Friday, 5 October 2012

SOLVED: Issues with 2012 Airport Express

Apple has updated their entry-level wireless access point, the Airport Express.  The new version is a nice little square white box, supporting simultaneous dual-band operation (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies) plus the new 802.11n (high speed) mode.

The first time I installed this device, using the default factory settings, there was a problem with backward compatibility for non-"n" wireless devices.   I found I had to disable "n" support in order for any non-"n" devices to be able to find the wireless network.   Even then, performance was slow: the device had trouble sustaining 1 Megabit of throughput.  Yet the 5 GHz channel worked fine.

In the end, this turned out to be due to a strong local interference source (probably some dodgy imported consumer gadget) that was interfering with channel 7.  Switching to channel 1 solved the problem.  I never did find out what was interfering with the middle channels.

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