Roaming Network: AE Gen 6 + Gen 5 or 6?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Kimcha, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Kimcha macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I want to extend my wifi. Currently I have a Airport Extreme Gen 6 (Tower) in my living room, but some of the further rooms have no reception. I have put a cat 6 cable through the walls into one of those further rooms and now I want to connect an additional Airport Extreme to extend the WiFi.

    I have read Apple's documentation here.

    My question is, should I get a second airport, which is a refurb gen 6 for $160 or a second hand gen 5 for $90?

    I would like the network to be as transparent as possible and have both airports use the same SSID in order to avoid reconnecting and having to decide which airport to connect to.

    The main question for me is:
    If the second one is a gen 5, would AC capable devices still get AC speed when they are closer to the 6gen airport?

    Greetings, Kim
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    Yes. Clients connected to the 6th gen. would still be capable of AC speeds. That being said, you can get a 6th gen. here for $129.
     
  3. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #3
    Good question. I think Apple is using passive roaming, where the decision to change access points is up to the device. In that case, I think You should have no issues. Because 802.11 is a layer 1 and layer 2 protocol, the connection speed will be negotiated directly between the access point and device when it changes connection. It's basically like unplugging an Ethernet cable from a gigabit port and plugging it into a 100mbit port elsewhere or, in your case, the other way around.
     
  4. Kimcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #4
    Thanks guys - it all makes sense.

    @Altemose
    I am in HK and the refurb Airport costs $160 here :(

    I will think a little more about it. It's for my gf's parent's house, so the decision will be up to them.

    Greetings, Kim
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5
    @Kimcha Either way the roaming network will work great!
     
  6. bahamallama macrumors member

    bahamallama

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #6
    If you hardwire an airport express it'll extend your network. I have 2 setup like this hardwired back to airport express, and I can roam freely through out my entire property and not drop. Plus the airport expresses are cheaper and if it's near a speaker source you can also steam music to them as well.

    d
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    While the Expresses are great APs and will work perfectly, they lack a Gigabit Ethernet port and thereby limit the potential bandwidth to 100 Mbps.
     
  8. bahamallama macrumors member

    bahamallama

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    #8
    Another good point! But a cost savings if you don't mind the speed issue.

    d
     
  9. Kimcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #9
    Thanks for the suggestion, but yeah, we have 300mbit here and I also want to connect a HDD to that second AE for backups.
     

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