Extending wireless range question.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MosesOlsen, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. MosesOlsen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #1
    I have a time capsule that I use as my primary base station/router. However, in my room in the basement, I don't get the best wifi signal which can be frustrating at times. The way my home is set up, the time capsule is in the optimum location, because it can't really be in the center of my home.

    I know you can extend the wireless ranger with another airport extreme/express but I hear that it's not the wisest thing to do. I guess my question is this: how much bandwidth will I lose by adding an airport extreme in my house? And another question: will it just be lost on devices connected to the new router, or will devices connected to the time capsule also suffer a decrease in bandwidth?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #2
    You won't lose an amount of bandwidth worthy of mention as long as it is set up properly. Just get an Extreme or Express (depending on the area you want to cover) and set it up upstairs in a similar area to your downstairs router and then experiment. If the extending router has a good, stable signal, you're in good order.

    There are technical matters that can be explored depending on the age of your Time Capsule, but really, if you have no or poor coverage elsewhere, you can solve the problem, and your Time Capsule area will continue to work great.

    I've got multiple extremes in my home and I've set up large networks of them for other people and businesses as well.
     
  3. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #3
    I thought bandwidth on the extended network dropped by 40-50%? I can test this Saturday if no one else confirms.
     
  4. robopath macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #4
    Similar issue for me, basement is like a bunker. Extending worked great at first, network slowed a little but not too bad. What I didn't like is that airfoil drops the connection to the express often and that is why I have the express to begin with. I now toggle the extend setting on and off as needed.
     
  5. MosesOlsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #5
    I don't mean to come across as annoying but does anyone else have any experience with this kind of situation?
     
  6. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #6
    Well, what are your bandwidth fears? Obviously it's local network transfers you're worrying about. Maybe I can test something for you since I've got a running setup similar to what you have in mind (littered with other things like AirPort Expresses for AirPlay).
     
  7. MosesOlsen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #7
    Well, if you could run different tests that would be great. What I'm worried about most is that I would like to play online games and I'm concerned about lag. I'm also concerned about the basics like download and upload rates. Will I be able to back up my iMac on my time capsule if I'm going through another airport or does my computer have to be directly connected to the time capsule?
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    Then run a cable through the vents or something.
     
  9. MosesOlsen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2012
  10. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #10
    I haven't had a chance to run any tests, but you definitely don't need to worry about anything so far as the internet is concerned. Your latency will be a little less than what you might enjoy with a wired connection, but unless there's a problem with your setup (e.g. significant interference between the primary router and the extending router) you won't lose any internet bandwidth, even if your connection supports 40 mbps. Diablo III should run like a beauty at least as far as your internet connection is concerned.

    Also, backing up to your Time Capsule over your wireless network should work smoothly as well. I back up across my wireless network to a USB hard drive plugged into my AirPort Extreme, across the extended network, with no problem. My computer is actually doing so as I type this on a patio in my backyard. One fair note: if you've got an older machine TimeMachine does guzzle up a lot of processing power when running over a wireless network, but that might not be so bad with the Time Capsule. You should be able to run at faster speeds than I can enjoy with the USB bottleneck.

    This really comes down to one consideration, though. Do you want a wired network or a wireless network? A wired network is superior in every way but convenience. The wireless network will get the job done unless there is an odd environmental circumstance you need to work around, and it will get the job done well. If you can't do a wired network for one reason or another, or you prefer the convenience of the wireless network, this is the best option available to you.

    Note that you can also wire the extending router to the primary router to eliminate any environmental concerns that may crop up between them.
     
  11. murdoc158 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    West Bend, WI
    #11
    Did you get this to work with Time Machine?
     
  12. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #12
    Late response. Yes, no problem.
     
  13. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #13
    I have a similar question so I thought i'd post here rather than start a new thread. I'm moving into a student house, we have a router and the internet all set up but its just a crappy ISP provided one. The house is quite big (floors) the router is on the second floor and my room is at the top. Would an airport express be able to extend the range of it so I can get a decent connection in my room? Can it extend the range of any router or only other apple ones?
     
  14. pdutta2000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #14
    I have 2 Airport Extremes and 1 Airport Express (old plug in version but still N spec) in my house. The main Airport Extreme is upstairs and the second is in the basement. The Express is plugged in the first floor. I can tell you that I experience no loss of bandwidth. I routinely run speakeasy speed tests on my machines and all of them get 25-30 Mbps Down/17-23 Mbps Up. This includes wireless testing on my Macbook Pro (Personal), Lenovo T420 (work), iPad2, iPhone 4S. If I plug a laptop directly into the FiOS router I get about the same results so I'm experiencing minimal bandwidth loss. I also backup to a Shared Disk on the main Airport Extreme with no issues. I don't game but I do stream a lot of movies and have not experienced any hiccups. I can walk about 50 feet from my house and still get a signal.

    My suggestion is you go out and buy an airport express and put it in your basement. Apple has prior gen airport expresses in the refurb store for $69. That's a steal.
     

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