Does Airport Express extend 802.11ac ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ssavanna, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. ssavanna macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2011
    I live in a 4 story townhouse that is pretty awful with wifi across floors. I have Comcast Blast Internet.

    My setup on my main floor (floor 2) is the newest Airport Extreme. The signal significantly degrades on the 3rd floor. I started by first purchasing the newest version of the Airport Express and using it as an extender on the 3rd floor. That really didn't help much.

    My current setup is the Airport Extreme on floor 2, Ethernet to Power Adapter on floor 3 with that connected into an Airport Express as a duplicate network with same name and password. This seems to be working okay but not great. The top floor (4th floor) is still barely getting a signal. My thought was that I would just purchase another Ethernet to Power adapter and another Apple Express and duplicate what I did on my second floor.

    *My question is about setting up separate duplicate networks like I have. Floor 2 has the Airport Extreme so this should be transmitting the 802.11ac. However since I'm technically not extending the network but duplicating it I would imagine that the Airport Express units are only transmitting 802.11n correct? If that's the case should I just buy multiple Airport Extreme's and connect them to the Ethernet to Power adapters on each floor?

  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    @ssavanna Yes. The AirPort Express is only broadcasting wireless N. Personally, I would pull full Cat 5e if possible and install a true AP system like UniFi.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    looking at cnet's testing, the fastest power-line device i see on a quick look tops out just above 300 Mb/s (actual not spec speed), which is just above what N's spec is, so you'll likely not see much speed gain going from N to AC unless you add a hardwired backbone.

    Blast advertises "up to 105 Mb/s" well below both the power line and 802.11N

    Also, the only speed gain you'll see on AC over N is on local network traffic, like file sharing and time machine backups, anything that comes in from the internet will be slower that what your network can handle.

    another thing to keep in mind, 2.4 GHz signals penetrate walls and obstacles much better than 5.

    to see what your Mac's wi-fi connection speed is, alt-click the wifi icon in the menu bar, TX rate will show what it is, anything above 100, and you're already faster than what's coming into your house.
  4. funintehmud macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2015
    Also make sure your extreme is not under a cabinet or close to any other electronic devices like a cordless phone other electronics will play hell on your wireless

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