Is the Airport Extreme slowed by other slower wired devices?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Reed Robins, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Reed Robins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    At present I have a D-link DI-514 router with 4 ethernet LAN ports and a WAN port, plus wireless.

    The router doesn't seem to work at all with wireless connections from a new Macbook I have, or a colleagues macbook. I also have a number of other computers connected (three macs and a PC) to the ethernet connectors, so I need all 4 LAN connectors. In practice the internet seems very slow on the wired computers even though speed tests show it to be quite quick. I'm blaming the D-Link right now, because my main internet computer is a G5 dual 2.0, and the other computer I go on the internet with is a intel quad.

    I want to buy an Airport Extreme, since I really need something that's going to work well with the wireless laptop. I'm also in a pretty high RF environment, in the sense that I can see at least 10-15 wireless networks when I look at what my macbook is detecting. I'm assuming (and hoping) the Airport will be the best choice for a good connection.

    What I was contemplating doing was connecting the WAN port of the D-Link to one of the three LAN ports to split that port, and connect it to the least active computers (a couple are just networked to share a keyboard and mouse, and aren't used for internet access).

    My question is this, will the D-link (which is slower - 10/100 base-t) slow down the other traffic on the Airport extreme?

    I know that in another post people said that mixing different wireless speeds caused a slowdown, but I'm wondering about mixing different hardwired speeds.

    I really appreciate any advice that could come my way on this.

    Thanks a million!

    -Reed
     
  2. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    I don't have a Dlink, but since wireless is based on standards, I'm going to speculate here that an Airport Extreme will not be any better for you.

    As for the rest of your post, I admit I don't quite understand what you intend to do. WAN port to LAN port -- which device to which?

    Have you tried changing wireless channel on the Dlink?
     
  3. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #3
    Not too sure what's wrong with your current router in terms of the speed on the wired ports.

    For the wireless, you might be getting interference from the other networks around you. 10-15 is enough to cause a problem. If two routers on the same frequency (and most are 2.4ghz, unless you have 802.11a/n which use 5ghz) are broadcasting on the same channel, you can have problems with your connection. This is probably what's happening to you. Check your router and try changing the channel. The most common channels are 6 and 11, so try something other than those since the networks around you are likely clogged up on those two channels.

    The Airport Extreme should help you out here. If you use the 802.11n network, you'll be on the 5ghz frequency which probably isn't as crowded as the 2.4ghz one is.
     
  4. Reed Robins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #4
    A diagram and some clarification

    Thanks for replying gsahli, I appreciate your kind help!



    I actually have played around a little with the settings on the D-Link re: the wireless, but haven't changed the channel. That'd be something to try. I'm new to wireless technology, in the sense that I've always trusted wires more, and haven't yet gotten used to it.

    I think the d-link has a different/older wireless standard than the airport (the d-link is IEEE b • IEEE 802.3 • IEEE 802.3u)

    At any rate, I did a little diagram of the connection that I have, and the connection that I'd create if I bought the airport which is attached to this post.

    With the wired connection on the current router, I have to refresh web pages several times per page to view them as they seem to get hung. It's really slow. Yet if I go to sites like http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ or speedtest.net the specs I see are great, with a cable modem.

    At present the wired part is most important, but I need some reliable connectivity as well on the wireless side, and I need good throughput between machines.

    Again thanks a million!

    -Reed
     

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  5. Reed Robins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #5
    Thanks Eric

    That's great information...yes it is 2.4 Ghz
     
  6. Eric1285 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    #6
    Forgot to mention that you might try updating the firmware on your router. It might fix some of your issues. I'm not that knowledgeable about networking settings within the router, but I've always found that a google search and some tinkering around will get you somewhere.

    I looked at your proposed setup and while it would work, I'm not a big fan of chaining together routers. Theoretically there shouldn't be much of an impact on performance, but in the real world you would probably see some sort of negative performance hit. I think you'd be better off using the three wired connections and connecting a fourth computer via 802.11n. That'll keep three of your computers wired, with the fourth using the fastest wireless connection possible. Moving into the 5ghz frequency should also help alleviate some of those wireless issues with all those other 2.4ghz networks in your area.

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    I think Eric made a good point about the N technology reducing interference. On the other hand, I think your proposed daisy-chained router idea will work, with minor changes. First, use the second router (old) as a wireless access point (and switch) only , by connecting the output of the Extreme to a LAN connector of the Dlink (WAN connector unused). In the Dlink setup, turn off DHCP server. Now the older wireless devices that connect through the Dlink will still get their IP address from the Extreme, and be in the same subnet (be able to talk to each other).
    Turn off 802.11b/g on the Extreme, and any computer that uses N will get good performance there. The old Dlink will support older computers with b/g.

    Someone did exactly this here on Macrumors or maybe on Macosxhints.
     
  8. Reed Robins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #8
    Great help thanks!

    I really appreciate these posts!

    I'll try that. Thanks a million!

    -Reed
     

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