Can i split my WIFI network and regulate bandwith?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Europe calling, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Europe calling macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Hi,
    I have a network setup where internet enters my home to a cablemodem. From this cablemodem i have a wired connection leading to an Airport Extreme that creates two WIFI networks. I have wirelessly extended these networks with an Airport Express, which i use to stream music to from my Mac to (its audio output is connected to my stereo).
    The main network (5Ghz) is for my personal use only. The second network (2.4Ghz) i have created for my children to use.
    Problem is that the network is split up in two, but i cannot find a way to 'reserve' most of the bandwith for the main (5Ghz) network.
    My children with their smartphones and laptop use up all bandwith, even though they're on the other network, resulting in my music constantly interrupting and stalling.

    I do not wish to deny them WIFI, it should be possible to set it up differently in a way that critical bandwith for my own use is not compromised. I just don't know how.
    I have searched the internet but all i could find was non-Mac info. I'm running an Macbook pro and have both an Airport Extreme and an Airport Express at my disposal. The Airport software only helps in creating a guest network, but offers no option to cap or prioritize bandwith.

    Suggestions more than welcome, thnx
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    The airport devices do not have this functionality. You can limit times etc but not bandwidth.

    Is your cable modem in dhcp mode? What model is it?
     
  3. Europe calling thread starter macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    Cable modem is a Motorola, i cannot see or alter any settings, it was issued by my provider.
    What soft/hardware would i need to obtain my desired functionality?
     
  4. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #4
    You'll need a different router if you want to regulate traffic on the network or client level.

    How much bandwidth do you have coming into your home that they are able to use all of it? Are you certain that is the cause or are you having dropouts due to interference or other networking issues?
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    Changing the two expresses to AP's like the ibiquity would offer you a better wifi network for a start and you can limit each and every device that goes on the network. Right down to a guest network that keeps visitors out of everything but gives them very limited internet access
     
  6. Europe calling thread starter macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    I still have a Linksys router (BEFSR41) with a 4 port switch somewhere, could i use that to get the desired setup?
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #7
    Yes with v2.1 firmware it has the ability to limit bandwidth but it's 13/14 years old.
     
  8. Europe calling thread starter macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    Thnx, i know its old, but i guess it will be fast enough. So i guess i should place that between the cablemodem and both airports?
    Do you have any idea where i could find said firmware? I checked the Linksys support site and there is no firmware available for my hardware version (4.2)
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #9
    Again, what is the speed of your incoming network connection? More than likely that will be fast enough, but as it is a router you will want to turn off the routing and NAT portions of your Airport Extreme to avoid the potential pitfalls of having two layers of NAT on top of one another.

    Personally I would buy a new all in one router/access point that has the features you need. If your kids are using that much bandwidth you'll all benefit from the newest routing and wireless equipment. I used a version of that Linksys router for years with 3rd party firmware on it and it was extremely stable, but as I added more and more devices to the network even though in theory the equipment had enough bandwidth to cover everything I had sporadic dropouts, especially with streaming music, etc. I upgraded to new equipment and everything works flawlessly.
     
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #10
    As above really. Or you could go the cheap route and put a raspberry pi2 in the mix as a hardware router between your cable modem and airport. That would with the right software (free) be able to limit each device.
     
  11. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #11
    Extending network wirelessly brings the throughput down to a half.

    Have you looked at channel settings?

    At home I have AExtreme (the N) with wifi off and a single ubiquity WAP. Rock solid. I notice different channels coming in from neighbors depending where in house I am and what floor.

    The ubiquity I have is dual band (the recently introduced for like $110)

    I have setup guest wifi. Whenever I get time I'll tinker more with it.

    One thing that a WAP gives me is I can place it in different spot vs router. My house is a weird renovation and it's impossible to get anything to first floor. I can get a line to attic and bring down to sec floor but that's down the line.

    I'm getting better signal now and before using AE 2nd floor signal would drop. I upgraded to older ubiquity 2.4 ghz only and got better coverage but one room was still dead.

