5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2010 8:00 PM by Bob Timmons
Zebedee001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Here is my network problem. I have searched the web for answers, but non are Apple specific and most information is very confusing.

My house is old and built mainly of brick and stone. Wireless connections work relatively well vertically, but not horizontally. I currently have Cable modem entering the house on the west side and own 2 apple airport base stations ( 1 dual band extreme, the other just extreme) Here is my dilema.

My winter Home Theater project is finally done (June). It is located on the far EAST side of the house, probably 100' (wired distance, 60 ' wireless distance) from my cable modem in the basement on the West side of the house. I had a WDS network setup and working well through out the house. However, the Home Theater (HT) in the far EAST Basement could not see the network, or when it did, the signal was weak and unuseable. I have run several ethernet Cat6 cables around the house during remodeling and have access to 2 lines from Cable modem access point to HT. I have connected Cable modem to Dual Band Airport Extreme in WEST basement. That provides wireless internet to WEST side of house ( Network 1). I also came out the back with CAT6 to HT, where it connects to Airport Extreme base station on East side in HT. Then from that to Mac Mini (HDMI) for HT. Speed is slightly less than maximum and seems to somewhat sporadic going up and down quite a bit on speedtest.net. I also created a wireless network on the HT Airport Extreme to provide wireless connection to East side of house. (Network 2)

I need to add more WIRED lines to this system using either a Switch, Hub or Router. I realize that Airport is a router, but not enough ports available. Questions.

1. Do I use a Switch, Hub or router.
2. Where do I put it in the network. I Need a 8 port in the West SIde near Cable modem and maybe a 5 port on the East side neat HT.
3. I still need a wireless signal from each Airport
4. Do I extend the same network ( Somehow ) or create 2 different Wireless networks (Since they can't see each other any way) 1 in West basement next to Modem, other in HT on East side.
5. I need MAXIMUM Speed in HT for Internet to Mac Mini video streaming. I have a 7MB connection on Road Runner cable and at the modem I get a solid 6.5mb consistently. WIRED connection as stated above, get bursts of 6mb with speed varying from 1.5mb-6.0. This leads to a lot of streaming delays and jerky video.

I think I may have something not hooked up quite right.

Current Setup

Modem->AP Extreme Dual->WIRED CONNECTION->AP Extreme->Mac Mini
I I
Wireless Network 1 Wireless Network 2

I know this is long winded, but I wanted to get all the info out there. There is probably a pretty simple setup, but I need to know the correct hardware I need and then what to do with it.

Many Many thanks in advance

Jim

Imac, Macbook Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook, Imac G4, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • 1. Re: Airport and WIRED Connections
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,575 points)
    Welcome to the discussion area!

    +I also came out the back with CAT6 to HT, where it connects to Airport Extreme base station on East side in HT+

    You configured this east side AirPort Extreme (AEBS) as a "bridge", correct?

    +1. Do I use a Switch, Hub or router.+

    Switch. Make sure that you get a Gigabit switch to maintain the speed on the network.

    2. Where do I put it in the network. I Need a 8 port in the West SIde near Cable modem and maybe a 5 port on the East side neat HT.

    Connect the 8 port switch to one of the LAN <-> ports on the AirPort Extreme.

    The 5 port switch has more flexibility for installation, but to keep things consistent, I suggest that you connect it to one of the LAN <-> ports on the east side AirPort Extreme ( which is configured in "bridge mode").

    +3. I still need a wireless signal from each Airport+

    The west side AEBS should already be configured correctly. The east side AEBS should be configured as follows: (I assume you already have it in bridge mode and that you want to be able to walk around with a laptop and not have to change networks)

    AirPort Utility - Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab below the icons
    Wireless Mode = Create a wireless network (not "extend" as you might think)
    Wireless Network Name = Exact same name as your west AEBS network
    Radio Mode = Your choice here. 802.11n only 5 GHz for fastest speed, but only "n" devices will be able to connect. Otherwise, suggest 802.11n (802.11b/g compatible).
    Channel = Automatic
    Wireless Security = Exact same setting as west AEBS
    Wireless Password = Same password as west AEBS

    +4. Do I extend the same network ( Somehow ) or create 2 different Wireless networks (Since they can't see each other any way) 1 in West basement next to Modem, other in HT on East side.+

    See my comments in 3. above. You could assign a separate wireless network name to this network if you prefer, and don't mind switching networks if you move your laptop around.

    Please post back on any questions.
  • 2. Re: Airport and WIRED Connections
    Zebedee001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow, That was quick.

    yes, I do have East side setup as a bridge.

    I will purchase a Gigabit switches for the each side.

    I think I will keep it as 1 network and keep all setup the same.

    Thank you for simplifying a very complicated looking network.

    I will post results when I pickup the switches.

    Final Question.

    1. Is it normal to have a less than consistant internet connection over CAT6? Do you think I twisted the wire somewhere in the crawlspace or is it simply the distance it all has to go. It is well under the 300' CAT6 limit.

    Thanks

    Jim
  • 3. Re: Airport and WIRED Connections
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,575 points)
    +1. Is it normal to have a less than consistant internet connection over CAT6? Do you think I twisted the wire somewhere in the crawlspace or is it simply the distance it all has to go. It is well under the 300' CAT6 limit.+

    CAT6 is much more sensitive to any sharp bends than CAT5e. That could be your issue. It's no fun to pull another cable, but that may be needed if you continue to see fluctuations on the network for no apparent reason. And, make sure that you have good connections all around on the RJ45 plugs. A crossed wire will still allow the network to work, but it will not allow Gigabit speeds.
  • 4. Re: Airport and WIRED Connections
    Zebedee001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I use speedtest.net for checking my internet speed.

    Is there a way to check speed between 2 macs?

    How do I connect 2 macs over the network. ( I think I know this,but I want to make sure I have it right)

    How do I see the connection speed.

    Thanks

    Jim
  • 5. Re: Airport and WIRED Connections
    Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (78,575 points)
    +Is there a way to check speed between 2 macs?+

    The two Macs will communicate on your local network. If you are running Leopard or Snow Leopard, hold down the option key on your computer as you click on the fan shaped AirPort icon at the top of the screen. Look for the Transmit Rate number.

    54 Mbps is "g" at 2.4 GHz
    up to 130 Mbps is "n" at 2.4 GHz
    220-270+ is "n" at 5 GHz

    These are theoretical maximums. The "real" speed with typically be about half of these numbers.

    How do I connect 2 macs over the network.

    Connect to a LAN port for ethernet. Connect to the wireless network otherwise. If you configured both routers to use the same network name, security, and password, you'll be able to move around with a laptop and it will automatically connect to the router with the strongest signal, which is also usually the closest router.