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Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:29 AM   #1
deepakvrao
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Do Airs have poorer wifi reception?

I just switched from Win, and I find that I have poor wifi connectivity in my favourite armchair, where I was fine with a plastic bodied Dell. Does the Aluminium shell have anything to do with wifi reception in MBAs?

Any App to see wifi strength?
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:32 AM   #2
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
I just switched from Win, and I find that I have poor wifi connectivity in my favourite armchair, where I was fine with a plastic bodied Dell. Does the Aluminium shell have anything to do with wifi reception in MBAs?

Any App to see wifi strength?
The antenna in Apple notebooks is in the plastic-covered hinge and on the Air, protrudes in to the area under the display. It's not covered by aluminum. WiFi signal strength is dependent on several factors, and is subject to interference from a wide variety of sources.

Last edited by GGJstudios; Dec 11, 2011 at 02:53 AM.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:41 AM   #3
matrix07
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Don't have any WIFI issue with my PC notebook. Don't have any WIFI issue with my Macbook Air.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:46 AM   #4
deepakvrao
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Dunno whether I'd call it an issue, but the Air is fine in my bedroom, which is about 20 feet from the router, but not in my living room which is about 50 feet from the router.

Have to keep in mind that the house is not like US homes, but built with bricks and concrete, and I have 2 9inch walls between router and living room. Dell works fine in the same spot, and that's why I was wondering if MBAs have a slightly poorer reception. If I move even to the adjacent sofa in the living room, it works fine on the Air too.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 02:52 AM   #5
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No Issues

With my 13" holds a good strong signal anywhere in the house. Same for my MBP, iPad and iPhone 4S.

A lot of these wifi issuers are router related.....I have posted this many times before, but it's worth noting: The router / modem combos supplied by IPS's are almost all bottom of the range and poor.

Purchasing a top quality router, and using only the modem in the ISP supplied uint is the way to go.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 03:04 AM   #6
molala
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I don't have a problem with the routers I use either, so I am fine. But the wifi in my 2011 Air isn't as great as my 2008 black Macbook, which could see about 5 more networks in my neighbourhood and let me connect to the next building's wifi at work.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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I've had many new Mac & PC laptops concurrently. Typically I experience the best WiFi performance from my ThinkPads. They have a very elaborate & brilliantly designed system which includes lengthy dual antennas, inside the composite lid that enhance the range & ability to obtain the highest speed being broadcast.

My MacBook Pros don't have as much range since they cannot locate the antenna in the aluminum lid, so they are a bit more susceptible to dropping the connection. It's not a big issue, but it's definitely noticeable. My new MacBook Airs are the same as the MBP. No better or worse. They get the job done.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 03:51 AM   #8
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No wifi issues with my Air here.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 06:01 AM   #9
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I have a couple MBAs: 13" from 2010 and the current 11" and even though I still have to re-join my network upon awakening the computers from sleep, I have not had any issues maintaining a connection once it is established, on either MBA.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 06:56 AM   #10
deepakvrao
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Thanks guys.

I don't have any disconnection, but just scratchy network when on that armchair. I guess I'll just shift it about 5 feet closer to the router.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 07:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
I just switched from Win, and I find that I have poor wifi connectivity in my favourite armchair, where I was fine with a plastic bodied Dell. Does the Aluminium shell have anything to do with wifi reception in MBAs?

Any App to see wifi strength?
Hi,

To see your current wi-fi signal you need to alt click on the wifi icon in the top right corner. The figure that is important is RSSI. The closer to 0, the stronger the wifi signal. The only problem with this is that the figure does not update as you move around looking for the best signal - you need to move then alt click again to see the figure.




So I've written a script for you to do this.

Open terminal then type in this

Code:
while i=1; do /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I | grep CtlRSSI; sleep 0.5; done
Then hit enter. You'll see output like in the screenshot below and it will change as you move around. Again, closer to 0 = strong signal. Once you're done hit Ctrl+C on the terminal to stop the script



I would write a proper app to do this, but I am not clear right now if it would be pulled once the sandboxing becomes enforced in the Mac App Store next year.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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Once you're done hit Ctrl+C on the terminal to stop the script
I'm certainly no expert on Terminal commands, so I'm quite likely wrong, but shouldn't that be Command-C?
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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I'm certainly no expert on Terminal commands, so I'm quite likely wrong, but shouldn't that be Command-C?
Command + C in terminal behaves normally, i.e. copies selected text to the clipboard.

