Do too many repeaters slow down the network?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jtrue28, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. jtrue28 macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #1
    I have 4 (four) current generation Airport Extreme AC routers. 1 of the routers is connected to my modem, while the other 3 are set up to extend my network. I use my iPhone wifi settings to add the new router each time I have added another one. It always recommends extending my network, which makes sense to me.

    I just added the 4th router over the weekend, with less than expected results.

    We have TWC's 300mb/s internet. We can never pull that speed, regardless of how we connect everything. The fastest I have pulled is 250mb/s. Typical consistent speed on an "excellent" connection is around 200mb/s. However, now that I have 3 extenders, I can't get any speed faster than 100mb/s. I haven't had time to turn off the new router and see if the speeds go back up, but wanted to check here as well to see if my fears are correct.

    We have a large house, so I'm attempting to make sure there are the best connections possible, no matter where we are.

    Also, just to confirm, the repeaters are all connecting to the "main" router, correct? Is that by default? I would hate to find out that one of the repeaters is connecting to another repeater, which then connects to the main router.

    Maybe there are other settings I need to check, any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. AbblePC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    #2
    I had similar trouble and while working with Apple support they indicated that my configuration with using 1 AExtreme (AC) as the main router and up to 5 Airport Express was not the best route to take.
    Long story short the best result was setting up with 1 AE(AC) as main router connected via Ethernet to the modem on 2nd floor (middle floor - front) and 1 AE(AC) on the 3rd floor (main office area - center). All other (3) Airport Expresses were located 1 on 2nd floor front bedroom, 1 on main floor living room (beneath master bedroom 2nd floor - front), and 1 located in the back kitchen area.

    So 2 AirPort Extreme and 3 Airport Express now make up my wireless network of which 1 express was replaced with an extreme and 1 express removed.

    Apple said that they only support up to 3 airport express as part of a wirelessly extended network and also the expresses would not extend the AC portion of the network. Once I removed the excess Airport Expresses and use only the 2 A Extremes with 2 of the three Airport Expresses extending my network, the other is used primarily as an Airplay for an Apple TV in the Master bedroom now, things have improved speed wise and no more intermittent signal connectivity issues.

    This is a good link from Apples support page to read through before setting up your network or while attempting to troubleshoot existing signal issues.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202056
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    Yes. A wirelessly extending AirPort can only connect to either the main AirPort or one that is connected to the main AirPort via Ethernet. The reason for your speed issues is due to the fact that you do not have anything connected via Ethernet. Wireless extension should be used in limited circumstances, you need to have the "extending" AirPorts hardwired back to the main AirPort to receive the proper speeds and performance.
     
  4. jtrue28 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #4
    Yeah, so I ended up calling Apple Support about this as well. He pretty much said that each wireless extender degrades the throughput by 10-20%. But more importantly, and likely the point I missed, was that you need to make sure you have the best signal possible for the extender. Meaning keep it in range of full wifi bars, so that you're extending the best signal you can. I turned one of the extenders into a bridge where I have my desktop PC and my printer. It's not broadcasting wireless anymore, but still getting an excellent signal to share to those devices.

    Network speeds have increased greatly.

    He did confirm that any extender will connect to the strongest AP, which may or may not be another extender. In that case, it would be awful. Making a photocopy of a photocopy type scenario.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5
    An extender would only connect to an AP connected to the main AP via Ethernet. It will NOT connect to one that is already wirelessly extending. Either way, you should run Ethernet to all APs.
     
  6. jtrue28 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #6
    I'm not tearing down my house to run Cat-6 cables. That is absurd. There's a new product coming out soon... Plume. Looks promising.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    Plume is a glorified powerline adapter with a wireless antenna in it. That technology has been there for years. It is not hard to run Cat 5e or Cat 6. I do it all the time in both homes and schools as part of my work. That being said, you may want to consider getting powerline networking adapters if your electrical system is relatively recent (under 50 years or so).
     
  8. jtrue28 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #9
    I may give them a try, but I've already got $800 invested in routers, so moving to something else doesn't make much sense, unless they are GUARANTEED to give me better speeds in every room of my house.

    If so, then I'll have 4 routers for sale on ebay.
     
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #10
    Unbox therapy has a review on them
     
  10. jtrue28 thread starter macrumors 6502

    jtrue28

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #11
    That Eero product doesn't look to be any different than what I'm currently doing. Reviews are marginal. The Plume product (while I agree looks like powerline adapters) doesn't come out until November, so only their marketing videos to watch at this point.
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    I assumed you wanted it all wireless hence the link.

    You could pick up a cheap power line Ethernet kit and connect each ap to them offering you massive speed improvements.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13
    I fully agree with @Gav2k, if you cannot or will not run Ethernet than a solid set of powerline adapters is the way to go...
     

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