MBA Wifi slow performance.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by double329, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. double329, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011

    double329 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    I posted few comments here regards wifi on MBA. I got a chance to use my other laptop along with the MBA today, I decided to do some performance comparison. The result is disappointed.

    - Gigabit Switch local LAN switch.
    - OpenNAS server with 1GB wired link
    - D-Link DIR825 connected to 1GB wired link, Wifi at 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz.
    - Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit laptop with N Wifi
    - MBA 13" Ultimate with N wifi.

    Accessing Method:
    - Windows accessing NAS via map network drive UNC //server/shared method.
    - MBA accessing NAS via smb://server/shared method. Test:
    - on both laptop yield ~30mbps download and 2mbps upload

    Wifi status transmit rate on both laptops are ~260-290mbps.

    Accessing the internet on both are about the same.

    Test 1:
    Local network Access Test: Both systems accessing the photo on NAS box, file size ~4MB in size.

    - The Win 7 took 2 sec to open the file.
    - MBA took 35 sec to open the very same file.

    I tried to open few different files on both, the result is the same. Very BAD!!!

    Test 2:
    Accessing video file on the NAS:
    - Win 7 played smoothly just like it was local access.
    - MBA accessing the same video, Very choppy, Jerky... Video paused every 5 sec. Very Bad...

    Test 3:
    Copy photo from NAS to local disc:
    - Win 7 almost instant for ~4MB photo.
    - MBA copy the same file, 25 sec???? Very BAD...

    I think, the MBA (Apple MAC OS) has real issue with the wifi. As I was saying, the came out really high on both laptops. The thing is normal web usage, I don't even see the problem on MBA.

    BTW: I don't see any issue at all with the MBA when use USB Network dongle. Accessing stuff from NAS is instant. Very impressive speed.

    - Does Mac OS have real Wifi issue?
    - Does my MBA has wifi issue?
    - SMB Compatibility issue on the MAC vs. OpenNAS?
    - MBA wifi couldn't sustain the burst wifi throuput?

    I just don't know. I did a search on MAC wifi. I did find many people complained about wifi slowness. I think, if MBA can access my network with the performance I got on Win 7. Oh Man, the MBA will really shine.

    I decided to do another test just for fun. Using VM Fusion on my MBA and booting up my Windows VM. Accessing the NAS box in the VM, the result is the same as Win 7 laptop. Opening the very same photo file is almost instant via Wifi on VM running on fusion on very same MBA that has bad wifi performance. I am totally CONFUSED now!!!!

    Update #2 (2/5/2011): Wifi Problem SOLVED!!!
    Well, after spending many hours researching... I finally ran into setting that someone post online. I gave it a shot and it fixed my specific problem. YEAHHHHH!!!!!! This problem is only has to do with Mac with OpenNAS box ONLY!!!
    Solution: Logon to NAS box, and enable tuning option. "WebUI|System|Advanced->Turnning"

    - Test 1: Open photo file 2 to 3 Sec, this is big improvement from 35 Sec.
    - Test 2: Playing Video is very smooth now. I see a quick pause once or twice. Much better than every 5 sec pause and each pause was 5 sec.
    - Test 3: File copy is INSTANT now. Nice...

    I am much happier now. But, I still don't understand why Windows doesn't have any problem even without the Tuning option enable? I'll take it for now.
  2. chris-013 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2011
    In a way, you find your own solution... Use Windows in a VM !
  3. mr0c macrumors regular


    Jul 5, 2010
    Virginia, US
    I've seen a few issues with smb and there's a few threads on various sites as well ... doesn't seem like it's fixed (it was broken for a while).

    Maybe try nfs or other mounts?
  4. Bakari45 macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    Thanks, for posting these tests and observations. I've been at my sister's house the last several days, and I've also noticed slow video downloads over DSL.

    Is there anything that can be done to improve this besides switching to Windows?
  5. double329 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    No, so far I couldn't find any solution as well as many other people.
  6. nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    On your router change the channel settings from auto to a specific channel (i think 11 worked for me) you should find a huge difference.
  7. dean1012 macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I would hope they fixed this two years ago...
  8. nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    Its quite unbelievable really.

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