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AirPort issues/alternatives

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Apple, Security, Products
Really appreciate all the suggestions and solutions. This is why MacInTouch is so crucial – such a rich, diverse community of people with varied experience and ideas.

Generally, I have all WiFi off at home 99% of the time for security and way too many overlapping networks. But with the current crisis, we've had to segment and compartmentalize work spaces.

DD-WRT is a great idea, but I no longer have extra routers. All functional ones were deployed somewhere in a place of need. It does not appear DD-WRT has been adapted for the Apple A1264 (be it due to lack of interest or incompatibility).

Will look through the suggestions. Thanks!
 


It is interesting to read (again) about the mesh WiFi solutions. However, I seem to recall one of the products mentioned here recently requires a constant connection to the manufacturer's servers and is, thus, a security issue in my mind and also problematic in the event that connection was interrupted. Am I thinking of a different product?
 





Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Need suggestions on a WiFi to Ethernet bridge.
I bought an $89.88 Ubiquiti AmpliFi Instant WiFi Router recently, which seems like a good answer to your question, although it seems to be out of stock at Amazon now. I haven't specifically tested your functionality yet, but the AmpliFi Instant has an Ethernet port...
I just tested this successfully. The AmpliFi Instant router connects via WiFi to my AmpliFi HD base station. I connected the LAN port in the AmpliFi Instant with an Ethernet cable to a Dell laptop whose WiFi driver wasn't working (which required a USB-C Ethernet adapter) and instantly had Internet access.

So, yes, I can attest that the Ubiquiti AmpliFi Instant does work as a WiFi to Ethernet bridge, very nicely. (I'm glad I bought one before Ubiquiti ran out of stock. The AmpliFi HD is a larger, more powerful alternative that's currently available.)
 
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After continual rebooting of my Apple Airport Extreme network, I finally took the plunge and replaced with a TP Link Archer AX 6000 Next-Gen WiFi router. I had tried to replace the system with Linksys Velop, but the far-too-simplified interface on the Velop would not allow me to set up port forwarding, and it had no provision for USB disks.

The TP Link product was fairly easy to install and replace the Apple system. Setting up the network names and passwords to match the Apple's let all my existing devices connect immediately and without any assistance. I also changed the IP range to match Apple's 10.0.1.x, which took very little effort. The AX 6000 is 6th-generation WiFi and offers pretty much whole-house coverage, although the back yard is not covered. I'll get an extender for that. The unit has two USB ports, one regular and one USB-C, and will allow you to either host drives in SMB fashion or as Apple's Time Machine. I still have to do the port forwarding, but it took less than an 30 minutes from unboxing to WiFi.

The units are not the least expensive on the market but are about the same price as Apple was charging for the AirPort Extreme. Considering that my Apple WiFi network needed a total of two Extremes and an Express to cover the house - a 2000 sq. ft. bungalow - and the AX 6000 gives much better speed in the bedrooms on the opposite side from the router, this is a very good replacement.

There is one minor issue: it is huge, nearly 9" square and 5" tall with the antennae extended, but that is mitigated by having eight 1-Gigabit ethernet ports on the back for wired connections. Amazon seems to want the same price in Canada and the US right now, $399.99, but this has been a very easy transition.
Anyone looking for used Apple networking equipment?
 


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