Airport Express --> Airport Extreme sloooooow

hi all

i have an airport express wireless unit and 2 apple laptops at home running through chung hua telecoms adsl here in muzha. goddam its slow… at all points in the house. if i hook up via cable direct its ok… so any tuning tips as i am screwed if i know how to ‘fix’ it.

check the signal strength. Perhaps you can increase the strength of the signal through the configuration.

Also, make sure that encryption isn’t too high, that may slow down data transmission. I typically use 64-bit on my wireless network.


signal strength is booming, but i will check encryption. thanks

well tried to sort encryption but the only options are WPA, WPA2 or both with wireless security WPA Personal, WPA2 Enterprise, WEP. i aint too bright on dem compuder fings either so i am lost.

WPA2 Personal should be all you need. To check if it is the security that is slowing you down, try temporally disabling security and seeing what the connection speed is like. (Remember to turn it back again afterwards, or someone might steal your connection.)

Also see if there is anything that might be giving you interference: lots of electrical equipment. Try enabling Interface Robustness, fiddling with the Multicast rate, and the Transmitter power.

First thing you should do is try changing the channel your access point operates on. This will help if the channel you are using is noisy or in use by other equipment nearby. Lots of equipment defaults to channel 6 or 7, so those channels tend to be unreliable in crowded areas.

If that doesn’t help enough, try setting the access point to only use 802.11b instead of 802.11g. This will force it to use a slower transmission rate. I’ve found that this makes connections a lot more reliable in my house. Unless you have an 8m DSL line, the 802.11b will still be faster than your internet connection.

In crowded areas like Taipei City, there is quite a lot of RF noise that will cause problems with wifi. Microwave ovens, cordless phones, other access points and other equipment all use the same set of frequencies and can cause problems with your wireless network.

thanks mate… what channels are least used and you would recommend?

I’d recommend getting a wireless sniffer program and see what works best for you. What I use at home is probably not the best solution for where you live. A wireless sniffer will tell you which wifi channels are in use, plus you can cycle through the various channels to see which one gives the best and steadiest signal strength. On the windows there’s Network Stumbler. Dunno what you’d use on a Mac. If you can’t be bothered to do that, try channels 1 or 11 and see which one feels better.

Using Airport Express myself and recommend you download the following widget for your mac (if you use a mac), at , it will tell you which channels in your vicinity is being used by whom. Thus, you can then check what channel is free of interference.

:slight_smile: Funny no one has asked how slow is slow? Maybe you’re just learning how slow wireless really is or there’s something wrong. I’d guess wireless is just really slow.

Copying files is not best done thru wireless. Or maybe you have an internet connection that exceeds what wireless can currently do. If that’s the case, we all can’t wait for 802-11n.

For optimizing wireless speed, I think it goes WPA, WEP 128 and 64. You could go for the fastest if you’re ok with giving up security.

thx all…

the problem now is that it is dropping out… not the wireless router per se - its going strong - but rather the adsl box itself… its flashing red then green then red… dropping in and out quite a bit. needless to say reliability is nil. could chung hua be having problems?

That is probably an unrelated problem. Check for corrosion on the in- and out-connectors in the ADSL box and cables. Corrosion disabled our home internet.

X3M… now why didnt I think of that!

given the amount of damp our house copped over winter you may have struck the nail on the head… :bravo:

Bingo: your ADSL line is flaking out. You’ll need to call out Chunghwa Telecom to check the wiring. Hopefully they can hook you up to a new pair and get your connection more reliable.

802.11b is rated at 11 megabits and I typically see 4-5 megabits real performance. 802.11g is rated at 54 megabits and I typically see 20-23 megabits real performance. That’s where the base station and laptop are in the same room on a clear channel.

If all you are doing is using your Internet connection, you should see the same performance wired or unwired even with 802.11b unless you have a connection faster than 4 megabits (In Taiwan that would be 8m/640k DSL or faster). 802.11g should offer performance on any speed DSL line currently available, though would be slower than some of the rare FTTH connections.

In Taipei I’ve found that 802.11b is pretty stable at 4-5 megabits once you find a clear channel to use. I’ve had trouble maintaining reliable 802.11g connections in Taipei and found that it offers very sporadic performance, often less than 802.11b due to packet loss.

As you mention, copying files between computers on the same LAN over wireless can be fairly painful. When I need to do that I will usually hook up my laptop with ethernet to copy the files.

802.11n is supposed to offer much better connection stability and real performance better than 100m fast ethernet, but it’ll be the end of the year before the spec is finalized. I’d recommend waiting than buying one of the pre-N routers available now.

we called chung hua and they ‘tested’ the adsl box… apparently its fine and they are blaming the airport itself, which even to my tech void mind, sounds like bollox. the frakin adsl box flashes red and green for crissakes…

they also said they can test the airport from where they are… is this true?

Which light is flashing green then red? (And what kind of modem do you have?) If it’s the LAN light then it’s possible it’s the Airport that’s busted (or maybe just the cable?). If it’s the WAN/LINK or ALARM light then it’s the line or the modem that’s busted. They can do some tests remotely but they really need to send out a technician to test the line completely.

Try unplugging the Airport completely and see if the lights are still flashing between red and green. If they are, it’s really their problem.

ok, chung hua came out today.

we recently installed a wireless extension to the land line upstairs and the phone guy reckons this was interfering with the adsl box… could this be true? anyway, he installed someting he called a micro-filter on the upstairs phone. wait and see i suppose.

he also suckered us into upgrading to the 8mb optical service… see how that goes as well

Definitely. Any equipment on the line should be behind a filter or it may cause problems. Most equipment won’t, but you never know what may cause a problem. I had a problem like this when they installed the security system at my shop. After they did it, the DSL stopped working completely. Moved the security system to the other phone line and the DSL was fine again. (A filter would have worked too, but it was easier just to move it to the other line in this case.)

By the way, did they tell you what the uplink speed is on the 8m optical service?

not sure what that is but i asked 'if its optical why arent you changing our adsl box?" he said its optical to the station about 100m down the road, then adsl style to here… sounds like a bit of a scam and certainly not true 8mb optical. thoughts?