802.11g --> 802.11n improvements?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by evangw, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. evangw, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012

    evangw macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    I have a home network like so:

    Cable modem -> Airport -Express- 1st gen 802.11g -> Servers wifi to PS3/Computers/AppleTV/Airport Extreme5thgen(Bridge)

    and then the airport extreme is bridged and wired to an xbox, tv, and stereo receiver.

    Everything is very close, so distance is not an issue, but speed occasionally is.

    I'm wondering if anyone has a guess as to how my network would improve by getting a new aiport express so that I can run everything on 802.11n.

    For instance, I would like to be able to stream movies to my PS3 using PS3media server (right now: very stuttering if high quality) and would like to be able to use AirParrot without 2 s delay with my Apple TV (I have an early 2010 iMac and late 2010 MBA). I'm especially wondering if AirParrot would work better--in which case I would never stream to the PS3.

    Alternately I could switch my airport express and airport extreme, use the airport express as a bridge, then buy a hub so that I could wire my TV, stereo, and xbox into the hub/express, but this might also be kind of slow--it sounds like it'd be full of latency at the very least. Alternately if HDMI 1.4 carries internet, I could wire my whole home studio with HDMI cables, but I have no idea how to activate (or even see how) HDMI-ethernet works.

    I'm not against paying $100 for a new airport extreme, but I would be kind of bummed if it didn't improve my streaming ability any.
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm confused...if you get an Express that runs n it can only go so fast as its input, and if that is coming from an older Extreme's wifi at g speeds, then that's the bottleneck. It seems you have some of your stuff wired, so you're intending to use the Express as your sole wifi access point?

    And I'm not sure what you mean by "hub." Do you mean switch? You don't have enough ethernet ports in the Extreme? Ethernet and a switch would be faster than wifi, and all you'd need is some cable and perhaps that switch.
  3. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    If you have 3 devices hooked to the Airport Extreme(Bridge), I'm assuming it's the 802.11n version. I don't think the G-only Extreme had that many ethernet ports. So if everything is very close, why not just get rid of the Airport Extreme 802.11g?

    Cable modem -> Airport Extreme(Bridge) -> PS3/Computers/AppleTV

    And then, of course, keep the xbox, tv, and stereo tuner wired to it.
  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Suggestion for streaming - Instead of using PS3MediaServer, try Plex. It takes care of all the poster art and metadata for you. The newer (4 months or less I think) versions support the DLNA protocol that the PS3 reads from PS3MediaServer. Pretty slick, and would also let you stream to your iOS devices.
  5. evangw thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Sorry typo in my original post, cable modem goes to an airport EXPRESS 802.11g, so I can't just switch them, since the express 802.11g only has one ethernet port and I need 3. So yeah, I would make the new airport express serve wifi for the house, and the poor extreme would still be relegated to relay duty, I was just wondering if n is really noticeably faster, since the maximum distance between the airport and a device is about 25 feet.

    It's close, but not close enough; it's one room apart. There's only one input in the house where the cable modem can go, and I don't want to run a wire from there to the TV area, so instead I have it go to an airport -express- 802.11g, which then serves the WiFi for the house.

    The airport extreme (bridge) is a fifth gen 802.11n.

    Will try Plex. Was pretty disappointed with PS3media server's lack of ability to cache.
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    The Extreme should be much faster all around than the Express, yet it seems that all your internet traffic must go through the Express. Not good; you need a faster device.

    And between devices you should try to use either cabling or n.
  7. evangw thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Cabling not an option. I'm planning to buy a new airport express today so everything's on 'n'.

    Is a current-gen Airport Extreme actually faster than a current-gen Airport Express? The new Express is dual-band, so I'm kind of skeptical that this is still true since the June revision.
  8. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    N is still not good enough for streaming HD. For HD streaming you really need to go wired.
  9. evangw thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Is that still true for 3rd gen apple TV and people with Sandy Bridge macs? I'm planning to get a new iMac whenever they're released.

    (I realize the hiccough is bandwidth, but wasn't sure if AppleTV/sandybridge somehow fixed that)
  10. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    The peripherals at either end can be as fast as possible, but its the wireless bandwidth thats the bottleneck.
  11. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Well the Extreme has larger antennas and perhaps higher signal level, but as close as all the devices are, it might not make a difference.
  12. evangw, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012

    evangw thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    I ended up buying the new Express today, and simplified my setup so it's just Cable Modem --> 3rd gen Express --> Extreme [serves WiFi to everything and wired to 3 clients].

    AirParrot is much faster, although still pretty bad. Can watch movies in VLC with no problem, can browse with minor frustration, and can't play games at all. Haven't tried streaming with Plex or PS3media server yet.

    I have to say, Apple sure doesn't make it easy to make the Express the WDS Main and the Extreme the WDS Relay.

    Edit: Tried it today from a different computer (2010 i7 iMac) and it was basically perfect; could not play games but everything else is fine, maybe a ~0.1 s latency; latency is more like 0.5s on the late 2010 13'' MBA.

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