Tag: wireless

Improving Wifi Speeds

While doing some testing I began to look at my network and was trying to figure out why my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook were all only connecting at 802.11N speeds, instead of at 802.11AC speeds, like I thought they should be doing. Let me explain my setup first.

Being the nerd that I am, I have a more complicated setup than most, but it is not super complicated. I have two Airport Extremes, one fifth-generation and one sixth-generation. The fifth generation is the flat AirPort Extreme and is capable of running at 802.11N speeds. The sixth generation is the tall model and is capable of running at 802.11AC speeds. The two Airport Extremes are connected via an ethernet cable, with the 5th generation Airport connecting to the Cable modem that I use for my internet.

6th Generation Airport Extreme

5th Generation AirPort Extreme

 

My goal was to have the devices that I use the most connect to each other as fast as possible, and short of always plugging everything in via a wired connection, which is impractical for iOS devices, this was the alternative.

When I originally setup the second AirPort Extreme, I wanted to extend the network that I already had, so I had setup the sixth-generation Airport Extreme to use the same 2.4GHz and 5GHz network names that I had already established.

When I began looking into why my devices were not going as fast as they could I started by looking at which devices were connecting to each AirPort Extreme. I noticed there was no real rhyme or reason as to which device was connecting to which AirPort. I tried forcing connecting to the 802.11AC AirPort Extreme, by rebooting the fifth generation airport, but this only lasted for a little while before an 802.11N device would connect to the 802.11AC Airport again.

I then decided to change the AC Airport’s 2.4GHz SSID to a different Name, on the hopes that it would allow connectivity to be at 802.11AC speeds. This did not work. After I changed the SSID, I realized that the 2.4GHz frequency does not really support 802.11AC speeds. I then tried changing the 802.11AC 5GHz SSID. I then connected to the new SSID on the 5GHz and I then saw the speeds I was expecting.

This was what I was expecting and I was glad I was able to figure out how to achieve this. Although this still has some issues.

Issues

There are still some issues with this. I have a number of devices using the same Apple ID. What this means is that all of my network connections are automatically synchronized between devices, hence any SSID that I connect to on one device will be synchronized to the others. This results in some devices connecting to the 5GHz AC network, even though I do not want them to.

I could remove the network from the device, but again that would result in it being removed for all devices, which is not the intention and counter productive. Instead, I had to result to trying some other solutions.

Limiting Access

This has resulted in taking a rather drastic approach. There is an option within the AirPort Extreme for “Timed Access”. Timed Access allows you to determine when certain devices can access an AirPort Extreme.

To limit access you can perform the following steps:

  1. Open Airport Utility.
  2. Click on the AirPort Extreme that you want to restrict access on.
  3. Click on the “Edit” button.
  4. Click on the “Network” tab.
  5. Click the checkbox next to “Enable Access Control”.
  6. Click on the now enabled “Timed Access Control” button. You should now see a dialog that has “Unlimited (default)” under “Wireless Clients”.
  7. Click on the “+” button under “Wireless Clients” to add a new device.
  8. Under “Description” enter in a description for this rule.
  9. Under “MAC address”, enter in the Wireless MAC address for the device you want to limit time on.
  10. Under “Wireless Access Times”, configure the days that you want to provide access, or restrict access. Alternatively, you can select “No Access” to deny all access.
  11. Once you are done adding times, Click on the “Save” button.
  12. Click on the “Update” button in the lower right. This will prompt you to confirm that you want to apply changes and reboot the AirPort.
  13. Click the “Continue” button to save and reboot the AirPort Extreme.

Once this is done, you can try and reconnect the device. If you attempt to connect to the Airport during times that the device you configured is not authorized to connect, you will be prompted for the SSID password. Even if you enter in the password properly, it will not connect.

The setup I have is definitely not one that many will need, but it may be something that you need to configure. It is too bad that Apple has stopped manufacturing the AirPort Extreme, it can still be a good way for parents to limit the screen time for their kids, should the need arise.

Beats Solo 3 Wireless: A Review

Back at Apple’s September 2016 event, where they announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple unveiled a couple of new products. The first, was a new set of wireless headphones; the AirPods. These have the same shape as the EarPods, however they are entirely wireless. This was not the only new headphone announced by Apple. the second is the Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones. These are the focus of this review.

