Apple Time Capsule Wireless PROBLEM Wireless DECREASE

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DShuts, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. DShuts macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #1
    So, I have both a newer generation vertical time capsule (I guess 5th?) and a first or second generation time capsule (the flatter, more Mac Mini looking) and I am having MAJOR wireless issues. I am paying for 100mbps internet from Cox Communications and as soon as I connect wirelessly, I am seeing a decrease of at least 40% every time, if not more. I have tested plugging directly into the modem, 100mbps>, plugged directly into both generations of time capsules through ethernet cable, 100mbps>. But, as soon as I attempt to connect wirelessly to either of the two generations time capsules, I am seeing this DRASTIC decrease. I have reseted both time capsules to factory settings multiple times and it has yet to prove useful.

    By "Alt" clicking on wireless icon at the top and going to "Open Network Diagnosis", I have observed the wireless signal and it is always Excellent to Good essentially wherever I go throughout the house, even into the basement. I have tested it wirelessly throughout the house, and it naturally decreases more the further I am away from the router. The tests where it has decreased by 40% are testing wirelessly FEET away from it! I have attempted to use the Netgear Powerline 500 to spread a supposed "ethernet" connection through the power outlet to see if the wireless access point from an "ethernet" connection would help but it actually decreased the speed further.

    The setup:

    Cisco DPC3010 Modem ONLY (No Wi-Fi) > Apple Time Capsule (either generation) then it is "extended" by the other generation time capsule, and an airport express (1st or 2nd Gen, the bigger outlet brick) further away from the originating router (this is due to using wireless audio output from iPhones and iPads to surround receiver for music). All mac computers are running at least 10.9.4, I have one Windows 7 work laptop, iPhones 5s and 5S's with at least iOS 8, Philips Vue Lighting system and an Xbox One. Everything is up to date, except for the new Yosemite update of course, but both time capsules and the airport express are up to date. There is a wireless AT&T phone system, the EL52500 (cheap but does the job), and I am not hearing any clicking on the phones like we used to growing up with a Cisco phone system that ran on the same 2.4ghz. Not sure what wireless frequency this system is on but definitely no clicking.

    Both of the time capsules are out of warranty since I was not aware of this until I tested it myself (this is my parents situation, they were not aware of this) so I will not be contacting apple and having them charge me their fee to tell me what I already know. I am looking for ANY suggestions of how to fix this issue. The ISP will deem useless since the tests prove that it is not on their end, but clearly through all of my tests, it is the wireless that is the problem.

    If there is any other information needed, I will be happy to provide.

    Thanks,

    Shuts
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    wirelessly extending can kill your network speeds, as the repeater is having to talk to both the main base station and your computer at the same time, it can cut your speeds in half.

    also have the express join the network, instead of extending if you don't need the range boost.

    you want to alt-click the wifi icon and look at "Tx Rate" that will give you a better indication of what your network speed really is
     
  3. DShuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #3
    Again, I tested this wirelessly FEET away from the router, the one which is creating the wireless network and have gotten speeds of 40mbps.

    I do need the range boost since further on down the house, if I do not have the other time capsule halfway from the router to the other side of the house, I get poor signal.

    The fact I am using apple products to connect to other apple products should result in minimal loss, correct? I mean, that is ONE of the main reasons behind purchasing a time capsule or an airport express, clearly not the sole reason.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    Start with the newest Time Capsule directly connected to the modem. Do a factory reset and reconfigure it in AirPort Utility and test the speed of the one TC. Is it normal? If so and the issue comes only when other TC is added then you have a topology issue.

    With your Mac, look at your transmit rate to the one main TC. If the transmit rate is an acceptable number and you are having issues with WAN to WLAN performance, then I recommend that you try separating the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz network names.
     
  5. DShuts, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    DShuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #5
    So I have tested your theory and here are my results:

    So instead of extending the network's signal, I have used the newest generation time capsule as my only source of wifi and had everything just join the network instead of extending.

