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MacBook Pro 13" 2020 WiFi issues

talino

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2010
62
2
Hello,

Just got a new MBP 13". Updated Catalina to latest version. This is my first laptop and my first macOS computer to use WiFi (only iOS up to now, and my other machines — iMac, Mac Pro — are on Ethernet). WiFi performance is absolutely terrible. I can browse the internet and watch YouTube, but copying a 100mb file from my Ethernet iMac (plugged into the router) to the MacBook via the Finder over WiFi takes 10 minutes. Also, connection seems to be regularly dropping.

Router channel selection is set to Automatic. The MacBook Pro is less than a meter away from the router, which is set to 802.11n @ 2.4 GHz (no other option).

I have never experienced this with either my iPad or iPhone, especially not at such close proximity to the router.

I've ran Wireless Diagnostics and capture the graphs, attached below (this was during a file copy operation). I was hoping someone could comment if this looks normal or not, so I can investigate in the right direction. Also below is the channel graph from the router.

Thanks.
 

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magbarn

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,445
1,596
Upgrade your ancient router based on a decade+ old standard. Are you comparing apples to apples? Surfing the web on an iPad is a “bursty” kind of use while transferring 100mb wirelessly is much more likely to expose weaknesses in your wireless network.

Also, I don’t even bother with 2.4ghz anymore (which really only has 3 channels that don’t overlap with another one!) as most cities have such high WiFi congestion that only 5.8ghz is usable in trying to get high speed transfers. My 2020 MacBook Pro is almost always above 500mbps and near router over 1000mbps.
 
Last edited:

talino

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2010
62
2
Thank you. I didn't know 2.4ghz was considered old. Like I wrote, I prefer cables when I can use them and don't rely too much on WiFi. I've ordered a replacement router with 5.8ghz capability and I'll test it when it gets here.
 

limo79

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2009
276
129
2.4 GHz is better when you require better signal for longer distance. Yeah it can be considered old but old does not mean always bad. In some conditions might be better than 5GHz.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,250
3,200
SF Bay Area
Looks like you have a lot of other access points nearby. Hopefully getting your Wifi on 5GHz will enable to find a less used frequency band.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
9,224
10,904
My MacBook Pro 13” suddenly started dropping connection since last couple of days. No idea why. All the other devices collected to the same network are working absolutely fine!

Did anyone get to the bottom of it?
 
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magbarn

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,445
1,596
We answered the OP as he's using a 10+ year old router that doesn't have 5ghz channel, only 2.4ghz

Also a laptop will access need a better connection to the wifi than other wifi devices as your laptop will need a continuous signal

If you live in a congested urban/suburban area with numerous Wifi access points and you're still on 2.4ghz would explain this. As it only takes 3 access routers on 2.4ghz to saturate the airwaves.

My 2020 MBP has this on the wifi bar, (hold down option key when you click on the wifi icon)
Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 6.25.02 AM.png

It's on 5ghz and get's close to 1Gbps most of the time
 

talino

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2010
62
2
I've exchanged my router for a newer model with 802.11ac. Speeds are indeed much better, although not stellar I think (these are impressions based on Finder copy speeds). I'm posting some stats here because I have nothing to compare this to (as I wrote in my OP, first experience with non-wired LAN on macOS).

These tests were made with LAN Speed Test, all from the same iMac connected via Ethernet to the router.

iMac to Mac Pro (both via Ethernet):

lan.jpg


iMac (Ethernet) to MacBook Pro (less than 1 meter from the router):

wifi close.jpg


iMac (Ethernet) to MacBook Pro (in the next room of a very small apartment, congested city zone):

wifi far.jpg


Noise stats on MacBook Pro (when very close to the router):

noise.png


If all this seems normal then great.

Thanks a lot for your help.
 
Last edited:

magbarn

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,445
1,596
You've got a very wifi "noisy" environment. Unfortunately your use case is why the upcoming Wifi6 standard is important as it opens up 6ghz which should be much quieter than the crowded 2.4/5.8 bands.

I get routinely 1000 Mbps or higher when connecting to my 6 year old Apple Time Capsule router. In the next room I'm still at 500-700 Mbps. But I live out in the country.
I'll try those tests in my environment when I get home
 

talino

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 16, 2010
62
2
Ah yes, this is definitely not the countryside... Just look at the number of visible access points listed on my router. It's an apartment building. When you do an AirDrop from an iPhone to your Mac you sometimes see the neighbor's iPhone :)

radar.jpg
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,250
3,200
SF Bay Area
Ah yes, this is definitely not the countryside... Just look at the number of visible access points listed on my router. It's an apartment building. When you do an AirDrop from an iPhone to your Mac you sometimes see the neighbor's iPhone :)

View attachment 927635
2 Questions.

1) Is this chart of 5GhZ channels?
2) Why is the channel width of 80MHz? It is recommended you use 40 MHz when the 5GHz band is uncrowded and 80 MHz only when it is very uncrowded. At 80 Mhz you have reduced your options down to 5 or less unoverlapping 5Ghz frequencies.
 
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Supra Mac

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2012
256
79
Texas
OP, your txrate suggest that you have the 2 port model, 8th gen if your mbp is 2020. Which means your numbers look ok, max 867. Those with 10 gen models has a 3x3 WiFi, max 1300, so will be faster instead of 2x2 stream.
 
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