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7 Best Router for Mac in 2021

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A router is a networking system that sends data packets from one computer network to another.

On the Internet, routers are in charge of traffic steering. Data packets are used to send data over the internet, such as a web page or an email.

A packet is routed from one router to another through the networks that make up an internetwork (such as the Internet) before it reaches its destination node.

Two or more data lines from various IP networks are linked to a router.  The router reads the network address information in the packet header to decide the ultimate destination when a data packet arrives on one of the tracks.

The packet is then guided to the next network on its journey using information from its routing table or routing policy. 

Home and small office routers are the most common form of IP routers, which simply forward IP packets between home computers and the Internet.

Enterprise routers, for example, connect large business or ISP networks to the powerful core routers that forward data at high speeds along the Internet backbone’s optical fiber lines.

Factors To Consider While Buying The Best Router for Mac

  • Wi-Fi standards:

When looking for the right Wi-Fi router, one of the first things to look for is the wireless standard that is being used. IEEE802.11a or 802.11b is used in early routers, but technology has advanced considerably since then. They are often compatible with a lot of the more recent models, but if the router is going to be used for a long time, it is better to make sure it supports the most recent standard. The router would be able to offer the highest output this way. And if there are some older devices that need connections, they can be supported since they are backward compatible. The most recent model is 802.11ac, which is used on all modern routers. That means the router can support up to Gigabit speeds, which is significantly faster than the previous cap of 600Mbps. 

  • Wi-Fi speed specifications:

As one would imagine, both vendors will tout the router’s top speed, which is given by the new 802.11 standards. In fact, these speeds are rarely seen; they only happen in a laboratory under ideal conditions. The speed would be decreased due to multiple users, interference, signal attenuation caused by walls and other objects, and a slew of other real-world issues.

But don’t worry; the quoted speeds are usually well above what is needed. Whether the signal is very weak, there are a lot of users, or there is a lot of interference, today’s routers will allow the streaming of high-definition video.

  • Check the router wired interface:

Wi-Fi routers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Others are intended for use with broadband, while others are only intended for use with Ethernet or probably other connections. Typically, domestic routers would have a broadband link, as well as Ethernet and possibly USB. 

When choosing a router, make sure it meets your networking needs, whether it’s for broadband and Ethernet only, USB, or a mix of the two.

Routers with USB ports are increasingly being used for low-cost networked storage. Any computer on the network can access data stored on a hard disc drive or flash storage drive plugged into the router’s back.

It is possible to build a networked media center for streaming movies, music, and television locally in this manner.

It’s worth testing the speeds when looking at the wired connections. Since cheaper routers also have Ethernet switches rated at just 100Mbps, it’s better to make sure the Ethernet link is rated at 1Gbps when choosing the best router (1,000Mbps).

Check the output of any USB connections as well, as USB3 / USB3.1 is significantly faster than USB 2.

  • Security:

Hackers are making frequent appearances in the news these days. As a result, when choosing the best router to buy, protection is a significant factor to consider. Wireless networks may be extremely vulnerable – they’ve been dubbed “as insecure as they are easy!” Anyone within range of the router’s signal can eavesdrop on what’s going on and steal confidential information including bank and credit card numbers if the network isn’t properly protected.

If you’re looking for the right router to buy, make sure it at the very least supports WPA2 (the second implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol).

However, in order for this to work, every computer on the network must be compatible with WPA2. The protection is only as strong as the system that is the least stable.

The major reputable router manufacturers understand the importance of security and have developed their products with enterprise or advanced family security in mind.

These devices have the ability to add additional encryption, track devices, remove unauthorized users from the network, and even see what people are surfing. Check out the services to see if they suit your needs.

  • Wi-Fi bands:

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are the two most popular Wi-Fi bands. Nowadays, most routers allow you to choose between the two bands. As such they are called dual-band Wi-Fi routers.

  • Router antennas:

Antennas are necessary on any wireless device, and Wi-Fi routers are no exception. They should be considered when purchasing a Wi-Fi router. 

When comparing routers, you’ll notice that some of them have antennas that protrude from the case, usually on the top.

Other routers have internal antennas, which give them a more elegant appearance, but the signal they transmit is not as solid.

There is no location change on routers with antennal antennas. This can come in handy when looking for the best coverage.

  • Mesh networking:

Even if your router is fast, there are many larger homes and older buildings with thick walls that can block the signal, making it impossible for a traditional router to provide good Wi-Fi that reaches every single room. If this is the case in your home, you can consider a mesh networking system, which combines two or more routers to create a larger and more stable network.

Top 7 Best Router for Mac In 2021:

1. Linksys MR8300 – Best value for money

Since Apple discontinued its own Airport range, it doesn’t sell many routers on the Apple Store, but the Linksys MR8300 is one of the few to do so.

