AC Extreme extending 5th gen extreme wireless - how to improve it?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Drecca, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Drecca macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2010
    So I have all of my laptops upstairs, along with almost everything using a wireless connection. My downstairs only has the apple TV.

    My cable connection comes into the house downstairs, near my bookshelf. So I have the cable modem plugged into the 5th gen airport extreme.

    I then extended the wireless signal using the AC airport extreme upstairs.

    For the most part it works fine, but there are times where the connection lags just a tiny bit, with dropped packets too between the routers. For example during a voip call, the other person would start talking and I only catch the tail end of their sentence. And then as long as that conversation continues, all is fine

    Jabber / IM conversations too. Most of the time, sentences will be posted right away, sometimes there will be lag. I open a traceroute and there are timeouts between the routers when this happens.

    So would buying another AC airport extreme and connect it downstairs help with this? Or do i really need to start drilling holes and wiring all this?
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Have you tried using the AC router as the original and the 5G to extend? The AC has a more powerful antenna, so it might help get a better signal upstairs to be rebroadcast.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Hook the AC AirPort Extreme to the Modem and if absolutely necessary, make the 5th gen the extender. The newer one is stronger so it may be plenty strong for what you need.
  4. Agent47 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2014
    Extending a Wifi network will introduce lag due to the packets having to be relayed. VoIP and video streaming will suffer. Also consider that the extended network segment communicates with the main network at half-duplex, introducing more potential for lag.

    Unfortunately I'd drill some holes and run some CAT6, and install another access point connected to the airport extreme. Or another Airport extreme in bridge mode.

  5. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
  6. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2013
  7. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2010
    I'm assuming if it was convenient to hardwire you would have done it already.

    First, use the 802.11ac extreme as your main router. Be sure to place it away from metal shelves and try to get it physically closer to the area where you have dropouts.

    Second, locate the extender closer to your main router. It's important that you give the extender the best signal possible to extend while still covering the areas you need covered. You can try to test the signal strength in the location where you place the extender with istumbler and a macbook. SNR needs to be 25db or higher.

    Third, what are you making VoIP calls with and what band are they on? If it's 2.4ghz you might be getting interference from around the house or from neighbors. If you can VoIP on 5ghz that will make the likelihood of external interference much lower.
  8. Kashsystems macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2012
    If traditional hard wiring is not an option, try bridging the two with a powerline adapter.

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