6 Best Routers for Mac in 2021
Apple computers are the epitome of performance in the tech world now, especially with the newly launched M1 devices. And with powerful computers like them, you need a good enough router to match.
That’s why we’ve brought together the best routers for Mac for your convenience. These routers will support over 30 devices and multiple streams. And, don’t forget about the MU-MIMO technology either!
Whether you want multiple gigabit Ethernet ports or a wide coverage, these routers for your Apple computers, both MacBooks and iMacs, will do justice to your powerful devices.
Wait, there’s more! The routers boast powerful dual-band technology and superfast Wi-Fi speeds too. Some of them even come with the Advanced QoS feature. You won’t have to tinker too much, as setting these routers up should be a breeze.
Now that you know what they can offer, let’s move into the detailed reviews!
6 Best Routers for Mac You Can Buy in 2021
Using the internet is as easy as it gets. What isn’t as smooth, though, is choosing a router to get you online. Unless you have a networking degree, it can be pretty difficult to choose between the hundreds of options. To make your life a bit easier, here are the top 6 for your Mac computer.
1. Linksys EA9500
Linksys is one of the best routers you can buy for your Mac with a fantastic set of features and also a cool-looking design.
While some high-end routers can look tacky and overdone, this one is different. Even with eight antennas, Linksys has kept the design very professional and understated.
If you aren't a fan of sharp angles and over-the-top looks, this is perfect. The professional design also makes it suitable for any office.
Speaking of office use, if you need to cover a large area, the AC-5400 Tri-Band support is exactly what you need. It can cover 3000 square feet of space, which is great for a small to a medium office or a large home.
Ports are a non-issue as well. You get a whopping eight ethernet ports. So, that means your most important devices can be connected with a wired connection for more reliability.
As for the total number of connected devices this one supports, you can connect up to 25 devices. That should be plenty for almost anybody. A router is only as good as the internet speed you get.
How does 5.3 Gbps WIFI speed sound? Intrigued yet? With speed like that, you can seamlessly watch 4K streaming videos and play online multiplayer games without any hiccups.
Now, the only downside is you won't be able to blame your internet when you are killed in a game.
The build is solid, and you can be sure it won't break down on you anytime soon. Besides, routers last a long time anyway since they mostly sit stationary in one place.
2. TP-Link Archer A9 AC1900
TP-Link is hands down one of the top router manufacturers you will find that can blend in with your Mac. They have been consistently making easy-to-use and feature-rich routers that are some of the industry's best. This unit is a more budget-friendly option but doesn't skimp on the necessities.
Let’s talk about the design first. We have to say it looks very sleek. You have lines running across the top of the all-black router, and there is also a gentle slope. Indicators at the front and antennas at the back together complete the overall design of this router. We quite like it if that wasn’t clear by now.
For home and small office use, you can’t go wrong with this one. It supports 5 GHz WIFI. That means you will face fewer signal interruptions, and your connections will be more solid. This is because most people are still on the 2.5 GHz frequency.
Then you have the internet speed. This Wave2 router will easily give you speeds of up to 1300 Mbps. But there is a caveat, though. You get this only if you’re on the 5 GHz frequency.
For 2.5 GHz users, you get 600 Mbps with an additional data transfer speed of 1900 Mbps. Which, if you ask us, isn’t bad at all.
Internet security is taken care of by features like parental control, WPA3, and VPN functionalities. All in all, this is one great bang for the buck. Oh, we aren’t done yet.
It also features MU MIMO technology which ensures all your connected devices will get the same internet speed. Now that’s cool. And as a cherry on top, it supports Amazon Alexa and lets you control all Amazon devices.
3. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Leave it to ASUS to make one of the top routers in general and not shying away from making a design statement. Seriously, one look at this thing will instantly tell you it’s the perfect thing for your Mac.
Speaking of that design then, it looks ultra-futuristic. The design consists of aggressive angles and a cool bronze, almost gold color scheme. We personally like it but don't think it will be to everyone's taste. Be mindful of the size, though. This is a big boy.
Alright, what about the speed? That's why we are here anyway. This bad boy will give you jaw-dropping speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Those are quite honestly mind-blogging speeds.
