Is it odd that I have to have AirPort Express 25' to extend AEBS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BreakGuy, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. BreakGuy macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    NZ, South Pacific
    #1
    I have an AirPort Extreme Base Station located in one end of my house. In order to get a somewhat usable wireless internet connection in my bedroom located at the other end of the house, I need to extend the network (using an AirPort Express) at the 25 - 30 feet mark.

    My house is 'L' shaped, so there's probably only 2, maybe 3 walls for the WiFi signal to go through to get to my room in a straight line. Yet, it doesn't give a nice, healthy signal.

    Is something wrong with my setup, or is it just bad luck?
     
  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #2
    Wifi is not an exact science, performance depends a lot on local conditions, so it's impossible to tell right off the bat if something's actually wrong in your case if you in fact get a signal throughout your entire house, even if it is a bad one.

    If you had had NO signal, maybe not even close to the base station, then it'd been easier! ;)

    Have you experimented with re-positioning the AEBS? Common advice is to place the unit high up, away from metal objects or other items that may block the signal. The logical solution to your issue would of course be to move the AEBS to a central location in your home.

    Do you use the 2.4GHz band or 5GHz? Also, especially on 2.4GHz, you should try switching channels, see if that helps.
     
  3. BreakGuy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    NZ, South Pacific
    #3
    The AEBS cannot be moved from it's location. Due to the poorly designed house, it's the only viable option we have. And yes, it's up as high as it can be. Probably about 3 feet from the ceiling.

    Both bands are used. When sitting in the lounge my MacBook will automatically use the 5GHz band, like it should... and when it's further away it'll switch over to the 2.4GHz band.

    I have the AirPort Express extending the 2.4GHz band too, btw.
     
  4. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #4
    Why is it the only viable option to have the base station where it currently is, if it gives you poor performance? If extending the network is something that is bothersome to you for whatever reason, I would seriously consider running an ethernet cable from its outlet (which I assume is the reason for your limitation) to a central location in your house and putting the base station there.

    In any case, since it appears you get decent enough performance with the current setup (base station + extension), why worry about it? :p
     
  5. BreakGuy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    BreakGuy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    NZ, South Pacific
    #5
    It's not so much a problem. I was just wondering whether or not it's expected to be placing an AirPort Express 25 feet from the AEBS, even with a couple of walls and the usual interference (phones, microwaves etc).
     
  6. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #6
    Well, yeah, like I said it totally depends. There's no universal rule of thumb that applies. You have to see for yourself what works with the gear you have (the wifi equipment itself also plays a part of course, both base station and computers; not just the location...)
     
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #7
    walls made of what?

    old plaster walls with metal lathing in them (otherwise known as a faraday cage)

    also what angle?
    if the straight line is almost parallel to the wall, the wall can appear be several feet thick, even if the wall is constructed of something that doesn't block wifi that much that can cause problems.


    powerline ethernet is a decent alternative, if having to run ethernet cables everywhere is not an option.
     
  8. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #8
    The thing with repeaters is that they can only repeat the same signal that it's given. So if the signal is weak where you have your APE, it will transmit a weak signal.

    I see someone has recommended home plugs. It could actually be an option, because then you could place the APE in the opposite end of the house (or where ever you deem fit), having it transmitting a very strong signal. That way you might get full connection all throughout your house.
     
  9. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #9
    This is totally wrong. The entire point of a repeater is to repeat a weak signal, thus MAKING it strong. If the repeater did not do that then there'd be no point in having it at all, as there's no need to repeat a strong signal in the first place, nor is there any point in replacing a weak signal with another weak signal...
     
  10. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #10
    I'm sorry, there might a language barrier that is causing confusion. English is my third language, so I'm probably missing something.

    Signal might be the wrong word for me to use. Let me explain. Say you have a 10 Mbps internet connection, and that you 30 feet from the router only get about 2 Mbps. 40 feet from the router you get no connection at all. Then putting a repeater there to extend the network will extend the network, but it will only repeat the signal that it is given, by which I mean the 2 Mbps. So 40 feet from the router, you'll only be 10 feet from the repeater and have a "five of five bar connection" to the network, but that doesn't mean you'll get the 10 Mbps that you would if you were 10 feet from the router.
     
  11. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #11

    i think hafr is talking about slow signals, not weak.

    if you have your repeater at the very edge of your original signal, and it's only getting a very weak (and slow) signal, then yes it will boost the range (and MAKE a strong signal), but the signal you get at the far end will also be slow.
    a repeater can't create bandwidth that isn't there.


    no, lenny is just being very literal.
     

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