While I’d previously been using an Apple AirPort Extreme wireless router hooked up to the Eastlink modem, I put this away in the cupboard when Bell Aliant installed a wireless-capable router — an Actiontec R1000H — as part of its service. Why complicate the setup, I reasoned, with possibly-dueling routers.
And things worked well, with bandwidth of 50 Mb/s down and 50 Mb/s up consistently since the original install.
Last week, though, I got a letter in the mail from Bell Aliant (curiously addressed to “Catherine Treasurer”) revealing that my (theoretical) 50/20 plan had been upgraded, at no additional cost, to a 100/50 plan; I saw no evidence of this in practice, however, with a Speed Test showing only 50/50:
I called Bell Aliant and asked them to check their modem, and they couldn’t find anything untoward, and so they scheduled a service call.
In the meantime, though, I wondered if it might be the wireless router, or my mid-2011 MacBook Air, that was the limiting factor, not the bandwidth into the office. So I plugged my MacBook directly into the Ethernet, and, presto, I was seeing much more bandwidth hardwired than I was seeing wirelessly.
I tried fiddling with the settings on the Actiontec R1000H to see if I could take advantage of heretofore-untapped capabilities of the router, but, try as I might, I couldn’t make it work any faster than 50/50.
So, on a lark, I took the old AirPort Extreme router out of the cupboard and set it up, plugging it directly into the Actiontec and creating 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks.
On the 2.4 GHz AirPort network I got much the same throughput as with the Actiontec router; on the 5 GHz network, however, there was a dramatic uptick to 150/100, which is more than Bell Aliant tells me I should be getting (I’m not complaining):
So I’ve canceled the service call for Bell Aliant, and am now happily booting along the information superhighway with three times the horsepower.