiFi Router Features
All routers come with a wide array of features, including MU-MIMO technology for multiple users, QoS for prioritizing devices, Gigabit ports, USB 3.0 ports, and even security features to help you lock it down.
The features that you need from your router will vary from network to network. Make sure that the router that you want comes with the features that you need by considering what your expectations are from your router.
8 Best Routers For Mac & Apple Devices
1. Netgear RAX40
2. Netgear RAX80
3. TP-Link Archer A7
4. Gryphon AC3000
5. Motorola MG7550
Modem Router Combo
6. Netgear XR700
7. Linksys Velop
8. Synology RT2600
1.Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 WiFi Router
Best Router For Mac (Editor's Choice)
After doing some careful research, we have selected the Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 as the best router for Mac.
You need to make sure that your router will be entirely compatible with the devices that you use the most, making this one the clear winner. Not only does it have excellent performance, but it has a lot of enhanced features to improve your overall experience.
When you look at the design of the RAX40, you might think that it looks more similar to a drone than it does a router. But, its innovative design has a purpose, when it comes to the performance of the router.
The vents of this router are located along the middle of the top of the router. This will keep the warm air pushing upward rather than allowing the router to overheat.
The RAX40 comes with two antennas. While other routers might come with more antennas, with only these two, the RAX40 is able to have an impressive amount of power.
The router comes with four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, but it also has a 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet port, which is practically unheard of with other routers. This kind of port will offer you only the highest connected speeds possible.
As we said, the RAX40 is a perfect router for Mac, demonstrated by the fact that it can reach speeds up to 3 Gbps. While the speeds are determined by the speed package that you have with your internet provider, you can believe that you will be getting the fastest and the best speeds possible.
These speeds are possible, because the router is on the Wi-Fi 6 standard. This is the latest wireless technology on the market, making it the best.
The RAX40 can reach up to 1500 square feet in coverage as well. This might not be the largest range out on the market, but it should still cover most networks without a problem. If this is a concern for you, make sure that you put the router in a central location so that it is able to put out the best range that it can.
Finally, the RAX40 uses Smart Connect technology. This will allow you to easily connect your home Wi-Fi devices with a high amount of reliability.
2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 WiFi Router
A high performance router that works well for Mac computers is the Netgear Nighthawk RAX80. This is one of the highest performing routers that you can get and might even be more than you need.
The design of the RAX80 is bulky and not easy to conceal. If you compare it to other routers, it is a bit of an eye-sore. That said, instead of standard external antennas, the internal antennas are hidden within two large fins on this router.
The RAX80 comes with smart parental controls, allowing you to manage not just the device, but also the internet access across the network.
This is important if you have any children who log on, giving you an added amount of peace of mind and control over your network. The RAX80 comes with 5 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports to support your wired connectivity as well.
Looking at the performance of the RAX80, you will find that it supports more than 30 connected devices simultaneously, which is made possible through the 8 simultaneous streams that come with it. The Netgear RAX80 is the best router for Mac if performance is your top priority.
You should be able to use many devices to stream at the same time without losing any speed, giving you all of the power that you need to keep your network up and going as efficiently as possible.
The RAX80 can reach speeds up to 6 Gbps, which is perfect for the 4K/8K Ultra-HD streaming that the router allows for. Interruptions are a thing of the past with the RAX80.
The MU-MIMO technology on board further promotes the use of multiple users on multiple devices to stream at the same time. When you combine it with Beamforming+, this router has excellent range.
3. TP-Link Archer A7 Wireless Router
Not all routers need to cost an arm and a leg in order to be effective for your Mac computer.
If you are working within a budget, we recommend the TP-Link Archer A7 router as your best option.
The Archer A7 has a horizontal design with three high performance antennas to give your signal an added boost.
The power lights are easy to see since they are right on the front of the router and allow you to keep track of what is going on with your router with a quick glance.
