Bizarre Internet problem, all ideas welcome

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rvcnyc, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. rvcnyc macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    I'm a newbie here but I have run into such a weird internet problem that I really need ideas from a forum. Here's the deal:

    For the past month or so, the internet on my MacBook Pro is slow -- but only noticeably so on certain sites (Yahoo, Facebook, and Google.) My Hotmail loads at apparently normal speed and most independent websites (but not all of them) load fine.

    However, on my husband's desktop PC in the same house, all those websites load fine -- even though his computer and mine use the same internet connection. Google loads instantly, so does my Yahoo account, etc. So at first I thought it was a problem with my MacBook internet connection.

    On my laptop, I tested the issue on both Safari and Firefox to see if it was the browser. I had the same problem on both -- Google took five minutes to load on both browsers, etc.
    I then tested whether it was my Airport connection by shutting off my Airport entirely and connecting via an ethernet cable. But the problem persisted.

    Here's where it gets really bizarre: I traveled with my Mac laptop to my in-laws' house, out of state in South Carolina, where my husband set up a wireless internet connection for them, and while I was there, every website on my MacBook worked fine. Google loaded perfectly for me, so did Yahoo, etc. I was using the same MacBook, same Airport, same browsers, everything.

    But then I got back home to New Jersey and Google won't load for me on my laptop again. I'm totally stumped. Are PC's just generally faster at processing websites, so that my Mac would be super-sensitive to a slow connection? But why would it only be certain websites? Could it be someone messing with net neutrality? But even if that were true, why would this only appear as a problem on my Mac and not our house's desktop PC? Any ideas are welcome.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Let's assume it's a browser(s) problem...

    If you don't run adblock in your web browser, slow page loads are often the result of loading huge javascript files from crappy performing ad servers. It could be that the browsers on your Windows PC are running ad block but your Mac is not. Then when you go out of town, the ad servers were having "a better day". Always use adblock and slow page loads are (mostly) a thing of the past. It seems advertisers have forgotten that everybody doesn't have fast cable modem connections and some of us could care less about what's on sale this week when we're trying to quickly pull up our kids' grades or read more about a story we heard on the news.

    Let's assume it's a network problem...

    There may be differences in the network settings between your PC and your Mac. When you went out of town, whatever faulty settings you have for home were overridden by the settings for the location you were visiting. Now you are back at home and your home settings are in effect again.

    Check if you have DHCP running the same on the PC and the Mac. If the PC has its own DNS settings filled in instead of getting from the router, copy those settings over to the Mac. Otherwise if the PC is getting all its settings from the router but the Mac is not, go ahead and set the Mac to get all its settings from the router.

    There are 2 settings that are fully automatic with DHCP. One is IP address/subnet mask and the other is default gateway. The next setting can be manual or automatic and it is DNS server. If you put in and for DNS, you are using google's DNS servers and you aren't relying on your ISP. I recommend making DNS changes in your router rather than on every device and in that case the DNS server would be your router which is the same as your default gateway.

    Here is a typical example setup:

    IP Address: DHCP/automatic (currently
    Subnet mask: DHCP/automatic (currently
    Gateway: DHCP/automatic (currently
    DNS Server: DHCP/automatic (currently

    In the router you can have DNS set to automatic which uses the servers provided by your ISP, or you can override them and use another server such as google or opendns. By making this setting in the router, all your computers and handhelds get the same settings and you don't have to waste time debugging issues on every device.

    Setting up the router can depend on the brand. Almost every brand but Apple is set up via a web page at the address of the default gateway. Apple routers require you to run Airport Utility to set them up.

    hope this helps...
  3. rvcnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    Thanks so much. Really useful ideas. I know my husband runs adblock but I don't. It's just weird that it would pop up as a problem so randomly, because I've had my MacBook and used the same browsers for years.

    Either way, I'll check out the network settings and follow up to let you know what happened. I appreciate it.

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