Connecting a router to Airport Extreme Base Station

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TheSpaz, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #1
    Connecting a router to Airport Extreme: Will it slow down the internet access to all the computers more? I wanna hook up my mac pro, iMac via Ethernet and my PowerBook will be wireless. Is it gonna effect my speed?
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    Since the AE is already a router, why not hook the Mac Pro and iMac via a hub or switch?
     
  3. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #3
    Oh, I didn't know I could get an ethernet hub. Will a hub slow down the connection speed (I'm not talking about when all 3 computers are downloading at the same time). I just wanna know if I have my Mac Pro connected to a hub rather than straight to the Airport Base Station, if it will slow down because the connection has to go through another step.
     
  4. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    While not privy to all the technical details, I don't believe your connection speed will slow down at all. But from personal experience, I haven't experienced a slow down in my connection.

    I currently have my cable modem going into the AirPort Extreme Base Station, then out to a switch, which is connected to both a Powermac and Mac Mini. I have a Powerbook and Macbook connected wirelessly via the base station. My internet connection seems every bit as fast with this set up as when I had the Powermac connected directly to my cable modem.
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    The slowdown in your setup from adding a hub/switch would be measured in microseconds. :)
     
  6. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #6
    If you don't mind me asking, what's the difference between a hub and a switch?
     
  7. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #7
    I mind very strongly, but I suppose I'll answer anyway... (JUST KIDDING, I don't mind at all).

    Get a full-duplex switch, not a hub. With a hub, all connected devices share bandwidth. With a switch, each connected device has it's own bandwidth.

    At one time hubs were much cheaper than switches, but starting several years ago, switches became very reasonable. I don't know if they even sell hubs anymore.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    About $10. :D j/k

    A quick (and probably bad) analogy would be this:

    A switch has extra "smarts" in it to open the packets of data flowing through it and send them directly where they need to go. If your iMac, Mac Pro, and Airport Extreme were all plugged into a switch, and the iMac was sending packets of Internet data to the switch, the switch would be smart enough to redirect those packets only to the port on the switch that the Airport Express was plugged into. The port on the switch that the Mac Pro was plugged into wouldn't see any of that data flowing by.

    A hub, on the other hand, is much simpler. In the example above, if the iMac was sending Internet data through the hub to the Airport Express, the hub doesn't have a clue which port on the hub that the AE was plugged into, so it will send the data to ALL of the ports of the hub. The Mac Pro could actually see the iMac talking to the AE in this case.

    In a small house network, I've never noticed any performance difference between a hub and a switch.

    With a switch, there's a potential small performance hit as the switch has to monitor each pack of data to know where to send it.

    With a hub, the more devices you plug into it (and the more data you send through it), the more likely there is for data collisions (when two devices add data to the network at the same time, which can also cause a performance hit.)

    I'm sure others will chime in on this thread, but with the size of your network, either one would probably work well, and I'm not sure you'd notice a difference between either one.
     
  9. toontra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    London UK
    #9
    Could I set up a LAN with an Airport Express in the following way:

    Cable Modem
    |
    Switch ---------Airport Express-------MacBook (Airport)
    |
    Desktop G5
    (ethernet)


    I need to have filesharing between the G5 and the MacBook over the network. Anyone else do it this way or see any problems?
     
  10. TheSpaz thread starter macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #10
    For your setup you don't need anything in between the Airport. Airport base station lets you have 1 ethernet connection and then any other computers can be wireless. So you'd just have to plug your G5 into the Ethernet port on the Base Station and the MacBook would be wireless. Just turn on File Sharing in System Preferences and you should be able to see your MacBook in the network folder in the Finder.
     
  11. toontra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    London UK
    #11
    From the picture it looks to me as though the Airport Express only has 1 ethernet port, which presumably is the one which I would plug the cable from the cable modem into. If so, how could I make the other ethernet connection to the G5?
     
  12. luhengc3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    #12
    connecting 3 Mac pro

    Dear all,

    We got 3 Mac pro for editing and 3 old iMacs that don't have airport. we want all the macs to share the same archive video library on the hard drive; I think the only way to network all the computer together is via Ethernet cable.

    since the AirPort Extreme only have 3 ethernet port, i imaging my network will be


    Cable Modem Mac pro hard drive
    | | |
    Airport Express------- Switch ------------{ 3 x iMacs
    | |
    Mac pro Mac pro


    do you think it will work?
     
  13. tshort macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #13
    Yes. You need the Airport Express to act as your router. You are probably only getting one IP address from your cable company, so putting the switch in between the Cable Modem and Airport Express won't work, as every device on that switch will need it's own IP address from the cable company. By having the Airport Express get it's IP address from the cable company, and doling out local IP addresses (typically 192.168.x.x) to your local network, everyone will be able to get out to the Internet and talk to each other.

    EDIT: Just remembered the Airport Express only has a single Ethernet port, which needs to go to the Cable Modem. So everything will have to be wireless. If you don't want to do that, then get an Airport Extreme, which has multiple Ethernet ports, or get another Airport Express and switch for the other computers.

    1. Completely wireless
    Cable Modem----Airport Express
    ((wireless to everything else))

    2. Airport Extreme
    Cable Modem----Airport Extreme*----Switch*----[Mac Pros]
    ((wireless to everything else))

    3. Two Airport Expresses
    Cable Modem----Airport Express ((wireless to other Airport)) Airport Express---Switch---[Mac Pros]
    ((wireless to everything else))

    * The Airport Exteme has 4 ethernet ports, 1 for the cable modem, and 3 acting as a switch, so the switch may not be needed in case 2.
     

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