The Archer A7 router comes with 4 x 1-Gigabit ports, which will allow devices to be plugged into the router directly rather than wirelessly. This is best for the devices that cannot suffer a break in connection for any reason, giving them a direct link to the router.
Looking at the device’s performance, it can reach up to 2,500 square feet in range, which is decent considering the fact that this is a budget-friendly router. The router can reach speeds up to 1750 Mbps, providing 3x faster Wi-Fi than other traditional routers do.
The Archer A7 is a dual band router. The 2.4 GHz band gives you 450 Mbps while the 5 GHz provides 1,300 Mbps, but the two work together to give you decent download speeds.
Also improving the performance of the Archer A7 router is the QoS technology that is on board. The QoS has bandwidth prioritization, giving your devices all of the bandwidth they need. It also offers 4K HD streaming capabilities, which is great for online streaming of any kind.
4. Gryphon AC3000 Mesh WiFi Router
Airport Extreme Replacement With Extended Coverage
If you are looking for a router for Mac that also has extended coverage, we recommend the Gryphon AC3000 router. This is new router to the market that has a unique design.
To begin with, the Gryphon router has a unique design, as we previously stated. Instead of the traditional black, horizontal router, this one is tall and white, making it easier to blend in with your home.
It comes with six high-powered internal antennas that should be able to reach anywhere within your network.
The Gryphon router comes with parental controls, though they are not as customizable as some people would like.
It also has an easy smartphone app that can even let you filter control, screen allowed time, and even times of day that it will be available to get onto.
It does not allow you to block specific access, however, if you needed to block certain types of content from devices logged on.
The throughput for the Gryphon router is up to 3Gbps, utilizing its simultaneous tri-band radios.
You will also find that it has 4x4 MU-MIMO and antenna beamforming, which improves the overall coverage. That means it can handle more than one device streaming at the same time.
Since this is a router that provides coverage, we cannot leave it out. The coverage of the Gryphon reaches up to 3,000 square feet and it also works like a mesh system.
So you can add extra points to further increase the size of your coverage if you needed to, though this should be more than adequate for the average network. The more Gryphons you have, the further your coverage will go.
5. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router
Modem Router Combo
For a modem router combo unit, we suggest that you take a look at the Motorola MG7550. This device gives you the best of both worlds, supplying both a modem as well as a wireless router.
The MG7550 has an upright tower design, which can keep your modem as cool as possible. The design also helps to save you space and it is easier to conceal. Tower devices are the best design that you can get because they have an increased longevity than horizontal designs do.
This modem/router combo has4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can plug in any device that cannot risk being kicked off your WiFi.
Other devices can also be connected to the modem as well in order to be accessed throughout the network. The MG7550 has a stable signal, but interruptions can interfere with anything that you might be streaming.
Looking at the performance of the MG7550, you will find that it has the Motorola Power Boost feature with the MG7550, which increases the overall coverage of the network and with speeds up to 650 Mbps, you should have enough power to effortlessly maintain signal throughout your network.
The only downside that we found for this modem/router comb is that it is not intuitive with its setup.
The MG7550 has a dual band router with both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands. Since the 5 GHz band is not as commonly used as the 2.4 GHz, you are more likely to have better luck streaming on the 5 GHz without interference. Dual-band has become the standard for modern routers.
6. Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700 Router
Best WiFi Router For Mac If You Are A Gamer
If you are more in the market for a router that will work well for serious gaming, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700. This is a powerful router that can handle anything that you throw at it.
The design of the XR700 includes four high-gain antennas, which will help you extend the reach of your router throughout your network.
This router is a little bulky when compared to others and it does takes up a lot of space, making it difficult to put on a desk.
Instead, you will likely need to have a dedicated location to accommodate it. If you are serious about gaming, however, the inconvenience is worth the trouble.
The part about the design that should make you happiest is that it was designed by gamers for gamers. That means that all of the important features that you would dream of in your perfect gaming router are likely here.
