Using an old Airport to extend a new one's network

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lkalliance, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. lkalliance macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    #1
    Hi, all,

    I am looking into getting a new Airport Extreme for my home. I currently have a Time Capsule; I don't remember exactly what generation but it is a/b/n. If I were to use this older one to extend my network, will that throttle the ac speeds I hope to get to my macs and devices?
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    anytime you use wireless extension it will affect your bandwidth, as the unit in the middle is using part of it's bandwidth to talk to your device, and part to talk to the main base station.

    the best way to go is to hardwire the remote base, preferably with ethernet, but if you can't run a cable, people have had decent success with powerline networking.

    you then set the remote base station up in "bridge mode" and give the same wireless network name and security settings.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I think the OP is asking if he puts an older 802.11n router on the network in bridge mode, will that downgrade the entire 802.11AC network to the bridged router's speed.

    I vaguely recall this being the case on the older routers. That is a 802.11n will go down to a 802.11g speeds if you add a 802.11g router to the network in bridge mode. I could be wrong but I think that's what I heard before.
     
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #4
    bridge mode won't affect the main router, as the connection between the main and the repeater is hard wired.
    both devices would have their full bandwidth/speed available to wireless clients. even if one is N and the other is AC you would get the full speed of whichever base you are connecting to.

    with wireless extending all base stations in the network will drop to the highest common speed, so if one base maxes out at N, then all bases would run at N, even if some are capable of AC.

    and whatever the full speed of your network is, a significant portion (around half) of your available bandwidth is used to pass the data from one base to another, so at best you'll get "half N" speeds if you're connected to the remote base. and "almost Full N" if you're connected to the main base. But any traffic going to the remote base will also come out of the available bandwidth on the main base station.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #5
    When extending wirelessly or over Ethernet, all clients on the older base station would be limited to N speeds while clients connected to the newer one could continue to get AC speeds. However, if you do not need the secondary base station then do not install it. Adding more base stations than necessary causes unneeded overhead and wireless pollution, which slows down your network.
     
  6. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    Oct 30, 2015
    #6
    I think waw74 is right in that you won't get ac speeds anywhere if you are extending wirelessly with an n router.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    That was my concern, as I'll be looking to upgrade and extend my network. I've not done selecting what router, I'll get (apple airport or Linksys WRT1900acs) but I think I will couple that with a powerline module or two. That will give me the speeds I want for my PS4 and DirectTV receiver.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #8
    Keep in mind that with overhead and power line interference you likely will not get true Gigabit speeds on the backend.
     
  9. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    Oct 30, 2015
    #9
    Shouldn't be required though for those devices. Main thing is that AC speed is available for other devices.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I'm not expecting gigabit performance, but anything better then what I'm getting will be plus
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    Is there anyway that you can run regular Cat 5e or Cat 6 between them?
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    Not without snaking wire inside the walls and I'm not really jazzed up over trying that approach. So far, on paper the Powerline adapters seems like an ideal solution.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13
    If the wiring in your home is decent and you invest in a set of quality adapters I think you will be quite satisfied.
     

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