How is the Airport Express as a Range Extender?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Statelymwhite, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Statelymwhite macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    #1
    My Airport Extreme is in a fixed location in the house... 2nd floor, far corner of the house. It's the only place the Comcast line comes in.

    I get coverage all over the house, but downstairs the connection is much slower. I can get 30mbps upstairs, but only about 8mbps downstairs.

    I was thinking of getting an Airport Express and putting it downstairs in line of sight of the staircase. Will the Express be able to boost the speeds downstairs to anything worthwhile?

    Thanks.
     
  2. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #2
    It will extend the range downstairs wirelessly, but it will automatically cut your speed in half since it has to use the network to extend the signal. If you could run cat5 from the extreme to the express, then it would be a true range extender and give you full speed.
     
  3. Statelymwhite thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2011
  4. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #4
    If your second location is within reach of a LAN port (unlikely I guess), then you can run the AExpress in Roaming mode with better data rates.
    I have 3 AExpresses in a big house - just for the iPad and the MBA. All the other stuff connects through a CAT6 LAN that runs everywhere. (Static items)
    When I set the AEs to Extend mode, they were OK, but faster now that they are in Roaming mode.
     
  5. eckndu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #5
    sorry could someone explain this to me?
    I currently have a 2nd extreme extending wirelessly the range. does it means those who connect to the 2nd extreme only get half of the speed?
     
  6. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #6
    it has to relay all the data. So you send something to it from your laptop, it has to send it on back to the AEBS and vice versa, which is why you lose half your bandwidth. This is the advantage of being able to connect via cat 5, then it becomes an access point in its own right.
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #7
    I'm using an AEBS as an extender. I put the 2.4 GHZ channel on the Time Capsule (Main Router) from "Auto" to 5...It increased my speed by over 30% It's easy to do if you are using a TC, but most wifi routers will allow you to change channels.

    A lot of people rate channel 36 for a 5GHZ network too.
     
  8. eckndu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #8
    I thought I only need to change channel if the current one is congested.
     
  9. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #9
    I generally pick channels that are 2 away from any others in use nearby. So if 6 is in use, I'd pick 8, not 7 (but not if 9 is in use).
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    Here's my take on this. If everything works at theoretical speeds, extending the network via wifi would be faster than with ethernet. The AExp has 802.11n, which (I believe) is 300 Mbps. The AExp has a 100 Mbps ethernet port. So if half of the wifi speed is used for uplink and half for downlink, then you'd still be at 150 Mbps.

    Now, a lot will depend on whether the line of sights are good and stuff like that. Ethernet is typically more consistent in these regards. Also, this depends on whether my assumption of 300 Mbps for 11n is correct.

    Another way to do this if Cat5e is not available is to use a couple or Powerline adapters ... but then the speeds are also dependent on a few other factors.

    ft


    DAMN - just realized I repsonded to an old old post.
     
  11. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #11
    You're correct about the speeds of the Airport Express, the problem would be the effect on any other device connecting to the wifi network. Something like a MacBook Pro copying data from a NAS would see its bandwidth halved.
     

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