MBP/Airport Extreme users, I have a question regarding bandwidth

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jsilas, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. jsilas macrumors regular

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    #1
    I am currently chasing down an issue with my wireless network that I'm quite stumped by.

    My configuration is as follows: Cisco cable modem > Cisco/Linksys Wireless Router (WRT310N) (Wireless clients connect here obviously) > Netgear ProSafe Gigabit switch > Wired clients (desktop PCs, PS3, XBOX, etc).

    When I run a speed test on my wired system(s), I achieve consistent 60Mbps down and ~3Mbps up speeds. I'm reasonably happy with that. I get these same results whether plugging into the modem directly, the router ports, or the switch.

    When I run a speed test on my wireless system(s) (including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Dell Precision M4300), I get results between 9Mbps and 11Mbps.

    The Dell is Wireless G and the two MacBooks are Wireless N, and as stated, the router/WAP is Wireless N.

    I cannot for the life of me figure out why there'd be such a drastic reduction in throughput on the wireless clients. The ONLY theory I've come to is that possibly the MacBooks use a different implementation of N (it's STILL not standardized is it?) than the Cisco/Linksys router, but that doesn't explain why the Dell would be affected.

    I've searched and searched, but haven't found examples of bandwidth users have gotten with current-gen MacBook Pros/Airs mated to Airport Extreme base stations. I'd love some examples here if possible.

    Any of you guys have thoughts on this? Things I can try? I've already done the basic stuff - minimizing interference by moving base station, etc. Nothing seems to help and I'm lost. Willing to buy Airport Extreme but want reasonable evidence that it will help in my situation.
     
  2. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #2
    My best guess is that the Dell is the 'culprit' as it does not support n. The router might go to g. The Airport Extreme does not slow down if not all devices support n as far as I know but I am not familiar with your router model. Have you tried if shutting down the Dell makes a difference? How far away is the router and are there any thick walls blocking the signal?
     
  3. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Dell is offline 99% of the time ( it's a work computer and I rarely use it at home ). It was off for the majority of the time I've been troubleshooting this issue.

    I have relocated the router from it's previous location, but results are the same even if I'm sitting right next to the router with no competing devices around.
     
  4. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #4
    In that case I might try a different router. I'm using an Airport Extreme and get the same speed through Ethernet cable and wireless on my MBP, although the connection is not nearly as fast as yours.
     
  5. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Very interesting - this is the type of information I was hoping to obtain in this thread.

    So you're seeing the same throughput on Wi-Fi as you do on Ethernet huh? What speeds are you seeing? Is your Wi-Fi > 10Mbps?
     
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #6
    I would take the dell off line and set the cisco to accept 5 GHz N clients only (if your hardware supports that), then see if you don't get good speeds.
     
  7. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Agreed, and thought of this already. The Dell was only powered up long enough to run a test with it.

    As for the router, I did test setting it to only Wireless-N (no change in results) but can't test setting to 5GHz, the router doesn't appear to support that band; all the options appear to only support 2.4GHz. This is one operative reason why I'm considering purchasing an Airport Express. If it can talk to the MBP/MBA on 5GHz channel, maybe that'd help? I don't know - you're supposed to be able to get equivalent bandwidth on N in the 2.4GHz band. And even if not full Wireless-N bandwidth, I should AT LEAST be achieving good Wireless-G throughput, on the order of 54Mbps....

    /sigh :confused:
     
  8. Eddyisgreat, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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  9. MacBird, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I only have a 6 MB connection but used to have a different router and the connection speed was not as stable as with the Airport Extreme. Maybe someone else with a fast connection can pitch in.

    The good thing about the Extreme is that it does not fall back to g if one device does not support n and I also got an Airport Express as an extender for the area that is farther away.

    I might just get the Airport Extreme base station and try if it makes a difference. If there is still a significant speed drop, I would think that you could return it without restocking fee.
     
  10. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    You're probably right, and this is the direction I've been going. I just wanted to ask around before going through the hassle of driving all the way to the Apple store, buying the router, hooking it up, then if nothing changes, returning it back to Apple. It's a hassle I don't want to deal with unless I have good reason.

    Thanks much for your input... I appreciate it greatly.
     
  11. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Screen shots of what? The speedtest.net results? The router config?

    What good are screen shots? I are confused :eek:
     
  12. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #12
    sorry, I'll put them here:


    802.11n 5GHz
    [​IMG]

    802.11n 2.4GHz
    [​IMG]

    Wired
    [​IMG]

    Strange results...i'll need to check my config lol.

    HW: MBP 2010 17", Airport Extreme, Distance of 5 feet, wired is Gigabit Cat6 all the way to the modem.
     
  13. Brawne macrumors newbie

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    San Francisco
    #13
    The main advantage of moving from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz is that there is less interference. If you can, run a test with something like iSumbler to see what other WiFi devices are in your neighbourhood, and what channels and frequencies they are using, then try and move to something less congested.
     
  14. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    VERY interesting. So my wired speed looks similar to yours, though slightly higher (60Mbps) but my wireless speeds are rubbish compared to yours.

    What's interesting and confirming for me is that your 2.4GHz and 5GHz performance is virtually identical, which is what I expected was possible.

    So the real question or issue must lie with my router's WLAN somehow, though I cannot comprehend what would be the issue.

    Can you share your security measures with me, just so I can make a reasonable comparison? I'm using WPA2, and an exclusive MAC address filter. I can't imagine this is slowing me down, but I guess it's possible... do you use similar security measures?
     
  15. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I let the Airport Extreme choose the channel automatically, it's pretty neat not to have to tinker with settings all the time.
     
  16. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Good point here - I've thought a lot about interference from neighbors and what not - I do have lots of houses close to my own.

    Perhaps I will make the purchase of the Airport Extreme - seems 5GHz might be worth the move.
     
  17. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #17
    Same.
     
  18. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Hm... even more interesting. So you're using an MBP and Airport Extreme, same security measures, same ISP, and ****, even the same geographical location as me. Sounds like I need to go buy an Airport Extreme.

    One more question - do you essentially leave your AE in auto mode? I mean, do you force it into certain modes or just leave it basically like it came out of the box (with the obvious exception of security measures)?
     
  19. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #19
    Nope. Full auto in my book causes issues. The only thing that I don't have control over is what IP address guest wireless clients get (though it's in a certain range).

    Otherwise everything else is manual. Both 5 ghz and 2.4 ghz channels, radio mode is 5GHz n 'only' and 802.11b/g/n 2.4 'only' (basically no 802.11a clients), 10% transmit power, hidden ssid, etc.
     
  20. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Well, it looks like I'm going to Bellevue Square tomorrow to pick up a new Airport Extreme.

    Thank you very much for all the help - if by some twist of circumstance we end up meeting in real life, I'd like to buy you a beer for the help.

    Thanks again.
     
  21. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Today brought a trip to Bellevue Square Apple Store where I picked up a new Airport Extreme. Got everything hooked up and configured, and what do you know - I'm seeing ~60Mbps speeds over Wi-Fi - speeds equivalent with my wired connections.

    I'm very pleased - thanks again to Eddyisgreat for the help and for all who commented on this thread!
     
  22. MacBird macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Good to hear that it was an easy solution. Enjoy the fast speed. :)
     
  23. jsilas thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Thanks for the help - it's much appreciated. :D
     
  24. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #24
    np. glad you made it out alive. I bet bellevue square was a mess. It always is. :D
     

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