100 Mbps via Ethernet, 10Mbps via wifi. Why?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Qwerty11, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Qwerty11 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have the modem connected to an Airport Extreme that then goes to a switch. I also have other Airport Expresses around the house as range extenders. Why am I getting 100 Mbps from an Ethernet cable connected to the switch, but only 10 Mbps from WiFi?
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #2
    What model is your AirPort Extreme, is it the tall newer one?
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #3
    I would ask why you are getting only 100 Mbps on Ethernet.
    Is that simply what your switch supports?
    The last Macs that were limited to 100 Mbps were G4s (older ones)
    My eMac that I use does not have Gigabit, but anything newer (since 2005, anyway) will support Gigabit.
     
  4. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    100 Mbps is the speed I pay for from the cable company.

    It's the last model of Airport Express prior to the tall ones.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #5
    Check your basic wireless speed: Turn off/unplug all the Expresses, and see what you get for wifi connect speed with ONLY the Extreme powered on.
     
  6. Zjef macrumors newbie

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    #6

    To my knowledge the AirPort Express never had a gigabit ethernet port. Mayby it's wise to check the tech specks on Apple's website. I might be wrong.

    You confuse me with "prior to the tall ones" because that refers to the AirPort Extreme which serves a different purpose. The latter does have gigabit Ethernet ports.

    In the former case, things are working as intended, I case of the latter … the opposite is true.

    I've got to admit, in neither case they work as expected, do they?
     
  7. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Sorry, I meant to say Airport Extreme.
     
  8. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    #8
    How do the other AP Express connect to your network? And, is the Ethernet Switch 10 Mbps, 10\100 or 10\100\1000?

    Apple Airport gear offers two options for a multi access point WiFi network. Extending uses WiFi to interconnect Access Points, Roaming uses Ethernet to interconnect APs.

    The best way for a network to be configured is for all Access Points to be hard wired to the network (roaming). If the AP Express are "extending" the network using WiFi, your speed will deteriorate, the more AP in your configuration, the slower the overall WiFi performance. This is due to the WiFi bandwidth for endpoints being shared with the bands for interconnecting the APs. Each WiFi extender will typically kill 50% of your WiFi bandwidth if uplinks are WiFi.

    If all of the AP are Ethernet connected, then devices can connect to any AP and get the full speed of the AP uplink. Since the AP Express have 10\100mbps WAN and LAN ports, that will be the fastest uplink speed from the expresses, but if the switch is 10Mbps only, then the uplink would max out at 10Mbps and WiFi will never be faster than 10 Mbps unless your device is connected to the router. In this case, upgrade your switch to 10\100 or better yet, 10\100\1000.

    If running Ethernet cable to the remote locations of the AP Express is not feasible, consider a power line or MOCA solution to extend the Ethernet to the remote locations. MOCA uses the existing coax TV cables in your home (provided they are not already used for cable TV), power line simply uses existing power outlets to make the Ethernet Link.

    My network is similar to yours, My Modem connects to a Time Capsule router, then I have a 10\100\1000 Ethernet switch to which my Macs, PCs, and Airport Expresses connect to. I use TP-Link AV1200 Powerline Adapter TL-PA8010P to connect my two remote AP Express and I get the full 50Mbps+ of my cable service no matter which Airport I connect to. If my cable service was 100Mbps like yours, my WiFi speeds would be 100Mbps or better.
     
  9. marzer, Jan 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017

    marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #9
    You've got multiple potential limiters to a wifi network. The express is limited to 300mbps on 5ghz and 150mbps on 2.4ghz. Add to that potential environmental interferences impacting wireless range and frequency selection. Then in wireless extender mode the Express throughput is cut in half to accommodate the two point connection, clients to express and express back to the extreme. You could force the whole wifi network to 5ghz and see if it improves.

    But I agree with Delta, disable all expresses and try connecting in close proximity to the Extreme.
     
  10. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #10
    I did some more investigating.

    The Airport Extreme is the A1143 model.
    The settings are:
    Router Mode: DHCP and NAT
    DHCP Range: 10.0
    Enable NAT-PMP: yes
    Radio Mode: 802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)
    Radio Channel: Automatic

    I unplugged the Airport Expresses and am still only in the 10 Mbps range.
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #11
    You have the 802.11n with 100Mb (Fast) ethernet ports. It's simply outdated for what you're doing.
     
  12. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I pulled out a long ethernet cable, unplugged the Expresses, and started moving the Extreme around. In any room outside of the one I had it in the WiFi speed goes from 10Mbps to 30Mbps. Is this an acceptable WiFi speed drop from my ethernet 100Mbps?

