Is my 6th Gen Airport Extreme really 802.11ac capable?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mtbdudex, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #1
    I bought my 6th Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A) October-2014.
    Specs listed like this
    I've setup my network and just "used it" for 1 1/2 years now
    [​IMG]

    When I check it under About this Mac > System report it shows this under the wifi portion:

    Supported physical modes it shows 802.11ac, but the networks it shows being broadcast are "just" 802.11n, so I'm confused.

    How do I get the 6th Gen Airport Extreme to broadcast in 802.11ac mode?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #2
    Did you go into the "Wireless Options" and turn on the AC with a slightly different name then the N network SSID?
     
  3. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #3
    Yes, it's got the "5GHz" appended to the end of it ......
    [​IMG]

    I'd like to see others About this Mac > system report > wifi and see if theirs shows 802.11ac network .
    What does yours show?
     
  4. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #4
    This looks like Apple's older 5G flat router setup!
     
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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  6. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #6
    Yes my 2015 iMac does, and our phones, iPads, MacBook s, etc
     
  7. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #7
    Well I'm running latest Mac OSX on that late 2015 iMac 27", the screen shot is from the Airport utility application, that Apple Airport Extreme was bought Oct-2014.
    So I'd like to see others that have confirmed 802.11ac from it .....
    [​IMG]
     
  8. wlossw, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016

    wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

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    #8
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    That is definitely the new 802.11ac model AE and your iMac supports AC, so something else is going on.

    It looks like you are connected to the 2.4GHz band though. Try clicking the wifi radar in the menu bar and join the 5GHz band then option key click the menu radar thingy and see what it says.

    I do notice something odd though. In that System Report screenshot, it shows all the networks (guest, 2.4, and 5) each two times. Look at the bottom and the 5GHz network is there twice on channel 149, but they each have very different signal levels. Do you have another router setup with these same SSID names?
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #10
    I was wondering about the same thing...
    Why do you have 2 full sets of wifi signals?
    You must have a second wireless router. The signal quality is significantly different, so you should try turning off your OTHER wifi router - the one which is further away - then try your wifi (from your Mac, turn the wifi card off then back on)

    You can't really force the router to connect at AC speeds. That connection is set when your wifi card negotiates the connection from the router.
    I do know that the wifi router that I have (a TP-Link brand) will NOT use AC if the guest network is enabled. It's some kind of tech issue with how that router works with guest access.
    SO, test your router after turning the guest network OFF, just to see if that allows the AC connection.
     
  11. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #11
    Have you verified your connection to it ?
    If you Option + Click the Wifi symbol in the menu bar it will give you a ton of more information.
     
  12. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #12
    ^^^
    Truly thanks for replies , I'll do some work tonight at home
    1) Walmart had a store closing in Hartland Michigan, so I bought a Netgear wifi extender, that's in the basement far corner, the Apple wifi is in 2nd floor loft. Signal was dropping so that's why I added that with same SSD name/password ....
    2) my iMac sends iTunes to the AppleTV via wifi
     
  13. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #13
    one thing to remember with a WiFi extender is that it is extending the signal from where it connects to the main WiFi.
    Example: If your router is putting out 1000Mbps, then the further away you get it drops to 10Mbps. If that point is where you put the extender then the extender is now making the signal stronger to broadcast 10Mbps of bandwidth from that point on out.

    To really extend your entire network you'd need to connect each router/repeater by Ethernet or you're going to lose a bit of bandwidth just by connecting to the repeater.
    I went through this years ago with multiple Airport Extreme Base Stations arranged around my home. I finally got around running CAT6 through the house and bandwidth was great, speeds were consistent no matter where I was and latency went down. Just a thought for down the road.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    Try turning off the extender then get the iMac close enough to the Extreme to get a wifi signal then try to join up to the 5GHz network and see what gets you. Once connected do the option key click on the wifi menulet to see what it says.
     
  15. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #15
    So I do have Cat5e in wall and a LAN drop in the craft room, which is at the farthest portion of the basement, hence best is I buy another wifi repeater based on gigabit LAN then..... well I already own the Netgear AC750, that walmart went out of business and all sales final.

    Not "mission critical" in the basement area, as just surfing there for fun/music.

    Thx for pointing that out.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 18, 2016 ---
    Ok - my iMac 2015 is 4 feet from the extreme, so I did this without going into the basement (it's 2am)
    "LogHomeLoft" network is 802.11 n
    [​IMG] .

    "LogHomeLoft 5GHz" network is 802.11 ac
    [​IMG]

    Clear I agree the 5GHz is showing 802.11 ac, so that beckons why did the About this Mac > system report > wifi show wrongly?
    That's what led me on this wild goose chase in the first place.....
    (ok, so there's a bug in that part of Mac OSX 10.11.3 (15D21) I guess is the answer)

    Sorry for the bandwidth time from you guys, get the pun ? :rolleyes:

    Reason the iMac 2015 is NOT on 5GHZ, well I'm running a AppleTV Gen2 via wifi in the first floor family room, so I'm streaming to that, it's only up to 802.11 n. And, it's "nice" to also stream via AirPlay to AppleTV from our iDevices (iPhone/iPad), so need to be on the same network.
     
  16. satcomer, Feb 18, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #16
    Try the channels spoken about are in the blog post 802.11ac Channel Planning. It might help.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    You might try just leaving the default setting on the router with both 2.4 and 5 as the same name and let the clients/router pick what is best for themselves. That is what I have always done and it works fine for me. That way your ATV and all devices will be on the same network for sharing.
     
  18. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #18
    Weaselboy, kudos !
    I wish I'd know that a while back .... so if I just drop the 5GHz from "LogHomeLoft 5GHz" and have duplicate network names/passwords, and once signed into both those on the iDevices, then when we go to Airplay for the AppleTV it will switch to n network, and release airplay it will go back to ac network?

    If so, that is best solution.
    Something for me to try over he weekend.
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    Yes, if you just leave them the same the devices can talk to each other and they will jump back and forth between whichever is best for the location.
     
  20. priitv8, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016

    priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #20
    I switched to separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSID-s a long time ago. Just because my MacBook always preferred the 2.4GHz radio due to better signal.
    I have 2 Airports, both share same SSID on either of radios. Thus the WiFi roaming works automagically.
    I have yet to see the clients connecting to either 2.4GHz or 5GHz WLANs to appear on separate networks! Apple AirPorts are free of that sin.
    Indeed, the guest WLAN is a different story. By design.
     
  21. mtbdudex, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016

    mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #21
    The 5GHz network name is same as base name
    [​IMG]

    Clearly it's transmitting on 802.11ac now, and the system report also states it:
    [​IMG]

    And is this a bonus, the Guest network also transmits on 802.11ac ?
    [​IMG]

    What puzzles me is the system report seems not to sense the ac network, I don't see it in the other network wifi portion, only the connected one .... so what's up with that?
     
  22. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #22
    I have no idea why it is showing that way. At least we know it really is connecting over ac though.
     

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