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SteveClark1000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2018
10
10
Peoria, AZ
I have a Gen. 6 Airport Extreme with with firmware 7.7.9. It's showing it's age and I want to replace it. My home is 1700 sqft and the router is in a closet in the center of the house. My internet is with Cox and I have 150/10 but would like the ability to upgrade to 300/30 or perhaps gigabit, if the price ever becomes reasonable.

I have about 30 smart devices on the 2.4GHz band and 2 iMacs, an iPhone X, and an iPad Pro on the 5GHz band. I also have an external drive attached to the Airport Extreme to use with Time Machine for both iMacs as well as for some external storage.

I'd like a "plug and play" replacement that I can just set the same network name and password so I don't have to reconfigure each smart device. I also would like to get a replacement router that supports Time Machine. I've done some Googling and the 2 recommended routers to replace a Airport Extreme are the Asus RT-AC86U ($179) or the Synology RT2600AC Wi-Fi AC 2600 ($199).

Anyone have any other suggestions, experience with either of those routers, or other input?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,755
12,863
I would not buy another "standalone" router.

You sound like a good candidate for one of the new "mesh systems" that are out there.

There are a number of them on the market, so be ready to "do your due diligence" in investigating them and picking the one you like best. That means reading user reviews, etc.

Apple now sells the Linksys "Velop" system as a replacement for the Airport Extreme.
That should tell ya sumthin' ... ;)

Personal experience:
I bought and setup a Velop 2-node system before Apple began carrying them.
It works fine...
 

SteveClark1000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2018
10
10
Peoria, AZ
I have yet to see a mesh system with a USB port to support an external drive for Time Machine. As for Apple and Linksys, it’s a business deal, not the only or best option.
 

macdragonfl

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2006
581
305
Ft. Lauderdale,Fl
I just did this last week. I went with an Asus Blue Cave. It has a Time Machine mode for the usb3 connection. It also has a nice esthetic as Airport products do. It is also mesh, Asus updated the firmware when I was setting it up. Asus claims it maxes out at 2000 sq ft. I installed in 1500 sq ft. ranch style home. I have great signal through concrete walls even outside up to about 300 ft. front and rear. My garage was always weak. Same signal as the rest of the house now. Depending on the size of your home you may only need one. I was open to two if needed. Other Asus routers support Time Machine, this one seems closer to what Airport Extreme was, with a huge hardware upgrade.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,755
12,863
I just took a quick look at the Blue Cave and it looks very nice.
It's only "2 band" (lacks 3rd radio channel for backhaul such as Orbi and Velop have), but still claims fast speeds.
It's one of the few mesh systems that has a USB port that can actually be used for NAS (the original crop of them had USB ports, but you couldn't really plug anything into them).

Might be a good solution for someone who wants both mesh and NAS...
 

macdragonfl

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2006
581
305
Ft. Lauderdale,Fl
I just took a quick look at the Blue Cave and it looks very nice.
It's only "2 band" (lacks 3rd radio channel for backhaul such as Orbi and Velop have), but still claims fast speeds.
It's one of the few mesh systems that has a USB port that can actually be used for NAS (the original crop of them had USB ports, but you couldn't really plug anything into them).

Might be a good solution for someone who wants both mesh and NAS...

I looked at Orbi, it was slower and more expensive, it covered more sq ft than I needed in it's base configuration.
Velop was nice in white, they make a 2 band and 3 band, The two band is a little less than the Blue Cave.
I just had bad luck with all things Linksys before AirPort Extreme.
 
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