    I read that the A1143 Airport Extreme can be either have ethernet speed at 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps. How do I know?
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    The A1143 was first sold in Feb 2007, with 100Mbps ethernet (1st Gen)
    It was upgraded to 1000Mbps starting in August 2007. (2nd Gen)
    The order number changed from MA073LL/A to MB053LL/A
    But, I think the serial number will tell if you have 1st gen or 2nd gen Airport Express - enter the Extreme serial number in one of the sites that decode the serial number, such as here.

    Of course, the 1000 Mbps doesn't matter if your modem is not gigabit ethernet, or your ethernet cable from modem to router to switch does not support gigabit. (should be cat 5e or higher, tells you on the cable.)
     
  14. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #14
    1.) Which computer are you trying this test on?

    2.) Option click the WiFi symbol in the menu bar.
    Under your WiFi network what info does it give you?
    Channel: (in GHz, and MHz)
    RSSI: -dBm
    Noise: -dBm
    Tx Rate: Mbps
    PHY Mode:

    If I were troubleshooting I would get this information with the current setup, change nothing.

    Then disconnect power from all other WiFi equipment so that I was only connecting to the AirPort Extreme, redo the speediest and same information as #2.) again.
    Try to get somewhere within 10-15 feet from the Extreme for the connected only to the AEBS test but not directly next to it like 1-2' away.
     
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #15
    For any WiFi, the speed that you get will depend on the distance, on obstacles in the way (steel is really bad for WiFi), and on interference from your neighbours. When you go into Settings on your phone, you will see all the WiFi networks around you. If you are in an apartment block you could have dozens of WiFi networks around you, and that isn't going to help your speed.
     
  16. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #16
    Plus check with the Ethernet cable you are using between the modem and the Extreme. Make sure it at least CAT 6 Ethernet. Then on the wireless N give it slightly different name then the G frequency and set the N channels to the higher channel numbers because the proper N frequencies don't start their true speed until the hundred channels!

    Plus tell us what model of modem are you using to see if it has the Gigaport on the modem!
     
  17. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #17
    As said above hold the option key and click on the wifi icon at the top of your display. It will say TX Rate which is the max speed you are able to achieve from your router at your laptops present position. It could be affected by distance from router, frequency congestion (neighbors all using wifi on 2.4ghz same channel, etc.), and physical interference from your home such as interior walls, studs, piping, etc.

    The Tx rate (Transmit Rate) is an "ideal world" number. So my current Tx rate shows 702mbps out of max 1300mbps if I was right next to the router. I will never see 702mbps, real world may be closer to 500mbps, or about 25-30% less than the "advertised" tx rate.
     
  18. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #18
    Ever use the same channel as someone else close by!
     
  19. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    #19
    If moving the radio increases throughput, then you may have strong interference in the original location. A lot of devices use 2.4MHz, cordless phones, microwaves, and other WiFi gear. If you live in a densely populated area with a lot of 2.4GHz networks, moving to another room might shield you from these other networks, thus giving you better throughput.

    Your model A1143 supports 5GHz in addition to 2.4. the 5GHz range avoids interference and offers more channels (~150 vs 14 for 2.4GHz) to avoid conflicts with neighboring networks. If you have not already enabled it, turn on 5GHz. You can use the same SSID and password and devices should be smart enough to pick the best signal, but for test purposes, name it something different to distinguish it (MYWIFI vs MYWIFI-5G for example). For simplicity, use the same password on both MYWIFI and MYWIFI-5G. Then, test speeds on both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands.

    5GHz is shorter range, and is less capable of penetrating walls and obstacles, but it is less prone to interference due to more channels and fewer neighbors with 5GHz routers, and the shorter range meaning neighbors signals won't reach your home. You can leave the channel selection Automatic and the Extreme or Express will use channels with less interference from neighbors.

    802.11n is theoretically capable of up to 600Mbps speeds, far in excess of your 100Mbps ISP service. But, I notice you have the b\g compatible setting enabled, which is good if you have devices that can only use 802.11b or g, but can slow things down and is more susceptible to interference from older devices (even if they don't connect to your wifi). If all of your devices support 802.11n or better, change the 2.4GHz radio mode to N-Only. Same with 5GHz, set it to N-Only unless you need to connect 802.11a devices. Newer 802.11ac capable devices will be able to connect to N only networks without issue.

    If you are unable to find the WiFi from devices after setting them to N-Only, they do not support N as a\b\g devices won't even see the N networks.

    Your AP Expresses may also support 5GHz. the A1264 supported a/b/g/n in 2.4GHz only, the newer A1392 added 5GHz dual band. If the APExpresses can be connected by wired Ethernet, and run in Dual Band mode, then do the same as the above settings on the Extreme.

