5GHZ WiFi in an old house

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MAC-PRO-DEMON, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. MAC-PRO-DEMON macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2008
    Up north in Yorkshire :)
    I thought I might be a good idea to use an Airport Express as a WiFi bridge network set up as only 5GHZ for the Macs in my house to have a fast connection, however it seems that the apart from one (the nearest to the router) they are only able to see my old 2.4GHZ Belkin router? I live in a large (100 year old) house with internal brick walls (rather than stud partition) which is five stories high, the current 2.4GHZ network can do the whole house as well as small part of the garden, is a 5GHZ not well suited to such an application? Are the building materials of the house to blame for the inability to see the 5GHZ from more than 15 meters away? Any advice is appreciated!
  2. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I've heard anecdotally that 5GHz has half the range of 2.4GHz.
  3. macheed macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2011
    Wireless N

    Unfortunately, I also believe that the 5GHz wifi signal also attenuates or reduce much more readily which means that the signal level through brick will be much lower. Could you by any chance improve your network by using mains network routing?
  4. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    It's true that 5 GHz doesn't transmit as far, and a 5-story brick building is going to be a huge challenge. The first thing to try is to experiment with re-positioning the WiFi router. In my experience, routers work better when they're transmitting down into a building rather than up. But items around the router such as desk, chair, walls, etc may be causing a big part of the initial signal loss. You'll just have to experiment.

    The other thing you can do is to wire up more routers.

    It's possible that you don't really need 5 GHz. The huge advantage of 5 GHz WiFi is reduced interference from other WiFi routers, because many more non-overlapping channels are available. In your home, 2.4 GHz interference doesn't seem to be a problem.
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Another option might be Ethernet over Power adapters.
  6. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    The only problem there is that they often also have problems in older houses (wiring issues). Worth a shot, perhaps, if wireless isn't going to work, of course.

  7. MAC-PRO-DEMON thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2008
    Up north in Yorkshire :)
    Thanks everyone! We tried the old Devolo Powerline stuff about 6 or 7 years ago and it worked great (at 2005 speed!), but only for 2 computers on separate wiring circuits. The newer extended parts of the basement and first story are on a newer wiring system, whereas the rest of the house has a lot of different circuits but they are essentially all connected. Putting one more computer on the Powerline system upstairs completely sucks the power from the other computer, and the same happens on the new circuit. This was with 14mb technology, so I assume that it would work a lot better on the 200mb stuff available today?
    Maximum file transfer speed on the 2.4ghz network is around 2mb/s but this is rarely seen, more likely around 1.5mb/s. This is acceptable, as I am not used to anything faster, and my Internet speed is around 10mbit/s so is not held back by poor wifi. However the reason for the 5ghz experiment is due to the roll out of BT Fusion FTTC being imminent and essentially putting up my connection to a 50mbit and up service. Clearly on the current setup, the Broadband speed increases would not be really appreciated much as the network could not cope with it. I suppose the extra bandwidth would mean that each computer could have a larger share of the Internet connection (each stream HD) but that would be it.
    So seeing as 5GHZ is out, is Powerline the only option?

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