Airport Extreme - Multicast Rate?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Benjamindaines, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Benjamindaines macrumors 68030


    Mar 24, 2005
    A religiously oppressed state
    First of all what does setting the multicast rate higher than 2mbps (or lower) do? I looked in the manual and couldn't find anything telling me exactly what the mulitcast rate is. Also, will setting it high improve video chats over Bonjour?

  2. mecki macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2007
    For an explanation, what is Multicast about, you may have a look at:

    Which means, you only need to change the settings, if you want to do some sort of media streaming.
  3. coocooforcocoap macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2007
    kathmandu, nepal
    I think what Ben meant was what to set the specific setting on the AE to...which I am wondering about too. I need to know what setting to use for media streaming on a local lan and what impact multicast setting may have on other facets of the AE, like range. Thanks...
  4. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I was wondering the same thing. The AirPort Utility help says this:

    So, to my understanding:

    Higher multicast rate = more speed, less range
    Lower multicast rate = less speed, more range

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
  5. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    That's my understanding. I've not had any problems with an 11 Mbps multi-cast rate.
  6. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Hmm...perhaps I should crank one of mine up. I have my main AP Extreme on 11, but my WDS remote on 2. Maybe I should push it to 5.5.
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    My understanding of the help file is this is a bit of a quality control setting.
    Saying if a wireless device can't connect at least at XX speed, don't let it connect. and thereby slow down the network.
    So it doesn't make your connection go farther, just allows a weaker signal to connect.

    I got the following by clicking on the little purple button with the question mark (i.e. the help button) on airport utility.

    "if you set the multicast rate high, only clients on the network that are within range and that can achieve the speed you set will receive transmissions.

    You can set the multicast rate to 1 megabit per second (Mbps) to extend the range of your network beyond the default."
  8. plaintiger macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    okay, so i know this is an ancient thread, but...

    ...i see the OS's Help thing and the people on the forum here referring to multicast rates in Mbps, but my dual-band AE offers only Low, Medium, and High. does all this stuff about multicast rates in Mbps pertain only to older Airport base stations, or am i overlooking a menu or something on mine, or what? :confused:

  9. kellte2 macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005
    Just received a dual-band AE and the only options for multicast rate are: high, medium, and low. Not quite sure what to pick, so I went with medium...didn't want the 5 GHz signal getting any weaker
  10. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    i don't have a newer unit to try this with, but try alt-clicking the multicast list, it gives you a lot more options when selecting your wireless flavor, might give more options on multicast, but don't know
  11. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    The higher you set the multicast rate, the higher speeds your clients must be able to achieve before they can even connect to the router. This will obviously reduce range significantly.

    Lower the multicase rate, longer the range.

    I haven't had any problems setting it at the lowest (11Mbps) which is the default. I have 3 laptops that use 5GHz, and no issues whatsoever.
  12. plaintiger macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    yeah, in some experimenting i've done tonight i've found i get the best speeds with my multicast rate set to "Low."
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    So low multicast rate is 11Mbps and high is 1Mbps? How so?

    If I want more range, I need to set the multicast rate to 11Mbps..?
  14. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    His wording was just confusing. This may read better:
    The Multicast Rate option sets the threshold throughput level a wireless client must obtain in order to be "accepted" by the base station. The lower this value, theoretically, the greater number of clients that can connect, especially those at greater distances from the base station. At the opposite end, the higher this number, only those wireless clients that can achieve the higher throughput value will be able to connect.

    For basic web surfing, a low number (increasing the range) would suffice. If gaming or streaming content, a solid connection is better and thus a high multicast rate is suggested when using a device on the fringes of the network.

    It's difficult to think of it solely as an increase in range because in that regard it is opposite from how we are made to think. How could I put it.... Well, you could think of it as an incline on a hill. If the incline is low, someone will be able to climb it easier and for a farther distance. If the incline is high, then that person will have to expend more energy making sure their footing is solid, but will not be able to climb as far.

    Sounds stupid, but I'll go with it. :D
  15. palmera macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
  16. csdtechguy macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    Thanks for the great information, but I have another question to add on. If I have my multicast set hi for good transfer speed, and I have a Dr. Bott antenna, that should increase my coverage to about where the extreme was originally set, right? any ideas?

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