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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
I had a couple of issues connecting to an SMB share last night so started using ping to test connectivity.

At that point I noticed the ping was very slow and variable - my Windows laptop shows <1ms for all pings to the router.

An example:
64 bytes from icml_seq=335 ttl=64 time=208.350 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=336 ttl=64 time=129.768 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=337 ttl=64 time=51.067 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=338 ttl=64 time=278.491 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=339 ttl=64 time=1.315 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=340 ttl=64 time=120.040 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=341 ttl=64 time=40.420 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=342 ttl=64 time=267.817 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=343 ttl=64 time=188.607 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=344 ttl=64 time=109.445 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=345 ttl=64 time=1.313 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=346 ttl=64 time=1.905 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=347 ttl=64 time=3.662 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=348 ttl=64 time=100.708 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=349 ttl=64 time=21.266 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=350 ttl=64 time=1.674 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=351 ttl=64 time=1.397 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=352 ttl=64 time=89.599 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=353 ttl=64 time=10.996 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=354 ttl=64 time=341.583 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=355 ttl=64 time=159.329 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=356 ttl=64 time=81.145 ms
64 bytes from icml_seq=357 ttl=64 time=1.945 ms

I have not seen any other symptoms - network speeds and things like ping test are fine. I see similar behaviour when pinging external sites though - much slower and variable.

I have tried plugging into power (possibly power saving could cause this) and also restarting.

Any ideas why this might be?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
I have just found if you reduce the interval to 200ms or less, the pings are normal i..e

ping -i .2


Any ideas why?


I assume you are connected to the router ( via wifi.

So, first, test with another wifi channel.

As far as I know, 802.11ac only has a single channel available and no other device using the same wireless exhibits the issue.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
Actually ?
Did you check your router's interface ? Don't you have the choice ?

I can't see any settings for 802.11ac.

The issue also happens using 802.11g on several channels.

There are no other 5GHz networks in the area, confirmed using inSSIDer and a spectrum analyser.

Throughput is well over 100MBps using all devices as well, so the actual wireless speeds are fine.

Does not mean anything unless the other device is the very same computer.

Why? If the channel supports ping times of 1ms on one wireless device, it is perfectly reasonable to expect another to not produce 200-300ms ping times.

No other device using the same router has ping times greater than 2ms.

It's also odd that it is solved by setting the ping interval to be very short, it strongly suggests it is not a wireless channel issue.
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macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2005
I have the same behavior on my late rMBP. However, changing the interval time doesn't solve the problem here, it's just more distributed.

ping -i 0.2
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=65.449 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=1.613 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=1.614 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=7.060 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=181.894 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=1.608 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=1.620 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=64 time=2.040 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=8 ttl=64 time=1.826 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=9 ttl=64 time=5.758 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=10 ttl=64 time=1.526 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=11 ttl=64 time=3.440 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=12 ttl=64 time=6.191 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=13 ttl=64 time=1.623 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=14 ttl=64 time=1.627 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=15 ttl=64 time=1.621 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=16 ttl=64 time=1.877 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=17 ttl=64 time=1.888 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=18 ttl=64 time=1.619 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=19 ttl=64 time=1.538 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=20 ttl=64 time=1.266 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=21 ttl=64 time=1.831 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=22 ttl=64 time=1.663 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=23 ttl=64 time=3.635 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=24 ttl=64 time=1.787 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=25 ttl=64 time=2.144 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=26 ttl=64 time=5.727 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=27 ttl=64 time=1.450 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=28 ttl=64 time=1.651 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=29 ttl=64 time=4.399 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=30 ttl=64 time=1.660 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=31 ttl=64 time=3.315 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=32 ttl=64 time=3.291 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=33 ttl=64 time=1.628 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=34 ttl=64 time=1.634 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=35 ttl=64 time=1.801 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=36 ttl=64 time=1.632 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=37 ttl=64 time=4.214 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=38 ttl=64 time=1.532 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=39 ttl=64 time=4.098 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=40 ttl=64 time=10.129 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=41 ttl=64 time=113.674 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=42 ttl=64 time=2.159 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=43 ttl=64 time=1.561 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=44 ttl=64 time=2.116 ms

The delay seems to be every few seconds, that's why it's spread out more with shorter ping times?

Also, connecting via thunderbolt to ethernet to the modem results in normal 1ms ping times.


macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2013
New Zealand
I have just found if you reduce the interval to 200ms or less, the pings are normal i..e

ping -i .2


Odd indeed, because with Mountain Lion it won't even let me use short ping intervals like that.

$ ping -i .2
ping: -i interval too short: Operation not permitted

However with my late 2011 cMBP and a cheap TP-link 802.11n wireless router I get this.

$ ping -c 5
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=4.933 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=4.987 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=6.709 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=5.029 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=4.968 ms

--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 4.933/5.325/6.709/0.693 ms


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013

The first ping even with short intervals is slow - I wonder if it is doing something to save energy unless it detects a decent flow of traffic?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013


macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2013
Same here with my Retina 13 inch Core i5 / 8 / 256

Tried two different routers, both with lags (avg ping ~40ms). Setting the interval to 0.2s, it's ok (1-2ms)


macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
Keep in mind guys Ping is part of the ICMP protocol. Which essentially means that it's de-prioritized by a device be it computer or router if other traffic is on the link. ICMP is process switched rather than fast switched.

Ping alone is not a robust diagnostic tool, you'd need a packet capture utility a la Wireshark or something similar.

By shortening the interval you're just shortening the sample window, you're not proving or disproving a problem.


macrumors member
Aug 1, 2004

Hi guys,

I made this small app to resolve the variable ping issue.

It basically does the workaround that is mentioned online, but it's packed up nicely and does some other things to make sure you're actually keeping the wifi card awake.

Btw, even though it says Made for Mavericks, it also works on 10.8.

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