An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#18973 - 11/07/11 01:09 PM Internet is slow in the next room
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
My laptop station is in the living room. It feeds off the router from the main imac in the other room in the house via a router and file sharing.



Usually things come up fine on the internet, but sometimes, sites just are too slow, they wont upload. Why is this? is there anything one can do? thanks!

Top
#18977 - 11/07/11 05:42 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Try a utility like AirRadar, MacStumbler, or WiFi Scanner (free from App Store) to check your signal strength and signal to noise ratio in each of the rooms. Odds are you will find either the signal strength in the living room is significantly reduced or the signal to noise ration is greatly increased. You might even find there is significant interference in the living room from other networks in the area, fluorescent lights, cordless telephones, microwave ovens, etc.

WiFi signals can be greatly attenuated (reduced in strength) by the presence of furniture (overstuffed chairs and couches are notorious), wall structure (the thicker the wall the more the attenuation), even your own body. They are also effected by the location of the router both in the room and in relation to the furniture in the room.

There are things you can try to mitigate the problem:
  1. If you are creating the network using the Airport in your iMac, get an Airport Extreme Base Station or an Airport Express and use it to create the network instead. Either will produce a much stronger signal than your iMac can.
  2. Relocate the WiFi router
    1. Six or seven feet high on the wall is often considered optimum
    2. Putting the router on the wall closes to the living room would help
  3. Relocate where you place the laptop in the living room.
  4. Re-arrange the furniture to remove barriers to the signal between the location of the WiFi router and your laptop
  5. If there is evidence of interference from other networks in the area, try choosing a WiFi band as far as possible from the band used by the other networks.
  6. If all else fails, put a repeater in the living room to boost the signal from the router. — I generally use an Airport Express for this specific purpose.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#18991 - 11/08/11 08:41 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Great post Joe, let me digest some of this and report back. I cannot move the laptop, it's a fixed new work station... but I'll read other ideas thanks.

Top
#19014 - 11/09/11 11:10 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Joe, I think wifi scanner is $20. no?

macstumbler seems to be beta.

Between the three is there a favorite?


Edited by kevs (11/09/11 11:10 AM)

Top
#19043 - 11/10/11 07:17 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
Between the three is there a favorite?

This is one of those choices that falls into the category of personal taste and priorities than any technical reasoning. I found AirRadar when it first came out and liked it. It is informative, and has an easily understood interface. I continue to use it because I have never found any reason to change.

MacStumbler has been around for a long time and many people swear by it and I have never heard anyone swear at it. The Beta is MacStumbler 2. There is another product out there called iStumbler. There is an interesting discussion comparing iStumbler and MacStumbler here.

WiFi Scanner is new to me. I just found it in the App Store and installed it on a friend's computer. Personally I find that while it displays the same basic data as the others it takes me more effort to comprehend what it is saying.

Again, it is a matter of personal taste and priorities.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19056 - 11/10/11 04:41 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Joe, cool. Air radar did work the best.
73% on imac
33% on laptop

Airport extreme is $180
Airport express is $100 (thats a repeater?)

Is all greek to me now but I can go to an Apple store down the block. It's a pity to have to spend for this but...

I wouldn't want to chose another network, what a neighbor?

How do you know of interference?

currently I have a netgear router, dsl is going into it.


Top
#19067 - 11/11/11 07:13 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: kevs
Airport extreme is $180
Airport express is $100 (thats a repeater?)

Either the Airport Extreme or the Airport Express can join and extend an existing wireless network. In my experience the Airport Extreme has a stronger signal, but because of the cost differential, I always use an Airport Express to extend a network.
Originally Posted By: kevs
Is all greek to me now but I can go to an Apple store down the block. It's a pity to have to spend for this but…

It was greek to me the first time I set up a network but although the terminology may be confusing, it is not rocket science. With WiFi you are dealing with radian frequencies that are high enough to become really squirely. They work and they do amazing things but some of those amazing things are not necessarily what you want and the variables effecting them are almost infinite. As a result, sometimes it does require investing in devices to extend the network. It is the not the fault of the manufacturers, rather it is physics that must shoulder the blame.

Originally Posted By: kevs
How do you know of interference?

Check the signal to noise ratio and look for neighboring networks on the same or adjoining channels. Channels in the 2.4 GHz band (channels 1-13) slightly overlap so if you are on channel 7 signals from channels 6, 7, or 8 can cause interference with your signal.

Some suggestions for setting up a repeater:
  • If at all possible, the repeater (Airport Express or whatever) should be placed six feet or so above the floor to get it above most structure and/or furniture that might attenuate its signal.
  • In your case I would try to locate it in the living room on the wall closests to the Netgear Router that is creating the network. If there is another room between the living room and the room where the Netgear is located the best location for the repeater might be in the intervening room.
  • Configure the AE to "Extend a wireless network" NOT "Participate in a WDS network".
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19069 - 11/11/11 08:34 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
thanks Joe, great info as usual.

Air Radar -- does not say signal to noise ratio. It says signal, and then noise.
Noise is at 0%.

So maybe I don't need the Extreme base then? just an extender?
Unfortunately the imac and the laptop are at fixed stations and there are heavy walls between - although only really 30 ft apart.

I'll probably get AE and test.

Ah, the noise just jumped to 19%. now back to 5%. I'm on channel 11. Still not much you can do about noise correct? There are no other networks to join, but mine right?

Last bit. I walked the laptop 30% over to the imac next to the router. It's showing a higher percentage than the imac. Went to 75% while the imac is at 65%. is that odd?