Ctrl (or ^) + C - quits current running program
Ctrl + Z - kills current running program
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 11:28 AM   #14
GGJstudios
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Command + C in terminal behaves normally, i.e. copies selected text to the clipboard.

Ctrl (or ^) + C - quits current running program
Ctrl + Z - kills current running program
Thanks! I should have figured that out by remembering Cmd-C is copy. Not enough coffee yet!
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 01:25 PM   #15
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Thanks! I should have figured that out by remembering Cmd-C is copy. Not enough coffee yet!
Happens to the best of us. No worries.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 08:08 PM   #16
deepakvrao
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Hi,

To see your current wi-fi signal you need to alt click on the wifi icon in the top right corner. The figure that is important is RSSI. The closer to 0, the stronger the wifi signal. The only problem with this is that the figure does not update as you move around looking for the best signal - you need to move then alt click again to see the figure.

Image


So I've written a script for you to do this.


I would write a proper app to do this, but I am not clear right now if it would be pulled once the sandboxing becomes enforced in the Mac App Store next year.
Thanks - works just great.I see -62 in my bedroom, -82 at the armchair in question, and -72 when I shift o the adjacent armchair.

What is sandboxing?
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 08:10 PM   #17
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What is sandboxing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbox_(computer_security)
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 04:21 PM   #18
Mr Earl
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Does the new entry level macbook air have at least the same good wifi reception as the old white macbook.
Has anyone compared them?
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 04:28 PM   #19
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if you could get a duel band router you might have better luck on the 5 ghz band which macs support. generally its used less and has less interference. well in my experience anyway. my 5 ghz connection is always better then the 2.4
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 03:52 PM   #20
Nioxic
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i cant go into any technical stuff..

but my air is blitzing fast on my wifi..

sometimes i feel as though its even faster than my desktop..
which is pretty weird
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 03:57 PM   #21
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Actually, I've found that yes, the MBA has poorer WiFi connectively than other machines.

My 13" connects at a lower speed than my Mac Pro, and when "out and about" at university I find that I can struggle to connect (or stay connected) when friends with 13/15" MacBooks Pros are fine.

Now, when connected, the Air is fast - but it only has 2 antennae stacks, rather than 3 like the iMacs/MacBook Pros. It just doesn't like being on the peripheries of its operable range, which is also a little shorter than some other computers.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 09:03 PM   #22
deepakvrao
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Actually, I've found that yes, the MBA has poorer WiFi connectively than other machines.

My 13" connects at a lower speed than my Mac Pro, and when "out and about" at university I find that I can struggle to connect (or stay connected) when friends with 13/15" MacBooks Pros are fine.

Now, when connected, the Air is fast - but it only has 2 antennae stacks, rather than 3 like the iMacs/MacBook Pros. It just doesn't like being on the peripheries of its operable range, which is also a little shorter than some other computers.
This is EXACTLY what I meant. When connected it's very very fast, but it just does not connect as far as my plastic Dell or wife's plastic Acer does.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 09:11 PM   #23
Edge
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Macbook air Wi-Fi reception is not great

If you plug your air into the power supply, you get twice the wi-fi reception (300Mbps compared to 150Mbps when unplugged).

If you move the screen on your air, you'll find the reception gets interrupted (anecdotally, I've seen it reported here and I can cause file transfers to pause and stall out by adjusting the angle of my screen.)

If you sit in one place, don't move the screen, rub your stomach and pat your head, and plug into the power adaptor you should be fine.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 09:16 PM   #24
GGJstudios
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If you sit in one place, don't move the screen, rub your stomach and pat your head, and plug into the power adaptor you should be fine.
That's completely false! Everyone knows you should pat your stomach and rub your head!
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:38 PM   #25
jasy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
I just switched from Win, and I find that I have poor wifi connectivity in my favourite armchair, where I was fine with a plastic bodied Dell. Does the Aluminium shell have anything to do with wifi reception in MBAs?

Any App to see wifi strength?
similar story. have a new MBA that compares unfavorably to my wife's cheap HP PC and my former more expensive HP PC. regardless of where in the house i go, it's in 3rd place. at times it doesn't hold the signal.
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