Only getting connection speeds of 130 with new Airport Extreme on 802.11n at 5ghz

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by pup975, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. pup975, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013

    pup975 macrumors member

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    #1
    After reading the MacWorld review of the new Airport Extreme and how they got wifi connection speeds of 300 mbs with 802.11n at 5ghz when their older Macbook Airs were right next to the base station, I am now wondering why I can't achieve these speeds with my mid-2009 15" Macbook Pro and my 2011 11" Macbook Air.

    Both when I hold "option" then click the Wifi icon with the computers right next to the AE, I see that both are connected to the Airport Extreme with 802.11n at 5ghz but the transmit speeds top out at 130.

    My AE is using WPA2, and I've done both automatic channels as well as manually set the channels of the frequency bands.

    Any ideas on why I can't get the transmit speeds of 300 like Macworld did?
     
  2. azxr, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013

    azxr macrumors member

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    #2
  3. pup975 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    I actually mistyped. I am using WPA2 (as there isn't really a WEP2). Thanks for the link. The only thing on think of is that I do have an older iPhone 4s that shares the 802.11n but isn't 5ghz compatible. However, when I'm checking the speeds, the iPhone 4S isn't on. I do have another Airport Express and an older Airport Extreme connected to the new AE. I'm not sure if that's bringing it down or not, but I'm getting less than 1/2 of the throughput that I should be getting.

    How are you looking at your transmit rate? Are you doing the option click on wifi fan to see the transmit rate?
     
  4. azxr macrumors member

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #4
    Yes and getting 450 with my 2011 MPB. The new AE is my only access point.

    I thought if you extend your network with other routers you effectively half your speed because the routers need to communicate also.

    Perhaps an easy test is to temporarily turn off your other two devices and then reconnect your MBP and Air to the new AE and see what you get.

    For me I have seen drastic improvements moving from a tp-link 1043nd to the new AE. I go have two G devices hooked up to the AE. One is plugged into the Gigabit port and the other is connected on the 2.4 band. It doesn't seem to be slowing any of our devices down and I have 8 N devices connected and 1 G split between 2.4 and 5.
     
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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  6. pup975 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    So I tried to remove the old AE and the Airport Express and absolutely no change in the signal. I was getting transmit rates 130-145 with the wireless extended and with it not.

    The Wide Channel option is no longer an option with the newer versions of Airport Utility (6.3). I'm assuming that this "option" is turned on by default.

    Any other ideas?
     
  7. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    You are right! I'm still using my trusted APU 5.6 for most of the configuration changes.
     
  8. jenzjen macrumors 68000

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #8
    I don't know about then 11 air but the 09 MBP probably doesn't have the sufficient antennae array in the laptop to receive the 300 wide cast. I suspect the same issue for the air? Same reason my older iPads and iPhones connect at a slower wifi rate than my newer iPads and iPhones off the same wifi connection.
     
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Well, my Late 2008 Unibody MBP connected to AirPort Extreme with 300Mbps (5GHz, wide-band, ie. 40MHz bandwidth). So the antennae can't be a reason.
    The iOS devices are a different story. Their Wi-Fi (at least up to iPhone 5) is limited to 65Mbps only. Because of single-antenna, narrow-band (20MHz bandwidth) setup in 2.4MHz frequency band.
     
  10. pup975 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Out of curiosity for those that are getting 300 transmission rates, did you upgrade your new AE from an old AE with the wide channel setting activated? I'm wondering if this setting got transferred over if you had it set up with an old AE setting but if you didn't have this setting activated to start with, it won't allow you to do so now with Airport Utility 6.

    I tried downloading the old Airport Utility 5.6, but it won't let me install it now.
     
  11. pup975 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Actually, that was it! I found a post on the Apple Support site that details how to run Airport Utility 5.6 if you've already got 6.0+ above already installed. (Below are the instructions for anyone else having this issue.) Once I ran 5.6 and checked the wide channel option, I now get 300+ transmit speeds. Seems like this should have been activated by default, or at least this option should be reactivated as it doubles your speed when activated.

    Anyone know of why this would be disabled by default (or maybe it isn't and just was my settings that got transferred over)? Any disadvantages to having this turned on?


    Instructions:
    Note, it will tell you that 5.6 is not compatible with the new AE, but go ahead and proceed.
    1. Download the free application "Unpkg" unpkg-4.5.zip file here: http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/ (it should automatically unzip)
    2. Go to the "unpkg 4.5" folder in your downloads (or wherever you saved it) and drag the "unpkg" app into your Applications folder.
    3. Download Airport Utility 5.6.1 here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
    4. Go to the downloaded AirportUtility56 file and double click it to open the installer (AirportUtility will appear on your desktop).
    5. Double click on the AirportUtility dmg on your desktop (a new Finder window with the AirportUtility56.pkg will open).
    6. Open your new Unpkg application.
    7. Drag the AirportUtility56.pkg onto the Unpkg app window.
    8. A new folder, "AirportUtility56", will appear on your desktop
    9. Open the "AirportUtility56" folder and go to Applications > Utilities
    10. Drag "Airport Utility 5.6" into your Applications folder

    That's it. From now on you can open Airport Utility 5.6 to use it. I noted that Airport Utility 5.6 doesn't appear in Launchpad (likely due to the fact that it wasn't installed normally), so you have to open it from your Applications folder is all.
     

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