Apple, miraculously, has a lower price for this high-end tri-band router, costing just £149.95 / $179.95.

The MR8300 is simply a huge slab of black plastic with four large antennae sticking up out of it, and it isn’t the most elegant style we’ve seen.

The router, on the other hand, delivers excellent results, transmitting 802.11ac Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

The MR8300’s maximum speed is 2200Mbps, and it also supports MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple inputs/multiple outputs), which allows it to stream to multiple devices at the same time.

On the back of the router, there are five ethernet ports for wired connections (one of which can be used to link it to your existing broadband modem or router) and a USB 3.0 port for sharing a hard drive or printer over your home network.

Pros

  • Support for mesh Wi-Fi.
  • The Linksys app makes it easy to set up.
  • Amplifiers in the network for improved speed.
  • It has a good range.

Cons

  • There’s no way of knowing how long the system will work. If you’re having trouble with your computer, there are some workarounds you can try to get it back up and running.

2. D-Link Exo AC3000 (DIR-3060) – Best for performance

The Exo is still a formidable weapon, not least because its series of six sharply pointed antennae gives it the appearance of a Cylon battleship from Battlestar Galactica.

The Exo, like its predecessor, has a scary face, but it also has a similar tri-band performance, transmitting 802.11ac Wi-Fi on 2.4GHz and two 5GHz bands at a total speed of 3000Mb/s.

The router also supports MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple inputs, multiple outputs), which allows the scary antennae to stream data to a large number of devices at the same time.

This makes it a decent choice for families or flatmates who spend their evenings at home watching Netflix, Zoom, or playing video games.

On the back of the Exo, there are five ethernet ports for wired connections – but you’ll need to use one of those ports to link it to an existing broadband router or modem – and both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for connecting a printer, hard drive, or other network devices.

Pros

  • Keep malicious attacks at bay while still protecting your online privacy – McAfee security built-in for any computer on your network.
  • Wi-Fi Mesh (Advanced) – Intelligent features can boost the performance of your entire home network.

Cons

  • File transfer output is mediocre.
  • Antennas that cannot be removed.

3. Netgear Nighthawk AC3200 (R8000) – Best for larger homes

The R8000 from Netgear is one of the best current-generation 802.11ac routers. It’s also a good option for households with many devices vying for bandwidth on streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and others.

The R8000 is a tri-band router, which means it can transmit Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, with a combined speed of 3200Mb/s, which should be more than enough even for busy households with numerous laptops, tablets, and handheld devices all vying for a piece of your precious internet bandwidth.

Those six antennae are also there for a reason: they support a function called ‘beamforming,’ which allows the router to concentrate the Wi-Fi signal for increased coverage and signal power.

There are also four ethernet ports for wired connections, as well as a fifth ethernet port for connecting it to your current router or modem (which is supplying the Internet connection).

The Nighthawk software from Netgear, on the other hand, is a bit of a mixed bag. The software is easy to use and walks you through the installation process step by step.

It also has some useful features including the ability to build a temporary guest network.

However, its more sophisticated parental controls and ‘Armor’ security features require an extra subscription, which is inconvenient, and there are other routers that offer similar features.

Pros

  • The Nighthawk App makes it easy to set up and use.
  • At home and on the go, NETGEAR Armor cybersecurity defends your network and private data from online attacks.
  • You get three WiFi bands with tri-band WiFi, with the third one dedicated to communication between your router and satellite. As a result, there will be less network congestion and system interference, as well as increased speed and reliability.

Cons

  • It requires a lot of space because of the six big antennas it has.

4. Netgear RAX20 – Best for Wi-Fi

Netgear was one of the first companies to release routers that used the latest 802.11ax technology, also known as Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Wi-Fi 6 is actually only supported by the most recent iPhone models, so this isn’t a must-have update right now.

However, as more users support the latest standard in the coming months, purchasing a Wi-Fi 6 router now will ensure that your home network is future-proofed for years to come.

Although some of Netgear’s AX series Wi-Fi 6 routers are very pricey, the entry-level RAX20 offers a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade for less than £150/$150.

The RAX20 is a dual-band router that transmits Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels, with a combined bandwidth of 1800Mb/s.

There are also four ethernet ports for wired connections, as well as a USB 3.0 port for connecting a hard drive for backups or storing music, images, and videos. It does not, however, come with a modem, so you’ll have to connect to the internet.

Of course, the 1800Mb/s speed isn’t much better than current 802.11ac routers, but Wi-Fi 6 adds new features like OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) that help to boost performance while streaming data to a large number of devices at once.

The RAX20, according to Netgear, is suitable for homes with up to 20 connected devices, whereas other AX models are built to operate with 50 or more devices all connected at the same time.

Pros

  • Smooth 4K UHD streaming is ensured by a quad-core 1.5GHz processor.
  • With up to 1.8Gbps for fast wireless speeds, it performs 1.5X better than an AC Router.
  • Improve your 4K UHD streaming, gaming, or video conferencing experience with ultra-fast wireless speeds.

