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This is an update re my Velop system. It has now been 6+ weeks since it was installed, and so far it has been flawless. No reboots, maximum speed everywhere in the house and even outside at the firepit. Ethernet connections to our Tivos provide max speed there as well. Netflix runs flawlessly. So far, they have been great. Very pleased.
I have had a 3-node Velop system for the last 3 or 4 months. Solid. Reliable. Fast. My prior multiple node extended AirPort network was flaky as heck and had drops requiring reboots at least weekly. I'm very happy with my Velop.... but it ain't cheap.
 


I have just had AT&T fiber installed in our house. It works exceptionally well...mostly.

There are 7 Mac devices: 3 Macs, 3 iPads and an iPhone. All but two of them get downloads and uploads around 100 to 125 Mbps.


In the order of age

download

upload



Phone 8

123

127

Mac Pro (Early 2009)

123

123

iMac (Early 2009)

100

124

iPad Mini

7

9

iPad Air (Old Version)

123

126

iPad Pro

123

125

MacBook Pro (2015)

6

6

I use an Airport Time Capsule for my WiFi router.

For the MacBook Pro, I switched to the AT&T modem’s built-in WiFi, and it delivers 123-123 Mbps performance. So, the difficulty is with the AirPort router.

The thing is, the AirPort is connected to three AirPorts to extend the range in a large house built in 1925 with lath and plaster walls. So extending the WiFi using the AT&T is not contemplated.

Has anyone any ideas why two of my devices are working so poorly with the AirPort, while the rest are performing just fine?
 


Are the Airports extending the network over wifi or are the Airports connected back to the Time Capsule over Ethernet?

if the former, then are the slow devices at the end of the connectivity chain?

Time Capsule~~~Airport1~~~Airport2~~~Airport3~~~iPad Mini?

Which Airport is the Mini connected to, or does this behaviour persist regardless of where in the house it's used?
 


Which Airport is the Mini connected to, or does this behaviour persist regardless of where in the house it's used?
Airport Utility will tell you which devices are connected to each unit. Click once on the icon for each unit in the main window and you get an overview of that unit's settings, including a list of wireless clients.
 


Airport Utility will tell you which devices are connected to each unit. Click once on the icon for each unit in the main window and you get an overview of that unit's settings, including a list of wireless clients.
AirPort Utility's topology map can display incorrectly. A client has three independent AirPorts in three buildings. They all attach via Ethernet to the same LAN. Sometimes one of the AirPorts is shown attached to another AirPort instead of to the Internet.
 


I have just had AT&T fiber installed in our house. It works exceptionally well...mostly.
There are 7 Mac devices: 3 Macs, 3 iPads and an iPhone. All but two of them get downloads and uploads around 100 to 125 Mbps.


In the order of age

download

upload



Phone 8

123

127

Mac Pro (Early 2009)

123

123

iMac (Early 2009)

100

124

iPad Mini

7

9

iPad Air (Old Version)

123

126

iPad Pro

123

125

MacBook Pro (2015)

6

6

I use an Airport Time Capsule for my WiFi router.
Does your Time Capsule serve 2.4 and 5GHz networks simultaneously? When I used an Airport Express, my iPhone and iPad Pro would sometimes decide to connect to the slower, 2.4GHz network, rather than waiting a few seconds and connecting the faster 5GHz one, and I found myself wondering whether it was 1999 again.
 


Has anyone any ideas why two of my devices are working so poorly with the AirPort, while the rest are performing just fine?
Apple devices are apparently really bad at switching networks, and will hang onto a network for an inordinate amount of time. Try toggling wifi on the two devices after you move them and see if your performance improves.
 


I second also looking into how the devices are connecting to the internet - i.e. map out how each base station is connected to the next and what computer is connected where within that network infrastructure.

You may find too many computers effectively trying to connect via a single 'extension', saturating it. Extending networks solves a big problem in older homes, but it also has a price: congestion, and the slowest link in the network will determine your max. connection speed.

I'd also upgrade to the latest 6th-Gen Airport Extreme wherever possible, because its beam-shaping and MIMO antenna performance is much better than what can be found inside an Express or older Airport Extreme units.

