If you are looking for the best router for Mac or Apple, you cannot just buy the first one that you come across.
You need to be sure that you are getting a quality router that can support all of the activity that you have along your network.
With Apple stopping the use of AirPort in 2018 due to its inadequacy with modern tech, other options need to be explored.
But, what should you be looking for and what routers are really the best ones out there? We will break it down for you by router types and your network needs to help you make the best choice possible.
Choosing A Wireless Router For Mac & Apple Devices
Your Internet Package Speed
Your internet package from your ISP will affect your router’s ability. Even if you have the best router for Mac than can handle speeds up to 1 Gbps, if your internet package does not reach the same speeds, your router will always be limited.
It cannot go any faster than what your ISP allows. If you are worried that your speeds are sub-par, you can always test your connection speed, but you should still confirm what your ISP promised.
Size Of Your Home
Another big consideration that you need to make when it comes to the right router for Mac is what the size of your home network is.
If you are living in an apartment or smaller space, you will not need the same range as someone living in a multi-level home. Different routers have different ranges, so you should see what the range they offer is before deciding which router is right for you.
Number Of Connected Devices
The amount of activity that you have on your network, including the amount of devices that are being used, what the devices are up to, and whether you have multiple users on your network, all should go into what your need to look for in your router.
Some routers can handle a lot of devices while others are not made to handle more than a couple. The routers should list what they are capable of.
A router’s features should also affect what kind of router that you should buy. This means if you have multiple users streaming at once, you might want to look for a router that has MU-MIMO technology on board.
If you are worried about someone draining the bandwidth for a certain device, you should look for a router with QoS. Consider the type of activity that you will have on your network and find a router that supports it.
5 Best Routers For Mac & Apple Devices (2020)
1. Linksys EA7500
2. Gryphon AC3000
3. Medialink AC1200
4. Google WiFi System
5. Netgear XR500
1. Linksys Max-Stream EA7500 Wireless Router
Best Router For Mac (Editor's Choice)
Without a doubt, the best wireless router for Mac is the Linksys Max-Stream EA7500. We recommend this router, because it is reliable, has great performance, and good coverage, making it work well for the average home network.
To begin with, the Max-Stream EA7500 is easy to set up; it’s almost like a plug in and go setup. It uses Linksys’s quick start guide for the set-up, which only takes a few minutes.
Looking at the physical design of the router, the Linksys Max-Stream EA7500 sits horizontally on your desk and has a black casing, which is pretty typical for modems and routers. It cannot be stood up vertically. The design also features 3 high performance antennas that can be pointed in any direction.
Also with the design, the EA7500 has one USB 3.0 port as well as a standard USB 2.0 port. It has four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports as well as security options and protections, such as parental controls to be able to have a hand in what children are able to access online.
The EA7500 can support more than 15 devices connected at once, which is really ideal for the modern household that uses a lot of wireless devices. You will also note that it comes with the essential MU-MIMO technology, so more than one user can be streaming on different devices simultaneously.
Coverage-wise, the EA7500 offers up to 1,500 square feet, which makes it work throughout the average home network. It is a dual-band router. The 2.4GHz band offers speeds up to 600 Mbps and a 5 GHz band with speeds up to 1,300 Mbps, giving you a combined speed of 1.9 Gbps.
2. Gryphon Smart Mesh Wireless Router
High Performance - Airport Extreme Replacement
If you are looking for the highest performing router for Mac, we recommend the Gryphon router. This is an interesting router that you might not find anywhere else.
The Gryphon router has an interesting design. Instead of the traditional black, horizontal router, this one is tall and white. In fact, it looks a little bit like a piece of modern art, while still being able to help you with you connectivity.
It comes with six high-powered internal antennas that should be able to reach anywhere within your network.
Another feature that you will find with this router is that it has a decent amount of parental control. It 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.
The overall throughput for the Gryphon router is 3Gbps, which is amazing. It also has simultaneous tri-band radios. They are a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands.
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 without slowing down or kicking anyone off.
Speaking of coverage, Gryphon has incredible coverage, reaching up to 3,000 square feet. 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.
3. Medialink AC1200 Gigabit Router
If you are looking for a budget friendly, basic router for Mac, we suggest the Medialink AC1200.
