Apple’s Next Airport

Published May 23, 2022, 7:57 AM

by Professor Rom Feria


When Apple discontinued the last of the Airport routers, I tried to look for an alternative — the closest I could find (without going the complicated Ubiquity route) is an openWRT compatible router. The thing is that you will need to do some firmware flashing, which some may not be comfortable doing. There is Eero, but it is now an Amazon company, and I found that Eero does not like being disconnected from the internet (your local network goes bonkers). The search continues, and I am still hoping that Apple will resurrect the Airport line.

Should Apple listen to most consumers who are looking for an easy to setup, powerful wifi mesh network that does not collect data for profit, then here’s a list of features, besides the obvious WiFi-6E & mesh support, that I hope they will add:

Four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Wired still beats wireless!

Homekit hub support with Thread and Matter support. Whilst the Homepod is probably one of the best, always connected hub out there, nothing beats an internet router for always on connectivity. Besides, you can turn off the Homepods and Apple TVs when you go on vacation, but the router? Rarely gets turned off.

At least one USB 3.2 port for external storage, with support for Time Machine, file sharing, and Apple content caching (for OS software updates, Apple Music, Podcast, TVs, and Arcade, no need to cache iCloud content for privacy reasons).

Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Private Relay for the entire home network for maximum device protection.

Wireguard VPN server support to allow remote access of the home network.

Full firewall support. The simple route maybe taken by Apple, but I still hope that they will provide a PRO mode, where we can control each type of traffic.

C’mon, Apple! We need another player in the market that will protect our entire home network’s data. The Homekit support for routers simply does not cut it.

What about you? Do you think Apple should re-enter the market?