ASUS’s ROG lineup of products has been more gaming-focused. Let us tell you a secret. No one said gaming hardware can’t be used for work or entertainment. If you do want to game, though, the quick setup is something you will appreciate.
For top-of-the-class monitoring, ASUS WRT is there, which gives you a detailed analysis of bandwidth usage and also lets you set device prioritization.
Online security is crucial nowadays. Thankfully, ASUS didn’t skimp here either. This router features ASUS AiProtection, which takes care of threats even before they hit your network.
But do be mindful of your internet usage. Safe browsing is nothing to be ignored. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
There are 4 ethernet ports, though. That’s a bit disappointing since we have seen routers with 10, but it is still good nonetheless.
4. Google Nest WIFI
If the previous one put you off in the design department, then this router is worth a look. Google is known to make sleek products with great interfaces and features. This one delivers just that.
We love the design of this one. It’s all white and very minimal, with a very classy feel to the overall thing. You might even be misled to think that the understated design means it doesn’t have too many impressive features. Well, you would be quite wrong.
Let us know if this sounds familiar: you take your Mac to your bedroom from the living room, and instantly the connection either slows down or drops. What happened, you wonder. Well, your coverage isn't good everywhere in the house.
The coverage issue is going to be a thing of the past with this one. Since it's a mesh system, you can essentially get a number of these routers and ensure you get total coverage throughout the house.
There are 2 ethernet points on each unit, so you can connect your devices with a wired connection as well. Speaking of connecting your devices, you can keep up to 200 devices connected at the same time.
We can’t even think of a scenario where you will need that many. But if you do, you can. And that’s nothing anyone can complain about.
The internet speed is adequate but won’t give you the superfast speeds we have seen from some of our previous routers. But still, it’s enough to stream 4K videos without any problems.
One thing Google is good at is the ease of use. This system will work quietly in the background to make sure your internet is uninterrupted, and it also updates automatically. So, that's one thing you don't have to worry about.
5. Motorola MG7700
Back in its prime, Motorola was the brand everyone wanted when it came to smartphones. Remember the Moto Razr? That was a legendary phone. They may have lost their touch in smartphones, but their networking equipment is as awesome as ever. And now they’ve got awesome routers for Macs.
The first thing you will notice with this router is the design. It's more of a rectangular design with rounded sides and edges. It certainly won’t stand out, but we like it just for that reason.
Its clean, simple and professional design makes this router perfect for home or office use. You can also place it vertically, which makes it great if you have a tight space. Routers aren’t just a showpiece. What about the performance then?
This has dual-band AC1900 and will support both 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. That’s great if you want a little upgrade from the crowded 2.5 GHz spectrum. With 5 GHz, your connection will be more stable.
Maximum speeds are good as well. It certainly isn’t the fastest, but won’t leave you wanting either. With a top internet speed of 1000 Mbps, it will be plenty for almost all kinds of internet needs. Be it streaming 4K videos, playing online games, or all other types of similar work.
Wireless power boost technology makes sure you get those high speeds over a larger coverage area as well. It will focus its signal on clients that are a bit further to make sure they don’t get slow speeds. Now, isn’t that thoughtful?
6. NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12
Last but certainly not least, we have this NETGEAR Nighthawk that can fill the cup of your Mac. NETGEAR is also one of those brands you just can't go wrong with. They have superb performance with lots of features, and this one also looks crazy.
Whether it looks crazy in a good or bad way is up to you to decide. We, on the other hand, actually quite like it. This router looks like something Batman would use. What you have are essentially wings at the side of it. Plus, with a stealthy black look, you have yourself a nice piece of equipment right here.
Design is one thing. A router needs to provide solid coverage and speed. Coverage is an impressive but modest 2500 square ft. This isn’t the largest area we have seen on this list, but it is still very good.
Speed, on the other hand, is another story. This router will give you a maximum speed of up to 11 Gbps. That makes it a tough contender for the fastest router in this review. One thing is for certain; you don’t need to worry about your Netflix shows buffering.
Then you also have an easy-to-set-up interface and an adequate number of USB connections. The USB ports can be used to share storage with it and basically make a personal cloud storage solution. That is some next-level stuff.
If you have lots of family pictures and videos which you just don’t want to delete, a cloud storage solution will come in handy.
