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Optimise your network with "Poor man's" Dual Band 2.4ghz and 5ghz

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
FWIW... Please provide feedback too. I already bought the wireless router and the Airport Express, I didn't want to go out and buy the Airport Extreme.

5ghz is good, by the way, I like it.

DSL modem is connected to Netcomm 802.11b/g/n wireless router. This supplies the 802.11b/g/ 2.4ghz N signal for iPhone, Xbox360, and anything else.

Then, I connect via ethernet from Netcomm wireless router to my existing Airport Express. Airport Express supplies a pure 802.11 5ghz N signal for my Mac, iPad2, new iPad and AppleTV.

This way, the Mac, iPads and AppleTV always "see" only the Airport Express network, hence WiFi iTunes syncing as well as AirPlay streaming is great, and the 5ghz network with maximum N speed doesn't suffer interference and/or dropouts such as when my microwave is running.

As for the iPhone, I'll just use a cable when I need to, but this way my iPhone and Xbox360 can access the Internet as needed without degrading the connectivity of the Mac, iPads and AppleTV. I don't play online games, I only need connectivity to update or download stuff on Xbox360.

Yes, the disadvantage is double-NAT, but I haven't encountered issues yet.
post #2 of 6
I'm not sure what is going on here.

Doesn't Airport Express offer both 2.4 and 5 GHz? The Apple page says it supports a,b,g & n, suggesting it is dual band. Activity on one band shouldn't interfere with activity on the other band.

Do you see other device activity interfere with the AppleTV?
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I'm not sure what is going on here.

Doesn't Airport Express offer both 2.4 and 5 GHz? The Apple page says it supports a,b,g & n, suggesting it is dual band. Activity on one band shouldn't interfere with activity on the other band.

Do you see other device activity interfere with the AppleTV?

 


Unfortunately, Airport Express doesn't have ~simultaneous~ dual band, only Airport Extreme has ~simultaneous~ dual band. Generally "dual band" means simultaneous dual band.

 

Let's consider Wireless N 802.11n only, forget about a,b,g. In this case, there are two bands for N, namely 2.4ghz and 5ghz. All new routers can transmit on 2.4ghz N and 5ghz N.

 

The complication arises because Mac, PC, AppleTV and iPad can use 5ghz N. However, iPhone 4S or below and Xbox360S (stock) can only use 2.4ghz N.

 

I have found 5ghz N to be the only way to fly. Interference can occur on 2.4ghz, due to microwaves, bluetooth, RF wireless, phones, etc. It's a total mess. We don't see it often but it can happen, eg. bluetooth and wireless headphone dropouts, etc.

 

So the challenge is using 5ghz N, while having a fallback for 2.4ghz N. In most cases this simply comes of ~one~ internet connection, ie. your cable/DSL broadband.

 

The easiest thing is to buy an Airport Extreme, and that pretty much solves all your problems.

 

However, if you have an Airport Express and generic wireless router, simply set one (I prefer an Airport Express) to 5ghz N, and the other to 2.4ghz N.

post #4 of 6
The new 2nd gen Airport Express explicitly supports both 2.4 and 5 ghz at the same time.

http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/#dual-band
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelsaw View Post

The new 2nd gen Airport Express explicitly supports both 2.4 and 5 ghz at the same time.
http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/#dual-band

Yes! It's awesome. Now this is the perfect wireless router I would easily recommend to everyone. Affordable, easy to configure, dual band, AirPlay and all that smooth. 5ghz is definitely really good nowadays, and dual band caters for Xbox and iPhone.

I'll wait a bit since I've still got the older AirPort Extreme.
post #6 of 6
Got my Airport Express dual-band just now. Working very well so far. I'm very happy I can now enjoy a better lifestyle.
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