updated 09:20 am EST, Mon December 12, 2011
Netgear Wireless Extreme is Mac first
Netgear started the week by launching a Wi-Fi router primarily tailored to Mac users. The Wireless Extreme has the cosmetic looks, but it purportedly has native support for Time Machine with drives plugged into the USB port. Dedicated software lets USB printers share properly on Macs and other platforms even if they don't completely work within Mac OS X's usual support.
The network firm also claims Bonjour auto-discovery support, although the assertion is a misnomer since it doesn't need any special recognition to work.
Regardless of the Mac-specific claims, the Wireless Extreme is still relatively upscale for routers. It runs dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi along with four gigabit Ethernet ports. It carries DLNA media sharing for USB drives, a built-in broadband meter to check collective usage, and device-independent parental controls. Netgear has taken a minor but important step of shipping the router already set up with a password-locked wireless network.
The hardware should be shipping now for $130.