Looking for some networking advice

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TonD, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. TonD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Hi all,

    I recently moved into a new condo and now that all the stuff requiring brushes, saws, hammers and screwdrivers has been done, I am looking at setting up my network. As I am no expert in this area (though capable enough to set something up with some well meant advices), I am searching for some hints.

    First let me tell you what I already got, and what I want.

    Today my 20 mbit ADSL2+ connection will be activated, and I will provided with some kind of modem with built in 4 port wired router and 54g WLAN. I don't know the brand or type, but I think they (the cheap crappy ones) are mostly the same so it shouldn't matter that much I think.

    Other than that I have a N-model AirPort Express laying around doing nothing (but I have a plan for that, anyway).

    The devices I am looking to connect, all via wifi, are the following:

    1) Windows 7/OSX86 HackPro
    2) iPhone 3G
    3) Apple TV
    4) Xbox 360
    5) Dell notebook (XP, work..)
    6) ACER Aspire One netbook


    1) shouldn't be a problem, as I will just get a decent USB/PCI N card for that machine.

    Some caveats are:

    - Device 2, 5 and 6 only support G, while I'd really like ('require') to sync with my ATV over N.
    - Xbox has no WIFI at all, so I either need some bridge or the ridiculously priced MS accesory (which basically is a Xbox 360 only bridge).

    The ATV, 360 (and soon bluray player I think) are in the same location in the living room.


    The AirPort Express I plan on putting in the main bedroom to stream music there via AirTunes.

    (if you have little time or patience, start reading here!!)


    Sooo, let me finally cut to the chase:

    1) what purchases do I need, if any, to get optimal wifi speeds, given the fact that I need both G and N networks. (I am thinking Airport Extreme)
    2) If I get AirPort Extreme, can I let my modem (see above) take care of the 54g band and let the AirPort Extreme operate exclusively in the fastest N-mode?
    3) If so, do I even need one of the newest dual-band models?
    4) What is the best way to bridge my Xbox 360 (and later BluRay player) into the network, 54G will be enough I think.
    5) Can my AirPort Express play any more active role in the above situation than just being an AirPort node?

    Thanks so much for any input! And sorry for making this so long, I tried to include all info I could think of...
     
  2. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #2
    If you need the Airport Express somewhere other than next to the provider-supplied modem/router, you'll need another base station, either Express or Extreme (or [gasp] non-Apple brand n router) that can connect to the modem/router via ethernet. There's no other way to get n speeds other than having an n router connected via ethernet to your internet source.

    Even if you have the option to have your modem next to where your Airport Express needs to be to stream Airtunes, I do not believe that it can be both the Airtunes source and an n router. It can be one or the other.

    I believe the Airport Extreme has a more powerful signal, and the n signal is known to degrade over much shorter distances than the b/g signal. I'd suggest, therefore, getting an Extreme base station to put next to the modem, connect it via ethernet to the modem and set it up in bridge mode (easily done via the Airport Utility) to be an n only network router. The modem will give you a b/g network, the Extreme will give you an n network and everything should be interconnected because the Extreme bridges to the modem/router.

    Your b/g devices will see only that network, while your n devices will see both. Connect your n devices to the n only network, and you're up and running at full speed, without slower devices polluting your n network.
     
  3. TonD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #3
    Thanks for your reply. This was pretty much what I was planning to do, although I wasn't sure about the ability to configure the AEBS as a bridge rather than router.

    Small change, I hope: I got my eyes on a decently priced (for European standards, that is) 500GB Time Capsule NOS (new old stock, aka in unopened packaging even though it's no longer in production): will this essentially do the same as the AEBS but add a 500GB backup solution in the process? It's the 2nd newest model, I mean the one that got replaced a week or 2 ago (Early 2009).
     
  4. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    As long as the TC has n-capability, you can use it exactly the same way as an Extreme base station. The suggested configuration still works, therefore. What it won't have, though, is the improved antennae of the latest model, so you might have trouble with the n network if there's a wide area to cover and/or lots of walls to go through.
     
  5. TonD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    Thanks again. After reading some more, I've decided against buying an almost-out-of-waranty Death Capsule ;)
     
  6. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    You don't have any Macs to backup so, unless you wanted the extra storage space provided by a TC, you only need an Extreme base station. That's $180 for the latest model as opposed to $300 for the smaller of the two latest TCs, and you get the improved broadcast range.
     
  7. TonD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #7
    Oh I forgot to mention that when I finish my current project (aka decorating the condo etc), I've set my eyes on a Core i5 iMac... buuuut, my faith in Time Capsule is kinda weak now (be it rightly so or not, the fact that I have little faith is enough to don't buy one).

    BTW, I was looking at 165 euro for a 2nd gen (but never used) 500GB TC. AirPort Extreme is 159 new shipped over here. I can always attach my 640GB USB disk that I don't use should I need some kind of NAS.
     
  8. TonD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    In a related question: what are common connection speeds possible with the AirPort Express (N model)? 'Cause I consider using the Express I already have to create my N-only network (connect it thru ethernet with my ADSL modem, which handles the G network) and get a 2nd (used) Apple TV to replace what I originally wanted to do with the Express (and more), eliminating the need for an AirPort Extreme...

    (Hope anyone can still follow me..)
     
  9. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #9
    Time Machine can use any connected HDD for backups. I have a TC (1TB, prior model), and it has been fine.
     
  10. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #10
    This would work, but the Express will likely have a pretty weak signal. You might want to try it first, before you get the ATV. It would suck to get it, and then find you need the extra power of the Extreme.
     
  11. TonD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #11
    Thanks once more. So I went out and bought me a Linksys WUSB600NE or something like that for my *cough* PC *cough*. Initially my Express reported a TX rare of 115 with the new Linksys and 78 with the :apple: TV.. Signal was great though. Then I realized it was on a/b/c/d/e/f/g/..n mixed mode, and put it on 5ghz and N instead.

    Now the TX rates are 270 for the Linksys and 120 for the :apple: TV. Still a bit disappointed with the TX rate for the TV. They are at approximately the same distance from the Express, albeit in a different direction. Also signal on the 5Ghz band is significantly worse than on the 2.4Ghz band.

    Next I will try to put it in N-only mode on 2.4Ghz and see what happens.

    Am I gonna see large speed improvements if I upgrade the Express to an Extreme, especially in the TX rate of the :apple: TV. Or is the ATV only capable of reaching, say, 150 mbit? If so I won't bother upgrading and settle for what I already have, cause I'm satisfied with the 270 for the Linksys right now...
     

Share This Page