New Airport Express question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by PieMac, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    I have three Macs in my household: a new 24" iMac and a new MacBook Pro-both Core duo 2 and an older iMac circa 2001. All are currently configured on a wireless network with the current generation Airport Extreme base station and an Airport Express that is set up via WDS to stream music and extend the range.

    I planning on purchasing the new Airport Extreme-of course, the new Macs will utilize the new 802.11n speed capabilities, but the older one is the one that's going to be the fly in the ointment as it's a 802.11b. If I hardwire the older iMac to the Airport base via ethernet, rather than set it up to connect wirelessly, will this still diminish the overall speed of my network? Or does it only affect it if it's wireless?

    Too, factoring in the airport express-will this also slow down the speed of the entire network? Is there a work around?

    Thanks for any and all help!
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    First, think of your network as a hybird network. there is one section that is wired and the section that is wireless. on the wireless side there is are factors that will determine the real speed of the connection including distance, interference, number of user connected to the the wireless router.

    wired networked speed depeds on wired link speed, if you are using a switch or hub, type of switch (ie enterprise class cisco or a soho switch), and number of users.

    since your network is small I don't think it will make much difference. your internet connectivity will remain the same unless you have a fiber connection with a big pipe. You will never use all the bandwidth to pull from the internet. The thing is if you are doing large file transfer between macs from wired to wireless all those factors come into play, plus the fact that 802.11n should be faster than 100 Mb if all the condition are meet. However, your hard drive won't be able to write as fast you can transfer data across the network. In otherwords, you are going to OK. Anything else you do on your network won't take up all the bandwidth.
  3. Patronus macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2007
    802.11n (or any suffix) is a wireless spec only, so if you wire your older unit it should not slow down the wireless-connected ones.
  4. PieMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    That's what I thought...I did hard wire it and the network does seem a bit faster.

    The only continual glitch will be my airport express, although I understand that you can configure two different networks-a "g" and an "n"...although it may not really be necessary per superbovine.
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    If you setup two networks then you will have to switch between them to use the functions of the Airport Express. If you're not doing file transfers or streaming HD over the wireless connection then you probably won't notice the difference between G and N.
  6. PieMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    Good point...and that could be a big hassle. I will, however, be transferring files as I'll be doing regular back-ups to my external HD which will be connected to the new Airport Extreme and utilizing the Airport Disk feature...having multiple Macs in the household, this is something I'm really excited about.

    I might use my older iMac as my iTunes music station only and that way I wouldn't have to switch back and forth. Also, if the range is much improved as they say it will be, hopefully I won't need the AExp anymore to extend my range and can use it just to stream music.

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