Improving wifi range: Time Capsule, Airport Extreme, Express?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by i0Nic, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I live in a two storey house with a modem upstairs, currently I have an older 2008 model Airport Extreme upstairs and an airport express to extend the range downstairs.

    All my devices in the household utilise Wireless N, so I am thinking of upgrading these two devices and hopefully both extending the wireless range and performance of my network. Currently there are pockets of space downstairs that have a poor wireless connection.

    Would replacing the airport extreme with a new wireless N model, along with a new airport express potentially solve this? Also, I have a hard drive connected to an airport extreme for time machine, would buying a time capsule work better? I have noticed some issues with backups but I'd rather save the money and get the extreme, but not sure if I'm missing out on anything with the time capsule.

    Any help is appreciated :)
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    rnelan7

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boise
    #2
    My advice would be to purchase the new extreme to see how your range and speeds are. Then if need be purchase an express to create a roaming wifi network if possible. A roaming network is connected through ethernet then acts as a bridge to rebroadcast your wifi network. You will need an ethernet connection but it won't drag down your speeds how wirelessly extending does. The current setup in my house is an extreme with two expresses creating a roaming network. The signal and speeds are great throughout the house. Here is a good Apple link that will explain:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4145
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    #3
    But here's the problem. Some people like the original poster and myself want to do it wirelessly so we don't have to run ethernet cable thru various floors!! We are asking about wireless range and extension, not ethernet enabled! It's great you can run ethernet in YOUR house, but that doesn't solve the problem for multi-level homes that aren't wanting wireless conductivity.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    rnelan7

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Boise
    #4
    I fully understand that and that is why I said if possible. I was merely giving an example of my experience that could be replicated if interested. Never the less the new extreme did provide for a further wireless range. Hopefully that alone could fix the problem. There is nothing more annoying than a weak wifi signal. Welcome to the forum by the way.
     
  5. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #5
    The new model Airport Extreme/Time Capsules do have better wireless reception. You can see that in this review by Anandtech. So yes, I would expect you to see improvement with the new model.

    Time Machine backup to an external USB drive off an Airport Extreme is not supported by Apple and I would not do it. It will often work, but also sometimes gets wonky like you are seeing. If this is what you want, get the Time Capsule.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #6
    I recently purchased a Timecapsule and have noticed it gives a better wifi signal than my Virgin Super hub. I live in a 2 story house and the signal gets everywhere. It's probably worth a try.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    somewhere
    #7
    im looking to do the same thing but i live in a 3 story house .. was looking at purchasing two extremes
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    Thanks for the help guys.

    If I were to replace just one of the devices, would it be better to replace the Extreme or Express to improve the wireless reception?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #9
  10. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #10
    With your setup, I would replace the Extreme if you are only going to replace one device. That would hypothetically give the extended Express a better signal also. You could replace the Extreme with a Time Capsule to accomplish the backup you want.
     

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