Or is running a cable really the only solution. That won’t be easy to do…not impossible but definitely in the hard category.
I’ve got a TP Link Archer AC4000 Triband router running wifi 802.11ac at 5 GHz…obviously 2.4 is also available but the symptoms remain the same even if I switch the problematic system to the lower frequency.
Our daily driver laptops are both running 802.11ac as well although my wife’s M1 MBA and my on order M1 Pro MBP have wifi 6 802.11ax as do our iPad Air 4s. iPhones are Xs and Xs Max so only ac there but we’ll be upgrading them next September. I’m currently on a 2015 rMBP running 802.11ac as well until the new toy gets here.
House wifi is gigabit Xfinity.
All of the above are within about 15 feet of the router with no walls in between and have maxed out wifi signal strength according to the wifi icon…I can get the actual numbers if they actually help.
Back in the office…about 40 feet and mostly down the hall but there are a couple of drywall interior walls that kinda are in the way…I’ve got a 2019 iMac running as the file/print server as well as my main Lightroom workstation. It’s connected to the same 5 GHz 802.11ac wifi…but it’s only got 1 to 2 of the wifi bars signal strength. The house is cinder block but there are only the interior walls in between and they’re all drywall and studs. I suppose I could shift the iMac to the 2.4 GHz band since it’s got better penetration and there aren’t a lot of 2.4 GHz signals in the neighborhood.
File transfers (everything is running up to date software Big Sur and iOS/ipadOS 11) seem slower than they should be. I get about R/W 35 and 10 MB/s between both the 2015 rMBP and the current M1 MBA as well as between the 2015 rMBP and the iMac back in the office.
Looking at various options…there’s upgrading to a wifi 6 802.11ax router but that won’t help the throughput to the iMac since it doesn’t do ax. Then there’s upgrading to a set of ax Eero devices and connecting the iMac to an Eero located in the office which presumably would be faster if the Eero’s talk faster among themselves at ax speeds and since the iMac would then be closer to it’s wifi access point and get a better signal. Then there’s running a cable back to the iMac but that doesn’t seem like it would help much as the speed between the two laptops is about the same as the speed to the iMac and the laptops would still be limited by the ac wifi. Then there’s the combo of a cable and an ax access point so everything with ax would have faster wifi and the iMac would have a cable. Then…in increasing order of cost…there’s upgrading both to an ax access point, replacing the iMac with an M1 iMac or whenever the M1 Pro larger screen iMac appears, and/or possibly running a cable back to the office.
Internet performance is fine although it might be better with an ax router I suppose. For most things that go to/from the iMac file server the files are smallish and not a big deal…but backups of the laptops to it take a long time. I gave up on trying to do Time Machine to a network drive but have Time Machine like CarbonCopyCloner jobs on the laptops that go to the iMac’s TB3 RAID…they work fine but take awhile since a lot of stuff in /Users gets modified and I only run the jobs twice a day.
I’m not sure whether I’m doing about as well as I can expect…or which of the above options might be the most cost and labor efficient. My initial guess is that either the ax router or the ax Eero set is the easiest option…but if I’m doing about as well as expected then it’s probably not worth it…and I’m not up to speed enough on the pros and cons of ax vs ac to really know. Obviously I’m willing to spend money if it will help but I’m trying to figure out the right answer the first time rather than do a bunch of reconfiguring scenarios…so hopefully somebody already has a pretty good answer based on experience. Reviews on ax vs ac generally credit about a 40-50% increase in throughput…but we know how comparison reviews go with ideal conditions and all that.