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Topic # 115027 11-Mar-2013 14:50
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OK. Number one thing to note is that the tech side of wi fi is utterly meaningless to me. I do not know how it works, what the acronyms mean or anything of that ilk. Please bear this in mind when replying. I'm a photographer, not a network engineer! ;-)

Now.

Presently I have a wi fi network set up as follows:

Vodafone supplied Home Network HG 556a connected to jack filter

Apple Airport Extreme (2007 or 2008 vintage, the first large flat square ones) connected to the HG556 with Ethernet cable

Drobo network drive connected to the Apple Airport by USB 2

2 Airport Express units extending the network

The system runs as two wireless networks (lets call them Apple and VF) and the Apple one is WAY slower than the VF one.

The only other connection is a network printer.

What is the most effective way to improve this system? It has grown organically and seems a bit Heath Robinson.

All the users in the house are using (and will be continuing to use) Apple kit. Is it best to just buy the newest Airport or is there a better way that works well with Apple?

Thanks.

PS Note that the house is all concrete with steel rebar in floors and ceilings so not a wifi friendly place! Needs either an extender or an uber powerful signal.





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  Reply # 778046 11-Mar-2013 15:17
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How are the Airport express units connected to the network (wireless, ethernet etc.), and what mode are they running in (log in to them with Airport utility, and it should tell you - bridge mode, extend a network, etc.).

Also, what mode is the airport extreme running in?

Can you post the model numbers of each airport device, as there's several generations with different capabilities.

What's the rough physical layout, of both the building (1 /2 /3 stories etc.) and the equipment - modem, airports, printers, and users?

The Apple gear in my experience is generally very solid and reliable, however, liek anything, will benefit from some design going in to how it is set up.



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  Reply # 778444 12-Mar-2013 11:23
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Hi

The Apple Airport Extreme is in bridge mode/create a wireless network

I can't see any model numbers - but it's all around 4 or 5 years old now if that helps.

The house is 350 sq metres, single story. The modem etc are located in my office, which is at one far end of an approximately rectangular structure.

Users are one Mac Pro connected by ethernet, one Mac Mini connected by wi fi, one Mac Book Air connected by wi fi and two iPhones connected by wi fi.

There is a Vodafone HG 556a modem with a Suresignal attached and a Brother 7065DN connected to the network by ethernet cable.







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  Reply # 782628 16-Mar-2013 11:29
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Bump





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  Reply # 782629 16-Mar-2013 11:39
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Best option is to buy some decent AP's (TP-Link N300's are good price wise) and run Ethernet cabling around the house to cable them in.



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  Reply # 782666 16-Mar-2013 13:41
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sbiddle: Best option is to buy some decent AP's (TP-Link N300's are good price wise) and run Ethernet cabling around the house to cable them in.


That would be best, but very difficult due to layout and concrete structure. I'd have to put the cable in surface conduit and cross 3 double doorways and drill through 2 walls!





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  Reply # 782746 16-Mar-2013 19:02
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If your wireless is bad then you're not going to struggle be able to use any form of mesh/WDS/repeater mode for the exact same reasons that your current wireless is poor.

The other option is to spend a few hundred on HCNA adapters to run Ethernet over your TV cable or homeplug adapters to run the Ethernet over power to get Ethernet to the AP's.



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  Reply # 782812 16-Mar-2013 23:24
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sbiddle: If your wireless is bad then you're not going to struggle be able to use any form of mesh/WDS/repeater mode for the exact same reasons that your current wireless is poor.

The other option is to spend a few hundred on HCNA adapters to run Ethernet over your TV cable or homeplug adapters to run the Ethernet over power to get Ethernet to the AP's.


The current wireless is not exactly poor. I can use it 20-30 metres away from the router although further reach would be nice.

It's more that I am not sure how best to set it up and whether, for example, losing the older Apple unit and replacing it with a dual band one is worth it, or whether having two routers is useful or conflicting, or whether both of them should go in the bin and be replaced with AN Other router/modem combo etc.

We only get ADSL here - not even ADSL 2 yet (if ever Chorus replace our cabinet and conklin thingy I will be delighted) so I will be pushing up daisies by the time we hit anything faster than 10mbps on the fixed line - so I don't expect scintillating speed per se.

However the wireless can be painfully slow - much much slower than my Mac Pro on the Ethernet connection to the modem/router - and I am sure it could be improved. Just not sure how.





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  Reply # 782824 17-Mar-2013 01:05
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Geektastic:
sbiddle: Best option is to buy some decent AP's (TP-Link N300's are good price wise) and run Ethernet cabling around the house to cable them in.


That would be best, but very difficult due to layout and concrete structure. I'd have to put the cable in surface conduit and cross 3 double doorways and drill through 2 walls!


