Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
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?



macrumors 601
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.


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
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.