Question About New Airport Extreme BS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mowogg, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. mowogg macrumors 6502

    mowogg

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    San Gabriel, CA
    #1
    I read in the specs for the new Airport Extreme Basestation that it uses either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz.
    Does anyone know if this will be selectable? I have a "flying saucer" extreme basestation and my WiFi gets knocked out whenever I get a phone call and someone picks up on the 2.4Ghz cordless phone.
    Yes, I know I should get a 900Mhz or 5Ghz phone. It's not that big of a problem, I was just wondering if anyone had seen whether or not that was something you could select in the Airport set up.

    TIA,
    Rob
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    I honestly, can't imagine that it wouldn't be.
     
  3. mowogg thread starter macrumors 6502

    mowogg

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    #3
    Thanks!
     
  4. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

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    Raleigh
    #4
    the apple ad says it's selectable for just such problems as the phone issue.
     
  5. mowogg thread starter macrumors 6502

    mowogg

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    #5

    Whoo hoo!

    Apple ad? I gotta' read more.
     
  6. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #6
    One big word of caution:

    Once you switch to the 5Ghz mode, only 802.11a (rare) and 802.11n devices will be able to connect to the basestation. No b or g devices will be able to see the network.
     
  7. mowogg thread starter macrumors 6502

    mowogg

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    San Gabriel, CA
    #7
    eeeeeewwwww. That's no good. The old PowerBook and my iBook both need the "g". I think I'll hold off on the new basestation until I really need it. Also, perhaps a new 5Ghz cordless phone/answering machine is in order.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #8
    Have you tried changing the channel that your wireless network operates on? That could help minimize interference.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    I think I remember reading that you can select the channel within the 2.4Ghz band the BS is to use. Many phones have this feature too. There are (I think) 13 channels in the band. You should be able to put you phone and network on different channels.

    You can move the new "n" network off to 5Ghz but "g" is stuck forever on 2.4Ghz.
     
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    Location:
    Cascadia
    #10
    For compatibility with older 802.11b and 802.11g computers, you will have to use the 2.4 GHz band. Older b and g hardware just doesn't have a 5 GHz transmitter.

    802.11a (rare, essentially obsolete,) and SOME 802.11n hardware will support the 5 GHz band. It appears that all Apple Intel computers do support the 5 GHz band (since they also support 802.11a.)

    The manual for the new AirPort Extreme seems to have only 'n only' or 'compatible' modes, no '2.4 GHz only' or '5 GHz only' selectors, so you couldn't, for example, only use a and 5 GHz n. (Which would be nice for someone who has a non-n MacBook, for example.) But, the manual isn't very comprehensive, either.

    Edit: Correction, the "Designing AirPort Extreme 802.11n Networks" manual shows four network choices for the new base station (quotes are Apple's name, brackets are my description:)
    "802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)" - (2.4 GHz-only operation)
    "802.11n only (2.4 GHz)" - (n-2.4 GHz-only operation)
    "802.11n (802.11a compatible)" - (5 GHz-only operation)
    "802.11n only (5 GHz)" - (n-5 GHz-only operation)

    What's really interesting is that it's either-or with regard to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I know there are dual-band routers that support a, b, and g simultaneously, transmitting on both 2.4 and 5 GHz. I wonder if 802.11n somehow makes you choose one OR the other? (So can you have a 802.11n router that will support a, b, g, and n clients all at the same time?)
     
  11. mowogg thread starter macrumors 6502

    mowogg

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    San Gabriel, CA
    #11
    Wow, great info, thanks everybody. I wasn't aware of the channel section making a difference. I had my Airport set to "Automatic" and the phone doesn't seem to say what channel it is on, only has a switch to change channels. Darn cheap phone. I'm going to read the manual and see if I can't get them on different channels so I can both talk on the cordless and surf at the same time.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #12
    You need two wireless chipsets in the router to support dual-band, making it more expensive for little benefit. In my case, I can easilly leave the Airport in 2.4Ghz mode and get ~144Mbit through the wireless link to other wireless devices, and 100Mbit to wired devices. The point of the 5Ghz band at all in the n spec is for the 300Mbit link speed. Which in this case, where I have a mix of wired and wireless devices, is kinda pointless until a compatible gigabit router exists.
     
  13. Forced Perfect macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada.
    #13
    Dual-band cards from D-Link, etc. that claim 108 Mbit/second simply use both 2.4 GHz 802.11g and 5 GHz 802.11a at the same time to get more bandwidth. That is one of the features of 802.11n in that "n" uses MIMO (multi in, multi out) to send more than one signal from more than one antenna. Although I think all the "n" transmissions are on the same frequency.

    The dual-band stuff needs special drivers to operate. Without it will just act as a 802.11g or 802.11a card. I don't know if any Mac drivers exist as most of those silly gimmicks are PC only.
     

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