The Express was always best suited to either cover a single room (while using a wired connection) or to serve up a music system / printer (neither of which typically requires a lot of throughput). Older Extremes don't feature as many antennas as the 6th-Gen unit, etc.
 


I picked up a last Extreme on [eBay] - $60 plus $8 for the supposed 1-year warranty. Waited quite a while to install, 'cause no way was I going to mess with it in the middle of a key project. (I suspect we all learned that one the hard way.)

I'm the de facto admin of a small office/home network with 3 iMacs, 3 laptops - 2 MacBook Airs, 1 2016 loaded MacBook Pro - 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, and a Kindle. Interestingly enough, the Kindle was a breeze to set up. More on the MacBook Pro later.

Factory reset to kill the prior owner's settings. Things went fairly well. The best thing about the Airport has always been its ease of configuration. I had to move the HP multifunction printer to USB, due to a lack of ports. Logging each machine into the new "server" took some playing around. Some had to be logged in with the core network/server password, others just accepted a pop-up. Weird.

Performance is improved except for an older MacBook Air and an original iPad Mini. Both lack latest protocols. Even they seem to work "cleaner" for want of a better word. Interestingly enough, some operations are quicker than others. Not sure why that is. Overall, it is a nice speed bump and clearly worth the investment. A side note: I replaced a 7-year old Extreme. Rock solid the whole time. Donated to a not-for-profit. Set it up, and they're running fine.

So if you don't want the hassle of a 3rd-party device and don't need bonded/beamed, I recommend this approach.
 


My original Airport Express seems to have finally given up the ghost.

I had been using it to stream AirPlay into my whole home audio system. As a result of its failure, I still need an Ethernet -> AirPlay (AirPlay 2, ideally) -> analog stereo (RCA or 3.5mm stereo output) adapter.

Earlier in this thread, Julian Kettle mentioned the Yamaha WXAD-10 and sister gear as alternatives, but it is both pricy, large for the space available in my in-wall cabinet, over-endowed with features for my needs, and somewhat difficult to find in the US. My Amazon searches haven't turned up any other likely candidates, either.

I'm wondering if anyone knows any way to bridge this particular audio gap opened by the demise of the Airport Express?
 


...Earlier in this thread, Julian Kettle mentioned the Yamaha WXAD-10 and sister gear as alternatives...
FWIW, I didn't get my Yamaha R-N803 receiver for its AirPlay compatibility, but out of curiosity, I fooled with it a bit on my Mac Pro about 3 AM the other night... uh, three mouse clicks and I woke up the whole house. AirPlay has a much higher line level than the inputs I usually use... :-}

The point being, it was, in this case, dangerously easy to set up.
 


My original Airport Express seems to have finally given up the ghost.
I had been using it to stream AirPlay into my whole home audio system. As a result of its failure, I still need an Ethernet -> AirPlay (AirPlay 2, ideally) -> analog stereo (RCA or 3.5mm stereo output) adapter.
Earlier in this thread, Julian Kettle mentioned the Yamaha WXAD-10 and sister gear as alternatives, but it is both pricy, large for the space available in my in-wall cabinet, over-endowed with features for my needs, and somewhat difficult to find in the US. My Amazon searches haven't turned up any other likely candidates, either.
I'm wondering if anyone knows any way to bridge this particular audio gap opened by the demise of the Airport Express?
The obvious answer would be to get an Apple TV. Of course, in Apple's infinite wisdom, they removed the audio-out jack, so you'd need another device to extract the audio from the HDMI signal (another $20 and up on Amazon).

Does it have to be AirPlay (what audio sources and devices are you using)? If not, could a Chromecast, which is very inexpensive but wifi only, work? You'd still need the HDMI audio extractor.

I also see refurbished Airport Expresses on Amazon.
 


The obvious answer would be to get an Apple TV. Of course, in Apple's infinite wisdom, they removed the audio-out jack, so you'd need another device to extract the audio from the HDMI signal (another $20 and up on Amazon).
Yep, I considered the Apple TV and its limitations.
Does it have to be AirPlay (what audio sources and devices are you using)?
Yes, we use iTunes on our Macs and various music apps on iPhones.
I’m considering that option as well. There really ought to be a very specific $50 device for just this purpose!
 





