2 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2013 9:57 AM by Bob Timmons
aquestionortwo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I  might be understanding incorrectly...

I used to think that if there were different devices with different max speeds on a network, that all devices on the network got dragged down to the maximum speed of the slowest device, but as I've heard it explain on these boards, each device always operates at it's maximum speed.

 

So for example if I have a  MBAir (802.11ac max speed), an old MBAIr (802.11n max speed), a new AirPort Extreme (802.11ac max), and an AppleTV (802.11n max) all on the same network...

If I am using my new MBAir, I'm hoping it works wirelessly on  802.11ac. I just was wondering if my wireless network get "dumbed down" to 802.11n since that is the max speed of the slowest device on the network? (pretend the slower old MBAir is using the same wireless network)

 

Add...related to AirPlay -

similar to the above, does AirPlay change the max speed of the network - like does AirPlay operate on a certain 802.11 network? Or does it work on 802.11n, 802.11ac, etc. without actually impacting the maximum speed of the network - other than the use of the wireless networks bandwidth, of course. So if I have an all 802.11ac network in the future, but have an old AirPlay device, does the wireless network maximum speed get brought down?

 

Thanks all!


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Does AirPlay reduce network speed on 802.11ac network?
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    In my experience, a typical wireless network will not "dumb down" to the maximum speed of the "slowest" wireless client. Instead, the higher bandwidth-capable clients will experience a somewhat reduced overall bandwidth to compensate for those slower devices. However, these effects are usually limited and only take place when the lower bandwidth devices are actively communicating on the shared network.

     

    AirPlay is a protocol. It is not dependent on the Radio Mode and will operate on any Wi-Fi network. Its performance is directly related to the maximum bandwidth capability between the iTunes host and the AirPlay "speaker."

  • 2. Re: Does AirPlay reduce network speed on 802.11ac network?
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,645 points)
    each device always operates at it's maximum speed.

     

    Well, it tries to.

     

     

    If I am using my new MBAir, I'm hoping it works wirelessly on  802.11ac.

     

    It will, if it is in close proximity to the AirPort Extreme and there are not too many obstructions in the signal path.

     

     

    I just was wondering if my wireless network get "dumbed down" to 802.11n since that is the max speed of the slowest device on the network?

     

    No

     

     

    like does AirPlay operate on a certain 802.11 network?

     

    It depends on the capability of the AirPort Express that you have, and the distance that the Express is located from the AirPort Extreme. If the Express is simultaneous dual band it might connect at 802.11n (5 GHz)....or....802.11n.

     

    Every wireless device that you add to the network will tend to slow things just a bit. The more devices that you have operating, the more the bandwidth will be affected.

     

     

    So if I have an all 802.11ac network in the future, but have an old AirPlay device, does the wireless network maximum speed get brought down?

     

    See answer above about the network being "dumbed down".