Tech Support Requests (non-TextBlade)

Re: iPad mini + Ethernet

How fast do you need your network to be?

Short answer is: nothing you do on an iPad mini would really warrant GigE. I don’t suggest it. But if you insist, this is how to shoot thineself in the foot: Lightning to USB 3 cable from Apple, then USB 3 to GigE.

I figure faster is better, even if I get “enough” to solve the immediate problem on the live stream.

But why is it “shooting” myself in the foot to use the options you list?

I do realize that, even on the computer, you rarely get anything near the speed it is capable of. For example, my tests showing 800+ Mb, that’s connecting from to a local fast site in Hawaii. Actual speed is slower if the source is more limited. Speed is even further reduced when you are connecting to a site on the Mainland or other country. Then there is the limits on speed some sites allow. I’m pretty sure even if you download updates from a big company like Apple, the transfer speed is limited by Apple so millions of people can be handled at the same time which probably wouldn’t be possible if everyone was running near 1 ghz.

Still, faster potential speed seems better than not having it.

You will want to look into WiFi interference.

A couple notes:

  • Apple Time Capsule is a very slow router/access point. I think 100 mbit or so is the most I pulled off mine over Ethernet. A modern router will be much faster.
  • 5GHz is great primarily because of reduced interference. Its range is much more limited. Like full speed in the same room, next to nothing in the next room (switching to 2.4 would be faster in the next room).
  • if you live in a multiple tenant building, it’s almost certain that interference is the problem.
  • but even if you live in a detached house, interference is a problem. When I was the only person around with WiFi, a single Linksys WRT54GL would do the job, all the way to the alley. Now I have a mesh of 2 (modern router + access point), and spotty coverage in many areas of the house.
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Shooting yourself in the foot because it’s a fools errand to tie down your device (and money on two things you’ll never really use) in exchange for only marginal improvements. Better use of time and money is to address the source of the issue: WiFi interference.

Find a good WiFi router or mesh network. Then all your devices now and future will work better.

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Well, my condo apartment, while technically listed as 1 bedroom, is more like one big room with just some separation for the kitchen and bathroom areas. So 5 ghz should work well. I do want to experiment with the iPad though, to see how much difference there is between using it at my computer desk (within 4 feet of the router) and my bed - no more than 20 feet away.

I assume a mesh network is of little value over such a short distance, though a better router may help. But I’m pretty sure I have to use the carriers router first and attach anything else to it in bridge mode.

I am confused by @SamuraiJack’s comment that wifi was faster than ethernet. I can’t find anything that says that online so far.

Also, I would assume wifi can’t go any faster than the service allows. I have a fast 1 gb service. Even in an ideal situation, you never get the full speed, but I often get 850 and I’ve seen over 900 with the ethernet cable. So I don’t see how wifi would improve on that.

As for the adapters, I wonder if they lose a lot of speed because of the lightning connectors rather than usb-c that my new iPad mini has.

It may be a unique situation, but I’ll record a live stream on my computer (unfortunately, no sound, but what I mostly use it for is to track donations that are made, which appear on screen. But, since even the computer has, on rare occasions, lost the recording or frozen up, I usually also try to record the stream on my iPad (which will get the sound in case something is said I later want to save). Anyway, double protection than at least one will work.

BTW, some time ago I tried to find ways to record the Mac screen using QuickTime and get the sound too. All seem to require other apps which you have to adjust for when recording vs not recording. Didn’t want that hassle. I just want something for this that works and I never touch again. It does amaze me that Apple screen recording does not include the sound though!

Did some iPad testing on 5 ghz just now.

I ran each test 3 times in quick succession on the 5 ghz connection:

From my bed, the down/up speeds were:


From sitting at my computer desk:


Variability was enough where a good run from my bed can be better than some from the computer location. Even the extreme differences still, I think, leave me with enough speed that maybe my problem will go away. Next live stream is early Saturday so we’ll see then.

