Airport Extreme: Does it offer much better signal strength?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 66217, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #1
    I'm having terrible problems with interference in my house. The internet won't work if I go more than 5 meters from the modem I currently have. I don't have any idea what is causing the interference, and was wondering if I could benefit from an Airport Extreme.

    Basically, is there any difference? I currently have a 2Wire.

    Thanks.:)
     
  2. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #2
    5m!?! something is seriously wrong, do you have lead walls?

    i had some issues with a linksys router and connection strength in the far side of the house. the airport extreme cleaned all that up. I hope its just something wrong with your router. cause the technology is exactly the same (well on a fundamental level)
     
  3. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #3
    There's only one wall between me and the modem. It's a concrete wall.

    I first thought it was the modem, but it was just replaced with a new one and the problems persist. I think it must be interference because it isn't always the same, sometimes it works fast, sometimes it is veeeery slow.
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #4
    I am in a condo and even after I'd set up a new Airport Extreme Base Station had problems....finally added an Airport Express out in the living room (cable modem and AEBS router are located in a bedroom) and that solved my problems. Just too many other people in this building with wireless connections and that was interfering with mine even after I tried changing channels and such.
     
  5. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    Do you have a cordless phone sitting next to the modem or something? :confused:
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    You might see better performance with an Airport Extreme if you operate it in the 5GHz band as there is less chance of interference. This is how I have my AE configured.
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #7
    For me, its a cordless phone extension in the bedroom but not near the wireless router or the modem.....

    I downloaded a program which showed me which channels everybody in my building was using and so I was able to tailor my setup to avoid any of those. That helped somewhat. I still got the most benefit from adding the Airport Express as an an extension to my AEBS and have not experienced any connection problems since then. I think in my case I just needed a really, really strong signal to overwhelm all the competition!
     
  8. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #8
    I had the Vonage near it. But even after disconnecting it the problems persisted. Something tells me this is not related to anything in my house, but then, I really don't see how the interference could come from the neighbors, since the houses are separated by at least 10-20 meters and all the walls are of concrete. From how far could the interference could be coming?

    I'll keep this in mind if I buy one. Thanks.:)

    How do you use an Airport Express as an extension? Do you mean the little ones that connect to the wall?

    I'll try and see what channels are being used near me. Do you happen to remind the name of the app?


    Thanks a lot for the help.:) I'm really starting to suffer with this slow internet now that I'm back to college.
     
  9. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #9
    first question on the bottom. yeah they just plug into the wall and set it up. it will act as a repeater for your wifi network.

    second question on bottom. try kismac or simpler and better for you in this case http://www.istumbler.net/downloads/index.html

    (edit) i changed the link to a new program from macstumbler to istumbler. i was having some issues with macstumbler and istumbler is even easier.
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #10
    The program I use is a widget called Airport Radar, by macwireless.com. Works great as then I can see exactly how many other wireless networks are in this building and which channels they are using. By extending and increasing the strength of my own wireless connection I was able to solve my previous issues. If I lived elsewhere, in a single family dwelling rather than a condo apartment building, I'm sure that the AEBS would have been fine on its own. Yes, the Airport Express is the little device that looks like a wall plug and is quite convenient to plug into any outlet.
     
  11. capoeirista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #11
    Just by-the-by, I found that our AEBS increased the range of our wireless significantly. We had a Belkin router (i forget the actual type) and struggled to get any signal over about 15 metres. Now, with the AEBS, I can get a good signal sitting at the end of the garden ~25metres aways.

    YMMV of course.
     
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #12
    The extreme does have better signal strength. but the express should suffice. And the wireless phone doesnt interfer, not with my airport express. I have an express in my room, and a phone next to my macbook, signal is 54mbps (im using b/g version) and no interference. btw, concrete does block signals, try routing the signal... like route the signal using WDS mode routers around the concrete wall. that should help..
     
  13. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #13
    Hi guys and girls.:) It seems the Vonage do was the problem. Today I could clearly see how disconnecting and connecting the Vonage made the velocity from the internet change.

    But, the speed is still far from ideal. So I'll try the AEBS and tell you how it goes.

    How does this works? I mean, if this repeater receives a weak signal, would it by some way make that signal strong again? Without having to be connected to anything else but the current plug?

    Sorry if this question is a rather dumb question.:eek:

    I used it and found that my neighbors are using channels 1 and 6. I am on 11. Funny how the program was able to detect many wireless signals (6-7), but my airport utility only finds 2-3.



    Hopefully by Friday I would be installing the AEBS, I come back here and post what happens.
     
  14. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #14
    your first question, no it won't, since the bottleneck is the base station sending the signal. It's like traffic, if I go on a 4 lane highway, that would be the repeater, but the actual base station is the traffic jam, i.e. 4 to 2 lanes up ahead. And ur second question, the program compiles the data, while airport utility just detetcs the signal for that moment. It oscillates, so sometimes you just scanned at the precise moment where the signal is oscillating.
     
  15. Sonicjay macrumors 6502a

    Sonicjay

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #15

    Umm.. yeah, that's kind of a problem. Is the wall in a location that would permit you to drill a small hole through it to run a network patch cable though and hook up an Airport Express? I have a small brick house with a concrete basement. My AEBS works excellent anywhere in the house, but if I step out on the deck (which, mind you, is like 25 feet from where the AEBS is, but on the other side of the concrete basement walls), I get squat for signal. The problem most likely isn't the router, but that you're trying to send a radio signal through concrete.
     
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #16
    The way my setup works is: Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS) in master bedroom, with Airport Extreme installed in living room. The Airport Extreme acts to extend and strengthen my original signal, from what I can tell. Interestingly, when I look at the Airport Radar data now it shows TWO signals emitting from my network and one extends further beyond the other. I have the Airport Express plugged into a surge protector that I've positioned on top of a piece of furniture. It is positioned so that it will not only provide better service to my machines stationed within the house/living room but also to the MBA when I choose to go outside to my deck, as I am right now. Since I did this I have not had any issues with dropped connections or failure to connect so I suspect that the large number of other wireless networks within my building was one reason -- the primary reason -- I was having difficulties.
     
  17. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #17
    I've just installed the Airport Extreme. One word to say: WOW!

    I really can't describe how much better signal I am getting, the installation process took less than a couple of minutes and the internet is faster than ever before.

    I don't think I'll be needing an Airport Express now.:)

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  18. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #18
    I too had a horrible LinkSys router that would not work if I went to the next room. It was a cheap $50 router that didn't come with an antenna.

    I got tired of that and bought an Airport Extreme Base Station and that fixed all my WiFi problems. I can connect in the middle of my street now.
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #19
    lol dont get run over by a car while you're dazzled by the speed of the internet.
     

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