Resolved How fast should wi-fi be on Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kanunu, Dec 30, 2016.

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  1. Kanunu macrumors 6502

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    Hawaii
    #1
    I changed from a 2010 iMac to a new Macbook Air 13.3. "About this Mac" says it is early 2015 so unless the Apple store completely cheated me, I guess this is the latest model.

    My inquiry is what is the maximum Wi-fi speed available. I kept the iMac on Ethernet so I was unaware that this might be an issue. I have Ethernet on the Air through the Thunderbolt port and a dongle and make the expected 300Mb/s that I am paying for but if I unplug, the best I can do on Wi-fi is about 50Mb/s. Is this the maximum for my Wi-Fi or could it be a router issue? My router is ISP provided and works off of a fiber optic box. It will prioritize TV but I am testing with the TV off.

    If 50Mb/s is the best the Airport card will do, I guess it is not too big an issue as I only intend light web browsing away from home and no heavy downloads when away.

    Below is from System Report.

    Wi=Fi info.png
    Thanks.
     
  2. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #2
    are you talking 50mbps or 50MB/s?

    A 2015 Air on my Asus 2x2 router gets 365mbps or 45MB/s. No other devices and the air right next to the router on 1gbps speeds. That's not too bad.... not as good as my Dell.
     
  3. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Ookla Speedtest.net calls it Mbps. I just did 363 wired. Here's two shots:
    Wired:
    Wired Ookla.png

    WiFi:
    WiFi Ooka.png
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
  5. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I did both a button reset and a full unplug/plug in and got basically the same results. I am up some on WiFi to 57Mbps download but I think this is a normal fluctuation over time.
     
  6. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #6
    Depends entirely on what your router uses; other wifi devices, along with antenna directions and building materials in your home. Other factors can include neighbours with the same wifi channel, wireless landline phones, microwave oven, etc.

    I suggest that you get Wifi analyser app on your macbook air, or android phone, and check the reception details.
     
  7. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    My phone analyzer is pretty basic and shows mainly strength which is not the issue. The laptop is right next to the router. All in house interference is off and no other signals even come close for strength.

    I bought WiFi Explorer.app from the App Store. It showed my router having a maximum rate of 130 Mbps which is the same number that is reflected as Transmit Rate by System Information in the screenshot in my first post. It is looking to me like the limiting factor is the WiFi card in the laptop unless anyone can explain it differently. The app downloads info as .csv but this site would not let me upload that format so I hid the weaker neighbors and made it a pdf. My router is HT023 on the first data line.

    Thanks. Those more technically literate than I are appreciated, particularly if you are willing to overlook my ignorance.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #8
    I can't see the channel numbers. However as most of your neighbours are between 32~38 % strength, that is the most likely issue.
    What you will need to check is that your wifi is not using the same channel number as your neighbour is.
    If you have a wifi channel collision at the 30 % or more mark, then you'll have that level of inefficiency in the wifi signal of your network, as the devices on your network will be checking both networks for the one signal.

    This means that you need to switch a minor setting on your router before you will get full speed off your wifi.
    (By which, I mean 98~99 % of rated ISP speed should be possible where your MBA is usually.)

    Your router should have the admin defaults listed underneath the router, login to that page and configure the Wifi so that your channel number is not the same as your neighbours.

    (I suggest that you search for details of your router settings online if you don't have the manual handy.)
     
  9. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Hawaii
    #9
    The channels are on page 3 of the pdf. My router is on 7 (auto-configured) and the next 3 are on 11. The only nearby signal on 7 is at 17% which I did not print out. I went into the router configuration page and I set for other channels. Today I seem to be getting DL speed of 70-80 Mbps in several tests on several channels including 7. This is double what I got before. Why, I have no idea. I am reluctant to go too deep as the router is owned by my ISP and serves as a controller for TV and internet. I am considering buying another router and connecting it to this box by Ethernet and then see what happens. Maybe better, I could also connect the new router directly to the fiber-optic box with the current TV router behind the new one. Thanks for your help so far. I will report back if a separate router helps.
     
  10. zoomos macrumors newbie

    zoomos

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    Jun 12, 2009
    #10
    From my experience, never use the stock firmware when trying to get the most out of your router, I installed tomato on a router and it performed twice as good as stock but not all routers are created equal.

    Trial and error is key.
     
  11. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

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    Sep 20, 2015
    #11
    hi Its certainly not your Macbook . You can contact your ISP.. and wait for cu-stomer service..
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    The 802.11ac wifi is quite fast on the newer MBA's. I have a 2013 and this is what I get connecting to a network drive on a Mac Mini over my LAN using a 2TB Airport TIme Capsule as a router. And this is MegaBYTES per second. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Kanunu, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017

    Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I have and am now logging my speeds manually so that I can record the configuration at each reading. I did discover that the ISP router is only 2.4 but it is still not even close to its supposed output. I bought an Airport Extreme which cost about double a comparable Netgear AC model but I wanted no excuses from Apple.

