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best channel to use for 5GHZ Mode in AIRPORT EXTREME?

68600 Views 33 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2013 11:17 PM by TallBearNC RSS
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Lamonsas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 26, 2012 8:34 PM

as the title says guys, whats the best channel mode to use for the airport extreme in 5GHZ MODE? what do u guys have it set to?


i have it set to channel 149 right now and im not getting very good range(about 15ft away).


in regards to 2.4ghz mode, i set it to channel 1.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)
    i have it set to channel 149 right now and im not getting very good range(about 15ft away).


    5 GHz signals are much weaker than 2.4 GHz signals, and they do not penetrate walls, ceilings or any other obstructions well at all, so it will help if you think about 5 GHz as a line-of-sight type connection. That is what 5 GHz needs to perfom well.


    Try, 153, 157 or 161 to see if you get the same results. If you do, things are as good as they are going to get.


    Regarding the 2.4 GHz band, channels 1, 6 and 11 are the busiest if you have other wireless networks around you, with channel 1 usually being the busiest of all since many routers default to that setting.


    If channel 1 works for you, that is fine, but keep in mind that other wireless routers around you are changing their channels to scan and look for a better connection, so while channel 1 may work well today, it may not later today or tomorrow.


    Personally, I prefer to set the router to Automatic to let it scan and select the best available channel to use. This has always worked better for me than trying to guess at which channel to set manually.


    But...I am well aware that some users swear by setting channels manually, so you will have to decide which works best for you.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)
    Okay and do you think i should change the RADIO Mode to N ONLY Mode?


    If you have any older "g" devices they will not be able to to connect, so I see no reason to do this.


    will that give better range and power?

    No, it won't.


    what do you have the RADIO MODE set to?


    Screen Shot 2012-10-29 at 8.14.06 PM.png

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)

    I do not have any "a" wireless devices, so have no need for "a" capability on 5 GHz.


    I do have some older iPhones that run on "g" wireless, so I must use the "b/g/n" 2.4 GHz setting to allow them to connect. If there were an "n/g" option, I would use it, since I have no "b" devices, but that setting is not available.


    If you have only "n" devices, you could run the 802.11n only (5 GHz) ----- 802.11n only ((2.4 GHz) Radio Mode. But, this won't provide any better range if that is what you are after.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)
    Then what is the purpose of choosing the Radio Mode that you have selected for example?


    Already answered. See above.



    there has to be a reason to select N only Mode or G only Mode


    If you have only "n" devices, then you could select "n" only.  If you have only "g" devices, you could select "g" only. It won't make any difference regarding range or power, though.



    isn't it relieving the router from transmiting and working too hard or thats not the case?


    The router transmits at the same power no matter what the Radio Mode might be. If you want to lower the power...and range....there are ways.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)

    is it possible that my iMac connects to the Airport Extreme in 5GHz Mode on the A band rather than the N band?

    Possible if the wireless card in the iMac supports a,b,g and n devices. Hold down the option key on the iMac while you click on the AirPort icon and look for the PHY Mode for more info. If you see 802.11a, then you will know that it is connected to "a".


    maybe i should Option Click the Radio Mode and choose the mode where 5GHz only transmits on N and 2.4ghz transmits b/g/n?

    That would prevent the iMac from connecting to the "a" signal.


    And does the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 Connects via 5ghz or 2.4ghz?

    4S connects at 2.4 GHz. iPhone 5 can connect at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,865 points)

    Suggest that you post in the iPhone support area for questions about those products. Keep in mind that the iOS operating system is a lot less sophisticated than a Mac.  In general, the connection will be signficantly slower than a Mac laptop or desktop.  That's a nature of the beast with iOS devices.


    Using iPhone

  • LostAccount Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)

    Automatic Channel selection is fine, what this does is it allows the airport device to analyze its environment, giving it an oppotunity to choose the most appropriate channel as it powers up or restarts.


    With respect to Radio Mode.



    There are four flavors today, A,B,G, and N. N is the most recent and can operate at the 2.4 and 5Ghz frequencies.


    If you hold the alt key while clicking the drop down menu you will get a bunch of choices that you can choose. Below is what is available to me in Airport Utility version 5.6 on an Airport Extreme


    In summary choosing Automatic for Radio Mode is fine as long as you verify the actual mode it chose as displayed in the first screen capture.


    If all the devices in your home/office are N capable you should choose N only 5GHz. The reason is that cordless phones and other home appliances that are wireless capable tend to generally use the 2.4GHz frequency, hence the 5GHz frequency will yield you better reception. N radio mode is better because it provides more range. Oh and the 5GHz is also more able to penetrate barriers that 2.4GHz may not be able to .


    If, on the other hand you have guests that frequent your home/office for use of your wireless network but DO NOT have N capable devices you may want to choose 802.11n only (5GHz) - 802.11b/g/n as it provides more compatibility for those non-N capable devices.


    Finally, regardless of your choice, power is not really an issue here, in other words it won't impact your electrical bill or over burden your solar system.


    Does this help. I know it's a general reply but it should get you going.


    Best regards…

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