Time Capsule + Airport Express - Manually control connection?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by IgnatiusTheKing, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #1
    I have a Time Capsule creating a b/g/n network and an Airport Express extending it. When connected to the Time Capsule, I get ~16 Mbps but when I connect to the Express, I only get ~5 Mbps.

    As I understand it, this is normal. My question, however, is can I manually control which base station I connect to when I'm in range of both?

    It's frustrating to know that I'm in range of a very fast connection but to be automatically connected to the slower one.
     
  2. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    das Fort
  3. hitekalex, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #3
    Explain a bit how you are extending your wireless network. Are you doing a wireless (i.e. WDS) extension? Or do you have both TimeCapsure and Express connecting to the same wired network?

    Typically, the only way to control which wireless AP you attach to is to have them broadcast unique SSIDs. But you can't do that with WDS.
     
  4. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #4
    The Time Capsule is creating the network and the Express is extending it (in Airport Utility. Both have the same SSID. The Time Capsule is the older one (not dual band).

    I'm just using the Airport Utility (Lion) to set the network up, so there's no "WDS" terminology anymore. It just sets up the Express to "Extend wireless network">
     
  5. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #5
    My advice - don't extend the network wirelessly. This results in significantly degraded performance, as you had experienced already.

    Instead, connect your Express to TC with an Ethernet cable. Configure TC and Express broadcast the same SSID (but don't "extend" the network in the AirPort Utility config). Your wireless client(s) will automatically connect to whatever AP it's closer to, and you won't experience the performance drop you get with your current setup.
     
  6. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
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    das Fort
    #6
    Yeah the problem is my house is old and not well-wired, plus there's a lot of stuff that seems to be interfering with the signal, so I'm stuck with the modem at one end of the house and my office at the other. The signal permeates most of the house pretty well, but the office is out of range.

    I don't mind having a slow(ish) connection in the office as long as I can get the fast stuff everywhere else, but the problem is that the living room is right in-between where I can set up the two routers, so that's where I'm having the problem with devices connecting to the slow one even when they're in range of the fast one.

    I guess my only real hope is to return the Express I bought and buy a dual-band Extreme and have two different networks: one that gets extended for the office and one that everything else can connect to.
     
  7. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #7
    Look into Powerline Ethernet adapters. They are very inexpensive these days, and will enable you to do a proper *wired* extension of your SSID, as I described before.
     
  8. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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  9. laurenr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Extending your network via Powerline Adapters will only work if they are on the same electrical circuit. Most of these devices have indicator lights which will signal if you are good to go. If they show green, then your setup will be okay for creating a Roaming Network.
     
  10. WhatAmI macrumors 6502a

    WhatAmI

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #10
    Be advised, a powerline setup most likely works best in a recently built house. An older building has shoddy wires so save the receipt :cool:
     
  11. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #11
    Yeah I actually read that elsewhere while looking into them. I just bought the Airport Express ($99) but saw a dual-band Extreme for only $139 on the refurb store, so I'm going to return the Express and eat the extra $40 so I can have two separate SSIDs.
     

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