Airport express slowing my network down?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Slevin, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Slevin macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    New York
    My network setup is simple, AirPort Extreme with two airport expresses extending the network. Security is WPA2. My modem is an ARRIS SB6183.

    I currently pay for 300mbs internet but I'm only getting between 50-120mbs. I'm wondering if I'm not realizing the true potential of the full 300mbs network speed is because of my airport express that has a wireless network capability of 802.11n.

    If the bottleneck isn't the hardware then would anyone know how I could change my network settings to increase the network speed.
  2. jonwatso macrumors newbie


    Mar 22, 2016
    Hey Slevin,

    I have a pretty similar setup as you. I would check to see the connection speed in which the airport express is connecting to your airport extreme. Go into airport utility and hold down option whilst double clicking on the airport extreme. You should be abel to see the speed in which its connecting. My airport express connects to the airport extreme @150mbs and then the other devices connect to the express, sometimes at a slower speed (50mb-60mb). Ways to resolve this? Seperate the 5GHZ network and make the airport express extend that instead?

    Would recommend downloading WiFi Explorer, a great tool for analysing your wifi network. worth every penny.


    --- Post Merged, Mar 23, 2016 ---
    Also make note of the mac addresses and then see which one your device is connecting to. Hold down option and click the WiFi symbol to see the mac address.
  3. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Mooresville, NC
    Are they setup as wireless extenders or are they wired in to the AirPort Extreme?

    If wireless extenders: there's probably not much you can do. When you extend you essentially cut your available bandwidth in half. I would recommend wiring them in.

    If already wired: test your cables. Double check your config to make sure neither Express is doing NAT.
  4. Hilbert92, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016

    Hilbert92 macrumors member


    May 21, 2015
    The bottle neck is the Airport Express's. They only have 10/100 mbps rj45 ports on them. the max that you will see wired or wireless through an express is 100mbps. If it is being extended wireless then you wont see the full potential but more like 1/4 to 1/2 of your full speed
  5. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Good advice above. Also, start as close as you can to the modem and work from there to measure your speed. Then move out. I don't think 802.11n is capable of reaching anywhere near 300Mbps actual.
  6. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    Do you really need to extend the network? Remember you are forcing the Extreme to run in n mode for everything which reduces range and speed.

    I would use powerline ethernet adaptors to wire your Expresses via mains power to ethernet. This will avoid the issue of reduced throughout and allow your Extreme to run in ac Wi-Fi mode.

    If you are just using your Expresses to connect an amplifier, printer or ethernet device, you can run it in wireless Client Mode and that will resolve your issues as well.
  7. jonwatso macrumors newbie


    Mar 22, 2016
    Funny you say that actually. After replying to this thread I decided to go home and do some research. I was under the assumption that better signal would mean a better connection, which like you said is not the case.

    Using an express reduces the speed of the overall as the extreme has to run in N Mode. So although now I am getting a signal at say 50%, 50% of 1300Mbps is much better than 90% of 300Mbps. So I have now returned the express to client mode (which is what is use to be in.) as it mainly used to stream music anyway.

    If anyone is experiencing similar issues I would recommend the advice given above, extend via ethernet rather than via wifi. The overheads out way any performance gains in my opinion. Follow the advice given in
  8. Hilbert92 macrumors member


    May 21, 2015
    Make sure you have 5ghz turned on. One thing to remember is the Ethernet ports on the expresses are only good for 100 Mbps. You won't see internet speeds higher than that if your device is connected to the express as an access point.
  9. es5694 macrumors member


    Mar 31, 2016
    Las Vegas
    Agree with Hilbert92.

    As far you will setup your PCs from modem so you will get less speed. There are two ways to get rid of this problem.

    Getting closer to the modem if possible. if not then go for the second option. Use ethernet extenders like that are supposed to work properly in wide area networks. Choose extender according to your network distance.
  10. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    As was said earlier, the Airport Express only has 100mbps Ethernet! You will never be able to get speeds higher than theoretical 100mbps. You need the new Airport Extreme with 802.11ac as it has both the 1000mbps Ethernet connection from your modem, and the higher wireless speed to "push" that connection to your 802.11n and 802.11ac devices.
  11. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Wirelessly extending an AirPort will only give you half the throughput of the extending AirPort. If you have a main AirPort Extreme, with an Express extending with a connection of 150 Mbps, then you will only ever theoretically see 75 Mbps to a client connected to the Express.

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