How to best extend wireless range using Apple Airport

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cap2587, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. cap2587, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013

    cap2587 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #1
    I am trying to best set up wireless in a very large house. The coverage area is probably 75-100 feet wide with lots of rooms and walls. I have two Airport Extreme's and one airport Express. My coverage is good in the Library where the Airport Extreme and Modem are. The speed and signal drops off in the other end of the house. I was thinking of placing an Airport Express in the middle and the two Airport Extreme's on either end. All connections are in Bridge and wireless connected except the Main Router. I have chosen to extend the range with the additional two routers. Is there any formula, tips for where to place the second Extreme and Express to try and cover this house. What should the signal strength of the router (-50 to -70 Dbm) be where I place the other two devices. There is a basement, Attic and two floors. Appreciate any advice on this topic.

    I just found this article on Optimal router placement and has some good info.

    https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-3394
     
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    Best thing you can do is connect all the wifi stations via cable instead of repeating a wifi signal. It greatly improves throughput. Beyond that it really depends on the layout of the house. I have my airport pretty much dead center in the house and it covers it well. A little weak in sections of the basement but I don't need wifi there.
     
  3. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    I second that. I have a tall house with a long ground floor (think capital L shaped). I have two AExpresses on the ground floor, an AExtreme on the first and another AExpress in the attic. All are linked by Cat6. This gives a roaming network that 7 WiFi devices link to.

    If you can't do a Lan by cable, then look at linking them by Powerline - data rate won't be as good and there might be phasing issues with connecting through your main power box, but worth a try.
     
  4. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the great advice. The difference between linking the routers with Cat5/6 cable makes a huge difference. It is just figuring out how to cable them together. I think I can cable the two airport extreme's together and just extend the network wirelessly with a A.Express.

    The best placement for a router is never where people want to put them. It is often stuck behind a desk or in a closet which stifles the signal. I bet if it is placed in the middle of the house without minimal obstruction it will cover alot more area than what you think. Rooms and walls see to be a huge negative factor. For me going upstairs or downstairs is better than travelling East/West through multiple walls/room.

    Is putting an Airport Extreme in an Attic a risk considering how warm it usually gets up there? Is there anyway to gauge whether it will function correctly in an attic? Thanks
     
  5. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #5
    The AE spec says :

    Environmental requirements

    Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
    Relative humidity (operational): 20% to 80%

    So you need to see if your attic gets above 35° C.

    I have one in my attic, but not in direct sunlight plus there is a sun blind over the main S facing window. Max is usually 25° C.
     
  6. cap2587 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    #6
    drsox,

    Thanks for the information regarding Apple Airport Devices Temp recommendations: I was able to hard line the two A.Extreme's together and what a difference that makes.
     
  7. GirosD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    #7
    Extend Wireless range

    If you want to increase wireless range and coverage try mounting it on the ceiling or wall like with this product:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IRSDKX6
    Usually if you put it in on the ceiling in the middle of your use you'll get better signal.
    It optimizes the 11n/ac speed and throughput so that you can get great performance from your Apple Extreme throughout the entire house!
     

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