Ethernet Cable

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 3568358, Sep 23, 2015.


What cable do you use (either on is ok- directly to computer or from modem to router)

  1. Cat 5

  2. Cat 5e

  3. Cat 6

  4. Cat 6a

    0 vote(s)
  5. Cat 7

    0 vote(s)
  1. 3568358 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2015
    United States
    Lately my wifi has been crapping out.

    I pay for excellent speeds, getting about 30 download and 8 upload, which isn't 'bad'. Lately my wifi has been stopping, or lagging/buffering. Once it stops buffering, I do get the speeds i stated before- which is great. I'm unsure as to why my internet keeps doing this 'stop and go' thing.

    It didn't do this two months ago. The problem is recent.

    I have an Apple Base Station router (I understand that data may be slower due to the fast that it is on a 2.4 Ghz channel).

    I was thinking, maybe my ethernet cords or out-of-date, though, for the amount of data my family uses.


    My router SHOULD be capable of handling the data, as it worked flawlessly before this issue miraculously appeared but with generally the same usage. I do pay for decent speeds, so that aspect should be fine as well.

    So, I was thinking that maybe due to the amount of data everyone uses now a days, the transfer speeds from modem to router aren't fast enough, because as i said, my speeds are definitely good, but it does that 'stop and go' thing. I'm not quite sure what ethernet cord I have right now, but I was wondering if anyone could answer a question.

    Maybe due to the data use in my house, the speeds of my router are faster than the speeds allowed by my ethernet cord (causing fast wifi speeds, but slow data transfer from modem to router- causing thee stop and go issue). Would using a Category 7 ethernet cord from modem to router, not necessarily speed up wifi as that pertains to my router capabilities, but stop the delay of information (the time when my internet stops for a few moments), and make my internet / wifi work as it should?
  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    It really shouldn't be your cable. A standard CAT5e cable will easily get you gigabit speeds (that's 1,000 Mbps). I've got an AirPort Extreme at home and I can copy data from Mac to Mac at around 120 MB/s using good old CAT5e cables and the standard gigabit ethernet on a 2007 iMac and Thunderbolt to Gigabit ethernet adapter on my MBA.

    Your cable could be bad, yes, but it's unlikely. More than anything it could be your modem itself or your ISP. I doubt it's your router as the AirPort's are pretty good, even the express (though it's limited to 100 mbps on it's LAN ports). Going over WiFi I can get pretty great speeds when I'm close using the 5GHz 802.11n band, but even 2.4GHz is going to be faster than your internet speed by a long shot if you're in range.

    I'd chalk it up to the modem or your ISP rather than the equipment.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Yes. Not the cable.

    Unless something is strangely wrong with your router the ethernet cord isn't affecting your wifi.

    Have you checked these two things:
    1. Other wifi networks in range. Someone nearby may have added one recently that is interfering with yours. Pick the clearest channel and set the wifi to it...don't let the router pick with the "automatic" setting.
    2. Is anyone using an interfering appliance nearby? Microwave ovens and 2.4GHz wireless phones are the worst offenders. If it's not you it could be a neighbor...if they are close by.
  4. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Duh, good point on interference. OP, is there any way you can plug in via ethernet to check it? If it works completely fine via wired and is only slow/craps out on WiFi, it could easily be some kind of interference that wouldn't be present with a wired connection.

    I just setup an AirPort Express for some roommates that got an apartment and my MacBook was picking up 24 other access points! It was set on automatic for the channel but when I used OS X's WiFi scanner to check all the channels it was still sticking it on channel 6 so I changed it, along with the 5GHz channel (only 3 others even had 5GHz).

    And since it's on 2.4GHz it's more susceptible to interference than the 5GHz band (though 2.4 goes though walls better). That could be microwaves as mentioned, wireless phone systems operating at 2.4GHz as many of them do though it isn't always a big issue, also mentioned. In an apartment/duplex some of that may be out of your control. But that could be it.
  5. campyguy, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    A few more bits of advice to tack on related to your ISP and cable modem.

    Your modem may be dying. One of mine crapped out just yesterday - it's an older model (Moto) that was superseded by a new model with a different chip, and a different brand/model but with the same chipset as the newer Moto and it's humming along nicely. The older Moto was crapping out, losing signal, rebooting, not being able to "find" the ISP - all borne out by reviewing the modem's logs.

    Also, make sure your modem has a dedicated line, especially if your modem is on Comcast (as that's what they strongly recommend). Cable and DSL modems are sensitive devices; putting them behind a splitter or attenuator or putting them on the same coax with a splitter as a set-top box (or 2 or 3 boxes) or MoCA box(es) will lead to headaches. Also, keep in mind that work in your area that necessitated work on a node may have wreaked a bit of havoc with your line. One of my locations has a modem and Tivo on one line behind a splitter - a temporary situation until a truck roll shows up next week - either the internet works great, until the Tivo is awakened to catch up on the day's events - then the internet gets a bit flaky. The tech is going to install a dedicated line for the modem.

    ISPs do work on their network quite often at all hours of the day and night, and one of their projects may have impacted your connection - my advice here is to call your ISP and have them re-provision the internet account; they'll troubleshoot the line and may find that there's too little/much downstream power or the signal-to-noise ratio is too high or that a neighbor on the same node has performed some unauthorized work.

    Also, Apple is your friend:
  6. Gav2k, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Cat 6 no point going 6a or 7 unless your running off a fiber line

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