This Medialink router has a standard design. It is black with two high gain antennas and lies horizontally. One of the best design features that it offers is that the router lights, which can often be annoying in a dark room, can be turned off when needed.
This router also has parental controls where you can limit the amount of time that your children can be online. You can also set it to only work on certain days or times to keep your children’s screen time down and controlled. It is easy to set up and there is a good amount of support offered by the company itself if you are having any trouble.
This is just a router, so it will need to be hooked up to a modem in order to work with a cable or DSL network. It also has good range. With Beamforming and 2 high powered antennas, the coverage should reach the entirety of the average-sized network. The antennas can also be moved to point in the direction of the devices that require the strongest signal.
Even though this is a budget friendly router, it does have a decent performance level. This Medialink router boasts Gigabit ports that can provide 1000Mbps with 4K video streaming. While it does not have QoS or MU-MIMO available, it could still work for online gaming if only one person is attempting to play at a time. It will not work as well if too many devices are trying to stream at the same time, however.
4. Google WiFi Mesh System Router
If you need a router that has amazing extended system for your Mac setup, we recommend the Google Mesh System. There really isn’t a better mesh system than this one.
The Google MeshSystem comes with three individual Wi-Fi points which will eliminate dead spots throughout your network. What’s great about this system is that you can purchase additional points if you need to extend your coverage even further, making this ideal for large spaces.
The design of this system has no external antennas, making it easier to conceal than other routers. This can be really beneficial if you need to add on points as you go, but that does not negatively affect the overall performance of the system.
The Google router system has network assist technology giving you a strong signal from point to point, which will extend when you add more points. The biggest advantage to a mesh system like this is that if you need more coverage, you can always get more points to extend it further, making it as large as you want.
Using the three points that come with this system, the Google Wi-Fi system can cover up to 1,500 square feet without dead spots, but if the points are all configured correctly, you can actually get coverage up to 4,500 square feet.
Each of the three points has its own LAN port as well as being a Wi-Fi point, so you gain two Gigabit Ethernet ports in each point, giving you endless options to directly wire in a device at any point, giving you limitless ports and access points, extending the range for your whole network.
5. Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Router
If you are looking for the best router for Apple devices for gamers, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk XR500. This router was designed for gamers by gamers and offers all of the features that you would really want.
The XR500 is a sleek, modern black with four high performance antennas that can help you direct the Wi-Fi signal in the directions that need it the more. It also has four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, giving you lag-free, wired connectivity where you need it the most.
You will also find some advanced security features with it which means a secure gaming VPN server, keeping your network identity concealed. You can also monitor your network and game ping in real-time, allowing you to see what devices are draining the bandwidth or interfering with your streaming.
This router has excellent performance that makes it ideal for online gaming is that the XR500 is optimized to give you the lowest ping possible for any online game that you might be playing. Every millisecond counts with the use of geo-filtering to connect to the closest services and players, giving you an edge.
The XR500 delivers fast speeds up to 2.6 Gbps. The QoS feature will let you bypass network congestion and reduce any potential for lag spikes, jumps, and jitters.
This means that your gaming traffic can be put on an express lane, where you can play uninterrupted by other devices on your network. This is a dual-band router, so you will get to work with both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands.
How To Set Up A Wireless Router On A Mac
1. Disable your modem if it is setup, so you don’t have any connectivity.
2. Connect the wireless router to the modem using an Ethernet cable.
3. Plug the modem back in and let it initialize. Have your computer on as well.
4. Plug the modem into the computer so you can set it up.
5. Open a browser and type in the address that was included with the router.
6. Input the network name of your choice and use a password. Apply the settings.
7. Right click on the network icon to allow your Mac to connect to the wireless router.
When it comes down to it, the best router for Mac is the Linksys Max-Stream EA7500. This is a versatile router that has decent range, great speeds, and is easy to operate, making it a great choice for the average network.
Gamers or users that will be downloading or uploading a lot might want a higher performing router, like the Gryphon router (great Airport Extreme replacement) or even the Nighthawk XR500 as they are the most capable for those needs. Google’s mesh system is still superior for larger networks that need more range.
Make sure that the router that you get meets the needs for your home network before you commit to one or another.
Hey, it’s James here. I’m the founder and editor here at RiverstoneNet.com. I’m a network engineer during the day and a blogger at night. Let me know if I can help you with choosing a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.