Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Think hard about what you get for your money
on 7 March 2013
I have an all-Mac setup and wanted a new dual-band router to get my 2010 MacBook up from 130Mbps wifi to 300Mbps, to speed up network file transfers to my NAS.
The router is configured using a built-in Mac app "Airport Utility" or it is also available on iOS. The iOS is pretty cool - you can view your network and adjust a few basic settings.
Unfortunately, the latest version of the Airport Utility has removed a whole load of functionality. Apple have literally removed the ability to make certain configuration changes that you could previously, and that are completely standard for routers of this price range. For example, dynamic DNS, viewing attached network devices, manually changing the ISP username/password (needed if you want to connect to Sky Fibre broadband), setting fixed LAN IP addreses. The list goes on, and I was gobsmacked when I found this out.
You can still find an older version of the Airport Utility on Apple's website, but you have to hack it to get it to install on Mountain Lion.
I have no idea why Apple pulled these features and I'm really struggling with whether I should take it back and buy an alternative, if only on principle. It worries me that Apple are going in this direction. I understand their philosophy - that things should be simple and that most people probably won't need access to these features, but for £130 I expect to be able to access these features if I want.
I'm frustrated by it. Hmm, having written this, maybe I will take it back now!
If you DON'T need these features, you probably don't need a router at this price point and could just get one cheaper at about the £80 mark. So I'm confused as to exactly who this is aimed at? People with way too much money to burn and just want to have an all-Apple setup whatever the cost?