Mixing old and new Airport

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sigmund, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Sigmund macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #1
    Could anybody share some knowledge about mixing old and new macs and Airport base stations?

    At home I have a PowerBook with 802.11b and an iMac with 802.11g. They are served by an 802.11g-capable Airport Express for LAN, Internet and AirTunes. Now I'm about to add a MacBook and a Time Capsule, both with 802.11n.

    What is the best configuration to connect all this at the best possible speed and not loose functionality?

    • Most important is that the MacBook(n) communicates with the Time Capsule at n-speed without being slowed down by the PowerBook(b) or the iMac(g).
    • The Airport Express(g) is still needed for AirTunes.
    • All machines need Internet access.
    • It's OK if the MacBook(n) has to change logical base station to perform different tasks (Internet, LAN, AirTunes) at optimal speed.
    • I have heard that the 5 GHz band has difficulties to pass through walls. How bad is it? How do you notice if it has problems: does the speed decrease, or does the connection suddenly disappear?

    Please share any knowledge or experience that you may have! Thank you.
     
  2. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #2
    The most simple solution is to set up your G and N networks as separate networks with separate encryption codes. Then only the G or lower speed devices will connect to the Airport Express and only the N speed devices will connect to the Time Capsule.

    If you are buying a new Time Capsule then it's dual band and will give you everything you need with the exception of the air tunes. You could set all of your computers to join the Time Capsule for internet, sharing, wireless printing, etc. and just use the express for the sole purpose of air tunes.
     
  3. Sigmund thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #3
    Nice. And how is the Airport Express connected? Is it wireless, cable to the Time Capsule, or cable to the ADSL modem?
     
  4. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #4
    I don't own an express, but as I understand it for airtunes you would use it wireless to connect to your stereo system. With the goals you have stated I don't see any reason to connect it in a wired manner to your network since the Time Capsule is dual band.
     
  5. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Proof that searching the forums yields answers. :D

    I am currently using an older Airport Express, and I'm planning on buying a Time Capsule to go with the new MBP that I just ordered. Once I set up Time Capsule, I'll still want to use the Airport Express for AirTunes.

    It looks like, from mscriv's comments, my solution is to set up the Time Capsule as my internet network for my new MBP, my MB, my wife's crappy Dell, and my iPhone 3GS, and to set up the Airport Express as a separate wireless network strictly for AirTunes for the MBP.

    When using the dual band Time Capsule, I'm assuming that there won't be any slow-down when using a mix of N and G devices. Is that correct?
     
  6. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    As I understand it the lack of slowdown is the primary feature of having a dual band device. N is backwards compatible with G, but when a G device connects to a N network the entire network is slowed down because of that connection. Having dual independent signals, N & G, enables devices to connect to the appropriate network with no slow down. Of course, as with all networks, the system will only do what the user sets it up to do. So remember to set all G speed devices to connect to the G network and all N speed devices to connect to the N network. Oh, and don't forget security as well. Keep us posted on how it turns out.
     

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