Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
I bought my 6th Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A) October-2014.
Specs listed like this
  • Ultrafast 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Reach data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps. compatible with devices using the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac specifications.
  • Simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi support
  • New 6.6-inch height with smaller 3.85-inch base
  • 6 antennas located at the top allows for a faster and more powerful connection

I've setup my network and just "used it" for 1 1/2 years now
WiFi%252520airport%252520utility.jpg


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?

WiFi%252520connection.jpg
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
Did you go into the "Wireless Options" and turn on the AC with a slightly different name then the N network SSID?

Yes, it's got the "5GHz" appended to the end of it ......
WiFi%252520airport%252520utility%2525205ghz.jpg


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

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
This looks like Apple's older 5G flat router setup!

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 .....
amazon%252520order%252520Oct-23-2014.jpg
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
34,230
15,822
California
I bought my 6th Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A) October-2014.

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?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,547
4,454
Delaware
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weaselboy

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,879
2,089
DFW, TX
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.
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
^^^
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
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,879
2,089
DFW, TX
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mtbdudex

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
34,230
15,822
California
^^^
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
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.
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
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.
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.
[doublepost=1455782559][/doublepost]
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.

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
logHomeLoft%252520wifi.jpg
.

"LogHomeLoft 5GHz" network is 802.11 ac
logHomeLoft%2525205GHz%252520wifi.jpg


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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weaselboy

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
34,230
15,822
California
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.

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.
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
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.
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.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
34,230
15,822
California
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.
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mtbdudex

priitv8

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2011
4,049
642
Estonia
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.
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.
 
Last edited:

mtbdudex

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 28, 2007
2,713
4,334
SE Michigan
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.

The 5GHz network name is same as base name
Wireless%252520Network%252520name.jpg


Clearly it's transmitting on 802.11ac now, and the system report also states it:
LogHomeLoft%252520802.11ac.jpg


And is this a bonus, the Guest network also transmits on 802.11ac ?
Guest%252520Network%252520802.11ac.jpg


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?
 
Last edited:

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
34,230
15,822
California
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?

I have no idea why it is showing that way. At least we know it really is connecting over ac though.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.