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  1. #1

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Question Airport Express Only Recognizes One Band of my Dual Band Router
    First some facts,

    I don't have the current Airport Express dual band. What I have is the prior 802.11n model released in 2008. (Firmware is up to date) My internet provider just installed a new 3.0 Dual Band Router. My computers and laptop airports recognize the two different bands (2.4 & 5 GHZ). Each given a separate name though the router ISP address is the same. My Airport Express will see both bands but will only connect and operate on the 2.4.

    My question:
    Is it the limitation of this Airport Express Model? Or, do I have to reset the AE and reconfigure it so that it will operate on the 2nd Band. Please advise. Thanks for your time on this.

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Whilst personally have both set up with TP-LINK modem/router reportedly no great advantage 5GHz over 2.4GHz. Have set each band with same SSID and password so work simultaneously.

    Is 5 GHz Wi-Fi Wireless Computer Hardware Better than 2.4 GHz?
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  3. #3

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Whilst personally have both set up with TP-LINK modem/router reportedly no great advantage 5GHz over 2.4GHz. Have set each band with same SSID and password so work simultaneously.

    Is 5 GHz Wi-Fi Wireless Computer Hardware Better than 2.4 GHz?
    So do you think that is the problem?... that I need to go back in and set both bands with the same SSID?... or will the problem still persist and it is the problem of the earlier version of the AE?

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    If it is indeed the 2nd version of the AE:

    It will not operate on both bands simultaneously.
    It is either one or the other.
    Yes, to change to the 5 Ghz band you will need to go back into it's settings.
    Don't have an AE, but am guessing you would have to delete the current connection in order to add the other one.

    I believe harry's point is that one is not necessarily any better than the other.
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  5. #5

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    If it is indeed the 2nd version of the AE:

    It will not operate on both bands simultaneously.
    It is either one or the other.
    Yes, to change to the 5 Ghz band you will need to go back into it's settings.
    Don't have an AE, but am guessing you would have to delete the current connection in order to add the other one.

    I believe harry's point is that one is not necessarily any better than the other.
    First, thank you for the assist.

    To clarify are you saying that even though the bands have different SSIDs, that I would be unable to choose bands within Airport Utility App without dedicating it to one or the other... and it would require a hard reset and reconfiguration of the AE in order to connect and receive the 5GHz band?

    I use the AE as an Ethernet connection for my MBPro 5.1, which acts as a dedicated audio server. (less jitter) When I disconnect the Ethernet cable and turn on the Wifi of the MBP... the Wifi of the computer recognizes both bands and allows me to choose which one I wish to use. (The both produce different signal strengths.) In that scenario surprisingly enough 2.4GHZ provides the strongest MBps download. Therefore I am assuming that it would hold true if I reconfigured the AE for the 5GHz...and that using it as a hard wired Ethernet connection, it would produce a slower MBps download. I have read on Apple Support forums that when it comes to the signal passing through walls and different rooms especially in an apt house, the 2.4GHz band is usually superior. So, I am probably best off leaving it in its current 2.4GHz configuration unless there is an advantage in upgrading to the latest version of the AE which in itself would generate and extend a signal stronger than its predecessor regardless of which band was chosen. The whole purpose was to try to receive the strongest possible signal in the other rooms.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    Therefore I am assuming that it would hold true if I reconfigured the AE for the 5GHz...and that using it as a hard wired Ethernet connection, it would produce a slower MBps download.
    Not true. It doesn't matter when connecting via ethernet (hard wired) what the frequency of the transmission radio is as you're not using it anyway.

    As for the best "pass through" frequency and greater range, 2.4 GHz is superior. The higher the frequency of a radio signal, the greater the reflectivity.

  7. #7

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Like the old saying if it ain't broke.......

