How do people get around the wifi problems?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gummy3, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Hi all,

    I just bought a new 11" Macbook Air i5, and although I love the computer, I am very disappointed with the wifi connectivity. I'm running Lion 10.7.2, and after going through many forum posts and threads from tons of other people who experience the same problems, I'm left to wonder whether I should just return the MBA.

    Internet connectivity is the #1 most important component of any computer, let alone an ultraportable like an MBA. Yet with so many people (including myself now) having problems with wifi, I'm left to wonder why the laptop is still so popular? Is there still a large portion of people out there with MBAs and Lion that don't have any wifi issues? I have a secondary PC and it's downloading at speeds 10x faster than my Macbook Air, it's almost crippling how slow the internet connection is on this thing.

    Seems like nobody has a solid workaround for this issue - and I've tried pretty much all the remedies out there.

    I'm really just left to wonder, given my disappointment - how do people still manage to function on this computer? Unless I'm mistaken and the wifi issues are only restricted to a small subset of all Macbook Air + Lion users out there...? (although I'd be surprised if this were the case given the 100's of unresolved complaints out there about this issue)
  2. macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    Have the 13", no problem maxing out my 50Mbit connection over wifi.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Reception on my 13in Air is better than my 15in 2011 Pro.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    and you guys have Lion 10.7.2? Are you using Airport Extreme or a regular router?

    ...maybe I should do an exchange then if it's an issue with my computer...
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    No problem here at all on a 2011 13" Macbook Air with Lion. Connecting to a Linksys E4200. Connects to 2.4 or 5Ghz fine.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2011
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    I just bought the MBA 13" and haven't run into any problems yet.

    Although when woken up sometimes it doesn't connect right away or tells me that there is no internet connection available. But after about 10-20 seconds everything is fine again. I am running Lion 10.7.2

    There's no harm in returning your current MBA and exchanging it for another. At least you can see whether it is just that one ..
  7. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Thanks - yeah I've given that a shot and my internet speeds didn't change at all, unfortunately. Just did another test and my PC laptop was downloading a file at 1.5MB/s while my MBA was getting about 200kb/s.... :\
  9. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Thanks - tried that as well... no luck.
  11. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    This is about the only "complaint" I have. The other night I transferred about 60+ GB worth of data via wifi from my MBP to my MBA with no issues.

    I am using Airport extremes (one as my main router/wifi, and then one as an extender in my basement).

    My connection speeds constantly show 300mbps when connected at 5ghz and I don't really notice any slowness when surfing.
  12. MacLappy, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2011
    Both my wife's and mine don't seem to suffer from the above mentioned wifi problem.

    Wife's - 2010 macbook air 13" base
    Mine - 2011 macbook air 13" base

    I have been using mine in a couple of location, none of which connect via a mac router. It seems that this problem might be either specific to 11" macbook air or just the current one that you have, since most of the responding people with no wifi problems are spotting the 13". Either way hope you find a suitable solution, all the best.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
  14. macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2010
    13" Air with Lion 10.7.2 with no WIFI problem. Solid as f...
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    just did a test and had 10mbps on my 11" 2011 mba (with 10.7.2).
    Same test on my toshiba laptop gave 8,78mbps o_O

    It's highly probable that your mba has a problem and you should return it.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    13" 2011 i7. No issues with any wifi network i've come across at all.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have an 11" air and the only WiFi problems I have is at school there are 10 plus networks that are within range and sometimes i have to manually select my home network. Else where i have no problems when there are not as many networks (MBP does the same thing at school too, just less frequently)
  18. macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    NYC metropolitan area
    IMHO- having heard these complaints for many years now- and having suffered some of these same maddening issues myself- with either my TiBook, MBA Rev A or current mid 2011 MBA- I think we can conclude that the problems may be heavily influenced by the brand/internal software version of the router.

    People are quick to state every detail about their laptop, but almost never make any mention of the router. Why can our laptops work perfectly in one place and terribly in another? If I go into one particular coffee shop, I can get throughout as low as 2kbps- or worse, fail to connect at all or constantly get dropped, (with nobody else connected- traffic independent in other words) but in another place I can see speeds over 2mbps. Same laptop, different in-house router, yet with 6 other computers running in there.

    I think our wifi cards just don't like some brands of routers, and/or their software setups. I would suggest that the router brand and software version be included in problem reports too.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    if your mba is having trouble connecting to multiple access points, i think it's safe to say you should exchange it
  20. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2011
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    Before you return it, test the MBA at Starbucks or any other wifi and compare it to your laptop.
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2011
    Hey thanks so much for the replies everyone!

    I managed to do what many of you suggested and try both my MBA and my PC laptop at another wifi connection. I went downstairs to my condo lobby that has its own wifi hotspot, connected both my laptops, and got the following speeds on

    Condo lobby wifi hotspot:
    PC - 10.31 mbps (download), 0.97 mbps (upload)
    MBA - 9.62 mbps (download), 0.98 mbps (upload)

    Here are the speeds I got using my own personal router inside my apartment:
    PC - 12.29 mbps (download), 0.79 mbps (upload)
    MBA - 1.21 mbps (download), 0.79 mbps (upload)

    So by the looks of things, it appears as though it may be an issue with my router? I'll try again tomorrow at a Starbucks and see what happens... fingers crossed that I'll get similar speeds as I got in my condo lobby wifi hotspot!

    If this is indeed the case, is my next (only) option to buy a new router? How would I know which router to buy, just trial and error? I'm currently only using the router that came with my Internet service (as a rental). Should I get the Airport Extreme instead? Or are there any configurations that I can make to my current router to see if it'll help my download speeds?

    Thanks all! Feeling a bit more optimistic :)
  24. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    While I don't know why, I have run into some very "unfriendly" routers for Macs. My father-in-law had a Netgear that constantly dropped my connections and was rather slow. We ended up going with a fairly cheap Asus and installed DDWRT on to it and now it runs just fine. At my house we use Airport Extremes, but for many they are over kill.

    Edit: If you don't need ethernet ports, you can use an Airport Express as a router and those can be had for 69.99 in the refurbished Apple store....
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2007
    13" problems anywhere yet with WiFi.

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