Paid to downgrade my wireless?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by garfield81, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. garfield81, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    garfield81 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    So having read great reviews I decided to upgrade my 6 year old WRT54G (flashed with DD-WRT) to the 5th Gen Airport Extreme and get on the N bandwagon.

    Now just for comparison I decided to do the speakeasy speedtest on the MBP beofre the switch and with the DD-WRT I managed to get 21MB down and 6 MB up which sounds about the max on my cable.

    Then I switch it out and put in the Airport Extreme and configured it and ran the speakeasy speedtest again. This time the test comes in at 4MB down and 4MB up. I figure there must be a burn-in period for the extreme so I try the test a little while later and I get 5MB down and 4MB up.

    Not satisfied with the results I try to go in the Manual setup and see what else I could change. The channels were set to automatic as recommended and I did see a box to put the 5Ghz network name. I do that and create a new SSID for the 5Ghz and have my MBP join the new SSID. Re-ran the network test and now I get 14MB down and 5MB up.

    Didn't have a chance to play around more with it but I am sure I am doing something wrong or did I just pay a lot of cash to downgrade my wireless? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    EDIT: I have tried downloading a few of the wireless range finding apps on Lion and they all quit unexpectedly. I tried AirGrab, iStumbler and AP Grapher. Does anyone know of a version that works with Lion?
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    alt click on the airport icon in your menu bar, it will give you the transmit rate. (at least this works in snow leopard)

    top rate for N is 270, top for B is 54, that should give you a clue as to what network you're connected to, it will also show the channel you're using, which will give you another clue.

    for the 21 number, i'm assuming you mean Mb/s not MB/s. (megabit and megaByte, 1megaByte= 8 megabits). most speeds are reported in Mb, so the numbers are bigger even though the speeds are the same.

    21 Mb/s = 2.6 MB/s
    which is a really good connection.

    also things to keep in mind.
    *there are several flavors of N, the fastest is 5GHz with wide channels.

    * 5GHz doesn't go through things (like walls) as well as 2.4GHz, so you're going to get less range.

    * what time of day did you do the test? if you got the 21 mid-afternoon, the the 14 in the evening, that would be understandable, cable modems are a shared system, so as your neighbors get home from work, and everyone on the block starts checking facebook, and watching cat videos on you tube at the same time, your connection is going to slow down.
  3. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    All sorts of things can make a difference. First off, if your on cable.. the time of day can make a huge difference as your bandwidth is shared with everyone else on their service in your neighborhood.

    As to specifically the AES. Wireless N will loose 50 to 70% of it's strength (which effects speed) passing thru one normal wall made of sheetrock and studs.

    You can change some things like the Multicast rate, channel (to avoid interference with nearby wifi routers) and the basic stuff like where it sits in your home. Is the router tucked into a cabinet or behind something etc...

    Unless your doing large file transfers on your home network, or have greater than 50mbit home cable G will get the job done and give you higher "internet" speeds for most normal usage.

    "N" sells routers... speed, range etc... well as always there is a tradeoff. Best case for N is direct line of site to the router, under 30 or 40 feet. Wireless G and 2.4Ghz travels thru walls and floor better than 5Ghz N all day long.

    This is no different than why my AT&T iPhone has great indoor reception as it's using a 700Mhz radio vs a VZW iPhone that maybe using a 2100Mhz radio. To put it into simple terms, lower number = flatter wave length.. hits a wall and a low angle. Higher (2100Mhz) wave is a taller wave, that can hit a wall and basically bounce off vs penetrate.

    That maybe a bit over simplified but will give you an idea of what your dealing with. Good Luck/

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