Very slow speed when using Airport Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by durhambullsfan, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. durhambullsfan macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I recently moved, and I transferred my comcast high-speed internet service. At my old residence, I used my airport express base station (802.11b/g) with my cable modem, and the internet was quite fast. At my new residence, I set up my network and the speed is quite slow. I initially attributed the problem to Comcast, and spent more than an hour on the phone with them this morning. However, I discovered that when I plugged my MBP directly into the cable modem, the internet was blazing fast. So the problem seems to be with the Airport Express. I'm thinking about just upgrading to an extreme, but I wanted to ask people in the forum to make sure there's not some obvious thing i'm missing so I don't waste my money. I don't really understand why my Airport Express would suddenly become very slow when it was working fine last week, but I don't know how else to explain this problem.

    I checked my speed using It measured my download speed as 0.79 Mb/s when connected to airport, and approximately 15.5 Mb/s when connected directly to the cable modem. That's a nearly 20-fold difference! Anybody have any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    try a different channel?

    If the only thing that has changed (besides your provider) is physical location, chances are there is some sort of interference.

    it could be a lot of your neighbors are on the same channel. Check out istumbler if you're on a mac, it can show you what channel the neighbors are using. Try to get as far as possible from the others, 1,6, & 11 are the only channels that don't overlap.

    It could be wireless interference, microwave ovens and cordless phones are 2 things that operate in the 2.4 GHz spectrum.

    also are you comparing speeds when you're in the same room as the express, it could be your new place is constructed differently, and the signal has a harder time going through walls.
  3. durhambullsfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    That's helpful, I'll give iStumbler a try. I am using it in the same room--very close to the express--so i think it's not the walls. I'll mess around with the channels and see if that helps. Thanks!
  4. durhambullsfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    I used iStumbler and it turned out there were lots of networks on channel 11 in my building. There were several on 1 and 6 as well. I switched to 9 and the connection is MUCH faster now. Thanks!!!
  5. durhambullsfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    Hmm, it was faster for about 2 minutes. Now it's back to being very slow. I don't understand what's going on here. . . any further suggestions?
  6. durhambullsfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    The speed seems to keep going up and down. Does this sound like an interference problem? Should I upgrade to Extreme?
  7. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    Yes, definitely. I ran a speed test in another thread where I could easily get 24 Mbps download speeds over my Extreme, and 25 over ethernet. The range is very good too.

    EDIT: Just a few minutes ago, I got to see for myself another reason why the AirPort Extremes are teh Awesomness. I needed to update my APE's firmware, but forgot the device password. Fixing it was ridiculously simple: reset it using the button on the back of the unit, and AirPort Utility reconfigured the network settings automatically from backup. It took 5 minutes, as opposed to my old Linksys which was a hellish, 2-day ordeal that I'd much rather forget... :eek: :D

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