Drop in download speeds

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I've just relocated my iMac and printer from the lounge (where my airport extreme is located) to a study about 8 metres away.

The study contains an airport express which my printer is attached to to allow wireless printing.

My download speed has dropped from 37MBps in the lounge to 20 MBps in the study. I can still get 37 MBps in the lounge when using my Macbook. My iMac shows a full 5 bar signal strength.

My question is, is it the distance from the airport extreme to the airport express that is causing the loss in speed or is it the fact that my iMac now connects to the internet via the express and not the extreme? Internal walls are constructed of concrete blocks.

Would an upgrade to the latest generation extreme show any improvement?
 
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Which wireless base are you connecting to in the different locations??

Maybe try switching and using the one with the best speed from where you usually work from. If they're actually setup as wireless access points.
 
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nickyr
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Thanks pm-r

I have an airport extreme in the lounge and an airport express in the study where my iMac is. In Airport Utility, I can see that my iMac is connecting to the express and not the extreme. I need the express in the study as it's where my printer is located - it's set up for wireless printing and is in the only place it can be located.

How would I go about re-connecting my iMac to my extreme as a default?
 
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I'm not sure without doing some checking and Googling.

I guess one could always try just turning the AP Express OFF, and maybe force the connection to the AP Extreme, but that may depend on how they were set up.

I'd also go through the Airport Utility and check all the connection options, especially for the wirless settings.

Sorry, I don't have a definitive answer.
 
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if you have the older airport extreme n base station they where known for failing and they drop packets and connection speed all the time i would honestly purchase a new one and upgrade the issue is gone in the new base stations
 
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thanks for the replies

I just powered off the airport express. My iMac connected to my extreme and the download speeds are back to 37 Mbps

However I need the airport express powered on so I (and anyone else connected to the network) can print.

Is there any way I can set up the express as a print server only?
 
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We still don't know and you haven't said what particular AP models you have, the later models are much improved, nor how they are set up.

like make sure to configure your AirPort Express to act as an extender to your existing AirPort Extreme network to help boost the signal, rather than having it broadcast its own network.

Also some fine tuning might be required and the best you can do with Airport Utility which is pretty basic to keep things simple.

Maybe do some additional web searching as it relates to your problem and checkout Apple's kb articles: AirPort + Wi-Fi - Apple Support

I'm sure you can do what you want, but you'll also want it setup for easy access so that a user isn't having to change wi-fi settings just in order to print - which to me would be a real PITA. :D
 
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nickyr
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thanks again pm-r

my extreme is 5th gen, configuration: PPPoE and DHCP & NAT

my express is a 2nd generation, configuration: DHCP and Bridge mode

Nick
 
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chas_m

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There may be another solution to the issue, but I can tell you that replacing the second-gen Express with the newer one in the exact same setup *will* fix the problem.
 
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That's definitely the latest AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation) model. ;)

The real question is whether it's setup and configured properly for your use without any slowdown in speed. :D

Personally I'm a bit surprised that you're experiencing such a slowdown, but maybe the location and what you have in your walls etc. etc.
 
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chas_m

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Ah, you originally just said you had the second-gen Airport express, not the second-gen 802.11n model. That's two different units, separated by several years.

Yes, there's some other factor at play there then.
 
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there must be some sort of conflict going on.

with the express powered off I can get the same download speeds as I get right next to the router (37 Mbps) so it can't be anything to do with the construction of my internal walls

to update: since upgrading to Yosemite, the speeds I'm getting from my express have dropped to around 2 Mbps.
 
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Maybe this will help:
Issues with Airport Express, Airport Extreme, and OS X Yosemite

AFAIC, all bets are off and any help I can provide will not include Yosemite and I won't install it until it gets a release and fixes.

But you can try his suggestion, and also try using your Network Preference Pane -> wi-fi -> Advanced -> wi-fi tab and drag your access points to an order with the fastest on top.

The "?" will give you more info if you need it.
 

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