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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2020
Hello Forum,

I have a couple questions about the AirPort Extreme, but first, a little background on my setup.

I currently have two Airport Extremes that are connected in bridge mode via ethernet. They both broadcast 2.4 and 5 GHz (each with a unique name). Note that the 2.4 and 5 GHz names are the same on each AirPort Extreme. There is also a CUJO (internet firewall) which protects all the devices downstream all connected to a motarola SB6141 surfboard modem.

Question 1: When looking at the Airport Utility on my iPhone, the primary extreme says that connection is "FAIR" and duplex is "half-duplex". I have 300MB download thru Xfinity but am getting about 200MB on my devices. Is this typical? Is there a way to get the connection better than "FAIR"?

Question 2: If I upgrade my modem (MB8600) and purchase faster download speeds, I assume the Extremes would be able to handle the speeds?

I love my APs for my current home setup but am wondering what I'm missing using these discontinued routers.

Thank You!


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macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
I am confused re: your setup. The Motorola modem is just a modem, not router. Cujo is not a router from what I know, and the AP Extremes are in Bridge Mode. So, is there also a router?

The half-duplex might mean the AP Extreme is connected to a 10Mbps hub. 100Mbps and above is full-duplex. Or, it might be a really old Extreme (round puck, - I don't remember to specs on that model, but all since have at least 100Mbps ethernet ports)?

The fair connection is likely the WiFi signal strength your device is seeing when connecting to the Extreme. If you move closer, it will likely appear as Good or Excellent.

AP Extreme had 6 iterations. The last three or so generations of Extreme have 1000Mbps LAN\WAN ports, and support WiFi speeds well over 300Mbps. 200Mbps is overkill for most home internet use, even streaming 4k to multiple devices from internet sources would work well with 50Mbps or more. So, any improvements you make to the network should improve wired and wireless speeds.

Network speeds are controlled by the slowest link in the chain. If you have old hubs, old ethernet cables, you might start there to see if you can improve overall speed. If you connect to an Extreme with 10Mbps throughput to the network, then the fastest speeds you would see are 10Mbps. If you upgraded to 1Gbps ISP service, you would still only see 10Mbps speeds connecting through that Extreme.

Start with a topology diagram of your entire network. The modem you currently have should be fine for the 200Mbps service. But increasing ISP service won't necessarily speed up your real world speeds if you keep the bottlenecks in the setup. Get model numbers of the equipment. Try to follow the connections from ingress\egress to the home (modem) to router, to hubs or switches including ethernet cables. Cujo should be bridging the router to the rest of the network if I understand. Ethernet cables will tend to be labeled with Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, etc labels. Hubs and switches will generally have markings on them indicating if they are 10Mbps, 10\100, 10\100\1000. Also look at the specs on the Cujo, I assume that has 1Gbps (1000Mbps) ports on it?
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