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Steps, Sequence, and Router settings - Apple Airport

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I'm a new testmy member. I favor this site/test for periodic verification I'm getting the speeds my ISP, Comcast, promises for my premium cost service agreement. I should regularly get 20+ Mbps download and 8+ upload. Periodically the performance deteriorates to single-digit numbers on the download and 50% or less of the promised upload. I have a fairly new Apple Airport Extreme dual-band router and a new top-of-line DOCSIS 3 cable modem. I've been advised to periodically re-start all 3 connected systems - cable modem, router, and Mac, but advice varies as to the order in which to do this. Also I've gotten conflicting advice on various Airport Extreme settings relative to the factory defaults. I would really appreciate some basic advice on how to optimize speed and keep it optimized in my environment.

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Welcome to the site!

First, the order that you reboot those items really doesn't matter. However, it will get back online fastest if you turn everything off... turn the router on first, then the modem. This way the cable modem can get the Mac address off the router quicker to then register with your ISP. When when it really comes down to it, it will eventually come online no matter the order. Just a little quicker in that order.

I have no experience with the Apple Airport Extreme settings. BUT, if you post me screenshots I can offer up advice on what settings I would enable.

In case you don't already know how to take a quick screenshot in OSX, this is a way to take snapshots of small sections of your display...

Hold Apple+[shift]+4 -- crosshairs will come up, drag and select what you want a snapshot of. After release of the mouse your image will be saved to your desktop. ;)

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periodic drops to the single digits 98% of the time is not your hardware related. Its network congestion. Even with the best hardware, network congestion is a problem on your ISP's end. Not yours. Dont get me wrong, it could be something in your configuration over time bogging down, but i've ran my box's for 50 + days at a time ( which i would not recommended on a windows box -_-) and have never suffered speed drops. Altho i am suffering from a connection cut in half after running apex DC++ but thats a whole 'nother issue with windows max connections 2funny.gif

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If your testing over wifi i'd also like to add that having a router be backwards compatible with older G and B devices will make you lose out on a good chunk of your actual speeds also being on a channel with lots of interference such as other wifi or 2.4Ghz wireless handsets will drop the performance of your wifi network trial and error to find the best configuration is usually best because no wifi will be the same for everyone

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If your testing over wifi i'd also like to add that having a router be backwards compatible with older G and B devices will make you lose out on a good chunk of your actual speeds also being on a channel with lots of interference such as other wifi or 2.4Ghz wireless handsets will drop the performance of your wifi network trial and error to find the best configuration is usually best because no wifi will be the same for everyone

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Thanks for these great tips. I've determined it's purely a radio range/interference matter. Right next to the router, the download consistently clocks 30-32 Mbps, upload consistently 5 Mbps, which satisfies the service level commitment. Connected by LAN cable, exactly the same. Moved into another room, download drops to the variables that prompted my inquiry. I am assuming that with respect to radio range, there are no Airport Extreme settings that would improve factory default setting performance -- right? It's a dual 2.4 - 5 GHz band box, and is set to work that way. That is, the 5 GHz is not isolated as its own network. Also using default auto-selected channels, medium multicast rate, 100% transmit rate, wide channels enabled. Any setting change suggestions welcome.

Also, isn't there a way to extend the range by linking a second router in the other room? There are settings in the Airport Extreme setup menus that appear intended to do this, but (unusual for Apple) these are very confusing. Any dumbed-down explanation of how to do this, much appreciated.

This is a great speed test resource and a great forum. Many thanks to you wise participants.

By the way, this speed thing is not just an obsession with me. I work constantly with web access to my corporate Exchange system ("webmail"), and sometimes with Citrix access to my whole system, and fast upload and download speeds really make a difference.

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there is a way to link routers but its best achieved by using two routers of the same exact model and I don't believe you can use airport routers because you'd need to install a third party firmware on them, is your device connecting at 5GHz? If so then that's probably why your seeing such a dramatic drop in signal try using manual channel selection and try disabling 5GHz band don't do them both at the same time but do try it so you can diagnose what might be misconfigured

Man that was a lot to type on an android

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You should be able to set two of them up , I know you can use three of them maximum ( outward ) but you can do more as " spokes ". You might be getting confused as I don't remember the terminology being called repeater , it's more like a wheel / spoke . The ones I set up needed to be connected via cable, but this may have simply been the way that was chosen for this network.

You might want to check the initial software setup , you might see where you can set up as repeater.

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