I have never had good luck with wireless routers. Most of them have died within a year, although I did have one that made it two years before calling it quits: the Apple Airport Extreme. For some odd reason, those two years were awfully hard on the poor thing and it kinda melted one day.
After going through another NETGEAR router than made it half the time, I went back to Apple’s offering, hoping that maybe I’ll get a few more years out of it. Plus, Apple offers an Airport Utility app for iOS devices. It works very well, and I can look at what may be wrong with my connection or router by simply opening the app and tapping on either my connection or router.
And surprisingly (for a piece of Apple consumer software), the Aiport Utility app has quite a bit of functionality. I can apply updates, change numerous advanced settings, and set up networks right from the app on my iPad without ever having to walk over to my router.
I also like that its advanced settings are easily accessible. Apple may make some horrific designs from time to time, but this one was done very well. If I want to change anything for my router, I tap on it; similarly, if I want to look up any of my ISP settings, I just tap on the networked world icon and I can see them.
My absolute favorite feature of this app, however, is that I can see who is using my router. I unfortunately can’t kick anyone off, but if I see an unfamiliar device name, I can just change the password in the app and everything will be good.
Of course, all of this is doable with a Mac that has the latest Airport Utility, but being able to do it from an iPad – a device that, at times, can seem quite basic – is really cool. Plus, the app is free – you’ll just have to buy an Airport router for it do do anything for you.
Download: App Store