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TimothyMDean

Recommendations for configuring multiple Airports

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I've just received my new 802.11n Time Capsule base station. I'm upgrading from an 802.11b/g airport extreme base station. I have 4 Macs that need wireless access. Two of those Macs (Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, Quad core Mac Pro) have 802.11n-capable wireless cards. The other 2 (Core Duo iMac, G4 IBook) are stuck with 802.11g. I'm looking for the best way of configuring access to avoid interference and speed degradation on the N network.

 

Right now, I have my cable modem coming in, wired to the TimeCapsule. I have the older AE base station wired via ethernet to the TimeCapsule. I have configured the TimeCapsule to allow 802.11n clients only, and to use onlt the 5GHz frequency range. I have configured the older AE base station to support 802.11g clients only (and it only uses the 2.4 GHz frequency range, by definition for 802.11g). I am assuming that doing it this way will avoid frequency interference and will make sure that the 802.11g clients won't be connecting to my 802.11n network and slowing it down. Is this the best way to go? Will limiting my 802.11n to the higher frequency range limit its range and/or speed? Should I instead allow them both use the same frequency ranges and define specific channels to avoid cross-talking across networks?

 

I've also configured the AE base station to act as a DHCP bridge rather than assigning IP addresses itself. It seems to be necessary in order to allow the 802.11g Macs to see the TimeCapsule, I'm assuming because it forces all machines to be on the same subnet. Are there any drawbacks to this approach that I'm missing?

 

Thanks for any advice,

 

- Tim

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You've done exactly what I would do. Using 5Ghz does limit the range of the network, but it also increases the speed (300 mbps vs 140mbps theoretical max).

 

It's up to you what's more important (range vs speed). But apart from that choice, everything is set up as well as it can be.

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What you have is a Dual Band Network and that's the best way to go to get the most speed and least interference on the n network.

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You've done exactly what I would do. Using 5Ghz does limit the range of the network, but it also increases the speed (300 mbps vs 140mbps theoretical max).

 

It's up to you what's more important (range vs speed). But apart from that choice, everything is set up as well as it can be.

 

Thanks Graham -

 

What are the range differences between the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz setups?

 

- Tim

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I've not been able to find a definitive answer, but it says in my notes that its roughly half. Unless you have a very big house, I don't think you'll run into any problems. I've see it work at 50 metres (although it was getting a bit slow at that point).

 

The easiest thing is to just try it. It's only two clicks in the airport admin to change it if it doesn't work out for you.

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