Backstory

Beats was originally started by musical artist Dr. Dre and music industry producer Jimmy Iovine in 2006. Beats was created to make headphones as well as a streaming music service. In May of 2014 it was announced that Apple had purchased Beats for $3 Billion. The streaming music service was folded into Apple Music in July of 2015.

The Beats line has a variety of different headphones, from the Beats X, in ear headphones, to the Beats Studio, over the ear headphones. The Beats Solo line has both wired as well as wireless versions. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless and AirPods have something unique in them, a custom chip. The chip Apple has dubbed the W1.

W1

The W1 chip is an Apple designed chip that is specifically for being able to quickly pair with any iOS 10 or macOS Sierra device. The W1 chip also enables is the syncing of the pairing information between all of the devices using the same iCloud account.

The synchronization with iCloud is designed to allow your devices to automatically switch, without having to go through the tedious, “un-pair”, “re-pair” dance that is typical of Bluetooth enabled devices.

Solo 3 Wireless

This is my first pair of Beats headphones, but definitely not my first pair of headphones in general. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones come in a decent size package and includes as number of items. These items include: a Carrying Case, micro-usb charging cable, a 3.5mm headphone with Microphone cable, and a carabiner, to attach the case to a bag.

The 3.5mm headphone with Microphone cable is to connect the Beats Solo 3’s to any device that has a standard 3.5mm connection. When you connect the 3.5mm cable, the Beats Solo 3’s headphones will automatically power off, but the music will continue.

The Beats Solo 3 utilize Bluetooth to be able to connect to devices wirelessly. The Bluetooth protocol used is Class 1, which is likely Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE). This means that they are able to be used with any bluetooth enabled device; whether it is an Apple device or a non-Apple device, the W1 chip enables this functionality.

Pairing

As mentioned above, the W1 chip makes it easier to connect to iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and watchOS 3 devices. The pairing of the devices is quite simple:

  • Make sure bluetooth is on
  • Turn on the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones
  • Hold down the power button on the Beats Solo 3 headphones for one second.
  • Follow the on screen steps.

Those steps are easily summed up in three screenshots.

Once the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones are paired, you can being listening to whatever audio you would like.

Battery Life

Apple rates the Beats Solo 3 wireless at 40 hours of time between charges. I have not thoroughly tested the battery life, but I have not had to charge them more than twice since I received them. Even if the battery life is not 100% as advertised, it is likely close to the 40 hours.

Given that I purchased the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones on Black Friday, I was able to use them in the cold. By cold, I don’t just mean around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It was zero degrees outside while using them. This is definitely not recommended. I went outside when they had 80% battery life remaining. Within 20 minutes the headphones were completely drained.

It should be noted that the Beats Solo 3’s were under a hat and covered by a hoodie as well. I don’t know if this was just a fluke, or if this is how they behave in the extreme cold.

Wired

One of the benefits of the Beats Solo 3 Wireless is the ability to also use them wired. and not just wirelessly. There is one thing to note about using them wired, besides the headphones powering off when plugged in. The cable is truly designed to only go one direction. While you could plug in to either side, the cable is designed to have the straight plug in the headphones, and the 90 degree angle side plugged into the device. If you switch the two, you will only get mono sound; however, it will be much louder which may be what you are attempting to achieve.

Adjusting the headband

One of the aspects of the Beats Solo 3’s is that the controls are on the opposite side of those on the EarPods. This does take some time to get accustom to.

The second thing that the headphones actually collapse, to close. While this is not unique, it is something that you should be aware of.

Sound

One of the complaints that many individuals have of the Beats line in general is that it has more bass than other headphones. I tested a few different headphones in order to compare the Beats Solo 3 Wireless to to other headphones. The Lightning EarPods that come with the iPhone 7, the 3.5mm EarPods, the Xbox One Headset, and the Beats Solo 3 Wireless. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones definitely had the most bass, but ultimately did not sound the best, compared to the others. Weirdly, the 3.5mm EarPods with the 3.5mm to Lightning adapter, sounded the best. Even better than the EarPods with native Lightning adapter.

