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Airport Extreme Range???

12418 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2012 11:41 AM by thebunnys RSS
Redpedro Calculating status...
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Apr 27, 2012 4:21 AM

Hi

 

I have recently purchased a Airport Extreme to replace my BT Home Hub 3 on BT Infinity. This was in an effort to try and improve the performance of Apple TV due to the 5ghz band support. I had no real problems in replacing the router and configuration. The issue i'm having is that the router is performing worse in relation to the BT home hub when accessing wirelessly using my iphone 4. I used to be able to connect in my bedroom just with BT HH3 (This is 2 floors above the router placement, we're only talking about 20 feet straight up) but using AEx 802.11g/b/n nothing.

 

I realise that a number of factors can contribute to the perfromance of a wireless signal ie contruction material, other sources of interference (cordless phones) I have even moved our cordless phone which did used to sit next to the BT HH3. I would have expected the range of the AEx to outperform an ISP's standard equipment.

 

I have used iStumbler to check out all the wireless signals in the area to see if there are any conflicts on channel and have chosen channel 11 which isn't being used by any of my neighbours. Getting 36% - 40% signal with only 9% noise on the 2.4ghz Band which i would have thought to be pretty typical on iMac which is the floor above router placement, but not directly above) I have tried several other channels to see if there was any improvement.

 

I must say AppleTV is performing brilliantly using the 5ghz band only so that was a success and iMac can use it too.

 

Obviously iphones don't support that band.

 

I don't want to have to fork out another £78 for an Airport Express to extend the network when i would have expected this to be sufficient. Out of ideas any suggestions???

iPhone 4, iOS 5.1
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,550 points)
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    Apr 27, 2012 9:13 AM (in response to Redpedro)

    One other option to try, if you haven't already, is to make minor adjustments to the placement of your 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBSn). Higher is typically better, and of course, to not place it inside of any enclosure (specifically metal ones). You may find even a modest change in physical position will make a significant difference in the signal quality.

     

    If you have a Mac laptop handy, an excellent utility called: NetSpot, can be used to create a Site Survey map of your current wireless network environment to help with that placement. You can download this free App directly from the Apple App Store.

  • Clyde Kahrl Calculating status...
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    May 1, 2012 10:57 AM (in response to Redpedro)

    I have the exact same problem.  I am on the 3rd floor--the Airport extreme is high on the 1st floor.  I am no more than 20 feet away--but I am getting a signal from an airport express that is in the garage apartment 250 feet away, that is as strong as the airport Extreme 20 feet away.  (it is about 21/15 on iStumbler for both).  It is flat on the wall sideways with cables coming out the side.   What is the strongest direction for the signal?

    By the way, side by side with an airport express it basically has the same strength, maybe a little less.  I am wondering if it is defective.

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    May 1, 2012 11:04 AM (in response to Redpedro)

    Redpedro wrote:

     

    Just in case others experience similiar difficulties i ended up plugging the ethernet cable from my BT inifinty box straight in to my Powerline adaptor and running the feed into the AEBS in my office.

    That is what I had to do in my case as well. If a wireless connection is sufficiently difficult to get going, it can mean that even if you do manage to maintain a connection, it might not be a strong one and that's when powerline can really help.

     

    Powerline often works great to complement wifi, but powerline has its own problems. If I turn on certain appliances or lights, they put enough noise into the electrical line to slow down the speed significantly. I just keep that in mind when I need to make a big transfer.

  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (47,550 points)
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    May 1, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to Clyde Kahrl)

    It is flat on the wall sideways with cables coming out the side.   What is the strongest direction for the signal?

    Both the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express have basically omnidirectional antenna patterns (think doughnut) in free space ... but are not perfect isotropic spheres. They work "best" placed higher (than lower) and horizontally (Extreme) or vertically (Express).

  • Clyde Kahrl Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
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    May 1, 2012 12:08 PM (in response to Tesserax)

    Thanks.  I have been walking around trying to get readings, and it seems that the radiation is more doughnut like from the side.  It is so frustrating to walk 300 feet to the mailbox, have tons of other signals appear,, and to have my own signal, stronger at the mailbox than 20 feet up in the attic.  My neighbors get a stronger signal from my router than I do.  Yes, I have several routers with which I can set up extensions, but I run out of channels.

    I am going to try channel one and tilt my router at a 45degree angle.  

  • DonXX Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 26, 2012 1:08 PM (in response to Tesserax)

    Tesserax wrote:

    Both the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express have basically omnidirectional antenna patterns (think doughnut) in free space ... but are not perfect isotropic spheres. They work "best" placed higher (than lower) and horizontally (Extreme) or vertically (Express).

     

    That sounds reasonable to me and I think you are right about that.

     

    But I have been searching for something from Apple that says that and have not been able to find anything.

     

    Are you aware of any document, statement, etc from Apple that says that?

    A link to that would be most helpful.

     

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!

  • thebunnys Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 18, 2012 2:39 AM (in response to Tesserax)

    hey i just installed my airport extreme wireless router and find it difficult to pick up a signal in the room next door but i can pick it up downstairs.

     

    How do i make my signal stronger and able to reach the room next door?

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    Nov 18, 2012 11:26 PM (in response to thebunnys)

    thebunnys wrote:

     

    hey i just installed my airport extreme wireless router and find it difficult to pick up a signal in the room next door but i can pick it up downstairs.

     

    How do i make my signal stronger and able to reach the room next door?

    Read this first:

    AirPort and Bluetooth: Potential sources of wireless interference

     

    It almost sounds like you may have a materials issue at your home, as described in that link. If so, read this very thread from the top. If you can't overcome the interference using wireless, you'll need to work around it using Ethernet or powerline networking.

     

    Also, while there are ways to make the signal stronger, it is a widespread myth that this will solve your problem. It's like two people yelling across a field. If only one guy (the router) yells louder, that doesn't improve communication efficiency because it doesn't help him hear the other guy (the computer) any better. Reception sensitivity, on both sides, is just as important as transmission strength, on both sides. For best results, the interference must be dealt with.

  • thebunnys Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 19, 2012 2:00 AM (in response to Network 23)

    are there any ways i can fix any of this?

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    Nov 20, 2012 9:41 AM (in response to thebunnys)

    thebunnys wrote:

     

    are there any ways i can fix any of this?

    This thread and my last link are full of suggestions about it.

  • thebunnys Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2012 11:41 AM (in response to Network 23)

    none really work are there any that i mite have missed out on that would make a difference.

     

    I have tried moving the router and resetting it but none of that does anything.

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