Wired and wireless network precedence?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rotarypower101, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. rotarypower101 macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2007
    Portland Oregon
    Hi guys I have read a few statements that say the TimeCapsule/AirportExtremeBaseStation drops down to the LCD on the network, wanted to know if this was true and how it affects your networks for both wireless and wired connection speeds.
    We have a collection of apple devices all wireless N except for the iphones. (which are G obviously)

    Will the Time Capsule drop down to wireless G if the phones are using the network? I assume the TC will bounce back to N right away if it does augment it temporarily correct?
    Does the TC have multiple radios in it allowing it to run simultaneous G and N?

    If it does not is it advisable to run 2 individual routers since I still have my old AEBS (white spaceship) and only allow each to handle individual wireless networks? N for the TC and G for the AEBS?
    How does the TC handle this situation of multiple types of wireless needs simultaneously?

    I also use computers that have 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) and some that only run 10/100 as well as 3 :apple:TVs on the network which are not Gigabit.
    Will the TC drop the wired connection down to 10/100 when these devices are in use? Because the gigabit on the TC seems very unstable and rarely is at full speed unless a reset is preformed minutes/seconds before use.
    Is this throttling of the connection a derivative of the lower speed hardware dragging down the gigabit connections between 2 Gigabit computers on the network?

    And if it somehow is a response to slower hardware communicating in the network loop, is it advisable to separate the two different speeded networks to eliminate this issue of slowing between gigabit machines?

    Or could it be that the network is getting bogged down from the amount of machines on it? I have removed all week links to test and don’t really see a discernable difference though in my observations… when running just apple products I see the same slowing of the network.

    1 MBpro wireless N / connected cat6 wired Gigabit when transferring large files
    2 MB wireless N / connected cat6 wired Gigabit when transferring large files
    1 mac mini wired Gigabit
    2 iphones wieless G
    1 winmo phone wireless G
    2 :apple:TV wired 10/100
    1 :apple:TV wirless N
    2 windows boxes wired 10/100
    2 Dell laptops wireless G

    All Gigabit machines connected through the TC, with a 10/100 wired switch connecting the 10/100 wired machines
  2. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2007
    Yikes, that's a lot of hardware!

    Some general points:

    1) Having G devices talking on your N network will drop the speed somewhat, although it won't necessarily bring the total network throughput all the way down to G levels. At the same time, having multiple devices talking means you won't be getting the full throughput, anyway. So, the difference you'd see on the N devices if you had two N devices transmitting and one G device versus 3 N devices would probably be slightly to somewhat worse, but still better than you would see with 3 G devices.

    2) The TC does not have multiple radios. Depending on the size of your house and your proximity to other networks, I would lean towards running a 5.x GHz network with the TC, wired to a 2.4 GHz network on the old base station. If for no other reason than you spread out all those devices over two channels (wireless is a shared medium, so every extra device talking at once impacts the bandwidth). However, 5.x GHz doesn't go through walls quite as wel as 2.4 GHz, so if you have a big house you might actually get a better signal at 2.4 GHz. If you're around other networks (the lion's share of which are at 2.4 GHz, which only really has three non-overlapping channels), microwaves, cordless phones at 2.4, etc., that improvement may be cancelled out by interference.

    Personally, I run a N/A network at 5.x GHz, because luckily my work laptop supports 802.11a, and otherwise I have a MBP, a AEBS and an ATV. I'm surrounded by 2.4 GHz networks, so this works wonders.

    3) I have less of an idea about your gigabit issues, but it's quite possible the hardware in the router just can't quite keep up. Apple is clearly making a trade-off between visual design and performance design (e.g. not having visible air intakes, loud fans, etc.). For instance, I have one of the early N AEBS's that doesn't have gigabit. It was discovered that even though N can go higher than 100 Mbps line rate, those models can't. Presumably the whole backplane of the router was limited to 100 Mbps, because the ports were. In practice, I don't have any problems because of it.

    4) Regarding your specific question about mixing different wired speeds... the line speed will only drop to the lowest common denominator on a hub (which is just a repeater), as opposed to a switch or a router. However, if you've got devices at different line speeds trying to communicate through the router there's obviously going to be queuing issues if a fast device is trying to get through the router to a slower one... there's algorithms at several layers that will force the connection to back off. As I alluded to above it's possible that the AEBS gets into queueing difficulties and can't quite keep up with the routing regardless, due to its performance comprises. Your tests are the only ones I've ever heard of.

    Here's an Intel page describing some of the different packet switching modes:


    for more reading.

    Good luck!

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