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Waldo Pepper

Airport Extreme slowing down my connection

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We live in Hong Kong and recently signed up for a 1000Mb/sec internet plan.


When they installed the modem (and i believe it is just a modem) I plugged my MBP into the modem with a CAT 6 cable, and was achieving 800-900 Mb/sec DL and about 600 Mb/sec UL speed.


I then plugged the modem into my Airport Extreme (4th Gen Time Capsule) using the CAT 6 cable, then plugged my MBP into the AE with another CAT 6 cable and now get 150 Mb/sec DL and about the same for UL.


I've seen threads on the Apple forums about this speed drop but does anyone here have any suggestions as to why it's doing it or how I can fix it?


I have seen on the packaging of other router brands that they have a max throughput, some around 900 Mb/sec but most are generally lower. I can't seems o find out what the max throughput of the AE is?


Look forward to any advice,




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johnfoster    48

a cursory search shows that the Airport Extreme is sensitive to the cables connected to it and if a cable is out of spec it won't connect at gigabit speeds. the solution seems to be "if this cable doesn't work try a different cable." so why is this happening?


a cable is a cable is a cable. most people won't know or won't check what they are buying. they will get home, plug it in and it will work just fine. you'd never notice that it was slow because practically nobody bothers to update a LAN to gigabit speed unless they are in the graphics, movies or use other gigantic files. and in the US most of the internet connections top out a pathetic speed so you'd never know that cables were the problem.


some mom and pop shops make their own cables. a 500 foot roll of CAT5, a bag of connectors with hoods and a few hours will turn $80 with of parts into several hundred. I know because I made cables when I owned a computer store back in the 80's. cables = cash cow. except sometimes those cables didn't work. it was easy to get distracted, flip wires, make a bad solder connection or bridge connectors. even if they passed tests there were other ways they could fail.


I can see somebody taking unlabeled plain old CAT5 and upselling it as CAT5e or CAT6. because who is going to know? if it works it works and if it doesn't the cable may or may not come back as a return. I'm not going to drive across town to bother to ask for a refund on a $10 cable. that is unless I bought a load of them. otherwise that cost is eaten and I move on.


anyway, the solution is to try a different cable from a different source.

Edited by johnfoster

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Thanks John,


I might try a new cable.


As said in my previous post, I live in Hong Kong and there isn't much in terms of "quality products" here. It's more a case of get it done as cheaply as possible and pass it off as "good work". In this case, I bought cables which were labelled as Cat 6, but there is nothing printed on the cable shielding, as is the normal case. It wouldn't surprise me if it's CAT 5 or lower!


I have bought a length of CAT 6 cable with boots and connectors so I will try and make my own for a test.


Do you know of a website with some good easy-to-follow diagrams on how to wire the connectors?




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MacCast    80

I'd be VERY interested to know if the new cables work. I think I'm in the group that John mentioned. I very rarely test or monitor my LAN connections to see what kinds of performance throughput I'm actually getting. As long and my iTunes streams don't skip and my Netflix plays I don't really worry about it.

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