11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2009 2:16 AM by Ted Harper
OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)
I had always understood that if you run N and G devices on a network, the N devices will run slower. So what I did was set up an old Airport to have a wireless for my iPhone and sad Windows PC guests in my house, and the previous generation Extreme for my MacBook Pro. My older airport is connected to an ethernet port on the Extreme. I might not even be doing this right.

Anyways, does the new Extreme keep the G and N networks separated, so that I can run my MacBook Pro on one wireless network and my iPhone on the other one? And by doing so the speed of the N is still as high as it can be?

I might be confusing this whole story, so any help you can give me would be great.

1 MacBook Pro. 1 iMacs. 2 iPhones. 1 AppleTV., Mac OS X (10.5.6), No Windows here
  • dchao99 Level 4 Level 4 (2,040 points)
    does the new Extreme keep the G and N networks separated,


    You can if you want. or you can allow N to mix with the G in the 2.4GHz band. It's all in the Wireless > Radio Mode option.
  • OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)
    I do want to keep the N network separated from the G. So would they have two different ID's and passwords? I want to make sure of this before I go to the Apple Store tomorrow to pick it up
  • jenius_s Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    They can have different SSIDs. However, at least for the current firmware, you are stuck with the same password for both.

    On top of that, it seems that after installing the latest Airport Client Update, my MBP can still join either my 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz network as it liked even though I have put them on different SSID and I have only added the 5Ghz one in my list. I think this is what apple calls "improvements in roaming between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz network"...

    I am wishing for more control, i.e. make the 2.4Ghz band b/g only, and make the 5Ghz band n only. But that is not possible with the current firmware.
  • Alex HQuest Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The new Airport allows you to run 2.4GHz and 5GHz freqs at the same time. If your 802.11n devices do support 5GHz frequencies, you can set it for 802.11n only (instead of 802.11a/n), let 2.4GHz for 802.11b/g (no 802.11n here) and get rid of the old Airport.
  • OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)
    I appreciate everyone's replies. Just two final questions. First, I'm going to assume that the new unibody MBP is going to run N at the higher frequency. I'm not even sure how to check that! And second, by running the B/G separate from the N, my MBP speed is not going to be bogged down, that is the B/G and N are, for all intents and purposes, separate networks.
  • jenius_s Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    1. The only way I know of without installing anything extra applications is to use Airport Utility, then connect to your Airport Extreme to see the statistics. It will show either "b/g/n" (2.4Ghz) or "a/n" (5Ghz).

    2. Yes, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz are actually two separate network on the Airport Extreme (and therefore separate collision domain if you know what I mean).

    But then again, there is no way to set N-only network in the new Airport Extreme (I am using one of those now), let alone set N-only for 5Ghz or 2.4Ghz. This means that your 802.11a devices might still accidentally join the 5Ghz channel and slow downs everything. Unlike older models, you can not specify N-only on either of the channels.

    Not a dealbreaker for me, but certainly should be improved on.

    Message was edited by: jenius_s
  • dnc1916 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok now I'm totally confused, because Alex HQuest is saying that you can have the 2.4GHz set to be the b/g only and so this will be the network that the iPhone will use, and then the 5GHz netwrok can be set to be n only and will be used by my Macbook Pro.
    However jenius-s is saying this cannot be done and you cannot set either the 2.4 or the 5GHz network to be specific to n or b/g.
    Both of you suggest you have the new devices so you both can't be right. I'm hoping Alex is cos I was going to go and order one online this weekend but if jenius is correct then I won't bother.
    Which is it?
    Thanks guys...
  • dchao99 Level 4 Level 4 (2,040 points)
    make the 2.4Ghz band b/g only, and make the 5Ghz band n only. But that is not possible with the current firmware.


    Yes it's possible.

    Hold the option key while click on the radio mode list, you will see one of the options:

    "802.11n only (5GHz) - 802.11b/g"
  • dnc1916 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's also a confusing option, why is "802.11 b/g" tacked onto the end?
    I think what some people want is to be sure that any b/g devices (like the iPhone) are restricted only to the 2.4GHz band so that they can't get onto the n/5GHz band and pull down the speeds there. This is achieved with my current set up of two separate Airport Extremes, linked by ethernet, each running separate networks. I was hoping the new Airport would do the same but now it's not that clear - it may produce 2 networks but will it keep the n devices on the 5GHz band only and the b/g devices on the 2.4GHz band only?
  • jenius_s Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Hi,

    You are right! Thanks for the tip~
  • Ted Harper Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    jenius_s wrote:
    1. The only way I know of without installing anything extra applications is to use Airport Utility, then connect to your Airport Extreme to see the statistics. It will show either "b/g/n" (2.4Ghz) or "a/n" (5Ghz).


    You can hold down Option when clicking on the Airport icon on the top bar, and it will show additional information about the current connection as well as listing the available wireless networks. From this, the current connection speed between the Macbook and the access point is is shown, as well as the channel (channel number will tell you if you are on the 2.4GHz (channel 1-13) or 5GHz (channel 36 or higher) network).