The Sad State of the Apple Airport

Remember when the Apple Airport was the best home WiFi solution? I sure do. I had a series of terrible routers and finally spent the money on an Airport. The system tools were easy to use and the WiFi was substantially better in my house. But still not perfect.

Last year I started using the Eero Mesh networking routers (Disclosure: they’re an occasional MPU sponsor) and my home WiFi made one of those leaps in technology that makes all nerds so happy. Everything got much better and my family now has stopped pestering me about dodgy WiFi.

Meanwhile, the Airport lingers. We’ve even heard reports that the Airport team inside Apple has been disbanded. The latest penny to drop is the fact that Apple is now selling the Linksys mesh networking system (called “Velop”) in Apple stores. I’ve never used the LInksys system but I’d bet that a mesh networking system from any reputable vendor is going to run circles around the Apple Airport. Nevertheless, the Airport still sits on the shelves of Apple Stores and unknowing customers are still buying the inferior system every day.

I’d argue that given the superiority of mesh networking, Apple either needs to improve the Airport line to also provide mesh networking or kill it altogether. I know this creates issues for the Time Capsule feature but I expect they could find a way around that. (Perhaps making it a network utility instead of a router.) Either way, home WiFi has made a significant jump over the last few years and unknowing Apple customers that expect the Airport to still be the best are missing out.