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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use Network
If you want the fastest possible wireless network, and you have all N-compatible clients, then on your AirPort Base Station, set the following options:
  • Radio Mode: 802.11n only (5GHz)
  • In the Wireless Options section, insure that Wide Channels are selected
Other vendors use wide channels in the 2.4GHz spectrum, but this is a problem as doing so can use up to 75% of this spectrum. Not great if you have a cordless phone, or neighbors that are also using 2.4GHz hardware mentioned above. As the 5GHz the channels don't overlap like they do in the 2.4GHz range, then this can be done. In 2.4GHz, if you wanted to have three non-interfering networks, they would each have to be five channels apart so that they don't overlap -- 1,6,11 for example.

You should get speeds up to 500MB per minute between two 802.11n clients with this setup.

[robg adds: I don't know if these are ideal settings or not -- if you have advice on setting up the fastest N-only network, please add your comments.]
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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use | 16 comments | Create New Account
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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: stukdog on Dec 24, '08 07:39:08AM

An thoughts on how this will affect the area of the wireless network? Will this decrease the range?



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: dgkanter on Dec 24, '08 07:59:24AM

If you have an iPhone, remember than—at least for now—it's only 802.11b/g so it won't see the n-only network. (I just got an iPhone 3G and it took a while for me to realize the reason it wasn't seeing my Time Capsule base station was because I had it in the n-only configuration. I had fallen into the presumption trap that all new Apple products were b/g/n.)



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: iceman314 on Dec 24, '08 08:17:23AM

I own a Time Capsule and I can confirm the settings described in this article. I'd like to know your opinion about the multicast frequency setting. What value did you choose?



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: jfschultz on Dec 24, '08 08:18:09AM

I thought about doing this and revive an AirPort Express to run a g network at 2.4 GHz. This is covered in Apple's documentation.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: booshtukka on Dec 24, '08 08:26:23AM

I do exactly this, with several Airport Express', and separate old Airport Extreme and Airport Express running an 802.11g network. Functionally works great, but what I didn't know - the more Airport Express' you have, the slower the network goes :( Any advice?



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: BobHarris on Dec 27, '08 09:14:22AM

> I do exactly this, with several Airport Express', and separate old Airport
> Extreme and Airport Express running an 802.11g network. Functionally
> works great, but what I didn't know - the more Airport Express' you
> have, the slower the network goes :( Any advice?

If you can connect all your Airport Express devices via ethernet, then you can create a Roaming Network where each of the 802.11g Airport Express devices are using a different channel, and thus not interfering with each other. I know getting ethernet to all the places you want to have an Airport Express can be a pain, however, if 802.11g performance is important, then this will give you the best 802.11g performance.

A roaming network is done by giving all the WiFi base stations in the the same SSID, the same security mode (WPA2 or WEP [WEP not recommended]), the same password.

Each WiFi base station in the 802.11g roaming network is assigned a different channel. Channels 1, 6, and 11 do not overlap. However, if your neighbors are close by (like in an appartment) and they are using some of those channels, you need to be creative to find gaps in the spectrum (utilities such as AP Grapher, iSumbler, Airport Radar, KisMAC, etc... will help you see the WiFi signals being used in your location).

Finally you want 1 and ONLY 1 active router in your home network. This should be the router which is connected to your broadband modem. All other WiFi base stations should be put into "Bridge Mode". Some routers have a configuration option that is labeled "Bridge Mode" (the Apple Airport Extreme/Express/TimeCapsule devices have a "Bridge Mode" option), or you have to configure them to disable DHCP and NAT services.

Once a roaming network is setup with all WiFi base stations connected via ethernet, you can roam around and your 802.11g laptop or portable device will automatically switch the WiFi base station with the strongest signal transparently. It can do this because all your 802.11g WiFi base stations have the same SSID and password. And you get maximum 802.11g throughput because you are not using any of your wireless bandwidth to relay signals between base stations.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Dec 24, '08 08:38:38AM
I think there is a typo in the original post - I believe it should be 500 Mb (megabits) instead of 500 MB (megabytes).

On my N-only network I get between 150-250 Mb/s depending on how far away from the base station I am. Given that I was getting little to no signal when it was on the 2.4 Ghz spectrum (I am flooded with 2.4 Ghz signal in my apartment), I found this to be a HUGE improvement.

(As a side note, I also resurrected an old Airport Extreme (802.11b/g) to handle my iPhone, Wii, and Xbox 360. Those seem to work pretty well since I'm not doing any LAN work with those).

