Airport Extreme 5GHz vs. 2.4 GHz...Big Difference...But

Discussion in 'iPad' started by MT0227, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. MT0227 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    ...is it enough??

    Prior to purchasing the iPad I had my network at 2.4GHz (WPA2 encryption) so I was able to get a WiFi hook up on my iPhone. Since I purchased the iPad I don't have much need for WiFi on the iPhone in my home so I switched my Airport Extreme settings to 5GHz.

    At 2.4 GHz I was getting stable readings:

    iPad (Signal | Noise | Rate) -58 | -96 | 39
    Mac Book Pro (Signal | Noise | Rate) -48 | -90 | 130

    Notice that my Mac Book Pro connected at a Rate of 3.3x that of the iPad, not sure this makes much sense given I have both of them together in the same room, attached to the same access point.

    At 5.0 GHz (WPA2 encryption) I'm now getting:

    iPad (Signal | Noise | Rate) -24 | -95 | 150
    Mac Book Pro (Signal | Noise | Rate) -58 | -90 | 300

    Significant improvement on the iPad all around.

    Mac Book Pro Rate seems to be very erratic and is constantly changing, ranging from 13 - 300

    I'm still curious why the iPad is not at a Rate equal to, or close to the Mac Book Pro.

    Thoughts??


    ***EDIT: I turned off my iPad, now my Mac Book Pro settled in at a Rate of 162, with some bumps up to 243...much more stable. I guess the MBP and the iPad don't play nicely in the WiFi sandbox
     
  2. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #2
    It's funny b/c I had an Extreme that went bad so the Apple Store replaced it with a newer dual band and since then my iPhone won't connect unless I am right next to it and I notice my iPad drop to 1, 2, or 3 bars when in the past both my iPhone and MacBook got full signal anywhere in the house. I am curious if messing with my settings will increase my iPad performance. I wouldn't really care if my iPhone lost connectivity at home b/c like you said I don't really need it.
     
  3. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #3
    The iPad has fewer antennas inside for wireless N than the MacBook Pro.
     
  4. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #4
    Makes total sense.
     
  5. PhillStew macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Alabama
    #5
    I have one of the first AirPort Extremes (single band)...so I went to a local big box store, bought a Belkin 802.11 b/g router, and set up two wireless networks so that I could run my APX at 5 Ghz 802.11N.
     
  6. msavwah macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Oahu
    #6
    While not exactly related to your problem. It may help to get higher speed across the board.

    The best thing you can do is manually change the channels and test them. Turn it off automatic and test every single one, you will probably be pleasantly surprised.
    I use the 2.4 b/g compatible because I have a stable of wireless devices that requires it and I was having trouble with slow speeds. Was getting like 3mbps on the iPad, now getting 9-13 on average.
    About three of my channels were near this while the rest sucked.
    Chances are your neighbors aren't doing this also, which could add to your benefits in channel changing.

    Btw I'm not talking about 2.4 or 5 I'm talking about the 12 channels it uses on either one. Default is set to automatic but it wasn't giving me the best results.
     
  7. og1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #7
    the current model does simultaneous dual band...have it both ways:)
     
  8. Peanut207 macrumors 6502

    Peanut207

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #8
    How do you change settings on the Airport Extreme? I'm not sure if I'm using 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
     
  9. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #9
    Open Airport Utility > Click on the Extreme (left pane) > Click on AirPort (upper left) > go to Wireless > Radio Mode
     
  10. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #10
    Thanks for the info, I tried every channel at 2.4 GHz and also used iStumbler to see which channels were not used or used least. I did not see much difference at all.
     
  11. IrishTiger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    Holy crap - I just switched my Airport Extreme to 802.11n (5ghz) from the lowest setting. I really notice a speed difference! My Lord!

    Why didn't I know this before! My MacBook Pro is BLAZING now. And the iPad is 'n' capable too right? This is great!!!
     
  12. Peanut207 macrumors 6502

    Peanut207

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #12
    Thank you
     
  13. IrishTiger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #13
    Wow I'm just so amazed I have to post again. I just feel so stupid as I've had my AE for 2 years now. I don't understand why I haven't figured this out!!! Incredible!!! HUGE DIFFERENCE.
     
  14. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #14
    Yup;)
     
  15. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #15
    To the OP: do you have the dual-band Airport Extreme? I have mine set up in dual band mode and my iPad still only connects at 39, even if I force it into Wireless N mode. In another thread, someone said that 39 was the highest the first-gen Airport Extreme (dual band) was able to connect to the iPad. Now I'm confused! My iMac and Macbook connect at 100+ but my iPad only connects at 39 even right next to the router. I haven't had any WIFI issues, but I'd sure like the faster speeds if it is possible with my AE model.

    And unfortunately, I still need to have Wireless-G running for quite a few devices (Nintendo Wii, PS3, iPhone, Bluray player, etc)...
     
  16. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #16
    Everyone should note that the "rate" that is reported by the Airport Utility doesn't really mean too much. It's just an estimate put out by the driver as to what it thinks it can do -- it's not an actual measurement of the throughput between the two devices.

    Furthermore, in the 5GHz band there is a big transmission power difference between the lower and upper channels of the Airport Extreme. In fact, it's been reported that the lower channels broadcast at only 1/20th the power of what is available on the upper channels. Of course, with greater power comes the possibility of greater noise so there is no guarantee that the upper channels will always work better (and in any case, the upper bands are also used by 5GHz cordless phones). Also, on many wireless routers you need to use WPA2 security (or no security at all) if you want the maximum throughput over 802.11n (using the older WEP security may actually slow the router down by a rather significant amount).

    Here are some good links that discuss setup for 802.11n:

    http://db.tidbits.com/article/10849?print_version=1

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30664/228/
     
  17. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #17
    The smallest things make Mac users happy. :D
     
  18. dokindo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    #18
    Thanks! I was very frustrated by my dual band AE and 5GHz n performance. I had used automatic channel selection thinking it was "smart" and since it picked 149, which was supposed to be the highest power. The first link suggested trying a lower channel, so I switched to 36.

    Wow - I can finally connect to the 5ghz network from a computer that is 2 rooms away and the speed is much better than my 2.4 g network. I need to now check the ipad's performance
     
  19. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #19
    Single Band
     
  20. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #20
    Mine picked 149 too, I'll need to play around when I get home from work.
     
  21. MT0227 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
  22. IrishTiger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    Alright - so here's the deal. I had to switch back to my old setting (the first one under 2.4ghz) because my iMac won't surf (it's a PowerPC G4 - but I could hardwire it to the AE), and more importantly my Roku box for Netflix won't work. Even though it still shows 802.11n, it's not nearly as fast as the last option I chose. Is there anything I can do about this? Here's a screen shot.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page