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Old Dec 16, 2014, 09:28 PM   #1
GovtLawyer
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Apple TV/Mirroring & Choice of Routers

I have an Apple TV as well as an airport express. I use the mirroring function in Apple TV and route everything (receiver, TV, Computer etc.) through the Airport express.

I just upgraded my cable Service to include telephone. I was given the most advanced Cable TV modem. It has built in phone modem as well as a built-in router. However, upon installation I had the cable company disable the router because I wanted to continue to use my airport express.

I think using my Airport Express has downgraded my internet speed considerably versus plugging the eternal cable directly into my computer. If I were to give up my airport express and use the cable provided router, do you think it would increase my speed? Also, would I still be able to get the mirroring function with the cable produced router, or do I have to have an Apple Airport Express. Even if there is no difference in performance whether I use the airport express or the built-in modem, it would still be an advantage to get rid of it because it would be one less piece of equipment and one less electrical plug in the back of my computer system.

So, any advantages or disadvantages to ditching the express and using the cable supplied router?

BTW: I live in a small studio. My iPhones and iPad use the wi-fi network, as does my printer and my blu-ray player.
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Old Dec 17, 2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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Most routers supplied by the cable company are pretty bad (often slower, unreliable, and some create guest network wifis). Odds are the airport express you have is not the bottleneck, but you would have to let us know which airport express you have. If you have the latest version, that supports dual-band 802.11n, then the cable companies router will not be much quicker. Also, not knowing your cable internet package nor airport model number, I can only guess, but odds are your maximum internet speed is lower than the maximum wifi speed.

Go to any of the various speed checking websites and check your speed when connected to the wifi, or when connected directly as you said. If there is indeed a big difference, then it may be due to a number of reasons I can address once I know more.

If you have an Apple TV for the mirroring, then what router you use makes no difference.

Personally, I would not switch to the cable companies router just to save one outlet. But this is a personal choice up to you.
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Old Dec 17, 2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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Some More Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneMadRssn View Post
Most routers supplied by the cable company are pretty bad (often slower, unreliable, and some create guest network wifis). Odds are the airport express you have is not the bottleneck, but you would have to let us know which airport express you have. If you have the latest version, that supports dual-band 802.11n, then the cable companies router will not be much quicker. Also, not knowing your cable internet package nor airport model number, I can only guess, but odds are your maximum internet speed is lower than the maximum wifi speed.

Go to any of the various speed checking websites and check your speed when connected to the wifi, or when connected directly as you said. If there is indeed a big difference, then it may be due to a number of reasons I can address once I know more.

If you have an Apple TV for the mirroring, then what router you use makes no difference.

Personally, I would not switch to the cable companies router just to save one outlet. But this is a personal choice up to you.
I'm not sure which model I have. Looks like it is the 802.11n, after looking at my system specs. Speed directly to iMac is around 200. Speed on wi-fi around 25-30. Can't read the print on the hardware - too small and barely accessible in my system. Maybe "A-1392".

I left a message on the Time warner cable support forums. Got back a complicated response about making sure my modem was in Bridge mode along with other settings. Can't even find the settings. I left a follow up. will wait for a less dense response.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 08:27 AM   #4
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Different routers definitely have different wifi strengths. I know that with my carrier's bundled router, air-video+airplay lagged like crazy. Not to mention its range was pretty bad. I switched over to an Asus router, and the quality was rock solid.

If it's 11n, then wifi speeds of about 20 mbps seems about right, especially if you are using the 2.4GHZ band. Did you try connecting to the 5.0 GHZ band? The range is pretty short (about 1 room), but should be able to give you the 200 mbps speed.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 08:51 AM   #5
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Echoing the above comments, I would also add that it sounds like something is wonky in the Airport Express's settings, because the speed difference should not be that drastic - n is perfectly capable of supporting your internet speed. Maybe check the airport express settings and ensure you are using n? If a single device in your network doesn't support n then the entire network drops down to g speeds - which may explain the slower speed overall. If this is the problem, the cable company router likely will also present the same issue (unless it is a simultaneous dual-band router)

