Fastest Internet connection to get

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Slevin, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Slevin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'm moving to an area that has up to 50 Mbps download speed, I have an airport extreme (newest model). Would getting the 50 Mbs connection be overkill or could the AE transmit data at this rate as well?
     
  2. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #2
    50 Mbps won't be a problem.
     
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #3
    I think these are the specs:
    Ethernet = 1 Gbps
    Wireless G, Wireless N (2.4 GHz) = 130 Mbps
    Wireless N (5 GHz) = 300 Mbps



    Just an FYI, the internet is almost always the bottleneck when it comes to bandwidth. Pretty much every router, computer, access point, etc. in the last few years is faster than any standard (and most non-standard) internet out there.
     
  4. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #4
    I'm in a similar boat as the original poster. I currently get 25/25mbps internet service, and I'm using a DIR-655 router. My 2011 MBA reports being connected at 144mbps on Network Utility.

    I've read that because the DIR-655 only broadcasts on 2.4GHz, I can't get 300mbps unless i get a dual band router (like the AEBS). I'm considering between the AEBS and e4200 in order to get a broadcast on 5Ghz so I can get 300mbps, and my question is: would it make a difference (given my internet connection I get), or would the bottleneck prevent any increase in performance for me? Thanks!
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #5
    You could increase your device-to-devce speed on your LAN, but you would not see any increase of speed outside of your LAN such as the internet.

    Think of the old saying "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link". Your internet is the weakest link. You can strengthen the other links all you want, but as unless you strengthen your internet connection, you aren't adding any benefit.
     
  6. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #6
    Sorry I'm still kinda confused haha. I'm connected on Wi-Fi (always thought LAN was through ethernet, but maybe I'm misunderstanding terminology), and my Link Speed reports 144mbps. If I get one of the dual band routers and my Link Speed reports 300mbps, I would not see any increase in speed?
     
  7. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #7
    A LAN (local area network) is a network that connects devices in a limited capacity such as in a home or office building. It can be Ethernet, Wi-Fi, twisted pair, Token Ring, or a bunch of other technologies. In short, if you have a router, you have a LAN.

    First of all, all these speed are theoretical maxes. You don't actually get them.


    You said your internet was 25/25mbps. That is the speed from your service provider to your home. Then you get 144mbps from your router to your computer.

    If you send something outbound, it will make it to your router at 144mbps and then wait there as it will only being moving at 25mbps from your router to your service provider. The internet is the bottleneck.

    If you receive something inbound, it will make it to your router as 25mbps. From there it will get sent to your machine at 144mbps. It will start sending from your router to you computer immediately and will go so fast that it will end up waiting for it to finish coming over the internet. Again, the internet is the bottleneck.

    What I'm saying is that you won't see any internet speed increases by getting a faster router.
     
  8. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #8
    Wow! Thanks for the breakdown :] So there's really no point in people (like myself) purchasing routers for a "faster" connection (144 -> 300mbps). Only benefit more expensive routers would actually provide are a stronger/stabler signal and wider range?
     
  9. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #9
    Even that is iffy. If the router meets the spec (802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, etc.), then the range and strength are pretty consistent, at least for all routers of that spec. There are exceptions, such as dirt cheap routers that really don't meet the spec or a bad design. Assuming you have a decent brand-named router, the variation between home routers isn't as much as you might think though.

    The benefit of a faster network (Like upgrading from g to n) is for transferring data within your network. Like if you stream video from your computer to your gaming console or something. But going back to the chain analogy, if one device is slower than the other, you won't really see as much of a benefit.
     
  10. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #10
    It also helps is you have "in-house" connections like streaming your music to an AirPort Express.

    To OP: my AirPort Extreme serves me well close to the speed of my outside line (200Mb/s down and 100Mb/s up) under ideal condition (I.e. early morning with no congestion)
     
  11. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #11
    I currently don't transfer data within my network, but would like to start being able to stream data from my computer to my TV (TV has ethernet). Would upgrading from a 2.4ghz to a dual band 2.4/5ghz be an improvement for me in that scenario?

