View Full Version : How to know if I am connected to ac speed on Macbook Air?

Sep 14, 2013, 11:56 AM
I recently got the new MacBook Air and also the Airport Extreme Bas Station. I got them both hooked up and the computer is receiving a wifi signal fine, I just don't think I am getting the ac speed. I transferred a fairly large movie file and it seems like it is taking about the same time it used to take on my old MBP.

Anyway, I just want to know how in OS 10.8.4 I can verify what type of connection I have. Also, If I find I don't have ac, what can i do to fix this?


Sep 14, 2013, 12:06 PM
When you transferred that file, to what device did you transfer it to and how was it connected to the network?

OPTION/Alt click on the WiFi/AirPort icon in the Menu Bar and tell us what it says after

PHY Mode
Transmit Rate



Sep 14, 2013, 12:25 PM
I Transferred a file from my PC that is wired into the network to the MacBook Air over its wifi connection.

PHY Mode is: 802.11n

Channel: 11 (2.4 GHz)

Transmit Rate: 145

I am obviously not connected to ac. How can I fix this? Thanks!

ETA: Mine does not say airport at the top like your example. It says Wi-Fi instead.........

Sep 14, 2013, 01:09 PM
You may have a configuration issue. You could try resetting the Airport Express back to new and checking your connection without any encryption setup. I also have a new MBA and new Airport Time Capsule and I'm connected at AC speeds.


Sep 14, 2013, 01:14 PM
Check what the Base Station says.

Sep 14, 2013, 01:41 PM
Check what the Base Station says.

How do I do this? Sorry, I am new to all of this.

Sep 14, 2013, 01:45 PM
How do I do this? Sorry, I am new to all of this.

You use AirPort Utility in the Applications / Utilities (CMD+SHIFT+U while in Finder) folder.

Once opened, you click on your AEBS, a little window should pop up, click EDIT, click the Wireless tab, click the Wireless Options button and then select the Radio Mode.

Sep 14, 2013, 01:57 PM
Well, there was no radio mode but I was able to turn on a 5 GHz option and name it. I connected to the new 5 GHz network and it now says I am connecting at 802.11ac. Is there a way to check what kind of speed I am actually getting on my home network (not internet speeds) with this computer now on ac.Thanks.

ETA: I looked at my transmit rate and it is now 117. That is less than the 145 I had before. What's going on? I see above the guy has 867 as his transmit rate.

ETA 2: i got really close to the router and got the exact 867 transmit rate he got. I read somewhere that with 5 GHz distance is not as good. This is obviously the case. Thanks for all the help, unless you know of a way to increase my speeds at farther distances.

Sep 14, 2013, 10:07 PM
5Ghz range is less the 2.4, BUT there is way less congestion on the 5Ghz band and therefore you get faster transfer speeds.

I have my network equipment beside my tv (modem > router + switch). My office is on another floor so instead of running ethernet or getting the half-assed technology that a wireless repeater is, I went with a powerline network which I get 350mbps.
Repeater half assedness explained: if say you get a transfer rate of 100, a repeater will halve that because the antenna has to do both receive and transmitt. Adding additional repeaters piggy backed off each other halve your signal/speed for each one so you can end up with 25 trans rate by adding 2 repeaters.

A powerline (you can get a very good set for $60) works off your existing electrical wiring (as long has its on the same circuit break and not plugged into a powerbar). One adapter plugs into a power outlet with a ethernet cable. The 2 (or up to 7 usually) adapter plugs into another outlet and you run an ethernet from it. If you want slap a wireless router to it and you will extend your network better then using repeaters

Obviously hardwire is the way to go but for someone (like me) that didn't want to run 500+ ft of cable and having spend time patching holes, a powerline network is extremely viable (Belkin just released a 1gbps powerline adapter, but Zyxel makes the best ones according to my research). I'd also recommend getting a 500Mbps kit or higher (600Mbps by Zyxel is actually very good). The network is private, there is practically no configuration besides setting a network name and they sync automatically to each other.

Only way you'll increase you AC speed is by adding another antenna to your Air which isn't possible as the wireless card is 2x2 and not 3x3.
Using my Sager (3x3 Intel Centrino 6300 wireless) on 5Ghz I get 450mbps, about 15-25 feet away, more then that it drops.

Any questions just ask.