    Just leave things be.
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  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullrun View Post
    ...
    To clarify are you saying that even though the bands have different SSIDs, that I would be unable to choose bands within Airport Utility App without dedicating it to one or the other...
    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    If it is indeed the 2nd version of the AE:

    It will not operate on both bands simultaneously.
    It is either one or the other....
    Quote Originally Posted by fullrun View Post
    and it would require a hard reset and reconfiguration of the AE in order to connect and receive the 5GHz band?
    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    ...
    Yes, to change to the 5 Ghz band you will need to go back into it's settings.
    Don't have an AE, but am guessing you would have to delete the current connection in order to add the other one.
    Your AE specs
    The newest AE specs
    Look at the Frequency bands for each.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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  9. #9

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Not true. It doesn't matter when connecting via ethernet (hard wired) what the frequency of the transmission radio is as you're not using it anyway.
    Sorry Chscag... I lost you here. If you are hardwired to the AE via ethernet, And, for conversation sake, say the 2.4 GHz band tests at 20MBps and the 5GHz band at 12MBPs via "Wifi" from your primary router... would not a relative difference in MBps also be apparent when the MBPro is hardwired to the AE and downloading? In this scenario, would not the 2.4GHZ band be faster hardwired than 5 GHz?

  10. #10

    fullrun's Avatar
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    @bobtomay

    Thanks, I got it.... appreciate you clarifying for me.

    We were getting 25MBps in our main room where the router was located, but only 8MBps in the bedroom and 3 to 4 MBps in the kitchen. Some interference had developed in the last 2 weeks. So RCN, our provider, swapped out the old modem and router... for a linksys 3.0 dual band. It was a surprise to find out that the 2.4 had the greater strength. We are in one of these prewar building and the walls are cement. The MBps in the bedroom has increase to 15MBps... though the one in the kitchen has gone up 5/6 MBps. I don't think it has anything to do with the dual band... but a better quality modem and router. The standard equipment is pretty cheap in quality.

    I still wonder if the design of the new AE would be more effecting in extending the WiFi.

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullrun View Post
    Sorry Chscag... I lost you here. If you are hardwired to the AE via ethernet, And, for conversation sake, say the 2.4 GHz band tests at 20MBps and the 5GHz band at 12MBPs via "Wifi" from your primary router... would not a relative difference in MBps also be apparent when the MBPro is hardwired to the AE and downloading? In this scenario, would not the 2.4GHZ band be faster hardwired than 5 GHz?
    I know it sounds confusing but think about it for a second.... when you connect via ethernet (hard wired) the radio transmissions in your router (AE) are not being used. Which means it doesn't matter what band you were using before since now they're both off. The speed you'll realize is that which is provided by the protocol and your ISP.

  12. #12

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I know it sounds confusing but think about it for a second.... when you connect via ethernet (hard wired) the radio transmissions in your router (AE) are not being used. Which means it doesn't matter what band you were using before since now they're both off. The speed you'll realize is that which is provided by the protocol and your ISP.
    I really want to try to get this. And I'm not known to be dense in these matters, but seem to be in this case
    Let's step back for a second: The AE IS NOT hardwired to a router. It is plugged into a circuit board in our living room. The computer, on the other hand, is hardwired via an Ethernet cable to the AE. The Wifi on the computer is turned off. Therefore, what is the source of the signal if not the AE's reception and strength of the Wifi signal? And, if that is so, would not the strength of the individual bands, therefore, effect the speed with which downloads would take place via its hardwired connection to the AE.

  13. #13

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Thanks, bobtomay... appreciate.

  14. #14

    fullrun's Avatar
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    Now I Got it
    Now I understand. I just finished a conversation with an Apple Tech regarding the AE. If my primary router was an apple base station than any additional AEs that I added could be configured to extend and further the network. But given that my primary router is third party (Lynksys) it can only join the network and get what it gets.

    Given that, there would be no real advantage in upgrading to the 2nd generation.. to save my money. And the increase in signal that I am now getting is simply because the provider put in a better modem and router.

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