If you live in a studio, I'm guessing there are tons of other wifi networks all around you, and this may be causing interference. If your devices support it, I would suggest switching to a 5ghz-only setup to escape the typical 2.4ghz clutter that is in all apartment buildings. If some devices do not support 5ghz, then try finding a channel with less interference. There are lots online on how to do this. If interference is the issue, the cable company router would have the same issues.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by oneMadRssn View Post
Echoing the above comments, I would also add that it sounds like something is wonky in the Airport Express's settings, because the speed difference should not be that drastic - n is perfectly capable of supporting your internet speed. Maybe check the airport express settings and ensure you are using n? If a single device in your network doesn't support n then the entire network drops down to g speeds - which may explain the slower speed overall. If this is the problem, the cable company router likely will also present the same issue (unless it is a simultaneous dual-band router)

If you live in a studio, I'm guessing there are tons of other wifi networks all around you, and this may be causing interference. If your devices support it, I would suggest switching to a 5ghz-only setup to escape the typical 2.4ghz clutter that is in all apartment buildings. If some devices do not support 5ghz, then try finding a channel with less interference. There are lots online on how to do this. If interference is the issue, the cable company router would have the same issues.
I appreciate everyone's help. How do I switch to 5G only? Also, are the 2.4G issues only present when actually connected? I assume my printer, which is around 4 years old is 2.4 Does it affect anything else when it is not active on the wi-fi? Would my iPhone 5s and iPad Air be 2.4 or 5?

Finally, would the settings in the Arris router be affecting the airport express? It was disabled from TWC's end and I assume it is in bridge mode or the airport express wouldn't work at all.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 11:27 AM   #7
jetlife2
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should not be a problem

I have a similar setup with no issues. I have the cable modem hardwired into the Airport Express, and then the Airport Express does all the wifi and DHCP. I get great wifi and hardline speed out of the Airport Express.

You can easily run a speed test both ways. Plug your computer direct into the cable modem , measure the speed, then plug it direct into the Airport Express, measure the speed, hard line both times. There should be no difference (because the limiting factor is the speed of the modem connection not the speed of the ethernet). If there is a difference (Airport lower) then the setup of the Airport is not correct. Resolve it before going further.

Next step connect the computer to the Airport via wifi but with the computer very close in line of sight. Again you should get the same result because at very close range the wifi will not limit the throughput. If not, the wifi performance is not correct. Resolve before going further.

Next you can move your computer to normal spot. Here you can experiment with different wifi such as 5Ghz vs 2.4, different channels, etc. that may improve wifi range/performance.

Hope that helps. Make sure all the fundamentals are correct at each step.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 03:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jetlife2 View Post
I have a similar setup with no issues. I have the cable modem hardwired into the Airport Express, and then the Airport Express does all the wifi and DHCP. I get great wifi and hardline speed out of the Airport Express.

You can easily run a speed test both ways. Plug your computer direct into the cable modem , measure the speed, then plug it direct into the Airport Express, measure the speed, hard line both times. There should be no difference (because the limiting factor is the speed of the modem connection not the speed of the ethernet). If there is a difference (Airport lower) then the setup of the Airport is not correct. Resolve it before going further.

Next step connect the computer to the Airport via wifi but with the computer very close in line of sight. Again you should get the same result because at very close range the wifi will not limit the throughput. If not, the wifi performance is not correct. Resolve before going further.

Next you can move your computer to normal spot. Here you can experiment with different wifi such as 5Ghz vs 2.4, different channels, etc. that may improve wifi range/performance.

Hope that helps. Make sure all the fundamentals are correct at each step.
My computer and Airport Express are within 3 feet of each other.

I am going to get a CAT 6 cable. Suppose I do not resolve this and find out what is slowing me down. The speed from my wi-fi network is still in the high 20s to mid 30s, which is fast enough for anything I need from my devices. Could I run a line directly to my computer from the modem and a second line directly from the modem to the Airport Express? If so, my direct line should give me approx 200MBS. Would I also be able to use my computer from the wi-fi network when I need to use airplay to transfer docs, photos, etc from and to my mobile devices?

As I troubleshoot this, I could use some guidance as to how to reset the Airport express as well as how to choose a 5G transfer. Where do I find the settings for those things?

