Why a Wi-Fi 7 router should be on your 2024 shopping list


Wi-Fi 7
You'll be sorry if you buy a wireless router without Wi-Fi 7.
Photo: Wi-Fi Alliance/Cult of Mac

Anyone shopping for a wireless router should get one that supports Wi-Fi 7. This new version will finally go mainstream this year, and you don’t want to miss out. Getting a Wi-Fi 7 router now makes sense if you want to have the fastest and most reliable internet connection possible, now and in the forseeable future.

Unlike most of its predecessors, the primary goal for Wi-Fi 7 isn’t more speed. Instead, it’s more about reliability. That said, a speed improvement is expected.

Here’s what we have to look forward to.

Get a pair of Linksys mesh Wi-Fi 5 routers for less than $90


Save $210 on this pair of advanced and refurbished Linksys dual-band Wi-Fi routers.
Snap up a two-pack of refurbished Linksys Velop Wi-Fi routers for only $89.97.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Is your home internet up to speed? If not, your Wi-Fi router could be to blame. Ensure you’re not lacking in that department by securing Cyber Week savings on a HomeKit-compatible mesh Wi-Fi setup from Linksys.

Normally sold for $299, a two-pack of refurbished Linksys Velop dual-band Wi-Fi 5 routers is currently available for only $89.97. Score two Linksys Velop Whole Home Series routers for less, and you should notice an immediate improvement in your devices’ performance.

New Sonos Era smart speakers take direct aim at HomePod


The Sonos Era 300 is the larger and better-equipped of the two new smart speakers.
The Sonos Era 300 is the larger and better-equipped of the two new smart speakers.
Photo: Sonos

A new leak indicates Sonos will release its new Sonos Era 100 and 300 smart speakers in March with a slew of features that challenge Apple’s recently relaunched HomePod.

Of the two new Sonos speakers, the pricier Era 300 features a version of spatial audio. Both support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB-C line-in for versatile connectivity. The Era 100 is likely to replace the much-liked Sonos One, launched in 2017.

Apple gives up on in-house Wi-Fi chips


home Wi-Fi
Apple will have to keep outsourcing Wi-Fi chips.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

Apple’s drive to make all its own processors hit a bump in the road. It’s reportedly stopped development on chips to add Wi-Fi to its devices, and will instead keep outsourcing these.

The reason is simple: Apple doesn’t have enough talented engineers to design all the chips it wants. It’s putting most of its available resources into Mac and iPhone processors.

Mystery MacBook Pro outed by Canadian regulators


2021 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, M1 Max
Here's more evidence that the 2023 MacBook Pro is imminent.
Photo: Apple

A Canadian regulatory agency recently approved a MacBook Pro that Apple itself has yet to announce. Few details were leaked aside from the notebook supporting Wi-Fi 6E, an improvement on the current version of the short-range wireless networking standard.

Currently, only the newest iPad Pro has Wi-Fi 6E.

Bose busts out compact, affordable new soundbar with AirPlay 2


The new Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is only about 2 inches high.
The new Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is only about 2 inches high.
Photo: Bose

Bose took a further step into the compact, affordable soundbar market Monday with release of its new Smart Soundbar 600. It looks set to compete in a growing pool of home-theater audio products that don’t break the bank.

Featuring Dolby Atmos, Bose “TrueSpace” and AirPlay 2 technology, the slender speaker goes for $499, Bose said.

This powerful Wi-Fi 6 router is amazingly affordable [Review]


Rock Space AX1800 WiFi 6 Router review
The Rock Space AX1800 WiFi 6 Router is quite capable despite a bargain price.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest version of the wireless networking standard we all love. It’s so much better than its predecessor you should think about upgrading your router just to get it. Especially because the change won‘t be as expensive as you might expect because the Rock Space AX1800 WiFi 6 Router is just $80.

At that price, I was a bit suspicious that the device. But I’m a believer. I used this Wi-Fi access point in my home office for nearly two weeks and have no complaints.

My, that’s a loud lamp you have, Sonos


The lamp is playing NPR again.
The lamp is playing NPR again.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos and Ikea are at it again with the speakers that look like other things. They recently launched the second generation of the Symfonisk table lamp speaker.

The Symfonisk line of speakers, which also includes a bookshelf speaker that can hold books and a picture frame speaker that looks like wall art, is designed to blend in with your home decor.

Apple staffs up to make its own wireless chips


An Apple 5G modem might look like this
Apple is hiring experts to design 5G, Wi-FI and Bluetooth chips for its computers.
Artists concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly hiring at a new office in Irvine, California, where the company will make 5G modems and other wireless chips for future devices.

It’s the latest move by Apple to expand the number of critical components for its products that it produces in-house.

Fill in Wi-Fi dead spots with this powerful wireless network extender [Review]


Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender review
Don’t put up with Wi-Fi dead zones. Rockspace’s wireless range extender can fill them in.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wi-Fi dead spots happen in many homes and businesses, and they can be so frustrating. The Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender fills in the empty spot(s) in your wireless network, and because it has Wi-Fi 6 it can provide up to 35 devices with speedy connections.