    The Tx Rate when I am about 0-15ft away from it is at 300mpbs then it starts going down as I walk away futher, 256...216....185....156. I am about 70-80ft by now and I am at 126mbps Tx Rate. As soon as I go into my parents kitchen, all hell breaks loose and I immediately drop to 54mbps. Then it varies from 54 to 81 to 47. I am currently about 90ft away from the router, through several walls and into a room full of appliances and electronics the signal quality was either excellent or good up until this point in which it is poor. The further I go it naturally will go further down, and at the end point in which I need internet, it is at 14mbps Tx Rate. The powerline 500 did not do much to the internet speed when I had it hooked up so it is essentially useless. Not sure if a wireless booster would help too much since extending the network with its own product did not do much to the connection speed.

    I also separated the 5ghz network and renamed it to something different and specified the best channel when I did the built in wifi sniffer and the 5ghz was worse connection at a further distance, as expected.

    I did speed tests through Ookla website and had essentially the same results as I had before when the network was being extended.

    HELP!
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    When it shows the 300 Mbps Tx rate does the speed reflect your internet package? When you see 54 Mbps there is still overhead that must be taken into account.
     
  7. eduardrw, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    eduardrw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #7
    Your speeds and the decrease over distance are within the normal range. They depend on wireless noise (other WIFI's from neighbors or equipment creating noise like baby monitors, microwave, cordless phones etc) and the absorption of the wall materials.
    5GHz is higher speed at shorter range. 2.4 GHz has better range but lower max throughput.

    Does the laptop you get 300mbps when you are close have 802.11ac capabilities?

    I would get a program like WIFI Scanner or iStumbler to see what signals you have competing on the two frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
    Example:[​IMG]
    http://accessagility.com/products/wifi-scanner.html

    The 2.4GHz band can be very crowded since there are realistically only 3 non overlapping channels which all users/neighbors around you share.

    Extending the WIFI signal is creating additional traffic and bandwidth issues.

    The best way to guarantee good throughput is to connect all WIFI creating AE/TC's via ethernet. That reduces the retransmission load and the signal congestion in your house.
     
  8. DShuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #8
    Updates:

    So I have been speaking to several people on different forums, especially on the apple forum and they have told me to not extend the network at all and unplug all wireless devices to see what the outcome will be. There has been no real change except now there is a major inconsistency in my Ookla speedtest. I am currently sitting roughly 5ft away from my 5th gen time capsule (no extending from other products, just an airport express that has joined) and my Tx rate is now at 130mbps and the Ookla speed tests have given me fluctuation between 80-96mbps without moving or changing the network at all. Before I was at least getting 300mbps Tx Rate from the mac wireless utility, but now it has not changed from 130. I am now just considering purchasing a new router since these inconsistencies are resulting in my pulling my hair out. I was looking at the the Linksys WRT1900AC and the Asus RT-AC66U (or AC68U).

    Considering punting these time capsules out a 20 story building and filming it.

    Shuts
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9

    The Apple forum members were right to test without any extension. However, try resetting the main Extreme with the other extenders disabled.
     
  10. eduardrw, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

    eduardrw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #10
    Or you could try to systematically debug the issue and have realistic expectations.
    Looks like you are messing around rather than employing an analytical approach.

    I have a similar setup with over 2700sqft - multiple Xboxes, PS4, 2 iMac's, 2 MBA's, 2 iPads, ........ - it works fine.
    As a rule of thumb you get aprox. 50% throughput of the indicated TXRate. Thats true for all WIFI routers.

    Start with one AE and a MAC laptop (hopefully newer model) - no other devices connected (AE reset and setup anew).
    Test both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. Get a tool as described in my post above to make sure you don't have competing WIFI signals on the channels 1,6 and 11.
    Don't extend your wifi using wifi - it effectively reduces you throughput by another 50%.
    Only extend your WIFI by connecting additional AE's via ethernet.
    Again checking with above mentioned software that you use one of the 3 non overlapping channels (1,6,11) which is least crowded and does not compete with you other AE's.

    As mentioned in my previous post above :
    The 2.4GHz band can be very crowded since there are realistically only 3 non overlapping channels which all users/neighbors around you share.
     

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