Why is Airport Extreme so slow?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by silvain, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. silvain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #1
    I bought the new airport extreme this week from the apple store, but after doing some performance testing I must say that I'm disappointed by the performance of the 5Ghz connection.

    I expected to see a significant performance improvement when using the 5Ghz 802.11n connection compared to using 2,4Ghz 802.11n. But ... it turns out that 5Ghz was slower (!) than the 2,4Ghz connection ... 50% slower :eek:

    I didn't expect that to happen ... does anyone have an explanation for this?

    My measurements for copying 466MB between two computers (macbook pro 2007 and imac 2007, both with snow leopard 10.6.2):

    setting mbp: 2.4 GHz / 802.11n
    setting imac: 2.4 GHz / 802.11n
    => copy from mbp to imac: 2:02 minutes

    setting mbp: 5.0 GHz / 802.11n
    setting imac: 5.0 GHz / 802.11n
    => copy from mbp to imac: 2:59 minutes
     
  2. quantum003 macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Superposition
    #2
    The Airport Extreme can't pump out the Internet juice any faster than your ISP can pump it in. The "n" standard is so new that most ISP's can't get a strong enough signal into your house for you to take full advantage of it.

    That said it is still going to be faster than your T-100 connection, but don't expect T-1000 because your ISP just isn't getting it to you fast enough for that to be possible.

    *edit* didn't realize you had an "n" speed router before. Next time I'll read more carefully before posting my own ramblings. :-D

    Were you transferring these files wirelessly? The network could be to blame. Maybe your ISP's incoming signal was temporarily decreased, or perhaps something else was going on at the same time on your own network? I'd try the same test a few more times and average the scores.
     
  3. mrtravel123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #3
    Before I say anything, let it be said that I'm not an expert on any of these things. But, I have a little experience.

    I recent acquired the newest AirPort Extreme (simultaneous & dual band). It's been working great, albeit I have one problem that I need to post a question about. But, I think I know what your problem is.

    The 5GHz band is apparently not as "strong" as the 2.4GHz band when it comes to going through walls, etc. Yes, it is powerful and fast. But, the 2.4GHz band handles walls and obstacles better. I've read this AND I've experienced it.

    When I've tested 5GHz vs. 2.4GHz at about 10 feet away from the AirPort Extreme, the speeds for me were identical.

    I think that the 5GHz is of value when you're in an environment where the 2.4GHz band is cluttered. The 5GHz would also be of value if you have a clear line-of-sight to the AirPort Extreme. Of course, that's probably not common for most of us.

    As a point of interest, when I upgraded routers (going to the new Airport Extreme), my download speeds jumped significantly in both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band. The download speeds went from about 7-10MB per second to about 28-30MB per second. And, I've personally experienced that my MBP automatically moved me from the 5GHz band to the 2.4GHz band when I went outside with my MBP. I figure that my computer realizes that the 2.4GHz is better/stronger in some ways. Again, I've experienced this in various ways.

    Good luck!
     
  4. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    I have both an 802.11n Airport Extreme (non-dual band) and just got the new dual-band Extreme too. I have to say I am extremely perplexed at the new Extreme's dire performance.

    When I set my older non dual-band extreme to do an 802.11n only network it reaches every room in my house. Setting this older Extreme to support both 802.11n and b/g results in slower maximum performance, which is why I bought the newer one... I wanted dual-band so I can have maximum performance and support b/g devices like my iPhone. Unfortunately, the new dual-band Extreme has awful performance. The 802.11n signal from it barely reaches out of the room it's in. Sitting in the room next door it's n network produces speeds about a tenth or less than what the previous model was giving.

    So, the new dual-band n network reaches about one room on the same level of the house whilst the older non dual-band model's n network reaches 4 rooms and a level down fine.

    I was hoping I could use just the new dual-band Extreme to provide both networks but it's n network is completely worthless. I've set the old Extreme to n only and on the new one I'm just using the b/g network... the new Extreme's n network is totally unused.

    In short, the new Extreme's performance is truly awful and this might be the root of the problem rather than anything else. By the way, when I first got the new Extreme a week ago I returned it because I couldn't believe it was supposed to be like that and thought it was broken. The replacement one is exactly the same so they must just be like that... awful.
     
  5. Zyniker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    #5
    1. Open AirPort Utility.
    2. Select your device.
    3. Click the "AirPort" tab.
    4. Click the "Wireless" sub-tab.
    5. Click the "Wireless Options..." button.
    6. Check "Use wide channels"
    7. Adjust the multicast rate as appropriate (depends upon the number of devices on your network, basically).
    8. Apply these settings.
     
  6. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    Done all that on both my Extreme's. Same settings on both new and old Extreme result in excellent performance on old non dual-band and abysmal performance on new dual-band.
     
