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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Connection speed to wireless network and other issues


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Chef_eam

 
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Hi, I just bought a new 27" iMac on friday and have a couple of networking issues. First, what should the connection speed to my router be? I am using a Belkin wireless N+ router. My windows machine connects to the network at 135 Mbits/sec, but the iMac only connects at 54 Mbits/sec. In the menu bar and the Network preferences, it shows the Airport card in the iMac has a full signal. I have good speed on the internet, but this has me curious. Shouldn't the iMac connect at a higher speed since it is also wireless N?

The other issue is that it appears that the iMac may be only opperating in wireless g mode. I set my router to allow only wireless n connections, and the iMac would no longer connect to the network. This has me a bit puzzled as well.
Belkin claims the router is Mac compatible, but not sure how far that compatibility goes since the usb port on it for a hdd is not compatible with the Mac filesystem.

Any insight will be appreciated.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
The other issue is that it appears that the iMac may be only opperating in wireless g mode. I set my router to allow only wireless n connections, and the iMac would no longer connect to the network. This has me a bit puzzled as well. Belkin claims the router is Mac compatible, but not sure how far that compatibility goes since the usb port on it for a hdd is not compatible with the Mac filesystem.
You may have to create a new connection in order for your iMac to "see" and use its N capability to the Belkin. The Airport card in your iMac is certainly capable of the higher N speed and should use it if available. As far as the Belkin being compatible, it is compatible. Also, I don't understand why you are unable to hook up a hard drive to the Belkin USB port and use it wireless? That too should work. The Mac file system has nothing to do with it.

I'm not crazy about Belkin routers since I much prefer D-Link, but your Belkin should work OK. Also, (and as you found out) setting up wireless in Windows is much easier. It just works.

Regards.
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Chef_eam

 
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Originally Posted by chscag View Post
You may have to create a new connection in order for your iMac to "see" and use its N capability to the Belkin. The Airport card in your iMac is certainly capable of the higher N speed and should use it if available. As far as the Belkin being compatible, it is compatible. Also, I don't understand why you are unable to hook up a hard drive to the Belkin USB port and use it wireless? That too should work. The Mac file system has nothing to do with it.

I'm not crazy about Belkin routers since I much prefer D-Link, but your Belkin should work OK. Also, (and as you found out) setting up wireless in Windows is much easier. It just works.

Regards.
How would I create a new connection? This is my first Mac, and I am still learning. Belkin claims that the usb port can only be used with drives formatted FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. I have not tried to hook an external formatted for Mac up to it. I may just try and see what happens.
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Chef_eam

 
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I was poking around on Belkin's site, and found a tip to try for the connection speed. It was about a different type of hardware, but about wireless n clients only connecting at 54 mbits/s. They said to set the security in the router to WPA2, so I tried it, and low and behold, I am now connected to the network at 130 mbits/s.

I tried plugging in on of my external drives to the router and I am getting a flashing amber light for the storage port signaling an unsupported device was plugged in. It's something in the router's firmware, and Belkin has no plans to update it to support a Mac formatted drive.
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chas_m

 
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Thanks for the tip on WPA2, wouldn't have thought of that.

As for Belkin ... with an attitude like that, there's no chance they'll ever see any of my money.
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chscag

 
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I tried plugging in on of my external drives to the router and I am getting a flashing amber light for the storage port signaling an unsupported device was plugged in. It's something in the router's firmware, and Belkin has no plans to update it to support a Mac formatted drive.
Well, that's bad news. Any chance you can return the Belkin and get a different router? Also, with regard to the "N" capability, you should not have to set WPA2 in order to gain the higher speed. I have a Netgear router that will do "N" just using WEP. Of course you should use WPA2 over WEP as it's much more secure.

Looks like I won't be buying Belkin products any time soon. Thanks for posting back.

Regards.
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Chef_eam

 
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I could probably return the router, but I probably will keep it. It's no big deal that I had to change the security (actually had to set it to use WPA + WPA2 because my printer does not do WPA2). It gets the faster connection and that's what matters to me. As far as the usb port goes, that's not a deal breaker either. It would have been nice to be able to hook the Mac formatted drive up, but with 4 usb ports on the iMac and a 7 port powered usb hub, there are plenty of ports to hook up the two external drives, my iPod, phone and Wacom tablet. I may eventually get an additional drive and format it NTFS to hook to the router so I can do a network share for the 3 computers in the house (I am the only one that has seen the light and made the switch to Mac).

And I have to agree with you...it was a lot easier to set the network up in Windows, but the way it turned out, having to poke around and look for a solution, I learned something in the process.
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