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I have a Time Capsule (it's the last version, not the current one) that is connected to my FIOS modem and serves as the base station for my home wireless network in my three story house.

I have an older Time Capsule (two versions ago) that I have been using to extend the network.

The base station is on third floor. Testing near the 3rd Floor time Capsule I get download speeds of 35 - 55mb.

Near my chromecast enabled television on the first floor, with the extender Time Capsule either on the second floor or first floor, I used to get download speeds of 5 - 15 mb, good enough for Netflix.

Suddenly, I'm getting download speeds by the television of 0.02 mb.

It I turn off the extending Time Capsule, so the whole house has to rely on the one base station Time Capsule on the third floor, I get rates of .8mb - 4mb on the first floor near the TV, not usually enough to reliably use Netflix.

In the first floor kitchen, which is two floors below, but directly under, the base station Time Capsule, I get 15mb - 35mb download speed. But I don't need Netflix in the kitchen!

Is the extender Time Capsule just broken?
Can it be fixed? Is it worth fixing?
If I replace do I have to use an Apple product like the Airport Express, or will any wireless router work?

  • Is the light green on the 1st floow Time Capsule> What does AirPort show? – jalynn2 Nov 10 '14 at 15:31
  • I just plugged in the first floor Time Capsule and got: 9 mb down/25mb up. It had been unplugged for two weeks. Did it need a break? Was it too hot? When I first had problems with it, I did unplug it, wait a minute and then re-plug and had gotten the same .02mb download/upload speeds. – Shai Nov 10 '14 at 15:37
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    I had a TimeCapsule that did the same thing: Every few months it would go off the network -- the light would be out, but it would stay warm so it was still powered up. If I unplugged it for several days, then it would work again. Unplugging it for a short amount of time did not work. Since I rely on it for backup, I replaced it after the 3rd or 4th episode. – jalynn2 Nov 10 '14 at 15:51
  • Thanks. Can you comment on whether I need to replace it with an Apple product. Or would any wireless router be able to work the the Time Capsule/Base station I have connected to the modem? – Shai Nov 10 '14 at 16:05
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It sounds like the Time Capsule isn't functioning properly. It may be worth scheduling a free appt at the Apple Genius Bar. They can tell you if there is a recall or if by some chance the repair/replacement is covered under warranty. Perhaps it needs a firmware upgrade? You can check in the Airport Utility on a Mac or iOS device. More info here on Apple's website.

One more thing to consider... Since you are getting decently fast speeds in one location, but not in another, is it possible that there could be something interfering? Oftentimes a refrigerator, microwave, metal paneling in a wall, etc. can disrupt the WiFi signal—although I would expect the connection to be intermittent and fairly slow.

You may consider switching the two Time Capsules to see if the same issues occur with the other one as well. This can at least isolate it to either being a defective Time Capsule, or some other environmental element. It could also be a defect with the Chromecast. Is that possible?

Aren't wireless issues fun?? :) so many possibilities!

Most name brand wireless routers can work as an extender of an existing network. So, no, it definitely doesn't have to be an Apple product. However, make sure all extenders are in "bridge mode" so that they truly do act as an extender and aren't trying to create their own subnets. If you do get another router, it will not be in bridge mode out-of-box. You'll need to configure that using the router manufacturer's documentation.

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