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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: lokon1979 on Dec 28, '08 09:31:45PM

the original post talked about 500MB per MINUTE. so it is 8.33MB/s, reasonable for N wireless. although it is not common to count transfer rate by minute



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: critcol on Dec 24, '08 08:49:37AM

I agree with a few people here. I setup my Time Capsule for A/N-only at 5GHz with my unibody MacBook as the only N-client and I saw MenuMeters jump from a max Airport speed rating of 130Mbps in a mixed A/B/G/N 2.4GHz network (I know, I know, that speed is impossible with any G-clients) to 260Mbps in a A/N at 5GHz.

And like everyone else, I repurposed an older Airport Express-G to create a G network for my iPhone and roommate's older tech.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: gordonlbuchanan on Dec 24, '08 09:16:19AM

I replaced a wireless g D-Link router with the AEBS. Since I have both n clients (MacBook Pro) and g clients (Palm TX, Wii, Nintendo DS and iBook) I initially set up the AEBS in b/g/n mode. Later I realized that I could use both routers to have a g network and a faster n only network.

I set up the D-Link to control the internet NAT and as the DHCP server - it's set up just as if I was using a single router. The AEBS WAN port is connected with an ethernet cable to one of the D-Link LAN ports. On the AEBS I set Connection Sharing on the Internet tab to Off (Bridge Mode) and the Radio Mode is set to 802.11n only (5GHz).

This also gave me more wired connections - the gigabit LAN ports on the AEBS are connected to a desktop computer and a NAS hard drive. The 100Base-T ports on the D-Link are used for a SlingBox with two spares.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: mason55 on Dec 24, '08 10:39:45AM

This is what I did as well and it works great.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: stevanreese on Dec 24, '08 09:44:23AM

The choices you make really depend on your area, and your needs.
If you are in a city or have several 'b/g' networks nearby then 'n' over 5ghz makes sense. (Good coverage, no interference with the cordless phones.) If you need long range then 'n' over 2.4ghz is better.

My house and shop are about 500 ft apart, I have 3 Airport Extremes. The first creates a wireless network, allowed to extend, 'n' only at 2.4ghz, multicast rate 12, transmit power 100%. The second extends a wireless network and allows wireless clients. The third creates a wireless network, is not allowed to extend, b/g/n compatible, multicast rate 2, transmit power 100%.

If you set this up in your apartment you would be providing access to the entire complex and interfering with everyone's cordless phone.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: owaters on Dec 24, '08 11:30:37AM

A recommended setup is as follows - this provides a high speed network capable of a/b/g and n connectivity, however you will require a second wireless router (the one provided by your ISP for example).

Setup the second modem/router to provide the connection to your ISP and be running the DHCP server (if required). Setup this router to provide a standard a/b/g wireless network, allowing you to connect non n devices such as your iPhone.

The Airport will be setup in bridged mode and connected to your second modem/router. This will simply function as a highspeed wireless network base station in 'n' only mode. If your country permits 5Ghz with the wide band option selected for high speeds, then make these selections for optimum speed.

This has been tested and the networks functions perfectly with no interference and maintain an extended range, allowing all devices to connect to the same network.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: skippingrock on Dec 28, '08 09:59:13AM
The only problem that I found by doing this is that usually the wireless router that the ISP provides is limited and does not allow for the proper configuration of Back-to-my-Mac.

Make sure that you check this listing before you try this configuration if you want to maintain this feature.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1304

My 2Wire wireless router is unfortunately not on this list.

Cheers, skipR

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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: skippingrock on Dec 28, '08 10:01:35AM

What I'm referring to is a router with NAT-PMP (NAT Port Mapping Protocol), or a third-party Internet router with UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) technology is needed for Back-to-my-Mac.



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Set up an AirPort Base Station for fast 802.11n-only use
Authored by: Felix on Dec 29, '08 12:38:40PM

I had hoped to have a 5GHz (only) network in my residence until experience showed just how fragile and short range that freq band really is...worked fine on the main floor where the AirPort is located but wouldn't penetrate the ceiling nor floor to provide reasonably fast coverage to the upstairs bedrooms nor the downstairs guest rooms. So I ended up running two AirPorts sitting side-by-side and linked together, the primary AirPort connected to the modem. One AirPort dedicated to the 5GHz band (only) and the other to the 2.4GHz band which provides coverage to the upstairs and downstairs. 5GHz just didn't cut it.

But the added benefit was that I can now easily accommodate guests' devices which aren't compatible with the 5GHz band without slowing down my 5GHz network. And, of course, I have adequate upstairs/downstairs coverage on the older band.



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