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Airport Express wifi speed

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
Hi,
I have a 100 Mbps internet connection that works fine when I connect my MBP directly to the router. When I connect my Airport Express to the router and then use its wifi, I get only around 50 Mbps download speed (no walls between the MBP and the Airport Express)

Is this the max speed of the Airport Express or are there any setting that I can change to optimise its throughput ? Which "radio mode" in the Wireless options should I use ?

cheers
 

zepman

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2010
182
12
Sweden
Airport Express wifi speed

I don't think the Express can handle a 100 Mbps connection very well. I'm using a 2012 Express with a 100 Mbps ISP connection. I usually get about 65 Mbps over 5 Ghz. Slightly slower over 2.4 Ghz.

The worst part is that AirPlay audio lags every time the ISP speed is pushed upwards its limit. That means the music lags every time I downloads something, starts playing a video or loads a webpage with some media on it. Very frustrating!

I was hoping for a software update to fix this but starting to believe that the Express simply cant handle it.
I have tested to use the Express with older firmware versions. Same problem with them.
 

hymas

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2014
42
0
Pearland, TX
Hi,
I have a 100 Mbps internet connection that works fine when I connect my MBP directly to the router. When I connect my Airport Express to the router and then use its wifi, I get only around 50 Mbps download speed (no walls between the MBP and the Airport Express)

Is this the max speed of the Airport Express or are there any setting that I can change to optimise its throughput ? Which "radio mode" in the Wireless options should I use ?

cheers

Sell the Express and pickup an Extreme! That's what I did and I'm on a 105 Mbps plan and get over 115 Mbps+. Best investment yet!
 

zepman

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2010
182
12
Sweden
Sell the Express and pickup an Extreme! That's what I did and I'm on a 105 Mbps plan and get over 115 Mbps+. Best investment yet!

If the Extreme had AirPlay audio out I would have done that. My Hi-Fi system is built around the AirPlay capabilities of the Express.

I'm thinking of buying an Extrem or an Asus router to use as my main router and only use the Express as an AirPlay bridge. But that solutions is not as elegant (or price effective) as using only the Airport Express. I could have accept only getting ~60 Mbps out of it, if only the AirPlay audio hadn't lagged as badly as it does.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
When I connect my Airport Express to the router and then use its wifi, I get only around 50 Mbps download speed (no walls between the MBP and the Airport Express)
How are you connecting the Airport Express to the router? If you're connecting it via WiFi then you're cutting your speed in half.

Keep in mind it's not just the Airprort Express but your MBP that also determines that max WiFi speed. Speed is limited to the lowest common denominator.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
How are you connecting the Airport Express to the router? If you're connecting it via WiFi then you're cutting your speed in half.
Ethernet.

Keep in mind it's not just the Airprort Express but your MBP that also determines that max WiFi speed. Speed is limited to the lowest common denominator.
What is the mac throughput of the MBP wifi ? I think it's 802.11n right ?

Are the performances of an Extreme significantly better?


By the way what do those Airport Express setting mean (see attachment)? Which option should I choose for the best performances? Can I enable a 5GHz network only?

cheers
 

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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,178
481
Elkton, Maryland
Ethernet.


What is the mac throughput of the MBP wifi ? I think it's 802.11n right ?

Are the performances of an Extreme significantly better?


By the way what do those Airport Express setting mean (see attachment)? Which option should I choose for the best performances? Can I enable a 5GHz network only?

cheers



The speed of the wireless in your MacBook Pro is going to vary based on what model and age it is. MacBook Pros were made since 2006 with a wide variety of cards ranging from wireless G to wireless AC.


You can create a 5 GHz only network with the AirPort Express. To do so, simply go to the wireless tab inside of AirPort Utility and click "Wireless Options". There you can create a 5 GHz network.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
Here are the rates.

By the way, if I get a 802.11ac Access Point (e.g. AP Extreme), which speeds I can expect on my 802.11n MBP? Any chance to reach the 100 Mbps of my ISP?
 

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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,178
481
Elkton, Maryland
Here are the rates.

By the way, if I get a 802.11ac Access Point (e.g. AP Extreme), which speeds I can expect on my 802.11n MBP? Any chance to reach the 100 Mbps of my ISP?

Transmit rate varies greatly upon your conditions in your building. That being said, the Extreme is much stronger and more capable. My Extreme handles my 120 Mbps connection just fine.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
Transmit rate varies greatly upon your conditions in your building. That being said, the Extreme is much stronger and more capable. My Extreme handles my 120 Mbps connection just fine.
Also with a 802.11n client?
 

hymas

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2014
42
0
Pearland, TX
Here are the rates.

By the way, if I get a 802.11ac Access Point (e.g. AP Extreme), which speeds I can expect on my 802.11n MBP? Any chance to reach the 100 Mbps of my ISP?

From my experience, I am not sure if 802.11n can reach 100 Mbps in reality. I have the latest AirPort Extreme and my iPhone 6 (which is 802.11ac) screams at over 100 Mbps easily. However, my year old Dell XPS desktop with an internal 802.11n network adapter can only reach up into the 50s Mbps ok the network. My girlfriend's iPhone 5S maxes out at around 80 Mbps on my network. Thought about getting a different network adapter for my desktop, but I'll wait until I get a MacBook Air with 802.11ac.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,178
481
Elkton, Maryland
Also with a 802.11n client?

Wireless N constitutes a bunch of different speeds. For instance, the card in my MacBook Pro (Classic Mid-2012) is capable of 450 Mbps wireless N. I routinely see 365-450 Mbps Transmit Rate with my Extreme. The top theoretical speed depends on the MIMO technology in the client and the router. For instance, my MBP is a 3x3 card.
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
So I've got the AirPort Extreme and I brought also my late 2014 rMPB (802.11ac) from work and funny thing is that I get better result with my personal MBP (2010)

MBP 2010 (802.11n)


rMBP 2014 (802.11ac)


Both MPB were next to each other around 3m from the Extreme. I tested also in other rooms where the speed was slower but the 2010 MBP gets all the time better results.

How is that possible?
 

Tex-Twil

macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 28, 2008
2,484
12
Berlin
No :) Actually I realised that the rMBP might have been connected to another network by mistake. Now I get 100Mbps on both. Nice :cool:
 

zepman

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2010
182
12
Sweden
Good to hear you get 100 Mbps now. :)

Since AirPort routers gives the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz band the same SSID default, the computer can sometimes connect to the 2.4Ghz band although one might expect it to connect to the 5Ghz band.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,695
510
Estonia
It's also worth noting, that despite having 802.11n radio, the Express only has 2x2:2 MIMO configuration (just like the cheap MBA), whereas the Extreme has 3x3:3 MIMO (just like the MBP). That makes for a 150Mbps difference in wireless speed (max speed of a single 802.11n stream) at best MCS index.
 

PJL500

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
265
166
Hi,
I have a 100 Mbps internet connection that works fine when I connect my MBP directly to the router. When I connect my Airport Express to the router and then use its wifi, I get only around 50 Mbps download speed (no walls between the MBP and the Airport Express)

Is this the max speed of the Airport Express or are there any setting that I can change to optimise its throughput ? Which "radio mode" in the Wireless options should I use ?

cheers
I have a 240Mb/s Comcast connection. But my (old) router ports are 100Mb/s max until I get a gigabit router. That said, using the 5GHz radio on the Airport Express I am getting 94Mb/s on my Late '08 MBP. (The AE is in the same room as the MBP and there is a 100 ft ethernet line running from the (old) router to the office to the Airport Express.) 'Am looking forward to seeing the result when the gigabit router is installed (Monoprice have (an AC!) one for 39 bucks... .)
 
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