Would an older AE "pull down" the WiFi speed?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by MrMister111, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. MrMister111 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Just got a new airport extreme WiFi ac version. I've also got an older airport express (you're that plus direct into wall socket) that is WiFi N. This is used on a different floor to extend. I hanged iPhone 6, iPad air that can use WiFi ac.

    So as the AExt is WiFi ac, the AExp WiFi N will it actually be worse to have the express in the circuit?

    I actually bought the extreme to hopefully make my network WiFi better. It was running with a 3rd gen time capsule which had WiFi N. I've disconnected this, and the express, but thinking now should I re-add the TC back to help WiFi on a different floor to the extreme, or will the TC pull down the signal to?

    Is this what happens in network situations, as in it will always operate at lowest speed?
     
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #2
    The only way for the speed to go down is if you have all of them on the same channels and they interfere with each other but the automatic channel selection should take care of it. Just label the SSID to something obvious like WiFi N and WiFi AC and connect to the one you need. If you store both WiFi networks your device will switch to the other one as needed.
     
  3. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I label one as 5GHz which I'm sure is the ac but it always seems to connect to the N one.

    I read somewhere that it would pull it down so was going to sell either my airport express and/or the TC.

    Would the TC and extreme work together? Would they have to be connected by cable? If so would powerline do?
     
  4. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #4
    You can put both in bridge mode to connect the WiFi, but your WiFi speed drops by half. A wire is better.

    In your AC router, is the 5 GHz enabled and labeled differently? For OSX/Windows you can set a certain SSID to have a higher priority and connect to that first.

    Have you tried how far your WiFi reaches on just the AC? I can get signal two floors down. You might be ok with just that unless you need more speed.
     
  5. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yeh I've named my 5GHz with same SSID and 5GHz on.

    Seems to be ok for range, yeh on my Mac I've put the 5GHz at the top to connect first, but what about Apple TV's and iPhones?

    When you say see how far it reaches, is there a test, or just connect iPhone? Went on my Apple TV, also 2 floors up from AE, and on the network it had 4 out of 5 circles full so presume signal is fine?
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #6
    This is not always easy to explain but I'll try -

    There are different types of AC WiFi routers. The Airport Extreme is a very good router but has limitations. Ideally, any extender should also be capable of AC in order to get the full advantage. The express will only provide "N" capability and that is less than what AC can do with AC to AC handshake.

    Given your AC capable devices, you will only want them connecting to the Airport Extreme to get max ability. However, neither the iPhone nor iPad really can take full advantage of that speed and thus, "N" should be sufficient. (Some people might argue this point but that is for another discussion.)

    I gave up on the Airport offerings long ago. I found that 3rd party routers perform much better and offer far more controls than the Extreme and certainly the Express. Some 3rd party routers also include the ability to add a hard drive via USB 2 or USB 3 and that can become a Time Machine capable drive via your private network.

    If you are planning to stay with Apple products, you might want to consider a 2nd Extreme or an AC TM and set it to bridge mode in lieu of your Express. If you are curious, perhaps you can get one and try it out and if it doesn't improve your set up, return it.
     
  7. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #7
    The AC Extreme has beam forming, so it concentrates the signal towards a device and I believe it still works on N as well as AC. This combined with better antennas means it should have excellent range (4/5 circles is good). If you get signal everywhere you don't really need two routers.

    There isn't really an app to test signal that I know of for iPhones, theres ones for OSX and Windows though. You could download a speedtest app and run it a few times from different locations and see if you get your full speed.

    5 GHz is faster but the signal drops quicker over long distances which is probably why your devices choose the 2.4 GHz. You can remove the 2.4 GHz SSID from your iPhone and then it will always connect to the 5 GHz one.
     
  8. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Reading your comments I think it's best not to add that the TC then.

    It's seems decent range, the AE is on the ground floor, my Apple TV is 2 floors away and it showed 4/5 circles strength, not sure on the technicalities of that test though!

    I have the speedtest app on my iPhone, suppose that could test a bit?

    When you say long distances, surely a normal house, even mine with 3 floors isn't too long a distance is it? I didn't think of "forgetting" the 2.4GHz SSID to force it to connect to the 5GHz though, thanks
     
  9. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #9
    As long as you get your full internet speed, it doesn't matter what you use for connection I would think. Just run the speed test a few times and see how the speed changes in different rooms. For LAN use you would likely want gigabit wired for the speed anyway.

    Some people live in large bungalows that have everything on one floor and put their router in the corner, then wonder why they get poor reception.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #10
    Clients connected to the main Extreme will be capable of AC speeds. Any client connected to the Express will be limited to N speeds.
     
  11. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Using the speedtest app I tested using my iPhone and got the same speed around the house on 5GHz SSID.

    I then connected to non 5GHz and it was around 5MBps down on the 5GHz one.

    So I don't think I'll connect either my express or old TC as the extreme seems to be good signal, even over 3 floors.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    The fewest APs needed to amply cover an area is the best option.
     

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