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How fast can my Air handle on WiFi?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by RolledUp20s, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. RolledUp20s, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

    macrumors regular

    i have the macbook air mid 2011 - its the 13'' model, 4GB, 1.7 Ghz i5.
    i recently upgraded my broadband to fibre optic and i should be getting 66Meg Max, however..drop 10Mbps from the exchange...they guestimate around 56Mbps average download speeds for me. Now, when i run speedtest..the best i've seen is 31Mbps DL and 17 Upload. it tends to be more like 27Mbps DL though...so i'm getting half of what i should be. when the engineer was here with his ''ahem-windows laptop'' he was getting 56Mbps on my wifi..so, im curious as to what the macbook air can handle on wifi? or are there any other tests i can do? sadly having no ethernet port on the air..i can't try a cabled connection to see if i am actually getting 56bps.

    cheers anyways.
  2. #2
    Just to clarify, with "Meg" (short for "Mega") do you mean Mb/s (Megabit/s) or MB/s (MegaByte/s)? What is the shown Transmit Rate when you OPTION click the WiFi / AirPort icon in the Menu Bar?
  3. macrumors 601


    This Apple adapter will give u a gigabit ethernet port.

    WIFI should be sufficient for the test however, but the above adapter will confirm u have a less than optimal WIFI configuration.
  4. macrumors regular


    sorry, ye it's Mbps...i was just typing as i was 'saying it' in my head. my bad
  5. macrumors regular

    ok, well...whats the wifi test i can do? i just did a wifi diagnostic report..but it doesn't meen much to me all the files it's generated :confused:
  6. macrumors regular

    just turned my wi-fi off on the mac, left it 10secs, turned back on and now i just got


    although, ping is higher? ive seen that on 10 before..


    now we're talking...

    thats on a server further away aswel? ..well, im in wrexham...40miles from liverpool...thats saying 150 & that im closer to london?? WTF?
  7. #7
    And what is the Transmit Rate?

    And 66 Mb/s is not that difficult to get with a proper 802.11n router, but which router do you actually have?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Depends where your ISP breaks out. I'm on Virgin which breaks out in Basingstoke which is about 20 miles away from me.

    Is your WiFi a, b, g or n?
  9. macrumors regular

    well, i have just used the new sky router that they sent out. i do have a netgear n300 but found 5Ghz not a good connection around the house and possibly interferes with the wiiU gamepad connection (but that's another story)

    So, using sky's new router this is the following i get when OPTION on wifi :

    PHY MODE: 802.11n
    channel: 11 (2.4GHz)
    RSSI: -46
    MCS INDEX : 15

    So, whats all that meen then?

    cheers guys
  10. macrumors regular

    i notice the thread titled 'i dropped my macbook air on the floor and..'' (or something similar) has received more views and responses than my actual question.

    now, if you tech guys could please concentrate on the real matters at problem here? ;)

    much appreciated
  11. macrumors newbie

    You can't trouble shoot your internal network going strictly off speedtests that are affected by things outside of your house.

    You need to start with troubleshooting your network. Do you have another pc on the network that you can use to do a file transfer to, and record the speeds achieved there? This will tell you if your network is performing up to par as speed tests can give unstable results.
  12. macrumors 6502

    It's certainly not a MBA issue. I have 120 Mbps over here and it's not a problem:


    Your problem could be:

    - the speedtest server is too slow
    - your line does not offer more speed
    - the router can not offer more speed (what model is it exactly, can you connect on 5 GHz?)

    So you could try and download a heavily seeded (legal) torrent, a Linux distro for example, and see if you get more speed.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    To be honest wi-fi is not an accurate way to do speed tests.

    You really need to try it with a wired adaptor. I am on Virgin's 120Mbps fibre service and my wi-fi won't see speeds over ~40mbps DL and ~5Mbps upload.

    If I connect an Ethernet cable I will get the full service.

    Also, does your provider do any traffic throttling at the times you are trying to test?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    My MBA wifi easily hit 100Mb/s down and up.
  15. macrumors 6502


    WiFI performance is very, I mean *very*, dependent on many things such as distance to the access point, walls in between, what types of wall, the tech hardware specs, channels, disturbance, the access point chipsets configuration, the computers chipsets, vendor specific optimizations etc. etc...

    The Air still only have a 2x2x2 configuration (2 send and receive antennas with 2 spatial streams) which ideally gives 300 Mbps theoretical bandwidth. The Macbook Pro have the newer 3x3x3 configuration which theoretically gives up to 450 Mbps. This is of course requiring the access point to support 3x3x3 also.

    What kind of access point/router do you have to serve the WiFi-network? What's the setup? Do you have a lot of other wifi networks in the area? Do you have other devices on the same frequency in between your devices (such as a microwave oven, wireless phones, bluetooth devices etc)?
  16. macrumors member

    Make SURE that your router is properly configured for 802.11N. 802.11G has a theoretical capacity of 55Mbps if I'm not mistaken, and once you take into account the wireless "overhead", your results of 36-44Mbps would be about right.

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