Something I've been wondering about. (MBP Wifi Range)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sesshi, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I don't really use the MBP on wireless unless I'm elsewhere but I have noticed over the course of the last couple of months when I've used the HP, Sonys and Dells in the same places is that the MBP's wireless range is notably inferior to any of the other machines - especially the Dells and Sonys.

    Is this the norm? Or is this yet another issue I have to have looked at with the machine?
  2. bartelby macrumors Core

    Jun 16, 2004
    I'm going to guess it's the alunimium casing of the MPB causing the problem.
  3. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    So...well, is it a 'feature' or a fixable fault?
  4. Temujin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2005
    I've read other posters having the same problems with their PB's. They pointed to the aluminium casing being the culprit.
    Guess the same goes with the MBP.

    I personally haven't had any problems with reception though. But I don't compare with other laptops and neither should you. Will only bring you down ;)
  5. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    Before I bought my MBP, I was using a Toshiba with a Wireless b card along with my linksys router. It would drop connection all the time and the range was horrible. Since I have been using my MBP the wireless has been great, full signal everywhere in my house and hasn't dropped connection once.
  6. xJulianx macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    My wireless coverage is excellent on my MacBook, I used to have a Dell laptop and it wasnt half as good, I can even get signal in the basement 3 floors down from the router! I expect it's the MBP's alluminiom casing.
  7. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    My connection with a PB is a little iffy inside my house, but at university it's as good as everyone elses. It might be my router at home or something. But yeah, like others have said, the aluminum case seems to interfere with the signal.
  8. glib macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2006
    My MBP's wireless connectivity is noticably better than my roommate's toshiba laptop. He gets dropped all the time, and gets terrible transfer speeds, yet I'm further from the router and never get disconnected.

    What week is your MBP? Mine's a week 27.
  9. slick316 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2005
    I know that my 17" MBP's wifi range was not nearly as good as my MB's. I am able to pick up a lot more wifi access points, and with better strength. Even at home, my wireless router is upstairs. With my MBP I noticed that downstairs, sometimes the strength would decrease, down to just two bars, not with the MB though. My 15" PB had about the same range as the MBP, maybe there is something in the aluminum casing.
  10. Dave the Great macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    I have a neighbor with a Dell that can connect to my router from down the block. However, I can't connect in my own backyard. The MacBook Pro reception is crap.

    I do have an iBook G4, too, and the reception on there is good (at least a lot better than the MBP). I have never tried it from as far as he (my neighbor) though, so I can't say if it is on par with the Dell.
  11. vv-tim macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2006
    It's probably some combination of the fact that there's an aluminum casing around the antenna and that the MBP uses the Atheros chipset (I believe) whereas "Centrino" computers use the far superior Intel wireless cards.
  12. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2006
    Yeah, the wireless range has been negatively afflicted in the pro-line portables since the Powerbooks went titanium. If you encase a wireless computer in metal, it's a natural issue.

    I did want to point out that, when the MBPs were introduced, there was some minor murmors about the rubber tube on the all-metal hinge- this is a new feature of the MBP, and was quite mysterious. Turns out, a significant portion of the antenna is in the hinge, and so they've swapped out the all-metal hinge case for a rubber one in previous powerbook models to help increase the range.

    Gotta say, tho, with my MBP, the range is still pretty short.
  13. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    You do not need strong wireless signal, your computer runs OSX! Isn't that good enough for you?
  14. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    No, but I was hoping the tinfoil around my testicles to prevent burnage from the MBP would act as a reflector to boost the signal to the MBP.

    So are we agreed that it's a deficiency of the Macbook Pro and not a fixable fault as such? I just want to reduce my little list of faults down to what are design problems which Applecare can do nothing about and what are fixable problems then send it off hopefully to have all the outstanding issues fixed in a single visit.

    This machine has given me plenty of grief already but it's like an old English sports car. While the MBP is an unreliable POS when looked at in a logical light, on many levels it's too darned likeable to get really angry at. All I want though is not to be inconvenienced on almost a daily level by some tic or build quality issue on this thing.
  15. amoda macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006

    Okay my mbp's wireless is also pretty darn crappy. Three days ago it got beat by a 5 yr old toshiba with a bent exterior wireless card. It was pretty darn embarrising(sp?) to say the least.

    Anywho, i find that the reciption is noticably better in windows than in os x. Maybe there is a software aspect of this too? Because if it was only the aluminum casing it should affect both os's the same right?

    My .02
  16. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Interesting. I haven't run it much in Boot Camp so I didn't know about that. Maybe there is a software issue.
  17. Steve Jobless macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    under windows vista i get full bars on my MBP, whereas in OSX I only get one, maybe two.
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I get ranges of up to 300m away from the wireless hub in my lab...
  19. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    I have the opposite. Crap range on Windows, great range on Mac. Then again, I don't run those system updates for Windows, so...

    I tend to just leave interference Robustness on as well.
  20. russellc macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2006
    my macbook pro has no wireless connectivity issues at all, always connects to any wireless network properly and with good speeds.
  21. XP Defector macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    Does anyone have any idea actually how far in meters the range of a MacBook would be? I swear at my other house I can pick up around four networks and there is only a couple of houses in a range of 200 meters.
  22. halohunter9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2006
    My macbook has never had any problems conecting wirelessly to any network. I am in college and my mb works were others dont. My roomate doesnt even get wireless on his computer in our room and i do. So mb seem to have a good range.
  23. vv-tim macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2006
    I noticed the same. I can pickup/hold weak wireless networks much easier in Windows than in OS X.

    "Interference Robustness" doesn't seem to actually accomplish anything.

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