Apple offers the best internet routers for the consumer marketplace
If you search amazon for home and small business internet routers, you will find over 1700 different routers from over 200 difference vendors. How to know which one can best suit most home or small business needs? From our experience (having installed hundreds of routers over the years), our recommendation is the apple airport extreme. It is powerful, easy to setup, reasonably priced (based on features, simplicity and performance), fully functional, secure and cross platform compatible (macs and windows). It supports a wide variety of wired and wireless devices, and has excellent antenna range. The apple airport extreme looks cool, and you can easily mount it on the wall with inconspicuous brackets (from 3rd party vendors). These router-antennas should be mounted 2/3’s of the way up the wall, unobstructed is best. Need to extend the range of your wireless signal? We recommend 1 airport extreme per every 3-4 rooms, each hardwired back to the network (connect the bottom ethernet port to the network). By hardwiring each extreme to the network, you insure optimal performance. You can wirelessly bridge the extremes, but performance may degrade slightly). The airport extreme can function as an ethernet hub – it has four usable ethernet ports on the back for other network capable devices (computers, printers etc.). The apple airport extreme easily bridges a single wireless network between multiple extreme-antennas, for roaming and functional signal distribution. Each extreme has a built-in router, and a built-in series of antennas. You only need one router on the network, but you can never have enough antennas. Simply turn off the router function on all but the first router, and bridge-extend your wireless network simply and easily. For network hard drive backups (time machine and windows), consider the apple time capsule (which is an airport extreme with built-in 2tb or 3tb hard drive (for network backups). Again, you can turn off the router in the time capsules, and enable-bridge it’s wireless antenna and then activate the network backup drive (for unattended data backup, protection, security). Apple offers it’s free airport utility software (for mac or pc), which you use to manage, program, update and monitor the apple airport extremes. We recommend not using the apple airport express (wireless network extenders), they can be problematic. Buy the airport extremes, they cost a bit more but work better.also, don’t mix and match the different airport extreme models, this can also cause stability issues. Finally, you can reuse the airport’s white cardboard package-box. It is a marvel of engineering – sturdy, efficient and refined.