Downsides

One of the downsides of the Beats Solo 3’s is also one of its benefits. The Beats Solo 3’s are designed to sit snugly right on your ears, and they do. However, this poses a problem for those of us who have glasses. The Beats Solo 3’s may ease up over time, but I am not sure if this is the case, given that they are designed to fold, so they are meant to maintain their shape. You can adjust the headband of the Beats Solo 3’s, but when this is done, the Beats Solo 3’s do not fit as well on one’s head.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones work just as advertised. They seamlessly switch between devices. The battery life, provided you do not use the in a super cold environment, is really good. If you wear glasses, the Beats Solo 3’s may require some adjustments so your glasses will not dig into your temples. The Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones are not inexpensive, by any means. If, however, you are looking for a pair of on ear headphones and you have the means, the Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones may be the right choice for you. You can buy them from Amazon or Apple.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Availability: 10/04/2015 (Evening)

This data is from approximately 7:15PM Central Time on 10/04/2015. There have been some changes to availability from last night’s update.

Only a couple of changes today.

AT&T

  • 16GB Rose Gold iPhone 6s slipped from 3-5 days to 2-3 weeks.
  • 64GB Rose Gold iPhone 6s slipped from 3-5 days to 3-4 weeks.
  • 128GB Rose Gold iPhone 6s slipped from 3-5 days to 1 week.

iPhone 6s from Apple.com
  16GB 64GB 128GB
AT&T Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 2-3 weeks
Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 1 week
Sprint Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days
Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days

Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days
T-Mobile Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days
Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days

Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days
Verizon Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days
Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days

Silver: 3-5 days
Gold: 3-5 days
Space Gray: 3-5 days
Rose Gold: 3-5 days

iPhone 6s Plus from Apple.com
  16GB 64GB 128GB
AT&T Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Sprint Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
T-Mobile Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Verizon Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver: 2-3 weeks
Gold: 2-3 weeks
Space Gray: 2-3 weeks
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks

iPhone 6s from Carrier Sites
  16GB 64GB 128GB
AT&T Silver: 1 weeks
Gold: 1 week
Space Gray: 1 weeks
Rose Gold: 2-3 weeks
Silver: 1 weeks
Gold: 1 week
Space Gray: 1 weeks
Rose Gold: 4-5 weeks
Silver: 1 weeks
Gold: 1 week
Space Gray: 1 weeks
Rose Gold: 1-2 weeks
Sprint Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold: 3-4 weeks
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold
T-Mobile Silver: 2-4 weeks
Gold: 7-10 days
Space Gray: 7-10 days
Rose Gold: 4-6 weeks
Silver: 4-6 weeks
Gold: 4-6 weeks
Space Gray: 4-6 weeks
Rose Gold: 6-8 weeks
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold
Verizon Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold: 10/19
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold: 10/26
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold: Out of Stock

iPhone 6s Plus from Carrier Sites
  16GB 64GB 128GB
AT&T Silver: 6-7 weeks
Gold: 5-6 weeks
Space Gray: 5-6 weeks
Rose Gold: 6-7 weeks
Silver: 4-5 weeks
Gold: 4-5 weeks
Space Gray: 4-5 weeks
Rose Gold: 7-8 weeks
Silver: 4-5 weeks
Gold: 4-5 weeks
Space Gray: 5-6 weeks
Rose Gold: 7-8 weeks
Sprint Silver: 4-5 weeks
Gold: 5-6 weeks
Space Gray: 3-4 weeks
Rose Gold: 4-5 weeks
Silver: 1-2 weeks
Gold: 4-5 weeks
Space Gray
Rose Gold: 4-5 weeks
Silver
Gold
Space Gray
Rose Gold: 4-5 weeks
T-Mobile Silver: 4-6 weeks
Gold: 4-6 weeks
Space Gray: 4-6 weeks
Rose Gold: 6-8 weeks
Silver: 4-6 weeks
Gold: 4-6 weeks
Space Gray: 2-4 weeks
Rose Gold: 6-8 weeks
Silver: 6-8 weeks
Gold: 6-8 weeks
Space Gray: 2-4 weeks
Rose Gold: 6-8 weeks
Verizon Silver: 10/19
Gold: 10/26
Space Gray: 10/12
Rose Gold: 10/26
Silver: 10/26
Gold: 11/2
Space Gray: 10/26
Rose Gold: 11/2
Silver: 10/26
Gold: 10/26
Space Gray: 11/2
Rose Gold: 11/2

Daily Run Down 07/01/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

General News

International

Politics

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Technology

Internet

Mobile

Rumors

Software/Apps

London/Britain/UK

Odd

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 55

Look for more stories tomorrow.

Daily Run Down 07/01/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Law

Technology

Internet

Rumors

London/Britain/UK

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 37

Look for more news stories this evening.