I looked into the Raspberry Pi, and although I know I could do it and make it work, it’s more work than I want to do!
There's a variety of such items on Amazon and elsewhere. They look similar enough they may be the same inside.
I saw in the CES announcements that several TV manufacturers cut deals with Apple to add AirPlay 2 to their sets.
Digital Trends said:
Like any Internet of Things (IoT) gear, these devices and sets pose security and privacy risks. Take care...
NBC News said:
Your smart TV is watching you watching TV, Consumer Reports finds
Millions of smart TVs sitting in family living rooms are vulnerable to hackers taking control — and could be tracking the household's personal viewing habits much more closely than their owners realize . . .
 


Yep, I considered the Apple TV and its limitations.
...
I’m considering that option as well. There really ought to be a very specific $50 device for just this purpose!
If you're considering used/refurbished devices, you could consider a 3rd-gen Apple TV. It has a digital audio optical output that should plug into your stereo system. I'm not sure if that option affords any advantages over an Airport Express, but they go for under $50 used on eBay.
 


If you're considering used/refurbished devices, you could consider a 3rd-gen Apple TV. It has a digital audio optical output that should plug into your stereo system. I'm not sure if that option affords any advantages over an Airport Express, but they go for under $50 used on eBay.
Basically, there are a few choices:

Airport Express -- Supports Airplay 2. A "new" model, though pricy, should have a long lifetime. A refurbished one perhaps shorter lifetime, still pricy, and it's not clear who did the refurbishing. Also, I have 2 Airport Extremes, a 2nd Generation and a 5th Gen model. The Express could replace one of these if they gave up the ghost. (The one that died had its radio turned off, I just used it for Airplay.)

Apple TV -- I have a 4K model alongside my TV. The 3rd gen is relatively old, so I'm not sure about its lifetime or Airplay 2 support. Also, it's a lot of overhead for what I need. Later models would need an HDMI conversion adapter.

Off-brand adapters -- I did come across the Riversong and variants on Amazon. None are reviewed particularly well, and I have no idea about the quality or Airplay 2 support. Less expensive, but risky, I think.

Raspberry Pi -- A fun project, but complex and more time than I want to spend. Also, apparently no Airplay 2 support. I'm not sure about the cost or fitting it into my wiring cabinet. Somewhat risky.

I'm leaning towards a new Airport Express at this point, but welcome any input folks are willing to provide.
 


... I'm leaning towards a new Airport Express at this point, but welcome any input folks are willing to provide.
Although possibly more expensive than you want, many stereo receivers (especially home theater models) include the ability to stream audio (but not video) via Airplay. Capabilities vary from model to model, but you can find receivers that support Airplay or Airplay 2 using Ethernet, Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity.

A quick Amazon search seems to indicate that the least-cost new receiver with Airplay support is the Yamaha R-N303BL for $250. Lower prices are available for used and refurbished models as well.
 


Although possibly more expensive than you want, many stereo receivers (especially home theater models) include the ability to stream audio (but not video) via Airplay. Capabilities vary from model to model, but you can find receivers that support Airplay or Airplay 2 using Ethernet, Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity.
A quick Amazon search seems to indicate that the least-cost new receiver with Airplay support is the Yamaha R-N303BL for $250. Lower prices are available for used and refurbished models as well.
Actually, I have a wonderful Denon home theater receiver with AirPlay. Other than the pitifully small album art it displays, its AirPlay (1?) works very well!

The reason I need something like an Airport Express is that my home came with a central, 4-room audio system, and I used the Airport Express to feed it signal from within a metal wiring cabinet. A receiver would not be appropriate for this application.
 


FWIW, since Apple has abandoned the router market, buying an Airport of any kind seems at best a short-term solution.

I have three Airport Express(es) that were orphaned and can only be managed through the Airport Utility in Snow Leopard. They were actually less than two years old when cut loose from support.