Cons

  • Both locally and potentially over the internet, Netgear home Wi-Fi router models are vulnerable to attack.

5. TP-Link Archer C6 – Best budget option

TP-Archer Link’s routers are always good value for money, and the company’s Archer C6 is one of the most accessible 802.11ac routers on the market right now.

It’s been one of TP-best-selling Link’s routers in recent months, and we’ve seen it go for as little as £66/$56 online; it’ll be a decent upgrade for anyone who’s having problems with their ISP’s old router.

The Archer C6 is a dual-band router that supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.

Although its peak speed of 1200Mb/s is moderate when compared to more expensive routers, most UK homes only have broadband speeds of 100Mb/s or less, so it should be more than enough for Netflix streaming, online gaming, or Zooming.

Its four large external antennae, as well as a fifth antenna concealed within the gleaming black case, support MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple inputs, multiple outputs), which allows data to be streamed to multiple devices at the same time while everyone is online in the evenings.

The C6 has five Ethernet ports for wired connections, one of which is needed to link it to your existing broadband modem or router, and the only real indication of cost-cutting is the lack of USB ports for sharing a printer or hard drive on your home network. 

Pros

  • A total of five antennas are used to provide a wider range of coverage.
  • LAN ports that are 10 times quicker.
  • Parental authority.
  • It’s easy to set up and install.
  • Using a mobile app, you can monitor your network.

Cons

  • Given how congested and crowded 2.4Ghz is these days, the 2.4Ghz is not shocking. The pace is much slower.

6. Eero Pro – Best for HomeKit

Eero is one of the few companies that support Apple’s HomeKit with its routers, allowing it to provide extra protection for other HomeKit-compatible products including smart lights.

You may be able to get away with the entry-level Eero, a dual-band router that costs only £100/$100, if you’re on a tight budget or live in a smaller apartment with just a few gadgets connected to your network.

However, we agree that the tri-band Eero Pro, which can transmit 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz band as well as two different 5GHz bands, is worth the extra money.

Eero is strangely quiet about the Eero Pro’s pace, though the information we’ve gleaned from its website indicates that this tri-band model runs at around 1450Mb/s.

While not the fastest, that speed should suffice for most home users – particularly in the UK, where few homes have broadband that fast.

You may also broaden your network by purchasing additional Eero or Eero Pro routers and connecting them to form a wider mesh network for larger homes.

The Eero app is quick to use and provides useful features like the ability to build a guest network and monitor internet access for devices like a child’s tablet, but it’s a shame that you have to pay for extra features like filtering for inappropriate adult content.

Pros

  • Easy setup.
  • Top speeds are very high.
  • Quality that is consistent and dependable.
  • The Zigbee radio allows you to attach your devices to Alexa.

Cons

  • It’s costly.
  • Each node has only two Ethernet ports.
  • A paid subscription is required to access parental controls.

7. Ubiquiti AmpliFi HD – Best for future upgrades:

While Ubiquiti isn’t well-known in the United Kingdom, some of its founders previously worked at Apple, and they obviously brought some of Apple’s design experience to the often mundane router sector.

The AmpliFi HD’s simple cube design represents Apple’s sleek, streamlined approach, but it’s also practical, with features like a touchscreen display that lets you search the route quickly.

A fairly standard dual-band 802.11ac router sits within the small white cube, transmitting Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and GHz bands at a combined speed of 1750Mb/s.

Since the AmpliFi HD doesn’t come with a modem, you’ll need to use one of the five ethernet ports on the back panel to link it to the modem or router that provides your usual broadband connection.

The AmpliFi app is also well-designed, with parental controls and features including a guest network available right inside the app.

For those who want to dig deeper into the router and network settings, a web browser interface is also available.

You may also expand the AmpliFi network by purchasing additional mesh points,’ which are basically large Wi-Fi aerials that you can plug into a mains socket in another room to improve the Wi-Fi signal if you live in a large house or have thick walls that can block your Wi-Fi signal.

Pros

  • Installation and configuration are simple.
  • Power over a single band.
  • Four LAN ports.
  • Strong range and throughput efficiency.

Cons

  • It’s pricey.
  • There are just a few options.
  • Mesh points that are very massive.
  • External peripherals are not allowed by the USB port.

Conclusion To Best Router for Mac:

The article above includes some of the best routers for MAC Operating Systems along with their advantages and disadvantages hence before you make the selection for the appropriate router for yourself,  please go through the description of each router and decide accordingly. 

For more of our picks, check out the articles mentioned below. Gamers can also check out our top-picks coverage of other peripherals such as gaming keyboards, gaming mice, gaming laptops, and, graphics cards, etc to finish outfitting their game dens.

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