Apple hardware = slow internet for me

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by someguy, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #1
    So, I call Comcast to come out today because my internet is going slow. 55k instead of the 4MB I'm paying out the ass for. :rolleyes:

    Long story short, here are the results of our speed tests today..

    PowerBook on internet connected AirPort Express = 1900k
    PC on AirPort Express (with a wireless B card, mind you) = 3200k

    PowerBook wired directly to modem = 1900k
    PC wired directly to modem (same ethernet cable) = 4200k


    AirPort Express slows things down, then the PowerBook makes things worse, yet the PC (XP SP2) seems like it's doing everything it can to go as fast as possible.

    Can anyone offer any insight to this? I'd really like my PowerBook to be as fast as it can online...

    Thanks. :)


    EDIT: BTW, the testing was done at Speakeasy.net using the same server each time. Results are similar at pcpitstop.com (lower scores but same pattern of results).
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #2
    That's really strange, it's definitely not a problem on all Macs - mine speed tests in the ~3200 kb/s range (connection is rated at 3.5 Mb/s). Have you tried a different browser or another user account to try to narrow down the problem?
     
  3. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #3
    Tweak the Airport Express...

    I didn't have a PC to do the testing you did, but I was *appalled* when I first got my Airport Express. I'm also using Comcast. The download speeds on my PBG4 were <1.5Mbs. I didn't test what they were when wired to the Airport Express.

    There are a lot of things you can tweak in the Aiport Admin tool. I'm not at home right now to look into it, but I was able to increase the "repeat rate" (or something like that...improving signal robustness...) so that my download speeds improved to nearly 5Mbs. You might try this...

    I can look into it more when I'm home if my pointer isn't specific enough to get you started.
     
  4. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #4
    Tried in Firefox, Safari, Shiira, and Camino, didn't seem to make much of a difference.

    hayduke, let me know more when you can. :)

    Note: I was able to get 1900k just now on the PowerBook connected wirelessly to the AE. Changed the results on my original post.
     
  5. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #5
    Setting the Multicast Rate in the AirPort Express to 2 (as opposed to the default setting of 1) leveled both machines out to about 3200k.

    Anything higher than that and the Mac drops back down to around 1200-1500k, whereas the PC stays at around 3200k consistantly. Go figure.

    I guess, for now, I'll leave the steting to 2 and see if it helps keep speeds up. In the meantime, if anyone knows any other setting that might help, let me know.

    By the way, thanks for the tip, hayduke. :)
     
  6. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #6
    That was it. I was able to set mine higher and get increasingly better download speeds, which surprised me a bit. I would have expected that it would peak early. I don't recall what mine is set at. I also noticed a considerable difference between two mac laptops (iBook and PowerBook). The iBook was ~2 feet from the Airport Express and the Powerbook was ~12 feet away. I only point this out so that you make sure you are doing the testing from the same location (eg two machines next to eachother).
     
  7. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #7
    Yep, side by side.

    After a short while, I noticed that they both kind of dropped to around 2000k, so I don't really know that this fixed the issue, but I do think it helped because the Mac hadn't reached 3Mb/s before this.
     
  8. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #8
    i noticed this as well when we got our verizon FIOS installed. it felt no faster than regular cable. yet on the other PCs in the house. it was blazingly fast.

    i tweaked my airport settings abit, and now i have my macs running at 15mb Down. which is what our service is rated at. but it still FEELS slow and pokey.

    when i download stuff though, it shines :)

    even with those numbers, the internet doesnt feel snappy, nothing really loads as quick as the PCs ( mind you the PCs in the house are very old and outdated systems.)

    i wish i knew how to speed things up!
     
  9. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #9
    The slow browsing is sort of a PPC issue, not a Mac OS issue. Try the same sites on an Intel Mac and you'll see what I'm talking about :D

    Also, make sure the speed test you're using isn't Java based. Use a Flash based one such as the Speakeasy Speedtest.
     
  10. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    #10
  11. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #11
    wow..

    interesting difference.

    first pic. Connected directly over ethernet cable.

    second pic. connected only over airport express. ( less than 1ft away from base )


    any suggestions on how to make my airport signal not suck?
     

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  12. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #12
    Interesting. Mines about normal for my connection speed (6 Mbps), however, anything I download from iTunes is painfully slow (as in I start a 300 MB download at 8:00 and it's not even finished by 12:30 :()

    I'm getting decent enough bandwidth, but anything from Apple doesn't download to well. :S
     

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