Little more Airport Extreme help please..2.5/5 dual channels

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by scooterguitar, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. scooterguitar macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2008
    If you'd be so kind my friends.
    I have it setup and working, best I explain...
    The basic network
    guest network
    and then the option 5ghz...(manual, wireless, wireless network options, check the 5ghz box.)

    Now all three come up as visible on imac and seemingly work. MY iphone doesn't get the 5ghz one as it isn't capable.

    My concerns/questions at this point...

    I basically want only my iMac to be able to access the 5ghz channel so when the older pc's in the house are connected to the network it doesn't slow my connection down. I am now on my 5ghz network. But this seems too easy, as if I am missing something. In all of my readings, I think I read that to separate the dual channels you can't enable the guest network, but I seem to have it set up this way...I'm scared I missed something!

    If indeed that is true, I have no problem resetting it up and not using a guest network (I will allow them to only use the slower band).

    I want only my iMac on the 5ghz (for now) so when the other are on it doesn't slow my connection.

    Hope this makes sense as to what I'm asking. I'm somewhat uncertain on such things, so please work me through any necessary changes.

    Appreciate your help in advance:)
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You don't need to disable your guest network. The two bands are separate and only share the same SSID by default. An older b/g computer connected to your 2.4GHz band will not affect speeds of any devices connected to the 5GHz band, though giving the 5GHz band a unique SSID will enable you to explicitly select which band to join. Just make sure the 5GHz band has a unique SSID in the Wireless Network Options section under the Wireless tab in AirPort Utility.

    Edit: About the guest network, I'm not sure if this is what caused the confusion, but if you need the guest network to support b/g devices, the 2.4GHz band must also support b/g devices. This is because it only has two radios and must use those radios to create all networks. You cannot have your Extreme set to 802.11 n only on the 2.4GHz band.
  3. scooterguitar thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2008
    Thank you! By SSID (told you I'm not tech literate), you mean the name? If so, yes basically that name is the same as my other but it added the 5GHZ after the name. Is this fine?

    I didn't see an option for assigning a separate password for the 5GHZ option though, so both of our main networks (Scott Network and Scott Network 5GHZ) use the same password. This ok? or will all computers connected to either at the same time slow down the faster 5ghz connection?

    I do have a different password for the guest network (will be used by young teens and I'd like to setup restricted times for that here come the school year!) I'll tackle that later.

    The manual setup box for the 5ghz one: I am clueless as to if they are correct and what they do?
    5ghz network name checked
    multicast rate=low
    transmit power=100%
    wpa group key timeout=1

    use wide channels is checked
    closed network unchecked

    All that look correct?

    So, with my settings...if people are using the guest or "scott Network" it WILL NOT slow down my imac that is connected wifi to the "scott network 5ghz"...right? Though I do understand the more bandwidth being eaten up issues.

    I ask because sometimes with our old router that only went up to g, it seemed like the imac I wanted the best connection would really start slowing down because of a few computers old wireless cards :<(

    I "think" all is well by reading your response skorpien, but just double checking that I'm understanding things clearly:eek:
    Thanks so much!
  4. scooterguitar thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2008
    Ok, one more ? to add the the preceding post..

    When my computer times out or goes to sleep and then auto connects to the regular network, not the 5ghz one that I had previously selected. Any clue what's happening?
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    My apologies, yes by SSID I meant the network name. Unfortunately with the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, both bands use the same password, but this will not affect connection speeds of devices. I think this is also the reason why computers will connect to the 2.4GHz network as opposed to the 5GHz network despite both having unique names. My computer does that as well occasionally.

    What I've done to try and counteract this (although it's not foolproof) is to place my 5GHz network at the top of my preferred networks list. Open AirPort Utility, select AirPort and click on Advanced... Select your 5GHz network and drag it to the top. You can also try deleting the 2.4GHz network and password from your list of Keychain passwords (open Keychain Access from your Utilities folder), but it seems that it will still connect to the 2.4GHz network if it cannot connect to the 5GHz network first regardless as has been my experience.

    How far is your Extreme from your Mac? It might be that the 5GHz network is not strong enough at all times and that's why it's defaulting to the 2.4GHz one. You may just have to get into the habit of making sure the 5GHz network is connected after you wake up your computer from sleep though. Hopefully they fix this issue in Lion.

    PS - All your settings are fine to me. You've set it up correctly.
  6. scooterguitar thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2008
    OK, thanks...good to know and makes sense.
    Yea, the base station is a considerable distance away from my main computer, about 3 rooms away actually. Next time I have provider out for something I think I'll have them actually put an extra ethernet cable direct to my iMac.
    Thanks for all the help!
  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're quite welcome!

    The distance is probably the culprit in your case. Although you get faster speeds out of the 5GHz frequency, it cannot travel through walls and other obstacles as well as the 2.4GHz frequency. Wired Ethernet would definitely be better in my opinion and should give you better speeds as well.

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