    Good luck and report back..
     
  12. Europe calling thread starter macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #12
    My incoming speed is about 30-40Mbps. I wonder how it's possible that i seem to lose so much bandwith to my kids using their equipment. When is am downloading something on my MBP as soon as they go online i see downloadspeeds dropping to nearly a halt.Could you point me to a manual somewhere on how to setup a homenetwork like this? (for Dummies!, i'm not such a geek)

    If i were to buy a different router, what type should i buy? It need an audio output like the AE has, and i currently use an external harddrive containing my music and videos, which is connected to the Extreme.
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    The only way they are likely to be using that much bandwidth is if they are using bit torrent to download things which will use all available bandwidth by design. If that's the case the easiest solution is to monitor them and teach them how to use it - every bit torrent program has settings that can limit how much bandwidth they will use. If you limited it to say half of your available bandwidth it'd still be reasonably fast for them while reserving plenty of bandwidth for everyone else. This is the easiest solution if that's what's happening and it's free.

    If that isn't the problem then new equipment will likely solve it for you. Unfortunately even today most home routers have little or no ability to control bandwidth the way you want to without resorting to 3rd party firmware. It does appear however that the company TP-Link includes this feature in most of their devices. Something like the TP-Link Archer C9 model is reasonably modern, includes a usb port for your file sharing, and allows you to limit bandwidth on the guest networks. Your existing Airport Express can be connected to your network for music streaming - no need to replace them.

    If you want more granular bandwidth control - say so that your kids can be on your main network for sharing purposes but you want to limit their bandwidth by device, it looks like you need the more powerful TP-Link Archer C3200. I'm sure there are other recent routers out there that do this as well, but it will take some looking to find them.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    Before you go start swapping hardware, let's take a look at some of the instant red flags with your current setup. The first issue I see is with the wirelessly extending AirPort Express. Open AirPort Utility and verify that the Express has a decent connection to the Extreme. It is imperative to understand that whatever the transmit rate that you see in AirPort Utility will give you less than half of that in real world performance. For example, if your Express has a transmit rate of 100 Mbps with the Extreme, you are looking at maybe 40 Mbps top speed to your client due to overhead and the fact that the bandwidth is automatically halved with wireless extension. The best solution would be to run Ethernet to the Express.

    The second issue that I see is that manually forcing clients to the 5 GHz band can actually be significantly slower than using 2.4 GHz. In my testing, it would be the best option to keep the 2.4 and 5 GHz networks under one network name and keeping all clients on one SSID. By doing this, you can be assured that your problem is due to bandwidth consumption rather than your physical wireless link to the base station. If you are concerned about your children being on the same network as you, using the guest network feature would be a safe option.
     
  15. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #15
    30-40 MB should be enough for what you describe, and I agree with Altemose, you need to drop the wireless and wire it up, and use a single SSID. You are destroying any chance you have by having a 5 and 2.4 off of that wireless extension. Each have overhead, and it splits the available bandwidth. Once you do that you should see improvement. Beyond this you're talking about getting more gear, further complicating matters. My Linksys has media prioritization, where you can set it up at the device level, sort of a simplified QoS. And it works. I have 50MB and it has taken everything I have thrown at it, and trust me, I can throw. So perhaps go simple and try to solve the issue that way first.
    Good luck.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    That is not a configurable option on the AirPorts, unfortunately. However, I have never had a speed issue on mine or at the school regardless of network load.
     
  17. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #17
    I too would connect my Express via ethernet, using powerline adaptors if needed to run ethernet through your mains power network.

    I would then have my kids connect via the guest network to the Express, which is limited to N speed, and I would further throttle their connection speed by my choice of ethernet cable if there is one that is less than 100 mbps and/or placement of the router for weaker signal strength.
     
  18. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #18
    Never mind the above; I now realise you are using the Express purely for audio streaming, in which case you can set it to receive audio wirelessly in Client Mode and it will no longer use any overhead required when used as an access point.
     

Share This Page