Older Macbook has weak wifi. Easy solution with USB wifi?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kriskringle, May 5, 2009.

  1. kriskringle macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    I know there have been various posts for older macbooks with weak wifi but I have not seen any postings for solutions or causes.

    I have a Macbook 2.0 Core Duo and use a D-Link 802.11g router. I've had the Macbook for 3 years and have been using this router for a year without any wifi issues. Then last week it the wifi reception suddenly cuts out and I have to put the computer literally next to the router for it to get any reception.

    I believe the problem might be with the Airport card, and I've been looking at different options to replace it. Has anyone tried replacing their Airport card using an ifixit kit? I'm worried it might be too difficult to install on my own.

    The other solution I thought about trying is using a USB wifi card/dongle. The only problem is I'm a little overwhelmed with the choices available and not sure which ones would compatible for basic use on my macbook.

    If anyone can suggest a USB wifi solution or any reasonable solution for my wifi issues I would appreciate it.
  2. tman07 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2009
    Just making sure;
    1. Have you restarted the router? Are you SURE its not the router?

    2. Do you have Apple care? If you are still within that 3 year period, they should take care of it.

    3. Does the wireless work elsewhere? Can you see any other wireless access points? (see 1)

    Sorry if these seem stupid, just making sure you got the basics out of the way....
  3. kriskringle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    When the wireless cuts out the laptop isn't able to locate any other routers. When it is working there are about a dozen different ones around me.

    I did power cycle the router and my cable modem a couple of different times and it doesn't seem to make a difference.

    Unfortunately it's past the 3 year mark so I think I'm left to solve the problem on my own or pay a $300 fee to Apple to get it fixed for me.

    I also tried to use the laptop at a cafe with free wifi. After working for about 5 minutes, the wifi cut out. My friend who brought her macbook (albeit a new white one) did not have any problems with reception.

    There is a possibility that it isn't the airport card, but I still haven't heard of any other reasons why it might not be working.
  4. MacUser32 macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have an old aluminum MacBook Pro 17" and a late 2008 blackbook. I recently bought a new unibody MacBook 13" and I've noticed that both the newer blackbook as well as the unibody 13" have much more stable wifi than the older MacBook Pro. I have similar issues with the MacBook Pro where it will cut out completely or show that the signal is weak, while the other two MacBooks have a solid connection. It can be very frustrating, cause I prefer the larger 17" screen most of the time :-/
  5. haleyvan macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2006
    Kriskringle, have you been able to solve this problem? I have been having the same problem for about 6 months now, and my macbook has just now reached the 3 year mark as well...any help would be greatly appreciated!
  6. tridentblack macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2009
    Same here. Has anybody been able to solve this?

    I'm running my old 13" macbook, and the wifi suddenly became much weaker. Its not my home network, it does not effect other computers on my home wifi network. Basically the signal is incredibly weak, I can only get it to near half strength by physically placing it on the wireless access point.

    edit: I'm following this trail here:
    He reports the same problem and replaces the airport card with success....

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