Need to get a better signal (wifi) on the other end of the house

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Kurri, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Kurri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #1
    I have an airport extreme base station and need to extend the wifi to the other side of the house (signal is pretty weak on the other end of the house). would the airport express help with this? i'm pretty confused when it comes to networking, not my thing. any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    you can plug an airport express into any power outlet in the house, and it can extend your network. (it only needs to be connected to power, no ethernet)
    i would place it somewhere near the mid point of your house, if it's too far from the main base, it can't get a good signal to repeat.

    you do sacrifice some speed when you do this, but for internet browsing, you probably won't notice any difference. Traffic all on your network (like time machine backups, or moving files from one computer to another) will be slowed down.

    the speed drop is caused because the middle man has to spend half of it's time talking to the main base, and half of it's time talking to the remote computer.

    to do the initial set-up, i would run an ethernet cable from your laptop to the express. you can locate the express somewhere that makes it easy to do this, and then once it works, move it to the final location.
    *you can set up over wireless, but it's easier to recover from issues if you are wired.
    ** another option is wireless ethernet from extreme to the express, and the wireless from your laptop to the extreme.

    ----
    if speed is an issue, and you can run a ethernet cable to where you want to put the express (powerline networking is a viable option here) there are other ways to accomplish the same thing, that are a little more robust.
     
  3. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #3
    In my case it wasn't too hard to run an ethernet cable from my main router (a Time Capsule) to another wireless access point (an old Belkin unit--I would have used an Airport Express if I'd had one). This avoids the possible slow-down when extending wirelessly.

    In any case, whether you extend wirelessly or with an ethernet cable, you should set up the Airport Express with the same SSID, security settings (e.g., WPA2), and password as your Airport Extreme Base Station, but with a different channel.

    That way, when you start up your laptop or whatever, it will automatically connect to whichever access point has the stronger signal, which is great. However, keep in mind that if you now move locations so that you're closer to the other access point, it will not automatically connect to what is now the stronger signal. (You can turn Airport off then on to reconnect to the current strongest signal.)
     
  4. Kurri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
  5. Kurri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #5
    I have the older airport base station ( i think its the 5th generation). Would the new AirPort Extreme get me more coverage to the other end of the house? Its weird, my wifi bars on my mac says it has full coverage, but I really dont get the internet on that end. If i move the laptop about 15 feet I get internet really well. So I guess would Airport Extreme help?
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    Maybe,
    the newer extremes typically have better range. but there are too many chances for outside forces to mess with your signal

    do you have a cordless phone, baby monitor, or other similar wireless gear? those can operate in the same frequencies as wi-fi. try unplugging or moving them

    sometime moving your base station can help. Keen in mind that metal, and thick walls will block signal, so if the signal has to go through the kitchen (and through a refrigerator or a cabinet full of pans) it can cause problems.

    also the signal going through walls at steep angles makes the walls seem thicker.
    think about cutting a baguette, if you cut it straight up and down, you wind up with small pieces, but if you cut at an angle, you wind up with larger slices.
     
  7. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #7
    Doesn't matter if you use the same channel. I have 2x Extremes and 3x Expresses all on the same channel. They all work fine together and device connection is fine as I move around.
     
  8. Kurri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #8
    makes sense. thanks

     
  9. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Xhystos
    #9
    Can you use 5Ghz, then you will be immune to Baby Monitors and Wireless phones ? But, in the absence of these, 2.4Ghz will give you a longer range but a lower data rate at the same point (if you see what I mean)
     
  10. Kurri thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #10
    Yeah i see what you mean. I dont have a phone (besides 2 iphones in the house), no baby monitors or anything like that.
     
  11. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #11
    Thanks, I didn't know that. I guess I was repeating what I'd read in postings and what has worked for me. I should be more careful what I assert! Thx.
     
  12. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #12
    No problem. Try it, maybe it will fix your need to reconnect.
     
  13. kumquat macrumors regular

    kumquat

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #13
    Most cordless phones are DECT 6 unless they're ancient so interference from them is not an issue at all. I don't know anything about baby monitors. Microwaves can be a problem, though.

    I've found that, actually, the least logical place to put the Extreme has been the best one. I tried a million different places to get better signals because I'm in a very crowded neighborhood with a bunch of morons running their wifi (both 2.4 and 5 GHZ, visible and hidden) on channels 2 - 5 & 7 - 10 and then about two dozen on 1, 6 and 11 so it's a static nightmare over here. My house is an old 3 story brick victorian so running new ethernet wire is far from as simple as it is in those pre-fab drywall boxes. The Extreme placed in my 2nd floor front room study basically in cave of electronics on my desk turns out to be the best place for it as far as signal goes despite that making no sense whatsoever in terms of the layout of the house; the interference from the neighbors is such that the logical best place has become a dead zone. And my stone walled basement gets excellent coverage (both 2.4 and 5 GHZ) with none of the neighboring networks coming through at all; I wish it wasn't dank and unfinished and full of spiders down there.
     

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