    Also, the radio in your endpoints may be restricting your throughput. 802.11b devices will get up to 11Mbps, 802.11a\g up to 54Mbps, 802.11n up to 600Mbps and 802.11ac up to 1200Mbps or more. Newer versions are backwards compatible but older versions are not forward compatible. If your Expresses were "extending" the Wifi (see my previous post above), vs creating a roaming network (hard wired to the router), and if they are older expresses that only support b\g, then they would be effectively throttling your network down to a slower speed.

    So, with the Expresses offline, and the N-Only and 5Ghz settings enabled on the Extreme, test speeds on the 2.4GHz network, and then connect to the 5GHz network and test the speeds. If the Extreme's signal can reach all parts of your home with these settings, don't bother with the Expresses. Else, either create a Roaming WiFi (Ethernet connecting the Expresses to the Extreme), and\or upgrade the expresses if they are the older model to get 5GHz bands in other parts of the home.

    Exhausting, no?
     
  20. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Thanks you so much for the information! Upon further investigation, I have determined that the speed fluctuates greatly during the day. I think that has to be due to network interference, right?
     
  21. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    #21
    No doubt, especially if the slowdowns occur during "Prime Time" when folks in the vicinity may be doing a lot on the wireless networks. Are there a lot of networks that show up in the available wireless networks list on your devices? If so, try some of the above things to isolate your network to reduce the impact interference has on it.

    Wireless networks are chatty, they broadcast packets that other nearby networks pick up and discard. The SSID, and even MAC address filters only provide authentication mechanisms to block devices from accessing hosts or services on your network, but don't isolate the network from the external chattiness. Every nearby wireless device, be it computers, smart phones, or network gear is hitting your WiFi with packets every few seconds. Your network discards them if they are not authenticated, but still the traffic occurs. Given the proliferation of WiFi in our homes and businesses, its a wonder WiFi remains useful in densely populated areas.

    So, if you don't need to connect a\b\g devices, disabling these on your network filters out the chattiness from your neighbors legacy devices, leaving the channels available to only those devices that support the higher standards. Packet filtering leaves more of the signal available to you and your loved ones! And, the more you do to fine tune your network, the better your neighbors will perform, its a win\win, but more effort than most are willing to invest.
     
  22. Qwerty11 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Great! I will try it when I get home.

    Will a new higher-end router have features to better handle congestion? I don't mind upgrading if I'll see real improvements.
     
  23. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    #23
    The gear you have supports 802.11n which is not the latest. 802.11ac routers are now the standard, and within the next few years, another generation is likely to emerge (ax I think). The 802.11ac routers and access points come in a few configurations, implementing with multiple radio streams (MIMO). These newer models tend to support older 802.11 b\g\n as well using 2.4GHZ as well as the 5GHz frequency for ac streams. The ac standard dates back to 2013, so most modern devices built in 14\15 or later are likely ac compatible. Theoretically, they can hit 1Gbps speeds, but since your internet service is 100Mbps, the extra speed would only help for file transfers between computers on your network.

    The ac bands cover shorter distances (they use 5GHz frequency only), roughly 50% of the range that 802.11n bands can handle on the 2.4 GHz frequency. N can also use 5GHz, but again distance is sacrificed. That is a good\bad thing depending on your home size. Figure 2.4GHz ranges up to 200 feet and 5GHz range of about 100 feet. That may keep your signal from reaching neighbors, but might require additional access points to cover your home.

    You can mix and match. I use an ac Time Capsule as my main router, and two Expresses (connected by Ethernet) to improve the range. The Time Capsule doesn't reach all of my rooms, but with the A1264 (802.11n 2.4 GHz) and A1392 (802.11n with 2.4 and 5 GHz), I cover my home pretty well. I am fortunate to live in an area where I only see 1-3 other WiFi networks so not too much interference. But, family members in more densely populated areas have had the same challenges you have. A few of my neighbors has dual band and I only see their 5GHz networks in certain areas of my home due to the shorter range, yet I always see their 2.4GHz networks.

    Will a newer router help? Not necessarily. If your current Extreme uses 5GHz 802.11n and filters out the older a\b\g by using the N-Only setting, your range may suffer but your interference may benefit. The only thing an ac router would do for you is speed up file transfers over your WiFi. If the range doesn't cover your home, using Expresses connected by Ethernet (or Ethernet over power or MOCA), can make up for that. If interference continues to suffer when connected to the express, consider upgrading the expresses to models that support 5GHz Dual Band (A1392) assuming the 5GHz setting on the main router helps things.
     
  24. InfoTime macrumors 6502

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    #24
    If your computer is a Mac you can tell what speed your Ethernet connection is by looking at the Link Speed using the Network Utility application.

    [​IMG]
     

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