Airport Extreme - Multicast Rate?

Benjamindaines

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 24, 2005
2,837
1
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?

--Thanks
 

coocooforcocoap

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2007
252
1
kathmandu, nepal
For an explanation, what is Multicast about, you may have a look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicast

Which means, you only need to change the settings, if you want to do some sort of media streaming.
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...
ccfccp
 
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iMacZealot

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2005
2,238
3
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I was wondering the same thing. The AirPort Utility help says this:

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.
So, to my understanding:

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

Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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southerndoc

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,085
60
USA
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.
That's my understanding. I've not had any problems with an 11 Mbps multi-cast rate.
 
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iMacZealot

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2005
2,238
3
That's my understanding. I've not had any problems with an 11 Mbps multi-cast rate.
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.
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,279
247
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."
 
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plaintiger

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2008
34
0
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:

thanks...
 
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kellte2

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2005
251
22
...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:

thanks...
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
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,279
247
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
 
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fehhkk

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2009
665
118
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.
 
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plaintiger

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2008
34
0
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.
yeah, in some experimenting i've done tonight i've found i get the best speeds with my multicast rate set to "Low."
 
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kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
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.
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..?
 
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madog

macrumors 65816
Nov 25, 2004
1,274
1
Korova Milkbar
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..?
His wording was just confusing. This may read better:
I haven't had any problems setting it at the "lowest range" (11Mbps) which is the default
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
 
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csdtechguy

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2010
1
0
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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