New MacBook Air can't connect to Wifi well

Cys

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
5
1
So I have a very strange problem here with my new MacBook Air (2017) which I bought recently from a friend. Ive been to the Mac story where they couldn't identify the problem as the wifi in the store was perfect.

The situation is as follow. In my room I have wifi connection (all bars showing, even on my new Mac), however it can't connect. My iPhone 8 and and older MacBook Air (2015) of my friend can connect very well. When I do the network test of my provider it says everything should be fine with the exception of watching 4K videos or something like that. Anyway, I would like to be able to connect this new Mac also on the wifi in my room. Someone has advice? So far I've reseted my modem and even try the trick with putting some new wifi settings, but no succes. I can connect to the wifi if I stand literally next to it, but nothing more. On other places I can connect so far, but it feels it reaches less far as it should be able to do, or is this normal for newer MacBooks?!

some information maybe useful:
OSX version: 10.14.3
wifi card: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x117)
firmware: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (7.77.61.1 AirPortDriverBrcmNIC-1305.2) -> here I noticed an older version on my friends macbook (2015)

So someone has some tips?
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,407
1,111
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I understand it worked in the store but they have a very strong signal in every store or have visited. Does it work well with other wifi networks?

I suggested looking inside because it's a simple task and may reveal an issue.
 

Ruskes

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2019
135
37
Hi
I would say your hardware is working, since it worked in Apple Store.

Could you help us bit more with some important information when connecting at home.

Hold the Option key and click on WiFi icon to show more information.

If you know who to take a screen shot do so and publish here

If not please take note of following:
Chanel:
RSSI
Tx Rate
MCS Index:

My suspicions is you Home WiFi signal is not strong enough if the RSSI is >70, or you have something know as channel crowding (to many neighbors on same channel).
 
Last edited:

Cys

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
5
1
Yes I definitely agree my signal is not strong enough at the place I try to connect.
However, other devices are able to connect and work decent (watch youtube, Netflix etc...), while my new MacBook doesn't manage to stay connected with the weaker signal. In overall I would like to be able to use a laptop where it's made for and be mobile, so I guess the wifi connection isn't always the strongest, but still you can do some work...

First image is me standing next to the modem
Next picture is when I'm standing in my room, it is still connected, but internet doesn't work anymore and usually in a couple of minutes it completely stop and disconnects
[doublepost=1549488286][/doublepost]
I understand it worked in the store but they have a very strong signal in every store or have visited. Does it work well with other wifi networks?

I suggested looking inside because it's a simple task and may reveal an issue.
I definitely consider doing this as I suspect something is not completely right with the wifi card, however is it better to ask this to the Mac store or there's no big risk doing this by myself? A friend once replaced his wifi card and said it was a hell of a challenge...
[doublepost=1549488386][/doublepost]Oh btw, I live very remote so barely any other signals detectable
 

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wlossw

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2012
1,058
948
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Yes I definitely agree my signal is not strong enough at the place I try to connect.
However, other devices are able to connect and work decent (watch youtube, Netflix etc...), while my new MacBook doesn't manage to stay connected with the weaker signal. In overall I would like to be able to use a laptop where it's made for and be mobile, so I guess the wifi connection isn't always the strongest, but still you can do some work...

First image is me standing next to the modem
Next picture is when I'm standing in my room, it is still connected, but internet doesn't work anymore and usually in a couple of minutes it completely stop and disconnects
[doublepost=1549488286][/doublepost]

I definitely consider doing this as I suspect something is not completely right with the wifi card, however is it better to ask this to the Mac store or there's no big risk doing this by myself? A friend once replaced his wifi card and said it was a hell of a challenge...
I should start by saying that at my house the 2.4ghz channel is very unreliable.

Now by looking at your post, you are connecting at 2.4ghz and running a “n” network.

Advice number one is go buy a decent new router from ASUS or another brand you like that supports 5ghz and Ac.

This will be an improvement for your life in general, and probably solve your wifi problem.
 

Cys

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
5
1
I should start by saying that at my house the 2.4ghz channel is very unreliable.

Now by looking at your post, you are connecting at 2.4ghz and running a “n” network.

Advice number one is go buy a decent new router from ASUS or another brand you like that supports 5ghz and Ac.

This will be an improvement for your life in general, and probably solve your wifi problem.
Normally my router should be able to send out on 5GHz too, it chooses 'automatically'.
So far as I figured out the theory behind it: 5GHz is more influenced by barriers, reflection and everything else messing with your signal. So I guess the router sends on the 2.4GHz to give the best signal to the computer...
 

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,407
1,111
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I definitely consider doing this as I suspect something is not completely right with the wifi card, however is it better to ask this to the Mac store or there's no big risk doing this by myself? A friend once replaced his wifi card and said it was a hell of a challenge...
[doublepost=1549488386][/doublepost]Oh btw, I live very remote so barely any other signals detectable
Changing the wifi card is very easy if you take your time. I have taken several MacBook Airs apart and it's pretty simple.

It could also have something to do with the wifi cables that run along the bottom of the screen.

Other devices are able to connect to your home wifi with a good signal leads me to believe it is the air itself that has an issue.

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Air+13-Inch+Early+2015+AirPort-Bluetooth+Card+Replacement/38515
 
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Ruskes

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2019
135
37
Thank you for posting screen shots!

You WiFi signal is week to bad range.

RSSI = 67 is still usable but borderline.
RSSI = 80 is totally useless

Also change the Chanel from 1 to 5.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,681
1,956
Thank you for posting screen shots!

You WiFi signal is week to bad range.

RSSI = 67 is still usable but borderline.
RSSI = 80 is totally useless

Also change the Chanel from 1 to 5.

Good call, but why 5? That still partially overlaps with 1. 6 or 11 are better bets.

2.4Ghz is also susceptible to interference from microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, and, incredibly, USB3 devices. I would split your network to 2.4 and 5 with different SSIDs and you can force it to choose one over the other.
 

Ruskes

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2019
135
37
You also said, you have 2 other devices feeding from same WiFi.
Turn them off and see if Mac gets more juice now.
 

wlossw

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2012
1,058
948
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Normally my router should be able to send out on 5GHz too, it chooses 'automatically'.
So far as I figured out the theory behind it: 5GHz is more influenced by barriers, reflection and everything else messing with your signal. So I guess the router sends on the 2.4GHz to give the best signal to the computer...
What router are you using?
 

Cys

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
5
1
Thanks for all the response. After all it must have been a problem with the wifi receiver or the antenna. My friend gave me back my money and I bought a brand new MacBook Air, no more wifi problems now :)
 
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Cys

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2019
5
1
Good news!

Depending on the price, I would have considered buying it :)
Hehe, I paid 630 euros which was a pretty good price I supposed, but shipping from Europe might be the extra that just doesn't make a good deal anymore... :)