if you buy an airport extreme..

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by canonwire, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. canonwire macrumors member

    canonwire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    and you set up the router to use the draft n protocol, does that then mean that your old ibook g4 that has b/g airport compatibility cannot connect to the airport extreme? or does .n include backward compatability to b/g protocol?

    sorry if this is a dumb question but its an important consideration for me as I'm looking into getting a new router...

    thanks! :)
     
  2. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Balham, London
    #2
    I've not used the new airport extreme but most routers have a 'mixed' option that lets you connect with all types of airport. If you choose 'n only', your iBook will not work...
     
  3. martin1000 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2005
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    Washington, D.C.
    #3
    Airport extreme has a "mixed" mode which allows for both G and N to coexist. I have mine set up and my new iMac Aluminum, old iBook G4, and Nintendo Wii all share it nicely.
     
  4. canonwire thread starter macrumors member

    canonwire

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Awesome! Thank you. Can I ask, do you find the range increase to be pretty substantial? I have a old airport extreme and am thinking of jumping up to the new extreme...if you could give me a few comments of how you think it works, that would be great!

    I need some more pipe because I'm sharing with a 2' imac, old g4 ibook, xbox360, ipod touch and wii! :-0
     
  5. saxman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #5
    I believe the range extension is primarily in the 5GHz range which would be the .n variety. Although I think most people who had the older AEBS (spaceship design) and the new one find that the range for the b/g is a little better with the new design.

    I have one, since June, but live in a smallish house and also have an airport express to extend the network, so I haven't had any range problems. I haven't had any problems with 4-5 devices sharing the g network either.

    If you do hook up a hard drive to it, be aware there are some issues with it. The latest firmware 7.2.1 also appears to make matters worse for many. Mine works fine with 7.1.1 firmware, but if you buy a new one, it will come with 7.2. Which by the accounts I've read is more stable than 7.2.1. But YMMV
     
  6. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    Denver
    #6
    What issues are those? I've been looking into an Airport Extreme primarily for the NAS capability...
     
  7. WildPalms macrumors 6502a

    WildPalms

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    Honolulu, HI
    #7
    I'm on 7.2.1 and have a single USB drive attached and have had nil problems. The drive has been attached through two router firmware upgrades so far and no issues whatsoever.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    I'll be setting up my MyBook drive to my AEBS soon (today or tomorrow). I'll let you know how it goes. The range is much better than my old D-Link g router. Signal levels that where around 40% before are closer to 80% now and that's in mixed mode (n/g/b). The n hardware connects at 130mbps, the g at 54mbps and the b at 11mbps.

    UPDATE: I upgraded to 7.2.1 :eek: and added the MyBook drive and everything seems to work nicely (touch wood). Drive access is not a problem and the drive spins down after a few minutes of no conections to it.
     
  9. martin1000 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2005
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    Washington, D.C.
    #9
    I can't comment on range, I live in a one bedroom apartment and have never had this issue.

    One thing to be aware of, [from Macworld] "..when you mix one of those new base stations—or a Mac that supports 802.11n or an Apple TV—with hardware that supports 802.11g or the (even earlier) 802.11b standard, those older devices will slow down the entire network..."

    I haven't really noticed an issue, but I don't transfer a lot of data between computers. It's still a lot faster than a G network. Here's a link to a possible workaround if this concerns you which would allow you to use your old AE and the new one together:

    http://www.macworld.com/2007/06/secrets/july07mobilemac/index.php
     
  10. Trepex macrumors 6502a

    Trepex

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    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #10
    Martin touched on it, but just to make it clear...

    If you operate in mixed-mode, your N devices are going to cap out at around 130mbps. If you enable N-only mode, you'll get your 300mbps speeds for anything with an 802.11N adapter. I have confirmed this first-hand.
     
  11. Trepex macrumors 6502a

    Trepex

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    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #11
    Sorry one more point. An ideal solution, if you can afford it, is to get an AEBS as well as an Airport Express. Plug the express into your Extreme and have IT broadcast a B/G signal, then stick the Extreme in N-only mode. best of both worlds!
     
  12. saxman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #12
    Does the drive spin back up and mount properly? That's good news. If you look at the Apple discussion forum most of the posts about the AEBS are about hard drive issues. There's some info here, but I haven't seen as many posts.

    Here's what I have gleaned from the Apple forums and my own experience (I have only used 1 AEBS router in my life).

    From my experience, the HD works as advertised if I power on the hard drive (a Lacie 500GB USB Porsche drive) first, then power on the router. I had 0 problems with this setup with firmware 7.0, 7.1 and 7.1.1. Firmware 7.2.1 (since 7.2 is only available for gigabit version) would drop the drive after a day. Some people have reported that if you us DHCP and increase the lease time to 99 days, that it fixes the program. I didn't try that yet, but it is stable on 7.1.1.

    Some caveats (as always, YMMV):
    - Many people have reported that drives do not spin down unless the drive manufacturer has a "sleep" or low power function. Most of those seem not to spin back up after they spin down.
    - Some drives that are actually RAID (many 1TB+ drives) didn't work initially since the AEBS didn't see them as 1 drive. Don't know if they fixed that.
    - If you cannot get the drive to mount, try mounting on your mac, unmount it (without powering down) and connect it to the AEBS. Then power up the AEBS
    - powered USB hubs seem to be better than non-powered ones.
    - Some USB/Firewire drives don't work, many do (if you are buying one for this, I would suggest a USB only to stay safer)
    - The firmware updates fixes some problems for some people, creates some for other people.

    I have my iTunes library on this hard drive and it plays fine through my laptop and then to an airport express (which I also use to extend the network)

    I would recommend the AEBS, but you may have to do some fiddling with the HD. But hopefully you'll be fortunate not to have any problems.
     
  13. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #13
    No problems spinning back up. I haven't tried a power up/down yet but I hopefully won't have to do that too often. I'm thinking of getting the 1TB version of the MyBook since this one works so well.
     
  14. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #14
    +1

    I do this as well. I have 2 AEBS in 5GHz N (300Mb) mode, plus an Express connected to one of them via ethernet for use with my iPhone. Works out really well.
     
  15. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

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    Apr 2, 2005
    #15
    Howcome when I do file transfers between iMac and mbp (both 802.11n) with this router I don't get 300 mbps? It takes WAY longer to transfer large files. I have the AEBS.
     
  16. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #16
    Actually, 5 GHz signals will not penetrate walls as well as 2.4 GHz, given the same power settings. The range increase is more at the 2.4 band, and more because of the multiple-in multiple-out (MIMO) design. The specifics are pretty technical, but there's fancy things that having multiple antennas on both ends allow you to do to improve performance.
     
  17. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #17
    300mbps is the theoretical maximum. Performance and distance is an inverse relationship. The further your distance, the lower the actual throughput.

    QFT. In 2.4GHz n only mode my signal levels are about 20-30% greater than in 5GHz n only mode.
     
  18. e.m. macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2005
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    San Francisco
    #18
    I am thinking of doing this setup since there's couple MacBooks (N) and bunch of G devices in the house. My question is, will the MacBooks still be able to connect to AirTunes through the Express while simultaneously being connected to the Extreme at N speed for AirDisk/network? Or will this decrease the MacBooks' connection speed to the network down to G speeds?
     
  19. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #19
    The part about seeing Airtunes via AEBS is interesting. If it works it would be via AEBS wirelessly, which in turn is connected via ethernet to the Express. There shouldn't be a wireless G connection involved.
     
  20. e.m. macrumors 6502

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