    Here are three readings, taken in fairly close sequence, with the ISP router completely removed from the loop.

    FO>TB port (fiber optic box direct to TP port adapter by Ethernet):
    Ping: 3ms, DL: 315.50 Mbps, UL: 41.64 Mbps

    FO>5 Mhz router>LAN>TB port (fiber optic to AirPort Extreme to TB port via Ethernet):
    Ping: 6ms, DL: 361.45 Mbps, UL: 42.94 Mbps

    FO>5 Mhz Router WiFi (Airport extreme WiFi only):
    Ping: 6; DL: 66.31 Mbps, UL: 41.64 Mbps

    The AirPort Utility.app is pretty opaque but it does not report back any problems with configuration of the AirPort Extreme. The wifi results are quite a bit less than what others here are reporting. I plan to continue monitoring for about a week and then maybe haul both the MBA and the Extreme down to Apple to brave the lines there.

    I was unable to position the ISP router after the Apple router but I have succeeded in placing the AirPort router after the ISP device by using the bridging mode. Unfortunately I need the ISP router for TV. The speed results are similar in any case. If all else fails I may have to switch to Time Warner as they run internet and TV through totally different boxes.
     
  14. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #14
    You will need at least a 2x2 MIMO router to even get close to 365mbps that the air is capable of. Not just any old router will do
     
  15. Kanunu, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017

    Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I saw what I think may your router on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/RT-ACRH13-Du...3-1ba4-4f4e-bdcc-0febe090b8ed&pf_rd_i=desktop

    Stated maximum throughput is 1267 Mbps. The AirPort Extreme claims maximum speed of 1300 so performance should be similar. As I said, I splurged an extra >$100 so that the snotty Apple "experts" in the store will have no excuses.

    Look at my numbers above again. Fiber box straight to MBA makes >300. Fiber box to AirPort Extreme to MBA by WiFi makes only ~60-80. Either the MBA or the AirPort Extreme is not working as specified. I am going to keep data for another week or two then head down to the Apple store. If the Apple router or the MBA will not perform as specified, I will put it in for refund.
     
  16. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #16
    You're right and I agree, the Airport should preform just fine. I actually borrwed an airport extreme to test on my gigabit connection and my Alienware can get 180-250mbps but never higher.. I never liked the airports tbh.

    I like your testing and how you should demand a refund. It's not performing properly with your Macbook Air it seems
     
  17. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I took both the Air and the AirPort Extreme to the Apple store along with a printout of my results. The "expert" seemed to understand the problem but was unable to verify it because believe it or not the internet connection at the Apple Store was only 50Mb/s. Talk about keeping up with technology.

    I have ordered the router discussed above and will see how it operates. The store has agreed to a full refund for the AirPort Extreme.
     
  18. vrBrew Suspended

    vrBrew

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    Mar 3, 2017
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    High life, High times
    #18
    Do you live in the a highly populated area. If there are other people running their own WiFi devices and networks you can be experiencing saturation and interference.
     
  19. Kanunu, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017

    Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    All those bases have been covered both by myself using the WiFi Explorer.app and in a phone support session with Apple support where they had me lock the AirPort Extreme in to different channels as opposed to remaining dynamic. They basically threw up their hands and said they don't know. I was not impressed.
     
  20. Kanunu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2009
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    Hawaii
    #20
    I have resolved my issue by doing two things. Returning the AirPort Extreme and changing ISP. I wanted to give the AirPort the benefit of the doubt but it gave substandard performance. Even when directly connected to the fiber optic box it's wifi performance topped out at 261 with several lower test readings. Fortunately Apple took it back no questions asked. If they got fussy, I was prepared with a printout of my readings but they accepted my statement that it did not perform as expected. Also as mentioned previously, the store did not have a connection fast enough to really test it's performance.

    The ASUS router mentioned above did better in the same configurations but the real jump came by changing ISP. My first ISP as I mentioned had to run everything through their router first because it was a combination internet/TV box. Never buy into this type of configuration. It is like having a 6 inch water pipe (the fiber optic) and then choking it down through a garden hose. As their box must be first in the line, it constricts everything behind it. I switched to a cable based ISP (Time-Warner) which splits the wires first. Now one wire feeds the cable modem which goes to the ASUS while the other wire goes to the DVR/TV box. There seems to be adequate bandwidth for both. My download speed, both Ethernet and wifi with Ethernet disconnected, always exceed 300 Mbps. I slightly regret not keeping the AirPort to try it in this configuration but taking it back also saved me over $100. The ASUS also gives me direct control over configuration without having to use AirPort Utility.app which seemed very opaque.

    Thank you to all who helped with suggestions. I am relieved to find that my MBA is as capable as I had expected when I bought it and that the problem was external.
     

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