Security is taken care of by NETGEAR ARMOR. This tech is from Bitdefender, which is a renowned antivirus company. So, you can pretty much be sure you’re in safe hands.
And it goes without saying you have all the essential features like VPN, Firewall, Guest WIFI access, and more. Oh, and did we mention this one supports Amazon Alexa? Because it does.
Before You Buy What to Look for
Here is the thing, before you go on spending money on a router for your Mac, there are a couple of considerations you need to think of. Buying a router with all these in mind will essentially make sure you get one that fits your needs and also doesn’t overspend or get the wrong router.
Before everything else, you need to make sure the router you want to get is compatible with Macs and other iOS devices you might have; this should be your priority.
What good would a superfast router do if you can’t use it with your Apple devices and Mac computers? All the ones we mentioned here are compatible, which means you don’t need to worry about it (at least if you’re choosing from our curated list).
Yeah, this is a no-brainer. Get a router that gives you the fastest internet speed. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. That might be true. What is also true is your router won't be able to provide the speed it's rated at if your ISP isn't giving that bandwidth.
At the end of the day, how much speed you get will also depend on your connection and the package you’re using. So, check to see what speeds you are paying for and then decide which one to buy.
If you’re thinking of upgrading the package, you can look into higher-end routers with high internet speeds. But a fast router, in general, is always better than a slower one.
The coverage area is another big one. Ideally, you would want the signal to reach all parts of your home or office. Check to see how big is the area you plan to put the router in and make sure it can cover it.
With everything being online these days, from banking, entertainment, work, and also connecting with your friends, you can’t ignore security. Online security is a major factor when it comes to deciding which router to buy.
You shouldn’t just go for any router which only advertises lightning-fast speeds. Pick one that has good encryption and maybe bonus features like parental control.
This will depend from person to person. Check to see how many devices the router can keep connected. If you have a lot of devices in the house, then a router that will make sure all of them get the best signal is the right choice.
But then again, it's up to you to decide just how many you need. Twenty-five connected devices are a good point to start at.
The design will, of course, be a more subjective aspect. But it's still important. Sometimes routers are kept in plain sight for the best reception. Those times the design will matter.
And maybe you’re just someone who likes pretty designs no matter whether you see them every day or not. If that’s you, then consider the design of the router you want to get as well.
How to Set Up a New Router on a Mac: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide
Setting up your WIFI router on your Mac actually isn’t as complicated as you might think. There are just a few simple steps you need to take, and you should be all set.
Step 1 – Disable your current mode
Step 2 – Connect your modem to a Mac compatible router and switch on both the modem and your computer
Step 3 – Connect the Mac to the router with an ethernet cable and insert the router’s IP address on your browser of choice
Step 4 – Now enter your router’s password and username and apply the correct settings
Step 5 – A network icon will pop up on the main screen. Right-click it and connect the Mac to the router. Voila! You're all done!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best Mac Router?
If you’re searching for an all-out solution, the Linksys EA9500 and ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 are hard to beat. For a more budget-friendly option, you can go with the TP-Link Archer A9 AC1900.
2. Can I set up my router myself?
Yes, you can. If you follow the steps we mentioned in this review, you should be connected in no time. But in case you’re having troubles, you can always call your ISP for professional help.
3. Will gaming routers work with my MAC?
Yes, they will. Hardware that’s marketed for gamers will still work just fine for other purposes.
4. Why am I not getting the advertised speed of my router?
Ultimately the speed you get with any wireless router will depend on your internet package. That’s the speed you get from your ISP. A router cannot increase your speed; it only gives you access to the speed you have.
Check to see if your ISP is giving the speed you want and also make sure there are no speed or bandwidth caps.
5. Are high-end routers worth it?
This will depend on what you need. Not everyone has the same networking needs. If you need a router that can support a lot of connected devices and have superfast speeds, then go for it.
A high-end router is surely worth it. Maybe you run an online business and need all the bandwidth you can get. Gamers will also benefit from fast internet speeds. Good internet is not a luxury nowadays, it’s a necessity.
There you have it. These are the best routers for mac. Speed and coverage are most definitely important. But don’t overlook security and design.
Also, if you don’t have the world’s fastest internet, you don’t need to spend extra on a super high-end router either. Assess your needs carefully, and then go for the one that checks all the boxes for you.