Apple Officially Discontinuing AirPort Range 😢


#43

Just wondering if we could please cut the snark and name-calling out, and return to acting like adults?

I had AirPort routers in the past, as well as a Time Capsule at one stage. Good devices for what they were, however I did notice functionality being wound back with later device releases - SNMP, for example. SNMP isn’t something the average punter wants/needs/knows about but it’s very handy for those who do.

The AirPort Utility is a nice and easy to use piece of software making router configuration pretty easy - great for the target market, especially once the iOS version was released. Compared with the alternative, the user experience (particularly for less technically-minded punters) of the AirPort devices is excellent - this loss is a shame IMHO.

Sharing USB devices/audio streaming were not functions of the AirPort devices that I personally used - I too have migrated away from AirPlay entirely. I currently don’t have any AirPlay capable devices, although I understand my Sonos Ones will be AirPlay 2 capable in the future - I don’t anticipate using this, preferring to use the Sonos controller or Alexa to control music playback from my streaming service of choice.


#44

It’s not really likely here, so many spoiled children who can’t get over themselves if a product is not made by Apple. The segue between Spotify and Airplay is not insignificant. They both achieve similar means all be it that there are simply better products for doing it today.

The AirPort Utility was simple to use for the uninitiated but its really a pain in the bum when you don’t have a web interface to get to it when something is wrong.

Living in a house with multiple people, the ability to share a printer is really great as is hanging off a NAS device. I have since migrated to better solutions. Spotify is one of them and an Apple TV is the other one for music and video streams.


#45

Well my Airport Extreme started behaving abnormally over the last few weeks. Clients would drop out or stay connected but traffic would be very slow. The TV would start buffering Plex while laptops and phones worked fine. I had to reboot the Airport several times a day and when I’d do that things would work fine again for a while. The last straw, and the perfect justification for a replacement, was when my wife lost a bunch of work she was doing on her school reports because her Wi-Fi dropped her connection to her school servers. Brilliant (sorry love).

Popped out the other day and picked up a Ubiquiti Amplifi base station. Setup was very quick and easy, but I overcomplicated things by having it behave like the Airport - in that it was connected to the ISP Fritzbox router to get its internet connection. Things were a bit weird for a day or two but I found out the fibre settings for my ISP and directly connected the Amplifi to the ONT yesterday, and wow…it’s now AWESOME. Removed the Fritzbox completely and added a bunch of NAT rules that it was handling previously. Super simple to do all this using the iOS app.

I’m impressed. The performance is already better than the Airport was. It’s based in my kitchen which is where the ONT is, and when the Airport was in there the lounge didn’t get great coverage, so I had a long ethernet which ran to the Airport in the lounge instead. The Amplifi gives excellent coverage in the same location in the kitchen.

Now I just need to get a couple of the mesh units at a later date - one for the garage and one for any patchy spots downstairs.


#46

I don’t have anything against the Airport range but I haven’t used them for years, not since ISPs started given us free modems each 2 year contract renewal. I actually threw out my Airport Extreme which had been sitting in the cupboard gathering dust a couple of weeks ago when I was culling things in preparation for the shift to the new house.

They were well made products but pretty irrelevant today IMHO.


#47

Looks like a nice unit, I’d be keen on one but I’ve already spent my IT budget for the year I think (according to SWMBO {She Who Must Be Obeyed})


#48

The Amplifi is designed by one of the engineers responsible for the original Airport, so it’s not surprising they’re similar in form and function.


#49

I didn’t know that. That bodes well. I have about 20 of the Linksys Velop nodes that Apple sell in their stores now out in the wild - and while they are good, the initial setup to get them all working is a PITA (reminds me of WDS on the old school AirPorts!). Once they are going they work really well though.


#50

Does anyone know if the Amplifi can have a hard wired node at the other end of the house and use that backbone + mesh for coverage?


#51

Wouldn’t have thought so, but the Unifi might be a good option for that kinda thing.


#52

Yes. I have two of the Amplifi HD base stations. One connected to the Telstra supplied Modem) which has its Wireless switched of) and the other is connected to to the first Amplify via network cable. You use the amplifi app to setup the 1st unit, then when once have setup the second, there is an Ethernet Backbone option.

I chose to use two base stations, instead of one base station and the amplify mesh points, as the base stations each have 4 ethernet ports, apowered USB port and give a less directional signal than the mesh points.

Advantages:
Very easy to setup and monitor. Receive regular firmware updates. You can set the screen and base light to turn off at night,and you can set what time night starts and ends. Settings options include; bridge mode, band steering with 2.4 and 5Ghz networks having the same name, router steering, can set channels to specific or auto.

Drawback is are not MU-MIMO, but then I have over 50 wireless devices with no issues. Link rate AC1750


#53

Excellent comment thanks for the info.

I also saw a new Amplifi Instant, which looks like the Airport Express but also creates a mesh. Seems a good option for my in-laws who live in a largish apartment but with concrete walls between some rooms.


#54

Interesting. At a cursory glance, however, I must say this page suffers from “things that look like they do the same thing but are different?” syndrome that so often plagues manufacturers of hardware…


#55

I’m in a 3br duplex, though it’s more 2br + study. Get good coverage with 2 amplifi’s

My understanding is that a drawback of many mesh systems is wireless back-haul uses bandwidth, which may affect performance. That’s why I went with the AmpliFi HD with wired back-haul. 10cm x10x10 cube doesn’t stickout like the Orbi’s.

If the in-laws don’t have the option of ethernet backhaul, ethernet over powerline usually works well.


#56

Yeah but depends on your requirements. They aren’t heavy network users, they just want it to be reliable when they need it in other rooms. If you’re expecting masses of throughput all over the house I can see why you’d go your route.


#57

The back haul is a 5ghz stream. So make sure the new mesh you get is a four stream device and problem solved.


#58

I’m still using an original Time Capsule with an upgrade, self done, to a 3TB system. My only problem is I can’t get my Linux Mint MacBook to access the storage. I try to login and it just eventually times out, even though it shows up in networking. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

The WiFi works just fine and is plenty fast. As I live in a tiny studio, essentially (I can add sliding doors between the kitchen/dining and the living/bedroom, but I usually just leave them off), range isn’t exactly an issue. I plan to use it until it dies. Which doesn’t strike me as happening anytime soon.