Anyone know what this option is? 802.11ac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by 8CoreWhore, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
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    Big D
    #1
    Naturally it's not in the user manual.
    I have the new AEBS and I have a new rMBP with 802.11ac.
    Do I need to do anything particular to make sure the laptop is connected using "a"?

    Is there a benefit to naming the 5GHz portion?
     

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  2. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #2
    I'm assuming you want the computer to connect with 802.11ac, not 802.11a (an older standard). In any case, there is not much you can do from AirPort Utility on the AEBS itself to make that happen, unless you want to either disable all wireless transmissions besides 802.11ac (which will ruin backward compatibility) or separately name your 5 GHz network (which will connect only with 802.11n if you have 5 GHz 802.11n broadcasting, or 802.11ac which supports only 5 GHz; it will prevent connections with 802.11b/g or 802.11n at 2.4 Ghz; I'm honestly not sure about 802.11a but if the AEBS is broadcasting it I'd expect it to also work, which may not be desirable).

    As I hinted at above, naming your 5 GHz network is actually just giving it a separate name from your 2.4 GHz network. If you don't check the box, it just happens to be named identically to your 2.4 GHz network and your computer will "roam" freely between the two, depending on what it can "see" best. If you name the 5 GHz one separately, you'll see it listed separately and so can "force" your computer to connect to whatever you're broadcasting there (by configuring only the 5 GHz network on your computer--or both it and 2.4, with an order of preference set). I don't think there's much of an advantage to doing this because your computer will select the best one anyway, but it could be useful if the 2.4 band is crowded in your area. I'm not sure if this is actually documented anywhere, but if my laptop can see my 5 GHz n network, it chooses that; otherwise (rarely), it chooses the best 2.4 option. You can see how you're currently connected by Option+clicking the Wi-Fi icon on the right side of the menu bar.

    Basically, if your laptop can reliably connect with 802.11ac, it will do so. It will pick the best signal available, so unless you really want to force it no matter what (by either naming your 2.4 and 5 GHz networks separately--inconvenient only in that you'll have two separate SSIDs--or disabling certain broadcasts--which may limit backwards compatibility), the defaults are probably fine on both the laptop and AEBS.
     
  3. 8CoreWhore thread starter macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #3
    Thanks for the clarification... I named it and am forcing the MBP to use 802.11ac for now and see how that goes. This way if there is any problems with that it'll become evident instead of just jumping to n without my realizing it.
     
  4. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #4
    Just to clarify, if you name your 5 GHz network separately, it will include everything you're broadcasting in that frequency band. This necessarily includes 802.11ac if you're broadcasting 802.11ac (which supports only 5 GHz) but could also include 802.11n (which can broadcast at either 2.4 or 5 GHz) and possibly 802.11a (technologically similar to 802.11g, though older, and operating only at 5 GHz).

    So, if you name your 5 GHz network separately and want to force the laptop to connect to your 802.11ac network, you'll have to make sure that 802.11ac is the only thing you're broadcasting at that frequency. The "Wireless Options" button in the old AirPort Utility gave you options to choose (more options if you held Option as you opened the menu)--I'm honestly not sure if AirPort Utility 6 kept this feature or not, but perhaps you have already figured this out.

    Good luck!
     
  5. 8CoreWhore, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    8CoreWhore thread starter macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #5
    I've been checking it constantly and so far only "ac" has been displayed in the bar, though I do notice the "transmit rate" goes way up and down.

    I tried to install AirPortUtility56 but Mavericks won't allow it.
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    5GHz doesn't go through things as well as 2.4, so add a wall or 2 between you and the base and your see a drop in speed.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    Doesn't matter, 5.6 can't configure the 802..11AC Airport Extreme.
     
  8. 8CoreWhore thread starter macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

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    #8
    I'm in the same room about 9 feet away with line of sight. My transmit speed jumps from ~200 to ~1000
     

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