Slow AirPort Extreme - Any Ideas?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BurntWaffle88, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. BurntWaffle88, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    BurntWaffle88 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Hey guys,

    So I'm experiencing some slow internet issues. There are a number of possibilities but I want to make sure I've done everything I can to make it go as fast as it can.

    Firstly let me point out that I live with 4 other people, 3 who use PC's and the other guy a Macbook Pro. The AEBS (2nd Gen) is downstairs and can't be moved anywhere else in the house. Two PC users live downstairs, I'm on the second floor with my iMac running Leopard (all software up to date) my friend on the Macbook Pro is next door to me and there's another PC user on the third floor (attic).

    So I've taken into consideration that the phone, TV, walls and floors will prevent me (2nd floor) from having a very fast signal.

    But I just want to make sure I can get the most out of it, from where I am.

    So I've got the AEBS set up on 802.11g only which seems to be one of the only radio modes that my PC users can connect to. Channel 11, Multicast 9 Mbps and I'm using Interference Robustness. Sound good or should I change some of those it was originally on the lowest you Multicast 802.11g will allow which is 6Mbps, but I thought I'd change it to 9 and see what happens - nothing really.

    As you can see from my attachment (my iMac is the black line, my housemate who lives downstairs near the router is the yellow line) my signal is very inconsistent as opposed to his who's very consistent.

    iStumbler is saying I have around 33% Signal with 13% Noise.

    Oh and I saw a post to do with MTU on the iMac Airport (under ethernet preferences) and if you set it at 1452 it fixes a somewhat slow connection, for me it's made no difference, so I put it back to standard 1500.

    My Airport on my iMac has full bars of signal. So I am a little confused.

    I like to stream BBC iPlayer, 4oD and watch YouTube videos, but they stop and buffer quite a lot which makes it annoying and sometimes impossible to watch the shows.

    So is there any suggestions you guys have which may make my internet signal more healthy? Taking into account the walls, floors, doors, TV and phone is there anything I can do, or is my signal fairly good considering all of those problems?

    Any help would be fantastic.

    Thank you!

    EDIT: Interestingly my PS3 which is situated right next to my iMac, seems to be getting a better signal at 42% any idea why that might be?

    Attached Files:

  2. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Since you appear to connect at 54Mbit/s, and AirPort is showing full signal, your connection to the router is looking good (unless you experience dropouts). You could try to disable interface robustness, but other than that there is not much you can do.

    My guess is that the sharing with four others is the culprit, you are all competing for a limited amount of bandwidth (both for local wireless and Internet).

    Are you the only one experiencing slowness?
  3. BurntWaffle88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Nope, I used to have dropouts with the old router, but no connection timeouts or dropouts, the AEBS has been fantastic for that.

    I think my housemate downstairs, she doesn't use the net that much but she said it was about 38% on her PC.
    My other Mac buddy, next door to me, I think his net is similar to mine (as we are situated next to each other on the 2nd floor). And my housemate in the attic doesn't really go on the net because she's too far out of range, she can get on it but it's weak signal. I thought an AEBS would be fine for the whole house, but I guess it depends on how thick walls are and if there's any devices interfering.

    Thanks for your help though.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?
  4. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Forget the signal numbers for a while. The percentages aren't all that important.

    You are complaining about "experiencing some slow internet issues", right? So, let's start with the basics:

    How fast is your Internet connection supposed to be?
    How much throughput do you actually get? You could try for example.
  5. BurntWaffle88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Just performed a speedtest and the results were:

    Ping: 51 ms
    Download Speed: 0.43 Mbps
    Upload Speed: 0.33 Mbps

    I don't actually know how fast my net should be, I tried to call up my ISP, but because I'm not the account holder, they won't tell me any information. My housemate who's the account holder doesn't know either.
  6. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Well, whatever speed your ISP is delivering, it is probably faster than that at least. Unless someone is running P2P or something at the same time... One or more heavy Internet users is usually the cause in situations like yours.

    If you have ruled that out, would it be possible for your friend with the MacBook Pro for example to run speed tests both upstairs and downstairs, closer to the router for comparison? A test run while connected to the AEBS by wire could be very helpful as well, if it is possible.
  7. BurntWaffle88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Ok so I used Speedtest for all these results:

    MacBook upstairs (next to my iMac)

    Ping: 17 ms

    Download Speed: 9.73 Mbps

    Upload Speed: 1.02 Mbps

    MacBook downstairs (opposite AEBS in living room)

    Ping: 25 ms

    Download Speed: 9.71 Mbps

    Upload Speed: 1.02 Mbps

    MacBook connected via ethernet cable to AEBS

    Ping: 15 ms

    Download Speed: 8.54 Mbps

    Upload Speed: 1.00 Mbps

    Don't know if it makes much difference but the MacBook is running Snow Leopard and my iMac is running Leopard.
  8. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Well, that certainly suggests that the signal is completely adequate in your room, that's good.

    What model is your iMac?
    Go to the :apple: menu, select About This Mac, click "More Info".
    Under the Hardware overview there is a "Model Identifier".
  9. BurntWaffle88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    The model identifier says "iMac8,1".

    Yeah I don't think it's an AEBS issue, looking at those results it seems to be working fine.
    I just don't understand how a MacBook can get quicker internet than my iMac in the same place.
    It's not a MacBook Pro either, I used my white MacBook from 2007 to test the speeds, so I would've thought the iMac would've been able to get better net speed, rather than the MacBook.
  10. BurntWaffle88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Also Airport Utility keeps losing my AEBS.

    I have to keep scanning to try and pick it up. Doesn't work, but sometimes if I turn the Airport on my iMac off and then back on it will pick it up.

    On my MacBook, this doesn't happen, it constantly shows my AEBS in Airport Utility.
  11. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    In other words, the good news is that you have a much better signal in your room than you thought, and the bad news that the iMac seems to be misbehaving.

    I can't recall any general Airport problems with that particular model off the top of my head. Have you tried removing the Airport from Network Preferences, and then adding it again from scratch?

    As a more expensive alternative if all else fail: What most likely would work is to get an Airport Express (the current .11n model), connect it by ethernet cable to your iMac and let the Express join the AEBS network as a client.
  12. Clint007 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Montréal, PQ.
    To iticking...

    You are good teacher to learn how to do many test with informations.

    I'm not with this problem but I made the Speed Test
    Ping: 68ms
    Download: 8.28
    Upload: 1.02
    5 minutes later, another test...
    Ping: 70ms
    Download: 8.33
    Upload: 1.03

    I'm on an old iBook G4 (PC)
    Everything going fine.

    Thanks and again my compliment. :)

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