Currently Being ModeratedJan 26, 2013 2:38 PM (in response to iinami)
one other question: i just noticed that when i go to system profiler, airport, i see my network, than where it says other wireless networks i can see some of the neighbors networks plus my network is listed 2 more times. is there anyone out there that can help with any of this please?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 2:56 AM (in response to iinami)
Trying one more time to get some help with this...
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 9:15 AM (in response to iinami)
The fact your network is listed twice indicates that they are on the 2.4 and 5GHz band. Check in AirPort Utility under Airport Extreme > Edit > Wireless > Wireless Options. Do you see the 5GHz band checked?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 9:59 AM (in response to iinami)
i'm running a macbook pro with snow leopard and airport utility 5.6.1, so how can i know if my new airport express is really broadcasting on both channels?
I do not have a few spare AirPorts here to test out the same setup, but suggest that you spend a few dollars on a good utility like WiFi Explorer to learn more about your network. There may be a few free utilities available as well, but I use WiFi Explorer out of habit.
Open up Wifi Explorer. If things are configured correctly, and you are using the default settings for the "new" AirPort Express and the "extending" Express, you will see your wireless network name listed 3 times.
Look for the BSSIDs that match up very closely. There will only be a slight difference in the IDs. These are the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands from the "new" dual band AirPort Express
By looking over to the right to see which channel that each BSSID is using, you will know which BSSID is associated wtih 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals.
The "other" BSSID that you see is the AirPort Express that is extending the signal. It is likely extending the 2.4 GHz band, but it might be extending the 5 GHz band if is in close proximity to the new Express and it has a line-of-sight relationshp with new Express, or close to it.
You can learn a lot about the overall signal quality of any connection by looking at the SNR column. This displays the Signal to Noise Ratio of the signal, which is the best way to evaluate signal quality
You can walk your MacBook Pro around and watch the SNR numbers change at different locations
Use this SNR Chart as a guide to evaluate the signal quality at any given point. You current connection will be displayed in Bold.
SNR Signal Quality Chart
30 Very Good
10 Very Low
5 Not reliable
The AirPorts are set pretty much for optimum performance in the default settings. If you don't have any older "g" or "n" devices, you could adjust the Radio Mode to only use "n" wireless for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Otherwise, I would leave well enough alone. I run my AirPorts using the standard default settings.
There is a slight loss of bandwidth when you use an AirPort to extend using wireless, but the improved signal strenth from the Express might override the effect of any loss in bandwidth. If you have an Express, you might as well use it, as the signal will be stronger in the area near the extending Express.
Experiment by powering off the Express and noting the SNR readings in the bedroom. Then power up the Express and check again. If the SNR figures are better with the Express "on", then leave it on.
When you "extend" a wireless network and click on the AirPort icon at the top of the Mac's screen, you will only see your network displayed one time. If you want to see which AirPort you are connected to at any given time, hold down the option key on your Mac and click on the AirPort icon. The BSSID will be displayed along with the band and current channel that is in use.
The "bars" at the top of the screen tend to look better than the actual connection quality, as you will see if spend a few minutes looking at SNR. For that reason, the "bars" are nice to look at, and might give a very general indication of signal strength...but they tell you nothing about noise. In other words, they are pretty much useless as far as accurately evaluating signal quality
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 10:42 AM (in response to Bob Timmons)
I would agree with Bob Timmons (but just wanted to check the 5GHz band was actually being used). Use iStumbler (easily the best WiFi app out there in my opinion and it's free) although I can't speak for WiFi Explorer as I am remarkably stingy when it comes to utility software.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 29, 2013 11:19 AM (in response to iinami)
Thanks for the help everyone, what' you've all said is making me feel better. I went into system profiler and aiport and i see 3 networks with the snr and so on, the new airport express shows it using channels 157 and 1. i also downloaded the newer airport utility app on my iphone and it shows the new one is my main one and so on. Thanks for the help.i'll check out one of the recommonded apps as well.