Airport extreme very SLOWWW wifi speeds

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by spinedoc77, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I've got an older airport extreme that's worked wonderfully for the past couple of years. I do have frequent internet drops during the course of the day, but always attributed it to my cable company, but now I'm not so sure it wasn't the extremes fault.

    Anyway for the past couple of weeks these internet outages have been more frequent, it will just be like the internet hangs for several seconds to a couple of minutes, then just starts working again. I'm not losing internet connection as far as I can tell, and I've tried changing channels to see if it is interference. I'm currently running several N machines, PC's, laptop, iphone, ipad, etc all in N mode. But I have 2 Tivo's which have the older G adapters, so I have to run that which slows everything down. My next step is to upgrade them to N and see if that speeds things up

    These outages are so bad now that they are almost constant, very very slow internet at times no internet (although it still shows full signal and that it's connected) for 10+ minutes, then it may work ok for a bit, then outage again. I've connected my cable router hardwired to a laptop and it doesn't seem to be happening, my cable company says they are not seeing any issues in my modem or internet availability, and the weird part is if I restart my extreme it seems to clear up for a couple of hours then goes back to the same. I don't see any errors in the Airport utility diagnostic log either.

    Anyone know where I should start? Or should I just consider the extreme bricked and go buy a new one?
  2. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    What speed is your internet and what kind of speeds are you experiencing?

    Is it a Dual Band model? Do you know what gen it is? 2nd, 3rd?

    The only times I've experienced horrible speeds was when it was my ISP.
    I have 100Mbps service at home and one morning out of the blue I was only pulling 25Mbps max. I started troubleshooting wiring, the router, checking the lines outside of the house, etc.

    I finally remembered after a few hours to check my cable modem, so after logging in to it that is when I noticed that I only had 1 downstream channel instead of 4 that I was supposed to have.
    It took weekly calling for 6 weeks and countless arguments that my hardware was not the problem and the "please restart your modem and router" troubleshooting technique to finally get them to come out.

    After explaining what the problem was to the tech, he disregarded everything I told him and proceeded to install a new modem. Then installed an entire new coax to my house. Then said my Time Capsule wasn't capable of the speed. Then said something was wrong with my iMac. After letting him go on and on I interrupted and just asked, how many downstream channels am I supposed to have? many are showing? Then his.."Oh...." response.

    Problem was fixed within 20 minutes.

    Sorry for the long story but this was a problem that just got fixed Friday so.. :rolleyes:
  3. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks for the response. I took a look and have all 4 downstream and 1 upstream working, the numbers look ok as far as I can tell.

    The extreme is an A1143, I'm pretty sure it's a dual mode because I have it set to N with b/g support. I'm supposed to have 30mb internet, but that depends on time of day, etc, in the evenings it's more like 5mb. When I have the outages on my download can be as low as 0.5mb or sometimes nothing. Cable modem is Cisco DPT3010

    The only area of suspicion I've had for years is the small length of line running from under my front porch into the basement where the modem is, it's only about 10 feet or so, but our basement was redone and this got covered up with framing and sheetrock. It's the only line they haven't replaced and it's very hard to get a new line into the basement with the remodel.

    Here are my signal numbers from the modem:

    Downstream Channels
    Power Level: Signal to Noise Ratio:
    Channel 1: 0.0 dBmV 39.4 dB
    Channel 2: 0.0 dBmV 39.2 dB
    Channel 3: -0.2 dBmV 38.5 dB
    Channel 4: -0.4 dBmV 39.0 dB
    Channel 5: 0.0 dBmV 0.0 dB
    Channel 6: 0.0 dBmV 0.0 dB
    Channel 7: 0.0 dBmV 0.0 dB
    Channel 8: 0.0 dBmV 0.0 dB

    Upstream Channels
    Power Level:
    Channel 1: 41.3 dBmV
    Channel 2: 0.0 dBmV
    Channel 3: 0.0 dBmV
    Channel 4: 0.0 dBmV
  4. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    The A1143 is either a 1st or 2nd gen. They both had the same model#

    1st gen did not have gigabit ethernet and the 2nd gen does.

    You can set it to use B,G,N at the same time but it will slow down to the slowest device connected.

    The newer 3rd - 5th gens are the simultaneous Dual Band which broadcasts a 2.4GHz channel and a 5Ghz channel at the same time so B or G devices will connect at slower speeds and A and N devices can connect at the higher speeds without being slowed down.

    After you posted the levels from your modem I went back to check mine and the only concern I can see is that 2 of the downstreams show a negative power number, where all of mine range from 0.9 up to 1.9. The signal to noise numbers are about the same in the upper 30dB range.

    I'd be interested to see if those numbers change in during peak usage hours, I haven't noticed mine change much and I've never seen a negative number.

    Are you getting fairly high speed tests if you connect directly to the router with an ethernet cable?

    The only other troubleshooting I could think of would be too test the throughput with an ethernet cable and if possible, remove every other wireless device except for your fastest machine and test the speed with one device and note it. Then add back in the B or G devices make sure they are connected then retest the speeds again and see if you notice any drastic drops.
    If the speed remains constantly low now matter how many devices or which type of wireless (B, G, N) you add then it may be the AEBS finally degrading down.

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