A very frustrating wifi issue...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pureflamez, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. pureflamez, Sep 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011

    pureflamez macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    I've started to notice that my wifi speeds have decreased by more than 75% at my apartment at school and at my house... I get random bursts of actual speeds but I can never actually get a consistent good speed unless it's my upload.

    I'm really starting to get convinced that it's my Macbook Pro and I took it to a genius bar, but all they did was run a speed test using speedtest.net and got a 40mbps connection. I'm not sure how fast their network is as a whole, so 40mbps/xxxx mbps? But either way, 40 is really good.? The genius also tried running the Apple Hardware Test but couldn't get it to work, so he sent me on my way saying he sees no issue...

    Oh, and my wifi on campus just sucks. It disconnects 90% of the time. I've reset both of my routers and reconfigured them multiple times including changing their operating channels with no luck. I've tried doing a PRAM reset and SMC reset with no luck. I've also reformatted my Macbook Pro and installed a fresh copy of Lion to no luck. I can't seem to get AHT working on this either, so I'm thinking of just taking it to the Apple Store again and trying my luck.

    This is starting to get really annoying, so I'd appreciate any comments/suggestions on this.

    Thanks guys!
  2. pureflamez, Sep 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011

    pureflamez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    On Lion:

    This is also on my MBP dual booted on Windows 7:

    Also, here's some ping statistics:
    --- google.com ping statistics ---
    50 packets transmitted, 49 packets received, 2.0% packet loss
    round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 34.413/195.759/681.470/223.208 ms

    These are all on my 12mb home connection.
  3. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I agree with you.
    MBP's indicator for WiFi do suck.
    Although I never had a WiFi issue...

    On my MBP, the WiFi signal shows full bars.
    But when I boot into Win 7 Ultimate, it shows 3 bars.
    Windows signal bar seems to be more accurate than the MBPs.
  4. AFPoster macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I was just having this issue and my fix was changing the Channel from Auto to a certain number. I choose 3 and it worked perfectly.

    Quick question how'd you get all those details in the Wi-Fi section on the Mac below Virus?
  5. Town Idiot25 macrumors newbie

    Town Idiot25

    Sep 5, 2011
    I like the network name. lol. I was gonna make mine "virus.exe"
  6. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    I noticed you are running 802.11g with g depending how far you are from the router it is difficult to reach high speeds, is it possible for you to switch the router to N mode?

    This tends to help aswell.
  7. Nitr0 macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    Based on your screenshot of the surrounding wireless networks it really seems that you have 4 - 5 other high signal routers in your area. Since there are only 3 channels that you can use in the 2.4GHz range that do not overlap themselves in the surrounding wireless spectrum you probably have interference.


    Notice how 1 - 6 - 11 do not overlap eachother? The reason that you get "bursts" of speed is when you and your neighbors are not broadcasting at the same time it allows one of you to utilize the spectrum cleanly. When you're both fighting for airtime even 1 other person broadcasting on the same channel can reduce your speeds by almost half.

    I would suggest buying a new router that supports wireless N and 5GHz. I use the Cisco E2000 flashed with http://www.dd-wrt.com and it works quite well. If you wanted to go the more expensive route I'm sure an Apple Airport would accomplish the same thing.

    When the Apple "geniuses" did a speedtest did they have it connected via wireless? Their stores have a very nice back end network that should allow your laptop to download at 40Mb/s
  8. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    In addition to what everyone else has said, I've found that wifi for me was more spotty in general under Lion. I have since reverted to Snow Leopard and have had no issues. Was yours better in the previous OS or did you buy this laptop brand new with Lion installed on it?
  9. pureflamez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    AFPoster - Hold the option key and click on the wifi menu. (I think it works on Lion only)

    maril1111 - Time Warner was trying to charge me an extra $50 for a wireless N router, but I convinced them and have one coming most likely tomorrow for my apartment and I'll update ya'll on how that goes... As for my home, this router supports wireless N but it will always go down to G because I have a lot of windows devices and my printer which run on G only.

    Nitr0- I've tried changing the channels and done speed tests on all channels (1-11) and chosen the best one, yet after a while that tends to die down as well. My guess is that you're right about others around me using the same channel on occasions. But I've lived in the same place with the same wifi connections showing up for a couple of years now and have never had an issue with this until the past month. And yes, the genius did the test over wifi. Thanks for that image it actually helped me get a better perspective on how channels work.

    kappaknight - I would have to agree with you on Lion. My wifi was working fine at my house prior to Lion, but I always had speed issues at my apartment which I thought may be because there are dozens of wifi connections which show up in AirPort over there compared to my house. I started to notice these huge speed reductions at my house after my upgrade. I bought this MBP the first day of its release in March so it did come with Snow Leopard.
  10. pureflamez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5313e Safari/7534.48.3)

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm using a WRT110 router which I have set to broadcasting wireless-N only with the same issue. Also, my MBP is the only device having this issue. All other devices (3 iPhones, 4 windows pcs all wireless) at my home get perfect speed tests. Also, at my apartment if I have friends visit with their MBP's or PC's their speedtests run just fine as well as iPhones. I think my MBP is cursed.
  11. Nitr0 macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    Edit: The WRT110 is a fairly old router at this point. I really really think it's your router / wireless network.

    A simplistic way to check this would be to ping your gateway ( or usually) during these slowdowns, check what your ping is. A good non interfering 802.11g network should be able to get up to 12Mb/s download without your latency spiking like crazy. If you are doing 12Mb/s and there is tons of latency 600+ms then it's a good indicator of interference.

    If you have devices that don't use 5GHz then I would seriously suggest picking up an E3000 which has a dual band radio inside of it. Then your legacy devices can stick on the old laggy network while your new devices should work without problems.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The option key method has worked for a long time. I haven't tried it with Tiger, but it works on Snow Leopard and Leopard.
  13. tonywang.xmpt macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Wifi is always a pain in the ass, be it Windows or Mac. Use a ethernet cable and your problems will be solved. (most of the time)

Share This Page