Airport Express not too good in 5GHz mode.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rjp, May 12, 2008.

  1. rjp macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    Need so help here. I purchased a new 802.11n Airport Expresss, but the performance in 5GHz n-only mode does not seem to be as good as my existing Netgear 802.11g wireless router. By not as good, I mean that I can not get as much distance out of it before the signal becomes unreliable, and also that when using APgrapher and iStumbler applications these show the Airport Express having about 5-10 dB less signal strength in some locations, and a bit higher noise. In some other locations the AE actually has more signal strength, but for the most part the signal is not as good as the old Netgear router.

    When I switch the AE to 2.4GHZ n-only the performance definitely improves, as does the range, but it is still not as good as the Netgear. I have tried all channels. Power is at 100%

    Bad unit, or bad product? What do you think?

    What application could I use to test actual throughput bps?
  2. micsaund macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2004
    Colorado, USA
    5GHz doesn't penetrate walls/etc. as well due to the shorter wavelength. You will see slight decreased in signal strength if passing through walls/etc. but that should be offset if the 2.4GHz spectrum in your area is crowded with noise/other networks/etc.

  3. rjp thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks Mike.

    Yes, I did notice that the 5GHz signal strength drops off more rapidly with distance than the 2.4GHz. Probably this is due to more walls/floors as distance increases indoors.

    Even in 2.4GHz though, and even in b/g compatible mode, the Airport express does not perform as well as my old Netgear (g) router. I am assuming now that this is due to it not having an external antenna.

    From what I've learned from reading it seems Apple just doesn't make real good wireless basestations. SOunds like even the extreem has similar issues. Too bad. It looks so nice an compact and I love the print server feature. I guess I'll return it and just stick with the netgear for now.

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