Since their inception in 1999, Apple's Airport devices have been a mainstay in our homes and small businesses -- offering a smooth and seamless wireless internet experience. In 2008, the product became even more invaluable when Apple announced the Time Capsule, which allowed automatic wireless Time Machine backups whenever you were in your home network. Now, however, the day has finally come, and Apple has discontinued production of Airport and Time Capsule devices, clearing the way for a surge of amazing new home wifi products. What does this mean for you?
The good news here is that although Apple had ceased to develop or update these products since 2013, there are several other vendors out there offering similar products that are cutting-edge and very "Apple-like" in the experience. Below are my favorites:
- WiFi -- for home WiFi, the top dog is definitely Eero. Many of you have heard me sing their praises before, but this is for good reason! Eero is easily the simplest and most robust WiFi solution out there. The product consists of a single Eero gateway unit that connects to your router, as well as 1 or 2 satellite units called Beacons that plug in strategically around your house. Together these units form a powerful seamless mesh network with a single WiFi network name and password, eliminating the need for extenders or switching between multiple networks. Additionally, Eero also offers an amazing service called Eero Plus, which for $99/year delivers home internet Ad Blocking, management of your family's internet usage, and a family pack of several of my favorite services bundled at a great rate, including:
- Wireless Backup -- with cloud storage becoming increasingly cheaper and now being easily configured to backup your Mac's Photos, Desktop & Documents in MacOS, people are relying less and less on wired backups. Still, particularly if you're using some specific software with customized settings, it's nice to have a full Time Machine backup of your computer in case things go sideways. That means going back to the old method of plugging a hard drive into your computer with some regularity, which for a laptop can be a hassle to remember. Without the Time Capsule, however, doing this wirelessly will now require a new piece of hardware. For this, I recommend a device called DiskStation made by Synology. The units are fairly simple, but offer powerful functionality and versatility. I could spend a whole article discussing the cool features on these things, but for the purposes of today let's just say they're really neat! Let me know if you're interested in learning more and I can help you find the right one for your needs.