If you have a Mac already or are looking to buy one, you will want to make sure that you are getting the best internet speeds possible.
To do that successfully, you will need the best router for Mac possible. But which router is the best one? Some users are probably still thinking that you will be able to use an AirPort as a router, but this is not the case.
Apple stopped making AirPort Extreme routers in 2018, acknowledging that their technology simply could not keep up with modern advancements. For that reason, you will need to find a different, better router to meet your wireless needs.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A WiFi Router For Mac & Apple Devices
Internet Speed Package
In an ideal world, you would get the speeds that a router is capable of. But, in reality, you are limited by the internet speed package that you pay for.
When you are looking for a router for Mac and other Apple devices, you should make sure that you are not overpaying for speeds that your ISP will never let you have. On the other hand, you should make sure that you are making the most of the speeds you have.
Size Of Your Home
Another consideration is the size of your home. You will need to not just consider the square footage of your house, but also the layout of your network. Walls and furniture can cause an obstruction to your signal.
You need a router that has the range needed to reach every device in the house, so always look at the listed range of a router before buying.
Number Of Connected Devices
The amount of devices that will be connected to the router should also be taken into consideration. If you live alone, for example, you will not need a router that can handle multiple streaming devices at the same time.
Some routers can only balance one or two devices simultaneously, while others can hand upwards of 50 devices. Think about not only how many device you currently have, but how many you might want to have as well.
Security & Performance Features
You will also need to consider security and features when looking for the best router for Mac. Security might mean parental controls or a strong firewall, while performance features can be MU-MIMO, which allows multiple users to stream at once, or QoS, where you can indicate which devices should have priority.
The features you need will depend on your specific situation and what you do when you are online.
7 Best Routers For Mac & Apple Devices (2020)
1. Netgear R7000
2. Linksys EA9500
3. TP-Link Archer A9
4. Asus ROG AX11000
5. Google Nest
6. Motorola MG7700
Modem Router Combo
7. Netgear RAX200
WiFi 6 Standard
1. Netgear Nighthawk R7000 WiFi Router
Best Router For Mac (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best wireless router for Mac is the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. The R7000 is a reliable router with all of the features that you need from a good router.
Starting with the design, the R7000 is a horizontal router with three high-gain antennas that can be positioned in the direction that need the best signals. The design is little on the bulky side and will take up a lot of room on a shelf. There is a USB 3.0 port as well as four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The R7000 connects to the OpenVPN Connect App, which allows you to have remote access to the network to see what’s going on in your network. The router also uses Amazon Alexa voice controls of you have any Amazon devices in your home.
The R7000 also supports WPA2 wireless security protocols, has guest WiFi access, a firewall, a VPN, and DoS. The Netgear Armor will protect your network from malware and viruses, but requires a paid subscription in order to make use of it.
The R7000 has decent performance, including a 1 GHz dual-core processor as in addition to a Beamforming+ feature that adds more power to your antennas. You can have up to 30 devices connected at one time with the R7000, which should work for most homes.
The router also features the ReadySHARE Vault that provides an automatic backup to your USB 3.0 port. Another feature that you can get with this router is the dynamic QoS, so you can prioritize which devices should get the best bandwidth. The router itself is easy to setup, so you won’t have trouble there.
2. Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 WiFi Router
The best high performance Mac available is the Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 router. This router is powerful and comes with a lot of great features.
Starting with the design of the Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 , you will first notice that it is large and would be impossible to hide if you wanted to try. It also has several multi-directional high-gain antennas that stick straight-up and make the design of the router even harder to conceal.
The Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to wire in any devices as well as a USB 3.0 port for ultra-fast speeds. These will make it easier for this router to work with more than one device as well as to access a storage device within the network.
The Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 router is built to perform. The router is capable of speeds up to 5.3 Gbps. It also has MU-MIMO technology on board as well as 4K HD streaming. That will make streaming or gaming on this router incredibly easy. The Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 router also has Airtime Fairness, which will ensure an equitable distribution of WiFi to different devices. This can help reduce lag, especially if another device begins to use the bandwidth while you are already online.
The Linksys Tri-Band EA9500 allows over 25 wired devices to be connected at the same time, which is perfect for the average modern home that has a lot of streaming devices. It also can cover up to 3,000 square feet. The 4K HD streaming technology is not just great for streaming videos, but it is also great if you do any kind of online gaming.
3. TP-Link Archer A9 Smart WiFi Router
Great router that works well within a budget is the TP-Link Archer A9. This is a reliable router that will still perform well, but does not comes will all of the extra features you would get from something more expensive.
The design of the Archer A9 is a standard for a router. It is horizontal with a black exterior and three high-gain antennas coming out of the back. It comes with 1 WAN and 4 LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports to help deliver wired speeds to the devices that need the added security.
The Archer A9 comes with its own VPN server to help with your network’s privacy as well as a guest WiFi option as well as Alexa voice control, which can help you connect your devices even when you are not right next to it. This router also has built-in parental controls as well as a firewall, which can help keep the network locked down.
The Archer A9 comes with two simultaneous data streams to help your devices get better performance. It works through increasing the efficiency of communication from the devices to the router. The router is only single-band, so there is a greater risk of running into traffic if you have any close neighbours on the 2.4 GHz streaming at the same time.
