Airport Extreme - effect of mixed n/g-devices on WLAN protocol and performance?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lars666, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. lars666, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

    lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi everybody,

    I have a technical question concerning the Airport Extreme (4th generation) and wireless n/g-switching: I installed the AE yesterday at my parents house with n-standard (2.4 GHz) backwards compatible to g/b/a. My parents solely use a "n"-capable iPad which gives them best Internet speed and range in the whole house. However, when my sister visits them she will use the Internet with her "g"-only notebook, too. (Or is it even still "b"???) I guess this will downgrade the wireless standard of the WLAN in my parents house to "g" (or - heaven forbid - even "b") all together. My question is: When she leaves again and her device isn't connected anymore – will the Airport Express (now that there is only the "n"-device again) automatically go back to full n-standard again? Or would you have to turn on and off the router and/or the iPad completely in this case? I'd really like to have the best possible connection for my parents as they have broadband Internet and a house where the Internet experience is significantly better with 802.11n. No problem if the WLAN is "thwarted" for the few days my sister is there, but it should go back to full performance when her bottleneck notebook is away again ...

    Maybe this is of no concern anymore because of the "Dual Band" functionality, but I always understood this feature as having 2,4GHz and 5GHz simultaneously, not "n" and "g". And even if second, I guess it still hurt the performances of the "n" network ...?

    Would be nice if somebody with the needed tech knowledge could give me a short answer if I have to worry about the Internet experience for my parents or not. (I know they wouldn't say anything even if the surfing experience suddenly gets much worse.) Thanks so much in advance!
     
  2. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #2
    Why is your parent's iPad connecting on the 2.4Ghz n band rather then the 5Ghz band ?
    To answer your question - it won't make much of a difference on the iPad's connection. So your parents won't see a difference during/after the visit. On the AE you should select the Wireless Option Radio Mode for : 802.11a/n - 802.11b/g/n(Automatic). This will allow a range of 802.11 devices to connect simultaneously. No need to reboot after the visit.
     
  3. lars666, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

    lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    Hi drsox,

    thanks for your answer. I have connected my parents to the 2,4 GHz band* because of the higher coverage range on this lower frequency. I think there's definitely no real live difference in their Internet speed between 2,4GHz and 5GHz (especially as they live in the country where there are no other WLANs around) - however, as the signal gets weaker in some rooms of the house, the factor "more range" seemed more significant to me.

    I will check again at my next visit if the Airport Express is set to your mentioned mode. I used the default setting when setting up a network (plugged in ethernet) on a brand new Airport Express – I think this is it, isn't it?

    Thanks again.


    * or at least I thought so – if I think about it now, it could be that the AE automatically uses the 5 GHz band because the iPad is capable of it and I didn't do a "2.4 GHz" setting ... (on my old first-gen Time Capsule, I had to specifically choose "5GHz" which is probably standard now on the new Airport Express if the connected device is capable to do so - if yes, I thought from the wrong side.)
     
  4. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #4
    I wouldn't bother then about checking the band for the iPad unless they have a reception problem. It might also be that the default Radio Mode setting would be the one I recommended, but I'm not sure. I did buy a 4th gen AE last month and it is setup to the one I recommended, but I can't recall whether I did it or not.
     
  5. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    I will definitely check out again if the current setting is "802.11a/n - 802.11b/g/n(Automatic)". Thanks again for the info.
     

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