Speed Limit on Apple's AirPort Routers?

Costino1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
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I have 3 Apple Airport routers that I use through my house for WiFi. I also have the new Comcast Xfinity router.

I did a speed test today and am getting 170 mb/sec directly thru my Comcast router's WiFi vs 60 mb/sec on my Apple router.

Im guessing they're 5 years old or so.....is that why the speed is so much lower? Is that the threshold for that router?

Im close to just ditching my Apple Airports and directly using my new Comcast router.
 

TheMountainLife

macrumors member
May 24, 2015
87
59
I'm not expert but in short, yes. The Airport is much older and the standard has improved. (More/stronger antennas, beam-forming, prioritization, faster processor, etc.)

I had to ditch my Airports after switching to gigabit because the throughput caps out around 550mb/s over ethernet and was even worse over wireless because of congestion. I have been using a Netgear 1900acs over the past 3 years and juggles around 25-30 wireless devices with no problem in bandwidth.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,194
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OP:

Time marches on, and the Airports have been "left behind". They are "the past", and they ain't coming back. Time to look for replacements.

If you have a Comcast Xfinity XB3 modem, you might consider those "Xfinity XFi Wifi Pods" that Comcast sells. They're not expensive.

I don't have them (I have a Velop mesh system instead), but I believe they extend the wifi all around using a mesh-based paradigm, as well.
 

Costino1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 1, 2012
575
326
OP:

Time marches on, and the Airports have been "left behind". They are "the past", and they ain't coming back. Time to look for replacements.

If you have a Comcast Xfinity XB3 modem, you might consider those "Xfinity XFi Wifi Pods" that Comcast sells. They're not expensive.

I don't have them (I have a Velop mesh system instead), but I believe they extend the wifi all around using a mesh-based paradigm, as well.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I loved my Apple Airports and the simplicity behind them, but I was shocked at my speed test with my new modem. I know 2 people who had the Xfinity Pods and said they were complete garbage. Ill wait until theyre free until I test them out.

Thanks,
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
Im guessing they're 5 years old or so.....is that why the speed is so much lower? Is that the threshold for that router?
The speed is much slower because every time you have another airport linked via wifi, you halve the speed.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,194
5,543
OP wrote:
"I know 2 people who had the Xfinity Pods and said they were complete garbage. Ill wait until theyre free until I test them out."

OK, as I said, I don't use them.
I -do- use the Linksys Velop and it works quite well.

If you go for a 3rd-party "mesh style" system, I suggest getting one that is "3-band" (instead of just 2). The "third band" is used "internally" by the mesh nodes for backhaul, and doesn't slow down the 2.4 and 5ghz channels.

The Velop is offered as a 3-band system (be careful, there are other versions of the Velop that have only 2 bands).
Netgear also sells the "Orbi" system with 3 bands (but again, be careful about which version you buy, there are 2-band systems with Orbi, as well).
 
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BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
The Wifi is limited to around 600 max with the AE. Using ethernet, you should see GB speed. I have GB speed using AE and have no problem getting very close to 1GB using ethernet. I also consistently get over 500mbps using wifi, which is more than enough to stream.
 

hwojtek

macrumors 65816
Jan 26, 2008
1,133
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Poznan, Poland
Some more details regarding the layout of the OPs network would be helpful, as this combination calls for connecting all the Airports with a cat 5e cable to the Comcast device (which handles DHCP and routing) and setting all the Airports into bridge mode to act as three access points with the same SSID and transmitting on different channels. In this case, the performance should be nearing a direct connection to the Comcast device.

My personal experience with Airports is limited to 2nd and 4th gen Airport Extremes and a handful of Airport Expresses of various generations, I don't know much about the later Extreme models (the vertical ones) but what I've noticed is that the horizontal Extremes were quite good at switching (bridge mode) in both wifi and wired, but sucked at routing (NAT mode). The maximum internet download speed I was able to achieve using one of my Extremes as a router was about 280 Mbps (using an Ethernet connection to the AEBS), so it was sweating while routing. I switched to a UBQT Security Gateway which is my main router now and it gets over 900 Mbps transfers with hardware routing.

Again, please post your detailed setup and perhaps we'll be able to try to speed up your network a bit.