Seems ironic that just as Apple abandons the router marker, other companies are successfully selling expensive mesh systems, some of which require paid subscriptions.
 


Newer Sonos devices support Airplay 2, and older devices with Airplay 1 can be made to work with Sonos using a program called "AudioBridge". And once you have either Airplay 1 or 2 working, you can stream anything to it using a program called "Airfoil". Sonos have their own app, but it is limited to your iTunes library and Spotify I think. Unfortunately the "Sonos:Connect" device you would need to bridge to your audio system is not Airplay 2 compatible, but still should work with Airplay 1 and AudioBridge. I use a Sonos Connect:Amp, which I am very happy with (but they are not cheap).
 


Newer Sonos devices support Airplay 2, and older devices with Airplay 1 can be made to work with Sonos using a program called "AudioBridge". And once you have either Airplay 1 or 2 working, you can stream anything to it using a program called "Airfoil". Sonos have their own app, but it is limited to your iTunes library and Spotify I think. Unfortunately the "Sonos:Connect" device you would need to bridge to your audio system is not Airplay 2 compatible, but still should work with Airplay 1 and AudioBridge. I use a Sonos Connect:Amp, which I am very happy with (but they are not cheap).
Jumping in only to reference real world use of Airfoil and highly recommend it, I use it on my MacBook Air audio server to take the audio from beaTunes (another highly recommended iTunes alternative) and send it to my Apple TV Gen 3 (for the digital audio output mentioned earlier in this thread) for attached AudioEngine speakers, and to two different Wren V5US speakers in other rooms. They support AirPlay quite nicely. :-).

AirFoil works flawlessly and delivers AirPlay audio to three rooms with no synchronization artifacts between them (a dealbreaker when trying to use a mix of direct attached and AirPlay speakers). And this is on a Google WiFi mesh.
 


After hearing an NPR piece yesterday including a discussion of 5G with a Verizon executive, it dawned on me that Apple's bailing from the WiFi router market may be due to a perception that all current WiFi hardware, mesh and otherwise, will be legacy hardware (at best) when 5G becomes widespread in a few years. The first 5G products to be rolled out, supposedly, are not phones but hotspots, which will provide very high bandwidth in-home or in-business connections. Ethernet- or fiber/cable-connected WiFi may be a fading memory five or six years from now.
 



FWIW, since Apple has abandoned the router market, buying an Airport of any kind seems at best a short-term solution.
...can only be managed through the Airport Utility in Snow Leopard. They were actually less than two years old when cut loose from support.
George, I have one set up here (Time Capsule) that is routinely used and managed by a computer with Mac OS X 10.6.8. Indeed, it was originally set up using 10.6.8.

I just checked with the same Mac Pro running OS X 10.11.6, connected via ethernet, and it sees and manages the Time Capsule without any problems.

Particulars:
Time Capsule on Firmware 7.7.9
10.6.8 AIrPort Utility Version 5.6.1
10.11.6 AIrPort Utility Version 6.3.6

I would suggest checking the firmware version and updating it if offered. This Time Capsule is most likely about the same generation (4th, 2011 to 2013) if your Expresses are 2012 (2nd gen) or newer.
 





Newer Sonos devices support Airplay 2, and older devices with Airplay 1 can be made to work with Sonos using a program called "AudioBridge". And once you have either Airplay 1 or 2 working, you can stream anything to it using a program called "Airfoil". Sonos have their own app, but it is limited to your iTunes library and Spotify I think. Unfortunately the "Sonos:Connect" device you would need to bridge to your audio system is not Airplay 2 compatible, but still should work with Airplay 1 and AudioBridge. I use a Sonos Connect:Amp, which I am very happy with (but they are not cheap).
The Sonos app can access and play Amazon music on my iPhone.
 


After hearing an NPR piece yesterday including a discussion of 5G with a Verizon executive, it dawned on me that Apple's bailing from the WiFi router market may be due to a perception that all current WiFi hardware, mesh and otherwise, will be legacy hardware (at best) when 5G becomes widespread in a few years.
The non-mobile 5G hardware that they are rolling out is far more a conceptual replacement for the cable modem or DSL modem or fiber to Ethernet boxes that the cable/telephone folks have rolled out.

The bigger issue that Apple had in respect to the ISP providers is that more of them are moving deeper into selling combo boxes, modem+WiFi+"extra", where "extra" stars TV over IP / on-demand types of things where the other equipment in the house needed to 'talk' to their specific router directly. The other expanding practice was that some ISPs were not charging (or subsidizing) the router by having home routers offer up a "guest" network to anyone using the same provider (so the home was a location to broadcast wifi from).

It is a similar headwind that Apple TV will run into once we get to the point that all TVs are "smart TVs" (Android + Chromecast/Fire/Roku/WebTV all built in). That's exactly why there was a significant rush for "iTunes Content coming to several major TV manufacturers" (AirPlay 2–Enabled TVs) announced this past week or so at CES 2019.

The AirPort services don't particularly have the same option to be "plug ins" to other routers.
The first 5G products to be rolled out, supposedly, are not phones but hotspots, which will provide very high bandwidth in-home or in-business connections.
High bandwidth relative to cellular service from 3+ years ago.
Ethernet- or fiber/cable-connected WiFi may be a fading memory five or six years from now.
Probably not. It is not going to be faster than fiber/cable if broadly adopted and is going to have similar issues as DSL had in some areas where, if everybody in the immediate neighborhood is using it, you won't see those speeds. There is little sign that 5G is going to defacto drop bandwidth consumption caps (because it is a limited resource).

All of 5G coverage is not going to be sub-6GHz and mmWave. (An order magnitude more cell broadcast nodes for sub-6 is going be sitting on top of even more fiber and other wires.)

5G is probably going to do two things in home service. First, more older copper wires (DSL and basic POTS) get dropped in more locations. For folks with limited monthly download consumption, it may bring more competition - e.g,, large swaths of USA only have one creditable broadband provider - lots of places it is 25+Mbps vs 900k (or worse).
For example T-mobile, which isn't much of a classic "pole to house over a wire" telephone provider, may jump into markets where ATT or Verizon axe the copper POTS network. Will probably get more of Verizon invading ATT's POTs area and vice versa. A wider range of places will get something like 25+ Mbps vs 10+ Mbps, which would mean have a more creditable threat of "I'm leaving". I think the only impact on cable and fiber that already goes to the house is that the costs might stop their extra inflationary increase. Doubtful they'll come down dramatically, because the cost of rolling out the 5G infrastructure will be high enough that it will require substantial payment. (If IP TV viewing shifts to very broad 4K streaming and some modest 8K streaming, a huge chunk of all this new bandwidth will pragmatically "disappear", and the cable/fiber folks will have an edge again. )

Second, because there will probably be a broaden fiber backbone to more 5G towers/broadcast points, some harder-to-reach places will probably get better access to respectable broadband speeds. Hooking into the last "mile" or last "1000" feet will be easier to get perhaps something like current home wifi speeds (or better). Some folks who were on the edge of a cable/fiber zone, but rollout stopped short, will probably get much better speeds. But the notion that 5G is going to bring almost universal 200+ Mbps speeds to "everybody" is probably overblown. The same places that have very high speeds now will very likely be the same places where maxxed-out 5G will be available in 3+ years, catering pretty much to the same folks they're catering to now and ignoring pretty much the same folks they're ignoring now. Where the coverage doesn't expand and fiber/cable is there, those won't disappear.

There is a third group that some folks probably think it is bigger than it is (or that the growth rate will climb dramatically) - there are also some folks who mainly try to use their "unlimited" data to do everything now (run the phone as a hotspot at home... so switching to a plugged-into-wall hotspot is just less of a workload drain on the phone). I think there would be an uptick in folks going into the cellular-only option, but if pricing got in the same range as cable/fiber, there would also be more switchers.
 


I picked up a last Extreme on [eBay] - $60 plus $8 for the supposed 1-year warranty. Waited quite a while to install, 'cause no way was I going to mess with it in the middle of a key project. (I suspect we all learned that one the hard way.) So if you don't want the hassle of a 3rd-party device and don't need bonded/beamed, I recommend this approach.
There are obvious reasons to take this approach but obvious potential problems as well. My own home network includes a latest-generation AirPort Extreme connected to my DOCSIS 3 cable modem in my second-floor home office, and to a nearby iMac by Ethernet, but also connected to a latest-generation AirPort Express (which is 802.11n and 2.4 GHz only) configured in bridge mode. Most of my Nest WiFi devices integrate to my LAN via the downstairs AirPort Express.

Periodically, one or more of my Nest Cameras goes offline for various intervals. Sometimes when this happens I discover that AirPort Utility cannot find one or the other of my base stations. Sometimes the reason is easily discernible; e.g., my WiFi connection has changed to a nearby Comcast XfinityWifi SSID instead of my own base stations (despite my attempts to prevent that from happening via customizing my settings in System Preferences > Network > WiFi. However, sometimes one or the other Apple base stations needs to be rebooted in order to obtain any internet access from my LAN. Since Apple no longer actively supports the devices, I think my current configuration is on borrowed time and that I'll be forced to purchase new "mesh" hardware in the near future.
 



FWIW, since Apple has abandoned the router market, buying an Airport of any kind seems at best a short-term solution. I have three Airport Express(es) that were orphaned and can only be managed through the Airport Utility in Snow Leopard. They were actually less than two years old when cut loose from support. Seems ironic that just as Apple abandons the router marker, other companies are successfully selling expensive mesh systems, some of which require paid subscriptions.
I am running Mojave on a 2018 MacBook Pro and using AirPort quite successfully. AirPort Utility 6.3.9 works fine with both my AirPort Extreme and my network of AirPort Expresses used to stream music.
 


I am running Mojave on a 2018 MacBook Pro and using AirPort quite successfully. AirPort Utility 6.3.9 works fine with both my AirPort Extreme and my network of AirPort Expresses used to stream music.
Just to second this, my Airport Express also works fine for streaming and music with a 2015 iMac 5k, Airport Utility 6.3.9, and Mojave 10.14.3.
 


Just to second this, my Airport Express also works fine for streaming and music with a 2015 iMac 5k, Airport Utility 6.3.9, and Mojave 10.14.3.
The three Airport Expresses I had were the 1st-generation models. At the time Apple discontinued them, I had one of the 2004 WiFi 802.11g only and two of the updated n's released in 2008 and sold new through June, 2012. I had purchased more and given those to family.

I believe I was running Mavericks when I decided to change the password on one of my n's and Airport Utility had updated to 6.3.1, which was released July 11, 2013. I just presumed the inability to "find" the device was a device fail, which had happened before, and Apple had swapped a replacement as it was tied to a Mac purchase with AppleCare. Was able to change the password with a laptop still running Snow Leopard and Airport Utility 5.6.1

The 2nd-Generation Express continues to receive updates, though not at an encouragingly frequent rate. The most recent security update is 7.6.9 from December, 2017. Information at this Apple support article:

In August, 2018 Apple issued Firmware Update 7.8, which added AirPlay 2 support for the 2nd-Generation Airport Express.

Yes, it is possible to "manage" the old devices by getting Airport Utility 5.6.1 to run on a current OS. But they haven't had any security updates since 5.6.1 in 2012, which is why the ones I own are not in service.
 


For anyone that might be interested in extending their use of Apple Airport Extreme, I just got a notification that LA Computer has the Airport Extreme on sale until March 5.

(I have no affiliation with LA Computer, but have purchased from them over the last few years.)
 


For anyone that might be interested in extending their use of Apple Airport Extreme, I just got a notification that LA Computer has the Airport Extreme on sale until March 5. (I have no affiliation with LA Computer, but have purchased from them over the last few years.)
I understand AirPlay is important for many out there, but is there any other real benefit of spending $200 for the above-mentioned AirPort Extreme over something similarly priced, such as the Synology RT2600ac?
 


One of the great attributes of Apple's Airport wireless system was that it didn't require a web interface to set up the stations. Less of a chance of the station being hijacked.
 


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