Airport help

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FearTheD, May 22, 2014.

  1. FearTheD macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2011
    I have come home from college, and although my dad is usually good with this, I fear he may have made a mess of our network. There is a 5th Gen Airport Extreme. Wireless connected to that is one 2nd Gen Airport Extreme, putting out 5GHz, and 2 1st gen Airport Extremes putting out 5GHz. We have one main connection (I'm assuming 2.4GHz) and a separate one for 5GHz. All the expresses are connected to the extreme under the option "join this network".

    Here's the problem. I understand 5GHz doesn't travel very well, and so when I hookup my systems to 5GHz, I very often get interruptions, even though I have one of the extremes in my room. But then when I try to hook them up to the 2.4GHz connection, it is too slow, and HD streaming is impossible.

    What would be a good way to sort this out? Is "join this network" the correct option for the extremes? Should we just set up a single network that does both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz? Can you extend the 5GHz network?

    I am usually tech-savy, but I am not sure what do here and any help would be appreciated.
  2. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    I don't think 1st Gen Extremes had the 5 GHz Band.

    Why do you have so many Extremes?? Do you live in a mansion?? (Partially kidding, but that would be a lot of output in a regular home)

    So what again do you have? And how is it connected?? Are they all wirelessly extended?? Or are aome ethernet?? In a regular home you may have too much signal and they are interfering with each other.

    You are correct the Higher 5GHz channel doesn't penetrate objects as well as the 2.4 band does... But typically has less interference on it.
  3. FearTheD thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2011
    No mansion, just a pretty big apartment. We use the internet a lot and I guess he wanted the 5GHz Band to be stronger so he set up the expresses throughout the house.

    This is the current setup
    We got the 5th Gen extreme at the top under one network name, and under it's wireless options the 5GHz network is checked off with a different network name. The then 3 expresses at the bottom are spread throughout the house, under the 5GHz network name. (never mind the one on the right, it was green until I messed with it before screens hotting). I got one of the expresses in my room, but when I connect my devices such as the Apple TV to it, it very often gets interrupted and says I have been disconnected. When I switch to the extreme under the regular network name, it is slow and not capable of streaming HD for example.
  4. Heater macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2012
    I have a very similar set up and have been wondering the same thing. [​IMG]
  5. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    So the expresses are just connected wirelessly to the extreme?

    If that is the case then you are losing a lot of your speed. While the express can connect wirelessly to the extreme and extend your network range it also drops the speed big time. If you have to have all the expresses to cover your apt. and you want to keep the speed of the network up then you will have connect the expresses via ethernet.

    How large is the apt.? I have a 6th gen extreme in my home (~3000 sq. ft., 1 story) and I can connect on the 5GHz band in any room and on the deck in the backyard (sometimes I have to drop to 2.4GHz on the deck). Maybe try getting rid of the expresses and see how strong the signal from the extreme around your apt.
  6. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013

    So you are going to lose throughput when you extend your network wirelessly like this. However that shouldn't stop you from streaming HD.

    You mention one of the expresses is in your room with you, where you are then trying to connect to it with you Apple TV. You really don't want your wireless extender where you want to use it but where the main Airpory Extremes signal is strong...

    Think about it like this. If only using the Extreme the signal is week in your room, then adding an express to your room isn't going to boost that signal because it is still receiving the crappy signal. What you want to do is put it half way between you and the Extreme. That way it has good signal to repeat and send into your room. Make sense??
  7. FearTheD thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2011
    That's the thing. I can get onto the extreme from pretty much anywhere in the house. Problem is that when I am on it, Netflix and other video services have a hard time streaming in HD. Not sure if extending just the 2.4GHz connection would make that better at all. It's a large apartment. Not sure about the square footage, but it's a 2 story with 4 bedrooms.


    I did not think about that at all. That may be the issue in all of this. Still doesn't explain the interruptions in connection from the Apple TV, unless that happens because of a weak signal. Also, is "join this network" the correct option as opposed to extend this network?
  8. Islanti macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2009
    Joining a network makes the Airport connect as a client. This is suitable for Airport Express routers being used strictly for AirPlay. It does not add more range to your network.

    Setting the secondary routers to "Extend a network" will allow them to act as a wireless base station. Since they have to repeat the signal via wireless your throughput is cut in half.

    A few general tips...
    Consider limiting the number of routers using extend so your throughput is more consistent.
    Manually configure the channels to ensure no overlap.
    Ideally use just two routers connected by Ethernet at opposite ends of the space for best coverage.
    On the primary router make sure to check the box "Allow this network to be extended".
  9. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    Yes if the express is dropping the signal to the Extreme due to quality then you would see that in your Apple TV

    No you want to "Extend"
  10. FearTheD thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2011
    Some more questions. Can you set an express to extend just the 5GHz signal coming from the extreme? If so, what settings on the extreme need to be on for that to happen? Can you still have a separate 5GHz network? Or do you have to just let it run on simultaneous dual band and the express will just extend whatever signal is the best?

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