Airport extreme and general wifi help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by The.316, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. The.316 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2010
    25100 GR
    At the moment, im getting about 13mbs from my Airport Extreme, but my iMac lags when surfing from time to time. I read an article in a Macworld magazine, about wifi connections, and how to monitor them if they arent working correctly. I ended up downloading a program called iStumbler, to see what wifi connections are using what channels. In the program, it shows my wireless network twice, on two different channels, as well as my guest network. Is there a reason why my main connection would show twice? And do I really need to have a guest network? Everything is password protected, so nobody is stealing from me, but Im just a little confused about why surfing is slow sometimes. Anyone have any suggestions? Is this pretty much the norm? I will say that some things I download download fast, so Im confused. Thanks for the help.

    The one good thing I just found out is that Athens just got fiber optics connections, up to 50mbs. It will probably take a year to get to where I live, but at least Ill have that to look forward to.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm assuming you have one of the new "dual band" Airport base stations; that would be why you're seeing it twice. One is the 2.4GHz network (with a channel number somewhere between 1 and the low to mid teens, depending on region), and the other is the 5GHz "n" network, which will have a much higher channel number. It's basically so you can have a g device connected at the same time as an n device without slowing down the whole network to g speeds, if I understand correctly.

    As for guest networks, not sure about that.

    And there are a lot of reasons you might see periodic slowdowns. One possibility is just that your internet connection is a little flaky, and occasionally lags (unless the slow down is while transferring data from one computer on your network to another, which would leave the internet out of it). Another is that there's a source of intermittent interference in your house/area. For example, the refrigerator or heating system kicks in and you are sitting with one or the other roughly between you and the base station (I've seen exactly this happen on more than one occasion).

    Interference would show as a worse signal-to-noise ratio if you look at the details of the connection; if it still appears strong when it's acting slow, then maybe it's your ISP.

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