8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2010 8:39 AM by Jonathan20
Charles Barr Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I bought an Airport Extreme as an upgrade to the Dlink DIR-655 that I have been using. The problem is that in the wireless computers located downstairs from my Airport and 20-50 feet away, I am now getting 25-29 Mbps where with the Dlink I had been getting 54Mbps or better.

Shouldn't the more expensive dual channel Airport Extreme increase the range and signal quality of my wireless network rather that reduce it by 30%? How can I make my new Airport Extreme perform at least as well as my old Dlink DIR-655?

Thanks

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 20 GB memory/ 1 terrabyte storage
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)
    A couple things to take into consideration: 1) Distance alone, but obstacles (like walls, ceilings, and floors, etc.) between the base station and the wireless client contribute to reduced bandwidth, and 2) The types (802.11a/b/g/n) wireless clients that must be supported.

    Chances are pretty good that just simply slightly relocating the AirPort Extreme or changing the wireless channels used will make a significant improvement in the signal quality as seen by the wireless clients at the downstairs location.
  • Charles Barr Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks. I'll try relocating the Airport Extreme. Presently, it is in the exact same location as the (thus far) more effective DIR-655 it replaced.
  • Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)
    As you can imagine, the antennae used in the Extreme is considerably different than that of the DIR-655 ... so relocating from the same position can potentially make a difference.

    There is also a more exact way to go about this and would rely on making Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) calculations. Using these, you can get a "visual" representation of where radio signals are at their strongest and weakest (site survey) to determine the best location.
  • Charles Barr Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Using the signal-to-noise ration on the base station's advanced page, logging and statistics, wireless page, I have moved the Airport around until I got a significantly better thru-put to the downstairs computers. It's still not as good as the Dlink DIR-655, but I suspect that's because I can set the Dlink to 802.11n only operation, which eliminates a lot of interference from nearby b and g networks.

    Is there a way to set the Airport Extreme to 802.11n only operation?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (88,630 points)
    If you open AirPort Utility and click Manual Setup,

    Then click the Wireless tab below the icons,

    And hold down the option key on your Mac while you click on the Radio Mode selection box, you'll see an impressive list of choices for both bands.

    It sounds like you may want the +802.11n only 5 GHz -- 802.11n only 2.4 GHz+ setting. That would allow only "n" clients on both bands.

    Message was edited by: Bob Timmons
  • Charles Barr Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    That did it. Downstairs computers are now at 58 Mbps. Who knew those options were lurking under the option key? It was like finding an Apple Easter Egg. Thanks, Bob and everyone else who contributed to this thread.

    Message was edited by: Charles Barr
  • Jonathan20 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    At first I thought the humid air in LA is impacting your signal but I find that I have the exact same problem in the very dry air of SLC. I think that I will also need to use the option button.
  • Jonathan20 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Also if you have range problems the all "n" will reduce your range even further.