Homeplug/Powerline networking could be a good option then to allow you to locate a wifi ap at the other end of the house

http://www.tp-link.com.au/products/details/?categoryid=1657&model=TL-PA211KIT
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=777985



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  Reply # 782844 17-Mar-2013 08:56
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Ragnor:
Geektastic:
sbiddle: Best option is to buy some decent AP's (TP-Link N300's are good price wise) and run Ethernet cabling around the house to cable them in.


That would be best, but very difficult due to layout and concrete structure. I'd have to put the cable in surface conduit and cross 3 double doorways and drill through 2 walls!


Homeplug/Powerline networking could be a good option then to allow you to locate a wifi ap at the other end of the house

http://www.tp-link.com.au/products/details/?categoryid=1657&model=TL-PA211KIT
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=777985


Oh yes - those might work.

Not sure how well they would in a NZ building as I don't think they use ring mains here like they do in the UK (where every plug in the house is on the same circuit which sounds ideal for something like this) but I will investigate!

I'm amazed the power sharing the wires does not corrupt the data flow. (not for any technical reason: it just seems likely it would!)







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  Reply # 782862 17-Mar-2013 09:43
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Can I hook one of these up to a wireless access point?

And does it work if the plugs are not on the same cable loop?

Thanks!





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  Reply # 782875 17-Mar-2013 10:45
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Hi, how have you got the airport setup, as a router or as a AP bridge, there is a top level setting for this in the config. You should not be double routing just AP briding, and using a cable to connect it to the DSL router. You should ensure there only one DHCP server in the network, ie the device providing routing (DSL router) is the correct device to provide that. Once that is all done then you will get layer2 access to all devices on the lan without routing.

Dont connect APs via wireless as throughput has to be shared between the uplink and your connection tothe client. Also you might have a good connection on your leg between the laptop and the AP, but the AP to AP/Router wireless connection may be poor, so impacts on both. You must cable between APs, based on what you have said running cables is a bit of a mission, so you could just run a single cable from AP to AP, if the APs are infact routers in AP mode then you have a switch as part of that so linking AP on to AP is not hard. This is not an ideal situation, but its only a house so capacity on a single cable should not be a major issue.

If your place is full of concretes then more APs to ensure coverage is better. Dual band APs are better for this because there is more non overlapping 5GHz channels compared to only 3 in the 2.4GHz band

Cheers
Cyril




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  Reply # 782879 17-Mar-2013 11:42
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cyril7: Hi, how have you got the airport setup, as a router or as a AP bridge, there is a top level setting for this in the config. You should not be double routing just AP briding, and using a cable to connect it to the DSL router. You should ensure there only one DHCP server in the network, ie the device providing routing (DSL router) is the correct device to provide that. Once that is all done then you will get layer2 access to all devices on the lan without routing.

Dont connect APs via wireless as throughput has to be shared between the uplink and your connection tothe client. Also you might have a good connection on your leg between the laptop and the AP, but the AP to AP/Router wireless connection may be poor, so impacts on both. You must cable between APs, based on what you have said running cables is a bit of a mission, so you could just run a single cable from AP to AP, if the APs are infact routers in AP mode then you have a switch as part of that so linking AP on to AP is not hard. This is not an ideal situation, but its only a house so capacity on a single cable should not be a major issue.

If your place is full of concretes then more APs to ensure coverage is better. Dual band APs are better for this because there is more non overlapping 5GHz channels compared to only 3 in the 2.4GHz band

Cheers
Cyril



Thanks.

So if I use the power line system as discussed above, can I use an ethernet cable to connect a wireless access point to that device, thus making the wired connection (via the power line) wireless within range of the AP?





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  Reply # 782909 17-Mar-2013 13:31
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Hi, yes you can use the powerline carrier system to provide the cabled connection, however if and where you can implement pure ethernet cabling then do. Essentially only use wireless between the AP's and the Clients (Laptops/tablets) and use cable or powerline as the backbone between APs and main router.

Cyril

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  Reply # 783045 17-Mar-2013 17:57
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I can help you drill holes in those walls if you are in Auckland...

2.4Ghz wireless should have better penetration than 5Ghz (the other band in dual band APs) but don't know how much difference to expect. 2.4Ghz will normally go through 2 concrete walls and be slower after the second wall, so it might be an idea to connect your modem closer to the centre of the house for best coverage.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^



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  Reply # 783523 18-Mar-2013 16:04
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webwat: I can help you drill holes in those walls if you are in Auckland...

2.4Ghz wireless should have better penetration than 5Ghz (the other band in dual band APs) but don't know how much difference to expect. 2.4Ghz will normally go through 2 concrete walls and be slower after the second wall, so it might be an idea to connect your modem closer to the centre of the house for best coverage.


Sadly I am not! About 80km from Welly.





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