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Is new Time Capsule max speed determined by slowest device on network?

773 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2013 1:29 PM by Bob Timmons RSS
aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 18, 2013 10:58 AM

Ok, this is wireless 101...but I can't really find this called out on the Apple site.

 

If I get the new Time Capsule, is there really any benefit to upgrading from my years-old Time Capsule this (aside from 2TB of space instead of 1TB)?

 

I'm wondering if I am going to have slower devices (802.11n) with faster devices (802.11ac), does the entire network get dumbed down to the slowest speed of all the devices on the network so there isn't any speed benefit for select devices. Or do all devices independently run at their fastest speeds (so one device can be on 802.11n, one on 802.11b, one on 802.11ac...).

 

Basic one, huh!

Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,645 points)

    Is new Time Capsule max speed determined by slowest device on network?

    No, the fastest device on the network would determine the max connection speed.

     

     

    Or do all devices independently run at their fastest speeds (so one device can be on 802.11n, one on 802.11b, one on 802.11ac...).

     

    Correct. If you have a large number of slow devices on the network, then they may pull things down a bit.  If am using an 802.11n computer and add 2 old iPhones that only run at 802.11g speeds, the 802.11n devices are not affected at all.

    If I get the new Time Capsule, is there really any benefit to upgrading from my years-old Time Capsule this (aside from 2TB of space instead of 1TB)?

    While you will not realize the full benefit of the new 802.11ac Time Capsule unless you also have an 802.11ac computer, the 2 additional wireless antennas....total of 6 now, and higher antenna placement in the new Time Capsule should provide a bit better results with most of your devices.

     

    My neighbor reports that his new Time Capsule just about doubled the range of his previous version Time Capsule and increased speeds 20-25% overall with his existing computers. We've seen similar posts from other users.

     

    At the same time, we've also seen posts from users who do not report much improvement with their current devices.

     

    So the bottom line to questions like yours has always been....and will always remain.....you will not know how a new product will perform in your home until you try it in your home.

     

    You have a 14 day, no questions asked, return privilege from Apple if you want to try a new Time Capsule.

  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,645 points)
    I assume that even a device like an AppleTV will slow things down

     

    Every device that you add to the network will share the same bandwidth. So, if you start to run out of the bandwidth that each device wants, things will slow down.

     

    Use Ethernet whenever you can for best results on any network.

     

     

    Kinda odd how they highlight the new speeds, and also show examples with iPads, for example, when these (and most laptops) can't take advantage of the new speeds (yet...)

     

    The real facts are in the footnotes, if you can find them.

    I have terrible range with my existing Time Capsules in my house

    The range is determined by how many walls or other obstructions the wireless signal must pass through. A ceiling will absorb 2-3 times more than a typical wall.

     

    If the signal must pass through 4-5 walls or a ceiling a few walls, it will be mighty weak and mighty slow by the time it makes it through.

     

    Other wireless networks around you can also interfere with your signal and slow things down as well.

     

    You may need to consider adding additional AirPorts to "extend" the signal. Connecting them together using Ethernet is by far the best way to go.

     

    The 14 return is an Apple Store policy. Other stores may have a different policy. Check with the store first, before you buy on this.

     

    Good luck.

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