1 2 3 Previous Next 165 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2007 8:54 PM by Donnie100
Glyn Williams1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
Lots of people are reporting problems caused by replacing an existing wireless network with the new Airport Extreme 802.11n base station.

* Xbox360 compatibility.
* Airtunes issues
* 802.11n slowed down by 802.11g devices

One workaround is to set-up a dual-band network. Your old 802.11g base station looks after the older "g" devices. And the new Airport Extreme looks after the 802.11n devices.

There are a number of benefits to this solution.
* Everything that did work, carries on working. No reconfiguring needed.
* Everything works at its fastest possible speed. You can use the full 270Mb 5Ghz band for n devices.
* 802.11g traffic does not interfere with 802.11n traffic at all.
* It's easy to set up.

The downside is
* There are two boxes. I want one.

This is the diagram (again)


Note that in this configuration, the new Airport Extreme base station is set-up in Bridging Mode.

Glyn

Mac Pro + Powerbook G4 + Intel Mac Mini + iMac G3, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • 1. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    kms_md Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    this is a great review. however, what if your original base station is connected to a wired network (via the ethernet out) as well? How would this scenario be handled? Would the wired network be connected to one of the ethernet ports on the new router (working as both a wireless and wired bridge)?
  • 2. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    sumocomputers Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Your diagram is very similar to what I ended up with. And it seems to be working WAY better than with the mixed network. A couple of differences though:

    1. I am using the new AEBSn as to be my firewall and connect via it's WAN port to the DSL/Cable Modem. I can't think of any major pros/cons either way.

    2. The hardwire, or bridged connection is a CAT5 cable between one of the AEBSn LAN ports, to one of the old AEBS LAN ports (the WAN port on the old AEBS is not used).

    Also just as a note, I had to set "Allow this network to be extended" on the AEBSn, and set bridge mode on the old AEBS.
  • 3. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Glyn Williams1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
    If I understand what you are saying.

    You'd simply need to run a wire - from your existing wired network - into the WAN port on the new Airport Extreme Base Station (n)

    Put the AEBS into bridging mode - and everything would just work. (TM)
  • 4. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Michael Lyons2 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    This setup appears to work well . I was using a netgear 854 as a mixed b/g/n ..but from observation and in reading the 'pre-n' standard, it seems like the only way to get near the peak performance is in the 5.8 Ghz space.. This unfortunately forces one into a multiple router configuration.

    So I grabbed an N.. it's in bridge mode to the existing B/G/N .. I'm getting way better throughput on the Mac than I did in mixed mode, and can still access everything on the network. We'll see how it functions during the next week or two in terms of holding connections and the like . the 5.8 also makes sense in my environment which has a lot of 2.4 GHz wireless,cordless, and yes, even microwave oven traffic..At any given moment, there are 30-36 access points visible, all in channels 1- 14 !

    Not sure if we'll ever see a consumer router that can dual-band 5.8 and 2.4 traffic simultaneously.. and, if we do, it will cost as much as two separate routers.
  • 5. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Jingles1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am trying to do the same thing. But currently have no use for the n network, just a networked disk.
    So I would like the "connection" from AEBS old (has internet) main base station to the AEBSn to be wireless g.
    Doing what I think is correct config manual and still get steady amber on AEBSn, everything else still works.
    BTW I am doing config of AEBSn via ethernet direct to ABBSn.

    PB G4   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • 6. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,980 points)
    Do you want to have the second base station some distance away from the first, is that why you want the connection wireless. If it is you want both base stations to participate in a WDS network.

    If it isn't and both base stations are near to each other you would be much better off setting it up as per the diagram and having 2 (g) networks, things would move much faster than in a network of participating base stations.
  • 7. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Glyn Williams1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
    Ethernet cable will work much better.

    If you have to setup a WDS - you'll only get half-speed g-connections to the AirDrive.
  • 8. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Michael Fuhrmann Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I tried the dual band and it didn't work well for me, as soon as I would start streaming to the AE the n network would start suffering, even using the 5Ghz band, ended up using the dual..