  7. Zyniker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    #7
    That's odd. I seem to get good performance on my three dual-band AirPort Extremes... Maybe I'll transfer some large file directories around with different settings to see if anything tips performance one way or the other...
     
  8. silvain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #8
    Thank you for all the responses.

    To clarify: my testing involved two computers that both had a wireless connection to the airport and were in the same room as the airport (so very close). I first set the computers to 5Ghz and tested, and then to 2,4Ghz. So this wasn't a connection over internet, but a direct copy between computers over a wireless 802.11n connection (I checked if the n connection was indeed used).

    I'm also experiencing bad receipt of 5Ghz anywhere outside the livingroom, but i was assuming that was normal .. guess not :( I have firmware version 7.5 so i'm assuming this is the latest model which should be better than the previous one.

    I'm still trying to figure out if i should send this thing back to Apple. It's just not as good as i had hoped.

    p.s. wide channels is on, multicast set to normal, and signalstrength 100%
     
  9. silvain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #10
    Thank you for that link ... and omg!

    :-(

    p.s. I already did some tests with a usb stick connected to the airport and wasn't able to copy larger files, the copy just halted. And now I read in the article they had the same problem!
     
  10. andymodem macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #11
    Yeah, I bought the previous gen Airport Extreme and was going to exchange it for the new version that just came out. Pretty sure I'm going to go with the Netgear WNDR3700 instead now.
     
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #12
    I too did something similar. I don't fault the AEBS for my slowness as I believe it is an issue with bottlenecking from my modem. That said, changing the channel from automatic, which defaults to 11 on mine, and using Open DNS has solved all of my problems.
     
  12. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

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    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
  13. silvain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #14
    One last question to the Airport Extreme owners:

    I've noticed that the Airport Extreme makes noise when i'm copying files or downloading files. It's like a soft sizzling noise. Did the old versions of Airport Extreme do that too or is it a result of the new design?

    (I had a Linksys WRT45G before and I never heard that one ..)
     
  14. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #15
    Ok, just want to check - you guys have set up the seperate 5ghz band correct? It should be a different name than your 2.4 and it shows up as a seperate wifi network under your list of networks.
     
  15. silvain thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2009
    #16
    Yes, different names for the 2.4Ghz network and the 5Ghz network, which show as two different networks.
     
  16. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #17
    Coolio - just thought I would ask. :D

    I'm starting to wonder if I should have got a netgear wndr3700 after reading through those links. :rolleyes:
     
  17. andymodem macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #18
    Just exchanged my Airport Extreme for the WNDR3700. Much happier with it. Wireless coverage is better, and I'm seeing better throughput. :)
     
  18. maverick808 macrumors 65816

    maverick808

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #19
    I noticed that noise on the new one too. My older non dual-band extreme does not make the noise. Both my first and second replacement new models did. I only really hear it when transferring files over the n network, I don't hear it over b/g.

    I called Apple and told them my replacement also had awful performance compared to my older Extreme and they just apologised and agreed to pick it up and refund me.

    So I've got rid of the new dual-band Extreme and now my own network set up is my old Extreme providing an 802.11n (5GHz) only network and an Express providing a b/g compatible network. I've put both of these in the garage and from there my entire house is now fully covered by both an n and b/g network. With the new model Extreme the n network wasn't available anywhere at all outside the garage itself, so by going back to the older hardware there has been a gigantic improvement.
     
  19. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #20
    I've had both the WNDR3700 and the newly updated Airport Extreme. I returned the Netgear. The Apple has a much nicer interface / utility. With the Netgear its not possible to show connected wireless clients, no signal strength reading, none of that. I also had trouble with the gigabit switch causing issues with my Windows Media Center streaming I do to my Xbox 360.

    That said, the WNDR3700 did have slightly better wireless throughput. However, the differences aren't huge, and certainly aren't a deal breaker for me.
     
  20. kellte2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    #21
    I was pretty shocked to read that review as I've read nothing but good things about the AEBS. I have the first gen-dual band model and the performance has been good.

    I suggested the new model to a friend who was in the market, but after reading those reviews, I'm not so sure that it is a good idea.

    I am not techy enough to get through that 2nd link...what exactly happened to this new AEBS?
     
  21. TMR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #22
    Wondering if you have had experience connecting an external HD to it yet? If so, was it HFS formatted? I'm currently debating between the netgear the the AEBS. Any other suggestions for good dual band wireless routers?
     
  22. Idgit macrumors 6502

    Idgit

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    #23
    I read over at the Apple Discussion pages that this is a known problem. Apple is working on a fix for the next firmware update.
     
  23. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #24
    There have been a lot of reliability issue with the Netgear.

     
  24. iBallz macrumors 6502

    iBallz

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    So. Utah
    #25
    I just got the new extreme and it sucks! It's so slow. When I do a speed test with my MBP plugged into the ethernet I get 3M/s when I go wireless best I get is 1.3m/s and I tried all the channels. :mad:
     

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