AirPort/Wireless-N

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Jackhole, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Jackhole macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #1
    Here's my set-up: I have a 13" aluminum MacBook and a 13" MacBook Pro on an AirPort network. The AirPort network is in WDS mode with a 1TB Time Capsule as the main and an AirPort Express as a remote.

    When I open the Time Capsule settings in AirPort Utility and look at the Wireless Clients box, there are 3 wireless clients, the AirPort Express (802.11b/g), the MacBook (802.11a/n) and the MacBook Pro (802.11b/g/n).

    I understand why the AirPort Express is b/g, since it's an original model and N wasn't available at the time, but why the difference between the two MacBooks? What's the difference between a/n and b/g/n and why are do the two essentially identical (from a wireless networking standpoint) computers have different setups?
     
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #2
    I assume your Time Capsule is the simultaneous dual-band version, correct? If that's the case, then by default it will be broadcasting a 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n band and a 5GHz 802.11a/n band. Also by default, these two bands will have the same SSID name.

    Assuming all of this is true and you have not changed said defaults, my guess is that the MacBook is joining the 5GHz band and the MacBook Pro the 2.4GHz band.

    The letters following the 802.11 in your logs reflect both the device and the network that it is joining. In the case of the Express, as it is only a b/g device, it will only show b/g after the 802.11, despite the 2.4GHz band allowing b/g/n clients to join.

    The MBP however can operate on 802.11a/b/g/n. But as the 2.4GHz band only allows b/g/n clients, only b/g/n are visible after the 802.11 for the MBP.

    Likewise, since the MB is joined to the 5GHz band which only allows a/n clients, those are the only two letters you see after the 802.11.

    My suggestion would be to give the 5GHz band a unique SSID and have all wireless N devices connect to that one. That way your MBP won't suffer speed drops whenever your Express is actively accessing your network (as they are currently both on the 2.4GHz b/g/n band).
     
  3. Jackhole thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Location:
    South Carolina
    #3
    You are correct in assuming that it was a dual-band TC, I just got it under warranty replacement last week.

    Anyway, I took your suggestion and enabled a separate SSID for the 5 GHz signal, both Macs are now connected as 802.11a/n. I'm sure I won't notice any increase in Internet speed, as I'm only on a 15 Mbps connection, but it's the file transfers I'm looking to speed up.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008

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