    My other AP is a Netopia which is really powerful and using some other technology on top of G to perform better, maybe that's why it's running the N network down...
  • 9. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Glyn Williams1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
    Michael, that does not sound right. There really should not be any interference.
    I can stream multiple movies across this thing with no problems.

    Glyn
  • 10. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Peter Sacks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Glyn-

    One quick question about the dual-band setup: Can devices on the g side communicate with devices on the n side of the network (i.e., share files) or are the two bands separate? Can a Macbook on the n side connect to an Airport Express on the g side and stream music via AirTunes? I have both g and n devices and want to set up a dual-band network but I want to make sure some of the devices can still be networked.

    It seems like the devices should be able to communicate since the old and new Airport Extremes are connected via ethernet...but no one who I've spoken with at Apple seems to be sure about this.
  • 11. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    nightstorm Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I set this exact scenario up using the new 802.11n extreme and a 802.11 express unit. Works beautifully, allows everything to communicate at its max speed, and devices on either network can communicate with each other seamlessly.
  • 12. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Glyn Williams1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,015 points)
    Yes. Absolutely.

    It all works as one seamless network. The only difference is there are two Wireless channels.

    This solution was in Apple's documentation on designing networks.
  • 13. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Jeff McLeman Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Glyn, Nice writeup.

    I posted yesterday in this forum, that when I went to the 2 frequency network, the AEBS problems stopped happening. I was having AirDisks drop, could not re-authenticate, etc. Since adding an Airport Express on 2.4GHZ for th g/b nodes, all is hunky-dory. It has been 24 hours and the AirDisks are still online and running. Didn't happen with a singular AEBS(n) running on 2.4 withb/g/n mix. THey kept losing connectivity and bad authentications on the AirDIsk stuff.

    Apple has a way to go on this device. I am just hoping when the Apple TV shows up, it "just works" because if it doesn't, I will be sad
  • 14. Re: How to set-up a DUAL BAND wireless network.
    Michael Fuhrmann Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I've done some testing and here are my findings:

    - 2 Computers, 1 C2D N enabled and iMac G only in 2 diff rooms
    - 2 AX to stream music
    - Transfer of a 446 Mb avi file from Airdisk to C2D
    - 2 Wifi Networks: 1) G only from a Netopia 2) Depending from settings from AE(n), Both Base Station are placed aside. When G network is available both AX are connected.
    - With or No airtunes means a stream to the 2 AX from iMac while transferring the 446 Mb file to the C2D.

    446 MB / AE(n) 5 Ghz N / No Airtunes / Netopia Off / 2:47
    446 MB / AE(n) 2.4 Ghz N Only / Auto Ch / No Airtunes / Netopia Off / 2:13
    446 MB / AE(n) 5 Ghz N / No Airtunes / Netopia On / 3:14
    446 MB / AE(n) 5 Ghz N / With Airtunes / Netopia On / 3:20
    446 MB / AE(n) 2.4 Ghz N Only / Auto Ch/ No Airtunes / Netopia On / 2:29
    446 MB / AE(n) 2.4 Ghz N Only / Auto Ch / With Airt / Netopia On / Unusable
    446 MB / AE(n) 2.4 Ghz Mixed / Auto Ch / No Airtunes / Netopia Off / 2:17
    446 MB / AE(n) 2.4 Ghz Mixed / Auto Ch / With Airtunes / Netopia Off / 3:03

    Here are the findings:

    - Without any G network (meaning no Airtunes possible) the 2.4 Ghz N Only performs much better than the 5 Ghz N

    - While streaming Music the 2.4 Ghz Mixed performs better then the 5 Ghz N (Dual Band Network)!

    These are my findings with my settings, it could be different, but I'm pretty sure you will find the same behavior on your side. And BTW, the theoretical thru-put means nothing, only real life usage testing is worth something. So on my side I'm going for a single mixed network.

    Hope this sheds light for some of you.

    Micha
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