Looking at its features, the Archer A9 comes with MU-MIMO technology, which is ideal for networks that like to stream Netflix while other devices are also streaming. You do not want to have too much heavy-duty streaming at once with this router, but it still can handle a couple of devices at a time.
4. Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 Router
For gamers, we suggest the Asus ROG Rapture AX11000. This is a beast of a router that will be able to handle anything that you need to throw at it.
One thing to remember is that the AX11000 is really made for power. The size is so large, because of everything that the router can do. That said, it is still a lot. The design is such that you are not going to be able to hide this router, even if you wanted to. The AX11000 sits flat on a surface and has 8 high-powered antennas, extending from every side of the router.
The AX11000 is made for gaming, so it also has a 2.5 G gaming port, for ultimate, high-speed performance. The Gaming Center interface is ROG-themed as well, which provides an easy point-and-click control over everything that you need to set up or do with your router, which should make gamers happy.
What is perhaps most impressive about the AX11000 is its performance. It is really made for gamers, but would also work for anyone who wants high speeds from their router. It’s called the AX11000, because it gets WiFi speeds up to 11000 Mbps.
The triple-level acceleration will boost game traffic while lowering the ping rate and reducing the game latency, for an overall better experience. As a result, the router is reliable and high-speed, making it perfect if you are gaming. Finally, it offers triple-level game acceleration with game package and game server prioritization.
5. Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router
If you have a Mac, but also need extended coverage, you should take a look at the Google Nest. This is one of the newest mesh systems on the market and it was really built with a lot of thought put into it, making it overall impressive.
The Nest is designed to be simple and easily blend into any décor. Since you might need several points to reach the level of coverage that you are looking for, it is nice that the points are all small and easy to hide. That way, if you need many, you will not have unsightly routers all over the place.
Each access point comes with two Ethernet ports that are compatible with Google WiFi. That means that you can plug in wired devices into any of the points. The more points you have, the more ports you will have.
Since the extended coverage is the focus of the Google Nest, let’s start by looking at that. One Nest package will come with two access points. With only those two points, the Nest can cover up to 4,400 square feet. It can extend even further the more points that you add.
Remember that some people need more points due to the layout of their home rather than square footage, so look out for any obstructions in your house.
Finally, you can have up to 200 connected devices at once with the Nest. It even allows more than one device to stream at 4K speeds simultaneously, making it a powerful system that should allow everyone who wants to stream the ability to stream.
6. Motorola MG7700 Modem Router Combo
Modem Router Combo
For the best modem router combo unit that works well with Macs, we recommend the Motorola MG7700. There is a kind of reliability that comes with Motorola products and the MG7700 is right in line with that.
The MG7700 is a basic, black tower design. It stands vertically, which is nice for the longevity of the device. It has excellent venting, keeping all of the internal components cool. It also takes up much less room on the shelf than a horizontal device does.
The MG7700 comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you will be able to plug in up to four devices directly to it. That can be helpful if you are planning on using a HDTV or a gaming console, since you will be able to hardwire them in.
Looking at its performance, the MG7700 comes with a dual-band built-in router, so it has both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands. This will help you delegate traffic between the bands, increasing your overall speeds. You can also get 1,500 square feet in coverage, which should cover the average home network.
The MG7700 has wireless power boost which will give you better speed and range. It also has high performance WiFi power amplifiers that will boost the wireless signals all the way to the legal limit, giving you a huge boost in both the speed as well as the range of the device.
It does have built-in AnyBeam WiFi Beamforming that will improve the reach of your signal and really hone in on the area that you need the strongest wireless signal.
7. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 Router
WiFi 6 Standard
A high performance router that works well for Macs is the Netgear Nighthawk RAX80. This is a WiFi 6 Standard router that is made to give you only the highest level of performance possible.
Starting with the design, the RAX80 is large, bulky, and not easy to hide. It will take up a lot of shelf space, no matter what you do. Even so, instead of the standard external antennas, the RAX80 has internal antennas that are concealed within two large fins on this router.
Furthermore, the RAX80 comes with 5 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports to support your wired connectivity. You will also find that it has smart parental controls, allowing you to manage not just the device, but also the internet access across the network. This will provide a lot of parents with good peace of mind.
The performance of the RAX80 is impressive. It 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 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.
You will find that this router supports more than 30 connected devices simultaneously, which is made possible through the 8 simultaneous streams that come with it.
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.
How To Set Up A New WiFi Router On A Mac
Setting up your new router with your Mac & Apple devices should not be too much trouble for you. It is a simple process.
- Disable your existing modem.
- Connect the wireless router to the modem.
- Turn on your modem and your computer. Let them start up.
- Attach your modem to the computer with an Ethernet cable.
- Open a browser and type in the IP address of your router.
- Type in the username and password. Apply the settings.
- On your computer, right click on the network icon to have your Mac to connect to the new wireless router.
The best router for Mac ultimately comes down to what you need from your router. If you are looking for the best all-around router, you cannot do better than the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. This is an easy-to-use router that has great speed and all of the features that the average home network should be looking for.
There are many other routers, such as the ones we have suggested, that might work better to meet your needs. Regardless, choose the router that has the features, speeds, and compatibilities that you are looking for. Whether it is the R7000 or the RAX80, the perfect router is out there.