Top
#19071 - 11/11/11 08:54 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The Airport Extreme Base Station would be overkill. The less expensive Airport Express should be all you need. It is almost certainly the heavy walls that are attenuating your signal so in this case the physical distance is relatively immaterial.

There is some device in your home or in the area that is creating the noise you are seeing. Cordless phones, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, electric motors, etc. are all electrical noise generators. Of course most of these are beyond your control.

Your results are not odd. It all has to do with the location and orientation of the antenna in each device. Often a difference of several inches can make a significant difference in received signal strength. It is the nature of the beast.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19075 - 11/11/11 10:35 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
ok, Joe, will try the AE.
I do have 6 cordless phones in the apartment.
So more noise, the worse the signal rate? Noise usually says 0, but sometimes goes to 10 -20%

It's odd the signal rate would not be 90 -100% no? even when the noise is zero?

It never seems to go above 75, 80% tops, even with zero noise displayed.

Top
#19117 - 11/12/11 01:48 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
you could buy a refurb Express and save yourself a few dollars, as well.
_________________________
MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
stuff I'm interested in
iPhone 4s 7.0.2

Top
#19118 - 11/12/11 01:58 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: roger]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
at the apple store Roger?

Top
#19119 - 11/12/11 02:02 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
_________________________
MacBook 2.4 Ghz · 4 Gb ram · 10.7.5
stuff I'm interested in
iPhone 4s 7.0.2

Top
#19120 - 11/12/11 02:23 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: roger]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Thanks Rog, you think $30 is worth new?
also, wonder if one can return this to the Apple store if need be.

Top
#19122 - 11/12/11 04:40 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Apple factory refurbished equipment carries the same warranty is factor new.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19126 - 11/12/11 05:37 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: kevs
Thanks Rog, you think $30 is worth new?
also, wonder if one can return this to the Apple store if need be.

I've bought plenty of stuff refurbished from Apple and have never been disappointed. You would not know it wasn't brand new except it doesn't have the technology from 10 minutes ago.....and, as joemike said, the warranty is the same as for new.


Edited by ryck (11/12/11 05:37 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Super Duper on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#19129 - 11/12/11 07:16 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: ryck]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Will do guys, thanks. How does AE work. I just plug it into the other room that the weak laptop is, and it extends the signal from the router automatically?

Top
#19139 - 11/13/11 06:58 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
I just plug it into the other room that the weak laptop is, and it extends the signal from the router automatically?

Not quite. You have to configure it using Apple's Airport Utility that is found in /Applications/Utilities. You have to specify the network it is to join along with the network password and what you want it to do when it joins the network (Extend the network).
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19150 - 11/13/11 07:17 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Thanks Joe, set it on the desktop or laptop, or does not matter?

Top
#19164 - 11/14/11 07:04 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
You are setting the firmware in the Airport Express. It makes absolutely no difference whatsoever which machine you run Airport Utility on. There is one caveat which is Airport Utility allows you to save the setup for any and all Airport devices in a file on the computer you are running Airport Utility from. To expert or import a configuration file
  1. Open Airport Utility
  2. Select the device you want to save the configuration file from
  3. Click on "Manual Setup"
  4. On the menu bar go to FIle > Export Configuration File
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19184 - 11/15/11 11:55 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Apple factory refurbished equipment carries the same warranty is factor new.


I like to look at it as a good way to get free applecare, especially if you're a little leery of buying a refurb.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

Top
#19229 - 11/17/11 10:35 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: Virtual1]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Joe, got the AE, just wiped out.

I have it plugged in with amber blinking in the other room.

I got airport utility set up manually, to extend network. did all security stuff etc and just wont connect.
Lot updating and tinkering.

Now it just says it's unable to find any airport wireless devices.
Manual setup is greyed out. Everything is greyed out.

I assume I'm not supposed to run a 30' Ethernet cord from one room to another correct?

The airport is plugged in just one room away. Totally lost.

Top
#19251 - 11/18/11 06:16 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I have occasionally had problems with Airport Utility "seeing" the device to be configured. In those cases one of the following will generally fix the problem. In no particular order:
  1. Using a paperclip to force the AE into a factory reset by holding the reset button in until the light flashes rapidly. (The AE has to be plugged in)
  2. Rebooting the computer you are are running Airport Utility on
  3. Use the Mac that is physically closest to the AE for the configuration
  4. Temporarily move the AE into the room where the router is located in order to set it up. Once it is setup you can move in either into the Living room or if there is an intervening room between the router room and living room putting it in the intervening room.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#19260 - 11/18/11 10:11 AM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
ok Joe,
got it going.
i have it plugged in next to the laptop with a solid green light. Air radar has the imac at 80% and the laptop at 40%.

I unplugg AE and it still at 40%, hence it's not working or helping?

btw, how get rid of those loud beep sounds air raidar makes. thanks again.

Top
#19267 - 11/18/11 04:14 PM Re: Internet is slow in the next room [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: kevs

i have it plugged in next to the laptop with a solid green light. Air radar has the imac at 80% and the laptop at 40%.

I unplugg AE and it still at 40%, hence it's not working or helping?

  • Both devices are showing up in AirRadar?
  • Are both devices showing up with the same network identifier:
  • Are both devices showing the same channel assignment?
  • Have you rebooted your laptop?
  • Is your AE configured to "Extend the Network"?


Originally Posted By: kevs
btw, how get rid of those loud beep sounds air raidar makes. thanks again.

AirRadar > Preferences > General and uncheck the box labeled "Play Sound after each scan"
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac