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Old 10-03-2007, 08:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Airport Extreme Router: Anyone Get One Working? Or not working?

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I've seen many posts about the Apple Airport Extreme Router. Most, if not all, are posting about trouble.

If you have an Airport Extreme Router please post your results here in this thread. Either we can figure out what to do to get them working or we can decide once and for all that they are not compatible.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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"unable to find the requested server"

-I appreciate you looking into this! I am on day 1 with my 8320 and to test this feature I went and selected WiFi only in my Mobile Network.

Cheers!
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am new to blackberry and all of this stuff so please forgive me if I use the wrong terms here. I found something interesting. I was connecting with my airport and would get cut off after a short bit. I noticed that the cutoffs was coinciding with my imac going into powersave or screensaver mode (not sure which, it occurs when screen is inactive). When I keep hitting the spacebar or moving the mouse, I can keep on talking with no cutoff. Seems bizarre to me but maybe someone else can test it. So as long as I move the mouse and keep the computer active, I can talk.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A note to folks: this is a "pre-N" router - that means that it's using what Apple believes to be the right implementation of the spec as they read it. 802.11n is *not* ratified as a formalized spec by IEEE yet and as such different router's code may work differently based on how the programmers read the draft of the standard. Most assuredly your 802.11n iMac/whatever client works with it, it should be obvious why; this does not mean, though, that non-Apple gear will always work with it.

Personally if I had one, the first debugging step I would do is disable any and all 'N' functionality on the Airport Extreme device and go from there.

==
IEEE 802.11n - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
802.11 non-standard equipment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivviepop View Post
A note to folks: this is a "pre-N" router - that means that it's using what Apple believes to be the right implementation of the spec as they read it. 802.11n is *not* ratified as a formalized spec by IEEE yet and as such different router's code may work differently based on how the programmers read the draft of the standard.
The 802.11n Airport is set to work with both "g" and "n" configurations. Doesn't it mean that the router can be configured by the Blackberry as a "g" router? If indeed what you are saying is true than it defeats the purpose of having the speedy "n" at my house. I'd rather continue with the 802.11n Airport than tinker with it (reduce its speed) to satisfy my Blackberry. Grrrrr......
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Last edited by zGuy : 10-05-2007 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zGuy View Post
The 802.11n Airport is set to work with both "g" and "n" configurations. Doesn't it mean that the router can be configured by the Blackberry as a "g" router? If indeed what you are saying is true than it defeats the purpose of having the speedy "n" at my house. I'd rather continue with the 802.11n Airport than tinker with it (reduce its speed) to satisfy my Blackberry. Grrrrr......
The airport extreme "n" model cannot be configured as a "g" only router. If you are mixing "n" and "g" devices on your network you will only get "g" speeds. The airport extreme router slows all traffic if a "g" or a "b" device is connected. Thats why it also has the option to make it an "n" only network, to ensure your network runs at "n" speed. So your airport is already reducing it's speed to satisfy your blackberry.

levi
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by levimendes View Post
...So your airport is already reducing it's speed to satisfy your blackberry.

levi
Fair enough. So why can I integrate data but not voice?
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zGuy View Post
Fair enough. So why can I integrate data but not voice?
I don't have UMA, so I cannot answer that. If I had to take a guess, I would think it has something to do with the airport not having QoS settings, so that you can prioritize VoIP traffic over any other network traffic. If the calls are at least connecting and then cutting off, then you know it's probably not a open/closed port issue. As far as settings go, the airport falls pretty short, and I think that in the end it's probably going to take a router software update from Apple to fix the problem people have been having with UMA. And knowing Apple, until the iPhone uses some sort of VoIP, they aren't going to put much effort into it. But who knows I could be wrong...

I'm actually having problems with the data side. My BlackBerry stays connected to the router, but the connection to the BlackBerry Infrastructure drops frequently/constantly when I'm at home. I've tried eveything I can think of, but I decided to just order a cheap Linksys WRT54GL to see if that helps. At least with the WRT54GL I have more settings. And even more if I use a 3rd party firmware. We'll see though...
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levimendes View Post
I don't have UMA, so I cannot answer that. If I had to take a guess, I would think it has something to do with the airport not having QoS settings, so that you can prioritize VoIP traffic over any other network traffic. If the calls are at least connecting and then cutting off, then you know it's probably not a open/closed port issue.
I get connected then, after a couple of seconds, disconnected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by levimendes View Post
I'm actually having problems with the data side. My BlackBerry stays connected to the router, but the connection to the BlackBerry Infrastructure drops frequently/constantly when I'm at home. I've tried eveything I can think of, but I decided to just order a cheap Linksys WRT54GL to see if that helps. At least with the WRT54GL I have more settings. And even more if I use a 3rd party firmware. We'll see though...
Interesting. Data I have absolutely no problem with but voice is a different matter.
I refuse to buy a new router just because... We'll see if Apple will eventually fix this issue.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levimendes View Post
The airport extreme "n" model cannot be configured as a "g" only router. If you are mixing "n" and "g" devices on your network you will only get "g" speeds. The airport extreme router slows all traffic if a "g" or a "b" device is connected. Thats why it also has the option to make it an "n" only network, to ensure your network runs at "n" speed. So your airport is already reducing it's speed to satisfy your blackberry.
...continuing, when you mix networks like this then you incur different sorts of penalties, as the way in which an 'n' network works is different than 'g' -- if you want to find easier corollaries do some research on running mixed b/g environments, as they've been around longer and have a lot more writeups online. I'm trying to think of an easy way to explain this without saying "read the specs", but it's hard - basically in a mixed mode environment the packets have to carry the "old" method (g) and the new at once; the problem is that you now have a g device who doesn't understand n having to decode those packets and throw away the leftovers.(1)

We know you love your Airport and you love your Apple, but sometimes they don't make the right gear for the job. You can scream all day "but it should work!" or you can just go buy a $50 router (for your $400 device, no brainer cost ratio here) and use some tech we know works. The fact that your Airport can't be set to G only screams bloody murder to me - how do you know their implementation of the N draft is good? All they care about is if it works with their own hardware, since they write the ethernet stack for it as well with N capability (clients). Not to mention are you really getting MIMO speeds to the internet? I sure don't, I can't get higher than 1.5Mbps DSL due to my distance from the telco hardware.

==
(1) http://www.enhancedwirelessconsortiu..._spec_V127.pdf
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm sure all are aware that they have the option to drop the Airport Extreme router and go with a supported solution. But this thread is not about how they can get rid of their AE - it's about investigating what they might be able to do to get it working.

With respect to why they are struggling so hard to hold on to their N device - it may be faster than our broadband connections, but it is not faster than my NAS servers and it is the only wireless protocol that is fast enough for my media center devices 2 rooms away through a brick fireplace. N is not a luxury for me, and I'm for sure many others...

With respect to draft-N, that might be the problem, but there are other protocols, beyond B vs. G vs. N vs. interoperability, that come into play with UMA and blackberry data that could also be the problem. The fact that some are having no trouble with data and only have trouble with voice is evidence that it might not be just the fact that it is "draft-N" here. Either way this thread is about "what can they try to fix the problem", not just "it's draft-N so it will probably never work". That might be the problem, but without some more objective evidence to support that theory, perhaps there are other factors that could be investigated before giving up.

With respect to draft-N viability in general, my draft-N router (DIR-655 fw 1.05) works just fine with 8320 browser data, blackberry data, and UMA voice. I had problems originally and I was able to tune them away by setting QoS and wireless QoS settings (in addition to the fact that my router had a WMM setting out of the box). I now have rock-stable voice calls even while downloading files at the limit of my broadband connection at the same time.

Also, note that the Airport Extreme is draft-N, not pre-N. There is a distinction in the two terms as pre-N was "anybody's guess as to what they were doing - basically proprietary protocols with some form of MIMO" and draft-N is implementing a standard that is awaiting ratification. The WiFi alliance actually goes so far as to (link) certify draft-N devices and the Airport Extreme router is (link) so certified. It may not yet be a standard and it may be fresh off the drawing board, but it is a little more deterministic than voodoo science.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivviepop View Post
We know you love your Airport and you love your Apple, but sometimes they don't make the right gear for the job. You can scream all day "but it should work!" or you can just go buy a $50 router (for your $400 device, no brainer cost ratio here) and use some tech we know works. The fact that your Airport can't be set to G only screams bloody murder to me - how do you know their implementation of the N draft is good? All they care about is if it works with their own hardware, since they write the ethernet stack for it as well with N capability (clients).
I highlighted my disputes with you.
Firstly, I hardly scream: I love my Airport and the wickedly fast connection I get with both my Blackberry and desktop computers.
Secondly, it is a big brainer. My wife works at home and relies heavily on good and fast connection. This is far more important than having my 8320 going through some voice issue via UMA.
Thirdly, Apple's Airport "n" works flawlessly with our Dell desktop computer with "n" wireless card. This is not about Apple pleasing their ego (I care less about that) but about making things work reliably at home.
Finally, here's a report that even T-Mo's router itself is hardly perfect:
UMA/WiFi Connection drop after some time
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Last edited by zGuy : 10-06-2007 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
I'm sure all are aware that they have the option to drop the Airport Extreme router and go with a supported solution. But this thread is not about how they can get rid of their AE - it's about investigating what they might be able to do to get it working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
With respect to draft-N viability in general, my draft-N router (DIR-655 fw 1.05) works just fine with 8320 browser data, blackberry data, and UMA voice. I had problems originally and I was able to tune them away by setting QoS and wireless QoS settings (in addition to the fact that my router had a WMM setting out of the box). I now have rock-stable voice calls even while downloading files at the limit of my broadband connection at the same time.
Do you have a step-by-step process for this this?
Thanks for the insight!
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flar View Post
I'm sure all are aware that they have the option to drop the Airport Extreme router and go with a supported solution. But this thread is not about how they can get rid of their AE - it's about investigating what they might be able to do to get it working.
Never said it wasn't, and in fact you'll find many posts from me trying to help people - I just happened to have expressed an additional anti-fanboy statement that riled the hackles on a few folks, which I'm used to. Make any comment that Apple might do something wrong and people get red in the face.

Quote:
With respect to why they are struggling so hard to hold on to their N device - it may be faster than our broadband connections, but it is not faster than my NAS servers and it is the only wireless protocol that is fast enough for my media center devices 2 rooms away through a brick fireplace. N is not a luxury for me, and I'm for sure many others...
So buy a $50 router and plug it into the Airport as a subnet - Lunk does this, his works great. Who said you had to sacrifice anything? I said that a $50 piece of hardware solves the problem. (this is 'you' in the generic sense, don't mean you specifically)

Quote:
...and the Airport Extreme router is (link) so certified. It may not yet be a standard and it may be fresh off the drawing board, but it is a little more deterministic than voodoo science.
...and I can point out 10 "UPnP Certified" routers - by the IEEE - that do not work. I've learned to never trust a single piece of marketing, documentation or other written BS until I've gotten my hands on it and made it work.

Anyways, done in this thread - see ya in the next one.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Are we still talking about Extreme Airports - try landing on the top of Catalina Island.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Are we still talking about Extreme Airports - try landing on the top of Catalina Island.
Good pilots should be able to land anywhere, no?
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've landed on Catalina Island....The drive to Avalon is much worse than the landing at the airport!

Back on topic:

This thread was simply to find a way (if there is one) to make the AE router work with the BB. It appears it doesn't.

zGuy, you've flamed a guy who contributes much technical information to this forum. He's give you a possible reason why your AE router doesn't work. I find it hard to believe that you would return a $400 device because a $50 device isn't compatible. If I were to buy a brand new $5000 Plasma TV and plug it into my old DVD player without HDMI, Component outputs, etc. I would find the picture doesn't look like it did in the store. Should I return the $5000 TV because it doesn't work "out of the box." No, it means I should upgrade my DVD player to one that supports the new technology. There must be a router out there that will do what you need it to do for all your devices that connect to it.

My very first router was a Netgear. About 6 months after I bought it the company I work for implemented a new VPN system. My Netgear didn't like it. I called the IT department and they told me that Linksys worked better with their system. I went out and bought a Linksys WRT54G and haven't looked back since. It's just the way this tech stuff goes.

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Old 10-07-2007, 12:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zGuy View Post
Do you have a step-by-step process for this this?
Thanks for the insight!
I gave a detailed description of my QoS settings over in this post to another router setup thread...
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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zGuy, you've flamed a guy who contributes much technical information to this forum. He's give you a possible reason why your AE router doesn't work.
John, I never meant to flame anyone. I was merely pointing out my disagreements with rivviepop. But if I did: I am truly sorry, rivviepop!

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I find it hard to believe that you would return a $400 device because a $50 device isn't compatible.
Again: I never returned my 8320! I just chose not to use UMA (voice) at home. As I have explained, the Airport works too well for my wife and I to "putz" with it at this point. I love my Curve and I am not giving it up!


Quote:
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My first router was a Netgear.
Some folks have reported that even their T-Mo's router wasn't working properly, or to their satisfaction. The 8320 is a new device and there's a learning curve to be mastered. I am here to learn and, hopefully -- on occasion, to contribute.
Thanks.
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Last edited by zGuy : 10-07-2007 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
I gave a detailed description of my QoS settings over in this post to another router setup thread...
Thanks!
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