    Also, can I directly stream my desktop to my TV, basically using the TV as an external without the use of an HDMI cable (which is what I use now), over my network? Or would I have to use a middle man like my PS3?
     
  12. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #12
    Maybe, but probably not. 802.11g is pretty quick and good enough for most streaming.

    That depends on your TV. Most can't, but a few have the ability.
     
  13. seepel macrumors 6502

    seepel

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #13
    If I'm not mistaken the MacBook Air doesn't take advantage of the dual and capabilities of the new airports.

    I've also found that the bottle neck for my home wifi has always been interference/absorption of the environment. I'm not sure how much a better router would help in such cases.
     
  14. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #14
    Really? I've read on the forums that they do take advantage of the dual (hence get 300mbps), but not the triple (can't get 450mpbs) like the macbook pro's and iMacs can
     
  15. seepel macrumors 6502

    seepel

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #15
    That's probably what I was thinking of, my bad.
     
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #16
    This is correct. My 2011 MBA "only" connects at 300mpbs to my 2011 AEBS. However, my wife's Early 2011 MBP connects at 450mbps. Dual vs Triple Antennaes is at play here.

    Of course theoretical and actual rates can be entirely different. Actual rates are at best half so really my MBA on a good day will do 150mbps and my MBP will do 225mbps due to security and packet overheads that rob you of speed. I wouldn't complain though. That's still 15x to 22x the speed of my original hardwired network I built in high school.....
     
  17. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #17
    I haven't been able to reach transfer speeds over 160 Mbps with MBP early 2011 and a USB-drive connected to the AEBS (5 GHz, transmit rate 450, three feet apart with clear line of sight, scanned network to find ideal channel etc.), and usually it's far less than that. Average transfer speed usually hits somewhere around 80 Mbps which gives about two minutes per GB. (Threading the computer to the AEBS gives a constant transfer rate of just over 180 Mbps, which is still a bit less than if connecting the USB drive directly to the computer.)

    So when you say you get 225, I get a bit curious and I'd love to be able to tweak my network into getting the same :) Are you actually getting these transfer speeds when moving files in the network?
     
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #18
    First off, the biggest issue is that you are trying to transfer to a USB device connected to the AEBS. Your bottle neck is there more than anything else.

    My network consists of a server sitting in my basement that has multiple RAID5 setups. My RAID 5s can pull down upto 400MB/s (or almost 3200mb/s) when transferring between the two RAID's. My server is connected via ethernet to a Gigabit Ethernet Switch which then connects to my AEBS via ethernet. Further all of my laptops use SSD's so the bottleneck truly lies in the wireless performance as that is the "weakest link" (i.e. the slowest piece of the puzzle) from the laptop to the AEBS.

    So yes. I can get those speeds. Is it perfect? No. But it is fast enough that I can even rip a movie via an external DVD drive on my MBA and wirelessly store it directly on my server with no issues. In this case, the limiting factor is the USB DVD drive.
     
  19. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #19
    I understand a USB drive is far from optimal, but since that is the bottle neck - shouldn't I be able to get more or less the same transfer speeds when connected with ethernet cable as with wireless?
     
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #20
    I see nothing in your previous post about the difference in speeds of wireless vs ethernet....
     
  21. hafr macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #21
    I get an average transfer speed of about 80 Mbps on wifi and a constant transfer speed of over 180 Mbps when using an ethernet cable.
     
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #22
    Either way, I don't use a hard drive connected to the AEBS so our setups are entirely different. But, if you are connected via ethernet and getting 180, but wifi only getting 80, my guess is you are probably losing a lot of packets (ie. interference, so try another channel?)... Beyond that I can't really help you.
     
  23. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #23
    Thanks anyway man, and nice setup btw :)
     

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