Airpot extreme wireless throughput

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kamillalusa, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. kamillalusa macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012

    I use Airport Extreme (5th gen). My internet plan offers me 100mbps (approx. 95mpbs according to when computer is connected via Ethernet cable to Airport Extreme).

    I get approx. 65mbps wirelessly in other room.

    Now if I were to upgrade my internet plan to 300mbps I understand that I will get almost 300mbps via Ethernet cable. But how will that affect my wireless connection? Will my 65mbps tripple or is it maximum that Airport extreme can do?

  2. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    No. The Extreme operates at a theoretical speed of 300Mbps, real-world use varies depending on devices and environment. Your wireless link is mot likely not achieving full internet speeds because something is limiting the connection from the router to the computer. Maybe radio interference, distance between the devices, structural interference (material and/or barriers). Otherwise you would get the full internet speed of near 100Mbps over wireless.

    What’s your throughput between computers on the network using the wireless connection? What's your link speed from the computer to the router? (You can check it in Network Utility or Option+Mouse click on the Airport icon in the menu bar.) Most likely you wouldn’t see much more than 65Mbps for local data transfers.
  3. kamillalusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    Thank you for your response. I am not really sure what you are asking so here is a screenshot :) So does that mean that signing up for a faster internet plan will not have any effect on wifi speed, I will get the boost only when connected via cable? Thanks.

  4. kamillalusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    Anyone? :) I have to make my mind about upgrading soon and your input is very welcome. Thanks.
  5. kamillalusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    By the way, why does Transmit Rate fluctuate so much? It was 216 when I took this screenshot, now it shows less than 100. Conditions didn't change.
  6. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    Monitor your RSSI. An RSSI of -76 is not that great. You want closer to a 0 when you are working with negative numbers.

    Even when I am sitting right next to my AirPort Extreme, I only get a -29. The furthest portion of the house from it, offers me a -65.

    Wireless is finicky. Having designed a few networks in my career, many things can interfere which you cannot even see. A microwave, a refrigerator, a wireless home phone, horse-hair plaster walls, lead-based paint... I can go on.

    Depending on the age of the house and whether it is a multi-tenant unit can affect the way your wireless works.

    Mine also shows a Link Speed of 270 and a transmit rate of 216 a majority of the time. Sometimes the transmit rate will bump up to 243, but typically, it is always 216. Compare your RSSI with the transmit Rate. If the negative number get "larger", then your signal is getting weaker.

    If you feel that you are getting a slow response, change your channel to 149. Not many devices default to it so it may minimize any interference you may have with competing 5GHz networks.

    Oh, and your wireless network and any devices in between your wireless access point and modem may still be the limiting factor whether you can increase your Internet bandwidth. This can be due to any inefficiencies found in consumer grade electronics. If you move to business grade electronics, things DO improve on your local network, but I doubt you would want to deploy a $1K wireless access point, $2K Gig-E network switch, and a $3K network router in order to see this improvement. ;)
  7. Moshu, Oct 26, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012

    Moshu macrumors member

    May 3, 2012
    A good rule of thumb that I use is to divide the wireless connection speed by 2, in order to get the real throughput of what I can receive.

    Therefore, if you are connected @ 216 Mbps, there will be negligible gains in speed from an internet connection faster than 100 mbps.

    It's a bit like the USB 2.0: there is a theoretical speed of 60 MBps (480 Mbps), but real-life usage shows it's capped around 30 MBps.

    Therefore, upgrading to 300 mbps while you connect wirelessly, it's only useful if there are multiple computers accessing the router in the same time, in order to provide more bandwidth. If it's just 1 computer, forget it or go wired (attention: you'll need Gigabit Ethernet!!!)

    EDIT: one correction of a previous post, the Airport Express Gen 5 supports client connections of 450 mbps, however, you need a compatible device like a new MacBook Pro (i.e. MacBook Air only supports 300 Mbps)
  8. luxus13 macrumors newbie


    Jul 17, 2011
    the current Airport Extreme, up to 450Mbps

    Attached Files:

    • AE.png
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      78.1 KB
  9. Mactabulous macrumors member


    Dec 23, 2011
    I have the current Airport Extreme as well, but mine only shows 300Mbps.
  10. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    I've got two 5th Gen Airport Extremes too. Strangely my Macbook Air connects at 300mbit where as the iMac connects at 450mbit (although it has a gigabit ethernet connection anyway)

    Not sure the reason why.
  11. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    It all depends on your WiFi card.

    Most older Macs have WiFi cards that support 2x2 streams, without getting technical that is 150mbps + 150mbps = 300mbps

    Newer macs have 3x3 stream cards, 150mbps + 150mbps + 150mbps = 450mbps.

    My 2010 macbook pro only has a 2x2 card, I will never see theoretical 450mbps speeds, only 300. You should be able to google or look at your product Wiki to see what kind of card it has.
  12. dannys1 macrumors 68020


    Sep 19, 2007
    I see, well its a late 2011 Macbook Air, but I guess its the 2x2.
  13. Apple Fan 21 macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2012
    WOW. I’m only paying for 20 Mbps, getting 25 Mbps per speed test. Could not imagine 300 Mbps.
  14. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Just out of curiosity if you don't mind answering - where do you live and who is your provider? Those are some incredibly fast speeds! Nothing like that is available around me yet.
  15. kamillalusa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    I live and work in Vilnius, Lithuania (northern-eastern part of Europe) for 5 years already.

    Almost everything is more expensive here than in US except for... broadband internet and mobile services.

    My 100mbps plan is approx. 17 USD/month and 300mbps one costs approx. 28 USD/month.

    If I were to shop around, there are providers who offer 500mbps or 1gbps lines for the same price.

    I also pay only approx 4 USD/month for my cell plan that includes unlimited texting, 300 mins of free calls and 3 GB of data. However, if you were to buy an unsubsidised iPhone 5 here, it would set you back way more than 1000 USD.
  16. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV

    That's awesome! Sorry to ask questions in your thread, I hope your original problem was resolved.
  17. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    Never say never ;)
    Maybe it is possible to buy a replacement 3x3 card for newer Macbook Pro (lookup the part number and search it), then put it inside yours. If that is truth, would be really nice! :)

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