The XR700 was built for performance. It can reach speeds up to 7.2 Gbps, using its powerful 1.7GHz quad-core processor. As long as your ISP package allows for that kind of speed, you should be able to reach it.
This router has the lowest ping on the market. Every millisecond counts when gaming, as you should know already.
The XR700 comes with geo-filtering to help your router connect to the closest servers and players, giving you efficient response time and allowing you to dominate on the battlefield.
You also can monitor your network and game ping in real time. Combine this fact with the advanced QoS and you are able to see what is hogging your bandwidth.
7. Linksys Velop Mesh Network
Mesh WiFi System
The final router that we are going to look at is a bit different because it is a mesh network router. We suggest the Linksys Velop Mesh Network.
The Velop network’s points are designed as towers with white casing. The mesh system can come in 1, 2, or 3 packs, but, like all mesh systems, can be further extended the more points that you add on.
The antennas within this router are entirely internal, but do contain high powered amplifiers to ensure that the coverage is as much as you need.
The setup of the router is also designed to be easy. It uses the Linksys app that allows you to set it up, adjust your settings, and even update the system.
The only drawback is that the maintenance updates have to happen through the app instead allowing them to be done through a connected computer.
The coverage of the Velop system is fantastic. Each point that you get provides 2,000 square feet in coverage. With two, you will get 4,000 square feet, and so on as you add on points.
This makes it a great choice for homes that have more than one story as well as more than one bedroom.
This is a tri-band router as well, giving you a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. This will keep the traffic down along your wireless bandwidth and keep your speeds up as high as they can go.
The tri-band speeds at 867 + 867 + 400 Mbps, per node. There is also 4K streaming for gaming and videos.
8. Synology RT2600ac WiFi Router
The most secure router for Mac is the Synology RT2600ac. As long as you are technologically savvy, you will be happy with this router, but if you are not, prepare for a learning curve.
Starting with the design of the Synology RT2600ac, it sits horizontally with a black casing. It has four high-gain antennas that can be moved to the direction that needs the strongest signal possible.
Typically horizontal routers run the risk of overheating, but this router does not, because it rests at an angle that helps with overall ventilation. Naturally, you still need to have it in a well-ventilated location as well, but the angle definitely helps.
The RT2600ac also comes with one USB 2.0 port and five Ethernet ports to give you connectivity for the devices that really need it. The operating system uses the Synology Router Manager for setup, which can be nice. Unfortunately, the manager it is not user-friendly, so if you are not tech savvy, this might not be the right router for you to get for your Mac.
The RT2600ac has a lot of great performance features, like a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, which will give you excellent overall performance capabilities. The range of the router is up to 3000 square feet, which means that it should cover the average home size without any kind of trouble.
The security features are what really make this router important. The router is regularly updated with the latest security protocols, keeping the latest malware or cyber threats out of your network. Additionally, you get intrusion protection, denial-of-service protection, and a reliable firewall management system to further keep outsiders locked out.
How To Set Up A Wireless Router On A Mac
- Turn off or disable your modem if it is setup.
- Using an Ethernet cable, connect the wireless router to the modem.
- Turn your modem on and let it initialize. Your computer needs to be on as well.
- Plug your modem into the computer using an Ethernet cable.
- Open a browser and type in the address that came with your router.
- Input the network name of your choice and use a password. Apply the settings.
- Right click on the network icon on your computer to allow your Mac to connect to the wireless router.
We have found that the best router for Mac is the Netgear Nighthawk RAX40. The Netgear RAX40 is reliable with adequate performance and range.
While Linksys customer service is not the best out there, the router itself will get the job done well.
That said, there are still other routers that might be better for your individual situations. Gamers will have a better time with the XR700, while the Archer A7 is perfect if you are working within a budget.
Try to figure out what you need from a router and then you will be able to identify the best router for Apple devices for your network.