Thanks. Steven
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 07:24 PM   #9
takeshi74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GovtLawyer View Post
How do I switch to 5G only?
You'd adjust the settings of your Airport Express via the Airport Utility on your Mac or IOS device. I haven't found a way to turn 2.4GHz off. I gave the 5GHz network a different name and the 5GHz devices connect to it. I have one or two 2.4GHz devices as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GovtLawyer View Post
Also, are the 2.4G issues only present when actually connected?
Not sure what you mean. Interference exists whether you're connected or not. It's just not relevant when you're not connected.

Or by "connected" do you mean by wire? In that case it's not really an issue unless you're trying to connect to something that is connected via wireless and is subject to interference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GovtLawyer View Post
Would my iPhone 5s and iPad Air be 2.4 or 5?
iPhone 5s:
http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/specs/
Quote:
802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
Both.

iPad Air:
https://www.apple.com/ipad-air/specs/
Quote:
Wi‑Fi (802.11a/​b/​g/​n); dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and MIMO
Both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GovtLawyer View Post
If so, my direct line should give me approx 200MBS.
Be careful with your B's. 1B = 8b.

Last edited by takeshi74; Dec 18, 2014 at 07:43 PM.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 09:23 PM   #10
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What I meant

What I meant was specifically related to my printer. Being an older model I assume it is 2.4. If I am not in the process of printing via wi-fi and my computer, is it sending a signal or otherwise communicating on the wi-fi network.
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 09:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GovtLawyer View Post
What I meant was specifically related to my printer. Being an older model I assume it is 2.4. If I am not in the process of printing via wi-fi and my computer, is it sending a signal or otherwise communicating on the wi-fi network.
If your printer supports only 802.11g, then anytime it is connected and available (meaning, anytime it is on), the network will run at g speeds. Not just during times it is in active communication. Also, if supports only g, it does not support the 5ghz bands.

If your printer is your ONLY device holding you back in terms of wifi wireless technology, then here is what I suggest:
Plug the printer into the USB port on your airport express using a USB cord, and use that as your wireless printerserver. Then, in the Airport Express settings, set it to use 802.11n only, and 5ghz only. The iphone 5, ipad air, and any reasonably new mac will support those settings just fine. Note though, that this suggestion will probably involve re-installing the printer on your computer.
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 10:02 AM   #12
GovtLawyer
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My solution

I'm tired of addressing this. I've come up with a solution that does not involve messing with settings or anything.

I plugged my iMac directly into the port on the modem and I get vey fast speeds - 200 or more.

I plugged my Airport express into the second of 4 ports on the modem. I have my wireless network, including printer, Blu-Ray and mobile devices all working together and accessible when needed. The fastest speed I get is around 35-40. However, I really don't need anything faster on my phone or iPad.

Although I am not getting full speed on the network, I do not need it. It would be nice if everything worked at full speed, but I'm tired of the aggravation getting there.

Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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My Solution

I am not sure why I have been able to accomplish this. I made no settings changes. I think I should not be able to have ended up with what I wanted to do, as some advice I read here and elsewhere required settings changes - and I've made none.

This is what I have!

I plugged my computer by ethernet with a CAT6 cable directly into one of the 4 ports on the back of the modem. I plugged my Airport Express with a CAT6 cable into a second port.

My computer is getting at least 200 mbps. I couldn't ask for a better result.

All of my devices on the wi-fi network are connected and on the internet. My iPad which is only wi-fi is on the internet and working well. I do not know the speed my devices are getting, but it doesn/t really matter. I'll assume they are getting around 30 mbps. I have no need to ask for more speed for them.

In the end, I am getting exactly what I had before, when TWC was trying to figure out my slow spped on the computer. The change in cable from 5 to 6 seemed to be the answer.

thanks to everyone for your help.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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Cool Router choice

I just replaced an original Time capsule router with the current version. I was dropping internet connections with increasing frequency. I replaced cable modem and last week, same issue. After installing the new router, and configuring which took almost no time, I have the best connection speed ever. I would trust the Apple products.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 06:35 PM   #15
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What Speed

What speed are you getting from your wi-fi connection?
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Old Dec 22, 2014, 05:31 PM   #16
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What speed are you getting from your wi-fi connection?
I get around 90 mbps with my AEBS v5 connected to a 100 mbps ethernet connection.
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