Optimized combination airport extreme-express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Jazzman25, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Jazzman25 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #1
    I'm sure that my question was covered before, but after reading numerous posts and articles elsewhere, I still don't find an exact answer to my problem.

    I have a cable internet connection. My modem is in our garage on the ground floor (and cannot be moved). I have been using an Airport extreme installed at my office on the first floor (needed it there to connect a printer and a hard disk to share across the network). The Airport Extreme was connected to the modem via a CPL unit.

    Last month, my internet connection was upgraded to 30MB. When testing the actual connection on my computers I got a slower connection. I isolated the problem to the CPL unit. When connecting my base station directly to the modem, i enjoyed the full speed on the wireless connection.

    To remove the CPL, I bought yesterday an Airport Express. I set it up as an extension to my Extreme's wireless network (the Extreme now moved downstairs to the garage), and connected it in my office to the printer. Upstairs with my iMac the result is perfect and I still have my full connection. Downstairs with my macbook however the connection is now much than it was before.

    Is it possible that the Express is actually slowing down the wireless connection in certain parts of my house. What would be the optimal setup between the units in my case?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    I'm guessing you have the Express and the Extreme setup with Extend Network thing. When using this any computer that connects to the remote base station gets half of the full speed. Its a limit on how the system works.
     
  3. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    - If you don't have b/g devices, make the network n-only. Disable the 2.4GHz band or make the devices connect only to a different 5GHz network, by using a separate SSID. This avoids the interferences in the crowded 2.4 GHz band.

    - If you don't have b/g devices on the Express, put the Express in 5GHz mode, give a different SSID to the 5GHz, and make n devices connect to this SSID.

    - If you have b/g devices on the Express, but not on the Extreme, put the Express in 2.4GHz mode. If you have segregated n devices for the Extreme and the Express, give a different SSID to the 5GHz, and use the SSIDs correspondingly on the n devices. If you have n devices that can connect to both stations, use only 1 SSID or choose the network manually every time.

    - Play with the stations' power levels.
     
  4. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #4
    I've done more testing and it is clear that adding the Express is slowing down my wireless connection. Looks like the Extreme alone in my garage gives me enough wireless speed in the house.

    So my only problem is that I need to to connect the printer upstairs as well as my VOIP adapter. Perhaps I should use the proxySTP setup described elsewhere? Or maybe wire the Express to the extreme using the CPL and set it up as a seperate access point?

    I do have a couple of G devices in the house. I can perhaps set them on the Express and keep the Extreme on N alone for my computers (both Macs with wireless N)?
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    The Express is not simultaneous.

    Maybe move the Express downstairs and extend with the Extreme for the rest of the house?
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    if you have the express join the network instead of extend it, you won't see the speed drop.

    the only time you want to use wireless extending is if there are no other options.
    sounds like your house is already covered, so no need to use it.
     
  7. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #7
    How do I configure that?
     
  8. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #8
    If you use the Express in client mode instead of extending, it's only for connecting a printer or audio equipment.
     
  9. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #9
    I just tested with joining the wireless network and I still have the speed drop...
    Original question stays...:confused:
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #10
    - Send the Express downstairs.
    - Upstairs with the Extreme, assign a separate SSID for the 5GHz band and have your n devices only connect to this network.
     
  11. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #12
    Do I need a wired connection between the Extreme and the Express? I assume I assign the N only on the Extreme?
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
    First question, what's wrong with using only the Extreme?
     
  13. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #14
    My cable modem is downstairs (and cannot be moved). I need to connect wired devices upstairs in my office (a USB printer that I share using the Extreme) and a VOIP ATA box that requires a wired connection. I tried connecting the Exreme upstairs to the modem downstairs using a Devolo CPL 200, but I lost speed in the process (I did various tests and it became clear that I get my max connection speed on wireless if the Extreme is connected directly to the modem).
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    Ah, OK, the office printer.

    I'm not sure if an Extreme that is extending can use 2 SSIDs.

    If so,

    - Make the Express your main router in the basement @ 5GHz.
    - With the Extreme in the office, extend with WDS this 5Ghz network (the same SSID as the Express, but different from 2.4GHz)
    - Set all your n devices to connect only to the 5GHz SSID.

    The Express is put in 5Ghz to avoid the b/g devices to choke the internet connection.
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #16
    No, there are very limited options when extending a network.

    I think maybe the best that you can do is:

    - Leave the Extreme in the basement, and assign different SSIDs to the 2 bands
    - Assuming no b/g devices need speed, extend with the Express @ 2.4 GHz
    - Setup all your n devices to connect only to the 5GHz SSID
     
  16. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #17
    How can I assign different SSIDs to 2 bands on the Extreme. Can't see the option on Airport Utility. Am I missing something?
     
  17. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #18
    The Wireless Network Options button in the Wireless tab.
     
  18. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #19
    Not on my airport utility. Looking at Apple's documentation, the option is indeed described, maybe it was available on previous versions (I'm using 5.5.1).
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
  20. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #21
    I'm assuming all along that you have a Simultaneous Dual Band model. Is it?
     
  21. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #22
    Indeed this seems to be the problem. I have an Airport Extreme N (Gigabit Ethernet). I can select the following radio modes:

    Wireless N (b/g compatible) - the one selected currently
    N only (2.4 GHZ)
    N (a compatible)
    N only (5 GHZ).

    Is it the older model i.e. not Simultaneous Dual Band model?
     
  22. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #23
    The first Simultaneous Dual Band (that's the name) came out in March 2009. In October they improved it.
     
  23. Jazzman25 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    #24
    I definitely have the older model. Is there any other solution. After lots of testing this weekend, I'm tempted to get rid of the airport Express and going back to my old setup....
     
  24. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    Well, WDS is a g technology. If you already tried *extending* the network instead of WDS, I don't know what is left to do.

    It seems to me that the only reason to setup WDS is to have another DHCP server in the remote.
     

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