I tested this access point in my home office. Here’s how it stood up to a battery of real-world tests.

Apple households need this powerful Linksys mesh router [Review]


Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System review
iPhone, Mac and iPad users, the Velop AX4200 might be the mesh Wi-Fi router you’ve been looking for. Especially if you also use HomeKit.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System offers the features Apple users need. And that’s especially true for fans of HomeKit as the routers add extra security to these home automation accessories. Plus, the system offers an improved version of Wi-Fi.

To test the system out, I added Linksys mesh Wi-Fi routers to my home. Here’s how they work in real-world use.

Super-portable skyBox SSD storage enables fast and easy streaming, sharing


HyperAccessory's skyBOX SSD storage device lets you take your streaming and sharing on the go.
With massive amounts of storage, skyBox lets you take your streaming and sharing on the go.
Photo: HyperAccessory

This portable storage post is presented by HyperAccessory.

If you’re a photographer, videographer or content creator who likes to travel light, leaving the laptop behind, we found a must-have storage device for you. HyperAccessory’s skyBox features all-in-one portable SSD storage with built-in wireless connectivity and universal compatibility. It will have you streaming and sharing media on the go with gusto.

macOS Catalina 10.15.7 squishes a nasty Wi-Fi bug


Jamf Now macOS Catalina and iOS 13 upgrades
macOS Catalina 10.15.7 takes care of multiple problems that might be bugging you.
Photo: Apple Inc.

Mac users can update their computer on Thursday with macOS Catalina 10.15.7. It’s important for anyone who’s noticed their computer not connecting to Wi-Fi like it ought to. There are no new features.

This might be the last Catalina version before the big macOS Big Sur upgrade gets introduced.

How to fix Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interference on a Mac


Fix Wi-Fi interference on a Mac
Don't settle for a slow and unstable connection.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If your Mac is struggling to maintain a stable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, it could be because of wireless interference. The good thing is that there are many different things you can do to eliminate this problem.

In this guide, we’ll detail how you can identify wireless interference, and some of steps you can take to prevent it from causing problems in the future. The tips also can prove useful for iOS devices.

Get online in those hard-to-reach places with handy Wi-Fi range extender [Review]


Rock Space AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Repeater review
The Rock Space Wi-Fi Repeater brings internet to dead spaces in your wireless network.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Rock Space AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Repeater is just right for anyone working or taking classes at home and struggling with a weak Wi-Fi signal. Plug this accessory into any wall socket and it’ll expand your wireless network’s usable area. It offers both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, it supports one-button setup with WPS, and you can connect to it via Ethernet.

I tested this Wi-Fi range extender in my own home, and share how well it stands up to daily use.

FCC boosts Wi-Fi speeds by opening 6 GHz spectrum


6 GHz Wi-Fi is coming to many devices. Eventually.
Lots of computers in a small space is a scenario where 6 GHz Wi-Fi is expected to shine.
Photo: Pixels CC

The FCC on Thursday approved an expansion of Wi-Fi to the 6GHz band. This adds almost five times the bandwidth to the short-range wireless networking standard. It should bring Wi-Fi connections that are up to 2.5 times faster, with less interference from nearby computers.

Thursday’s FCC vote on this expansion was unanimous, and the change has strong industry support.

FCC eyes boosting Wi-Fi speeds by opening 6GHz spectrum


home Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi over the 6GHz spectrum, if approved, could offer up to 2Gbps wireless connections.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

The FCC will vote April 23 on a proposal to expand Wi-Fi to the 6GHz band. If approved, the move would add almost five times the bandwidth to the short-range wireless networking standard used by MacBooks, iPads, and virtually every other mobile device. That could bring faster Wi-Fi connections, with less interference from nearby computers.

iPhone 12’s big Wi-Fi upgrade could pave the way for Apple Glasses


Apple glasses
Is that what 802.11ay Wi-Fi is really all about?
Photo: Martin Hajek

The next-generation Wi-Fi technology rumored to be coming to this year’s iPhone lineup could be used primarily to connect your Apple Glasses, a new report suggests.

The 802.11ay standard promises lightning-fast speeds and stellar connectivity, but it probably won’t replace the Wi-Fi standards you’re already familiar with in most cases.

iPhone 12 might sport super-fast new type of Wi-Fi


iphone xs upgrade
iPhone 12 might include a short-range wireless networking standard about 40 times faster than Wi-Fi 6.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 12 will include an ultra-quick version of Wi-Fi, if an unconfirmed report is correct. This could enormously increase the data transfer speeds of this handset, even outstripping some versions of Ethernet.

Airlines might have a solution for terrible in-flight Wi-Fi


Delta Air Lines
Delta is one of the companies working to offer better in-flight Wi-Fi.
Photo: Delta

A collaboration between airlines and internet service providers has come together to improve in-flight Wi-Fi.

They have created a modular system of hardware and software that can be rapidly upgraded as better, faster wireless options emerge.