How do people get around the wifi problems?

gummy3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 17, 2011
26
0
Hi all,

I just bought a new 11" Macbook Air i5, and although I love the computer, I am very disappointed with the wifi connectivity. I'm running Lion 10.7.2, and after going through many forum posts and threads from tons of other people who experience the same problems, I'm left to wonder whether I should just return the MBA.

Internet connectivity is the #1 most important component of any computer, let alone an ultraportable like an MBA. Yet with so many people (including myself now) having problems with wifi, I'm left to wonder why the laptop is still so popular? Is there still a large portion of people out there with MBAs and Lion that don't have any wifi issues? I have a secondary PC and it's downloading at speeds 10x faster than my Macbook Air, it's almost crippling how slow the internet connection is on this thing.

Seems like nobody has a solid workaround for this issue - and I've tried pretty much all the remedies out there.

I'm really just left to wonder, given my disappointment - how do people still manage to function on this computer? Unless I'm mistaken and the wifi issues are only restricted to a small subset of all Macbook Air + Lion users out there...? (although I'd be surprised if this were the case given the 100's of unresolved complaints out there about this issue)
 

gummy3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 17, 2011
26
0
and you guys have Lion 10.7.2? Are you using Airport Extreme or a regular router?

...maybe I should do an exchange then if it's an issue with my computer...
 

michaelkha

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2011
4
0
Vancouver BC, Canada
I just bought the MBA 13" and haven't run into any problems yet.

Although when woken up sometimes it doesn't connect right away or tells me that there is no internet connection available. But after about 10-20 seconds everything is fine again. I am running Lion 10.7.2

There's no harm in returning your current MBA and exchanging it for another. At least you can see whether it is just that one ..
 

gummy3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 17, 2011
26
0
gummy3:

have you tryed placing dns server # in network settings (googles are always good to use...below link shows how to do)

http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/docs/using.html

- my imac 2006 model was having wifi issues and this trick fixed it...
Thanks - yeah I've given that a shot and my internet speeds didn't change at all, unfortunately. Just did another test and my PC laptop was downloading a file at 1.5MB/s while my MBA was getting about 200kb/s.... :\
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
Although when woken up sometimes it doesn't connect right away or tells me that there is no internet connection available. But after about 10-20 seconds everything is fine again. I am running Lion 10.7.2
This is about the only "complaint" I have. The other night I transferred about 60+ GB worth of data via wifi from my MBP to my MBA with no issues.

I am using Airport extremes (one as my main router/wifi, and then one as an extender in my basement).

My connection speeds constantly show 300mbps when connected at 5ghz and I don't really notice any slowness when surfing.
 

MacLappy

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
354
164
Singapore
Both my wife's and mine don't seem to suffer from the above mentioned wifi problem.

Wife's - 2010 macbook air 13" base
Mine - 2011 macbook air 13" base

I have been using mine in a couple of location, none of which connect via a mac router. It seems that this problem might be either specific to 11" macbook air or just the current one that you have, since most of the responding people with no wifi problems are spotting the 13". Either way hope you find a suitable solution, all the best.
 
Last edited:

orfeas0

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2010
971
1
Athens, Greece
and you guys have Lion 10.7.2? Are you using Airport Extreme or a regular router?

...maybe I should do an exchange then if it's an issue with my computer...
just did a speedtest.net test and had 10mbps on my 11" 2011 mba (with 10.7.2).
Same test on my toshiba laptop gave 8,78mbps o_O

It's highly probable that your mba has a problem and you should return it.
 

cgallant725

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2010
28
0
I have an 11" air and the only WiFi problems I have is at school there are 10 plus networks that are within range and sometimes i have to manually select my home network. Else where i have no problems when there are not as many networks (MBP does the same thing at school too, just less frequently)
 

Poindexter333

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
90
4
NYC metropolitan area
IMHO- having heard these complaints for many years now- and having suffered some of these same maddening issues myself- with either my TiBook, MBA Rev A or current mid 2011 MBA- I think we can conclude that the problems may be heavily influenced by the brand/internal software version of the router.

People are quick to state every detail about their laptop, but almost never make any mention of the router. Why can our laptops work perfectly in one place and terribly in another? If I go into one particular coffee shop, I can get throughout as low as 2kbps- or worse, fail to connect at all or constantly get dropped, (with nobody else connected- traffic independent in other words) but in another place I can see speeds over 2mbps. Same laptop, different in-house router, yet with 6 other computers running in there.

I think our wifi cards just don't like some brands of routers, and/or their software setups. I would suggest that the router brand and software version be included in problem reports too.
 

Skoopman

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2011
318
2
Before you return it, test the MBA at Starbucks or any other wifi and compare it to your laptop.
 

gummy3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 17, 2011
26
0
Hey thanks so much for the replies everyone!

I managed to do what many of you suggested and try both my MBA and my PC laptop at another wifi connection. I went downstairs to my condo lobby that has its own wifi hotspot, connected both my laptops, and got the following speeds on Speedtest.net:

Condo lobby wifi hotspot:
PC - 10.31 mbps (download), 0.97 mbps (upload)
MBA - 9.62 mbps (download), 0.98 mbps (upload)

Here are the speeds I got using my own personal router inside my apartment:
PC - 12.29 mbps (download), 0.79 mbps (upload)
MBA - 1.21 mbps (download), 0.79 mbps (upload)

So by the looks of things, it appears as though it may be an issue with my router? I'll try again tomorrow at a Starbucks and see what happens... fingers crossed that I'll get similar speeds as I got in my condo lobby wifi hotspot!

If this is indeed the case, is my next (only) option to buy a new router? How would I know which router to buy, just trial and error? I'm currently only using the router that came with my Internet service (as a rental). Should I get the Airport Extreme instead? Or are there any configurations that I can make to my current router to see if it'll help my download speeds?

Thanks all! Feeling a bit more optimistic :)
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
While I don't know why, I have run into some very "unfriendly" routers for Macs. My father-in-law had a Netgear that constantly dropped my connections and was rather slow. We ended up going with a fairly cheap Asus and installed DDWRT on to it and now it runs just fine. At my house we use Airport Extremes, but for many they are over kill.

Edit: If you don't need ethernet ports, you can use an Airport Express as a router and those can be had for 69.99 in the refurbished Apple store....
 
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