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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

[HELP] Extending Wireless Network


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Shad0w

 
Member Since: May 18, 2011
Posts: 3
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Hi guys,

I have a home with tick walls and creating a decent wireless network was always a challenge. Recently Iíve decided to go for Apple products since I had a 4th gen airport express that worked well for airplay.

I bought a new time capsule, airport extreme, and one airport express. So in total I have 4 apple devices that I can use for creating a good wireless network. But what I found out is that having a full signal doesnít mean that you will have good speeds, and speeds are really slow like 3Mb/s max on some places on the house.

The way that everything is configured at the moment is that Iíve configured the time capsule to be the main router and with the other three Iíve spreaded them over my house and selected the option to extend a wireless network using Airport Utility 6.2 on OSX.

What is strange that I have a full signal on almost all corners but very bad speeds. I did some research and found a tool that would show what the less crowded channel that you can choose for you wireless network (Meraki WiFi Stumbler)

In all my experience of extending a wireless network Iíve always used routers with DD-WRT so I could select the router to be a repeater bridge (and have two distinct networks, with different names) or link the routers with WDS linking them using the MAC address. In both cases all the documentation Iíve read recommended to set all routers of the same network with the same channel.

When I used the stumbler tool to see what channel my network was, since it was set as automatic because itís the recommendation of Apple documentation, I found out that all 4 routers were operating on different channel on both 2.4Ghz frequencies and 5Ghz frequencies.

What is strange with the wireless network is that sometimes when it is really slow the speed of the internet, if I disconnect from the wireless network and connect again it gets a better connection, like I was connection to a closer router. But after sometime speeds get crappy again, like it changed to the far router again.

My question is, what is the best way to link all this routers together wirelessly? Is there a way to make them to be all on the same channel? Is that important?

On the Airport Utility 6.2 I donít see any field that would make possible to link this routers using WDS. On the internet I found some documentation for configuring the routers with WDS with the Airport Utility 5.6.

All my routers are updated to the latest version (7.6.3). Please let me know how to proceed to have a decent network on my house. I wouldnít mind having the network set with different SSIDs but it would be better to use the same network name on all the house.

Thanks in advance,

S
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mrplow

 
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Member Since: Oct 01, 2007
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You lost me a little along the way so forgive me if I miss something.

As a quick note there was no need to get an extreme when you have a time capsule.
A TC and a handful of expresses would have been cheaper and just as effective.

So the way it needs to happen is TC connected to your modem as you have now.

Then all the others just need to be setup, using Airport Utility, to extend the network.

This way the devices extending the network will all mirror the settings of the TC.

Use the wifi sniffer software you have (i favour iStumbler or the one built into Mountain Lion) to find the least crowded local channel and set the TC network to this. Set the SSID to whatever you want.

This will give you a seamless network across all devices.

You shouldn't individually change settings on the devices extending the network. Having individually configured settings, differing channels, SSIDs etc will 'break' the network

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

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Shad0w

 
Member Since: May 18, 2011
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At the moment it is configured like this.

My problem is that the signal its strong but speed isn’t. On Wifi stumbler I saw that every router is set to be on a different channel, they had to be the same no?

If its really slow if I disconnect and connect again from the network. It gets faster, like it connected to a closer router or something.

All are set to extend a wireless network.

Regards,
S
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mrplow

 
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.10, iPhone6, iPad Air, AppleTV2

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I'd revisit the setup again, they shouldn't be on differing channels.

But for performance issues you need to do a few things to determine the point of failure:
- turn off everything but the modem and router - speed test the Internet connection
- in the same room add another bridged device and test again
- repeat for each until the speed drop is experienced

How are you determining the strength of signal between access points?

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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