Also tested the new iPhone (wifi off). Said I had a 5G connection, but from what the T-Mobile folks told me, it will show “5G” plus some other letters if it is the really fast version. I didn’t get that here.

From my computer area, I got 35.2/58.2.

Turning wifi back on with the phone I got 354/294

On both the iPhone and iPad, I’ve turned off “auto-join” for the 2.4 setting as well as for the Time Capsule so they don’t connect accidentally (I hope).

Only problem I can think of with this is that I think some home control devices only connect up on 2.4? That’s another area I’m not really good at, so not sure if this could limit me with how I’ve changed things.

For video chat / live streaming, I can see how WiFi interference can be an issue. For example, try doing something on 2.4GHz while you are next to your microwave and it is heating something up.

With IOT devices that don’t need real-time data, even a spotty WiFi connection should work. There are several layers of protocol that handle retransmission of corrupted or lost packets. For the most part, they will get the data across even if it takes a few retries.

For live streaming, they intentionally pick protocols that do not retry - because the user experience is better to simply skip a lost frame or lost syllable, than to retry those packets after their useful time has passed. Their useful lifespan is short due to the real-time nature of voice and video chat.

There are WiFi routers and devices capable of beyond-Gigabit speed - they do so by bonding multiple channels and even different frequencies. So imagine 5 channels of the ~320 mbit you are getting - and it’s not hard to see 1680 mbit or whatever they advertise.

You’ll also see mention of “MIMO” on some routers which means Multiple In Multiple Out - running several radios at the same time to increase resiliency against interference, or when the airwaves are clear, to transmit at a higher bandwidth.

Then there are beam-forming technologies such as those used by Starlink but I do not know if those are employed for home WiFi.

Oh how out of date I am. A ~$70 router does 3x3 MIMO and beam forming. Note: I am unable to recommend any products because I actually think most routers suck at security, and so my recommendations would result in something most people don’t like. The following link is just an example of what is available on the market.

But if I have a 1 gb system from the carrier, wouldn’t that be the limit? I mean, if I use multiple channels, doesn’t each only get a portion of that 1 gb? I can see how the multiple options would reduce interference problems if one output had a problem, another may be fine.

I guess, for now, I’ll see what happens with using the 5 ghz channel on the iPad and see if the main problems go away.

Oh, related issue. If the total 1 gb is split over the various channels and frequencies, would that probably also mean that if I removed the Time Capsule completely that the others would gain some small amount, even if nothing was actually connected to the TC signal before that?

There are other things that can use the bandwidth (other than the internet). For example if you have an Apple TV and you use AirPlay while doing something else. Or NAS users who have a networked drive.

Or if there is a lot of interference and a high percentage of packet drop, you might not notice the drop with sufficient bandwidth to retransmit.

You can keep the Time Capsule but configure it with wireless to be off.

There are many factors that dictate whether you will gain a performance increase (such as whether the 2 devices picked the same channel anyway, or how smart they are about backing off, etc.). In general, if you don’t need WiFi on it, why not save some spectrum and some electricity? My printer has WiFi which I turn off since it is connected by Ethernet anyway.

If your ISP’s modem’s WiFi isn’t good, and you find a router that is better, you can then ask the ISP to switch off the WiFi on the modem - so it behaves as just a modem.

In Canada with Shaw Cable we always have to make 2 calls for that to happen because not every support staff knows what you are talking about, or fesses up if they don’t know - so 2 for 2 I’ve always had to call in twice.

Some more progressive ISPs let you change that option yourself using the web admin page served up by the modem.

I have an Apple TV, but rarely have it turned on. I also almost never use AirPlay and when I have, it’s been for just a few minutes. No NAS.

Interference is always a possibility, but darn hard to tell. I know microwave ovens can cause some, but my microwave is unplugged.

Turned off the Time Capsule wifi. No obvious difference in the tests, but that’s okay.

On the printer, my HP stopped working so it isn’t on anymore. Eventually I’ll buy another - just need a cheap laser printer which can also do good scans. Don’t need to scan much, but good to have. I would probably get one that lets be print from my phone or iPad. But I don’t print much anymore.

Interested about the ISP modem options though. I’m pretty sure I have to start with their modem - no options to buy my own. I remember I had to do bridge mode when adding the TC. So, how does it work if I get my own router and turn off wifi on the modem. Do I still add my router in bridge mode in that situation?

When it comes to servers, routers or anything like that, I’m generally just lost.

Like right now I’ve got mail accounts that are making no sense to me since my new devices (but some of it may have already existed).

I wasn’t getting all my mail on my old or new iPad or my new phone. I did some stuff that seemed to fix it, but I noted one piece of mail, at least, never showed up on either of my ipads, but was on the computer and new phone. Strangely, it was one of two emails, from the same person, sent to the same mail address of mine, but one shows on all devices and one never did!

Also, looking at the Accounts, I have on listed as an icloud account, but the address is a gmail address. And the particular address I the problem described above, well, that is one of my two Apple addresses but it doesn’t seem to be listed on my accounts at all. So how am I getting its mail!!!??? I wondered if somehow gmail account got connected to that gmail address. All very confusing and tempting to just delete them and set them from my computer, etc, and set them up from scratch. But I’m afraid I’ll totally screw things up if I try that!

I’m quite good at many computer related things, but none of these things. I just hope every time I get a new devide, everything transfers over successfully.

I going to try to solve / simplify one item at a time. I think first I’ll try to simplify the account references for Messages and Facetime.

I noticed that I had approved my phone number, my gmail address, and one of my icloud accounts.

So, first question is, is there any way to tell which of these is being used by those I already have gotten messages from? I haven’t been able to find anything on this. If I know some on my list have never been used, I can remove them.

I did find the question and an answer online from 2017, but the directions don’t describe what I see as I follow their steps. Either that or they were saying how to tell the address or phone number the message came FROM, but that isn’t what I need. I want to know which of my contact items they used to get to me.

There is no such thing as network security. Only endpoint security. One never trusts the network.

The TPLink DECO mesh WiFi is pretty good, with the Ethernet backhaul option (most support this). I’m installing them in multiple locations, now. I never go for the latest & greatest; I think I’m using the X20’s.

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What I meant is that many routers have security flaws or back doors. Big gaping ones that they don’t fix, or for back doors like company-wide admin passwords, won’t fix.

Software is expensive. Far more expensive than hardware. The race-to-the-bottom game of pricing WiFi routers means that it is very difficult to get one with secure firmware.

Remembering when Apple first released AirPort products and offered the best wireless reception, most features (printer and disk sharing, mesh) and for not that big of a price premium. Their simple rectangles would have better reception than the gnarly dead-spider-looking monsters with 6 or more protruding antennas. I believe they also scored very high on security and had one of the fewest vulnerabilities.

Alas, they don’t want to participate in that space any more. Likely because there is no money to be made there that is commensurate with the engineering costs involved.

Sorry, burned out from work. I’ll be away for a while.

From what I’ve read, the Apple routers, while better than most, also gave them the most tech support issues. And I suspect it usually had nothing to do with their particular routers but rather, like bluetooth, it is really hard to avoid problems for anyone. Anyway, I think Apple just found it wasn’t worth the hassles so they dropped those products.

But some stuff they could definitely do better. I’m still seaching for info on how to tell which of my contact info (whether it is my phone number or an email address) that people are using to contact me on Messages. I haven’t found a thing. I just keep finding stuff that says how to tell what phone or email address the SENDER is using. But that doesn’t help at all.

If you knew which of my contact info they are using, I’d know which ones of mine I can safely remove - or even, if necessary to change an address because of spam, I’d know who to contact so they can update things on their end.

Without that info, it really makes things difficult.