Poor wireless range?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by larryj, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. larryj macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I haven't had much time to play with my MacBook Air today (trying to actually get some work done), but I did start it up to discover that my wireless network isn't found if I'm upstairs.

    My wireless router is in the basement. My iPhone and iMac (when it's on wireless, which is hardly ever) both get a signal on the 2nd floor of my house. It's not a strong signal, but it works. The iPhone goes from one bar to full bars.

    But the MBA gets nothing. I was planning to buy another router to improve my upstairs wireless performance, but I assumed I would get some kind of signal as other wireless devices do (iPhone, iMac, PSP, Palm, Windows laptop).

    My router is a Linksys WRT54G running in B/G mixed mode.

    Has anyone else noticed that the wireless range seems kind of short?
  2. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    its all metal

    The MPB have horrible reception due to the metal case. The plastic macbooks have great wireless compared to the pros. I would imagine the wifi would be similiar to the MBP. Let us know what you find out. It may just be something simple.

  3. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I was getting a wireless connection in my kitchen (1st floor), but it was very slow. I decided to take the MBA to the basement to see if performance would improve if I was next to the router. Now I can't even get on my wireless network with the MBA. I keep getting a 'connection timed out' message.

    I don't mind buying another router, but it bothers me that the MBA is the only wireless device that I've had this much trouble with.

    If I take it to an Apple store, would the Genius Bar look at it? Maybe I'll call them and try to make an appointment.
  4. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I called Apple support and sat on hold for 15 minutes before they hung up on me. :mad:
  5. kyleen66 macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    I get that same thing with my MacBook Pro occasionally with both the D-Link router and the Airport Express I have. The other devices and my phone stay connected, but I can't get on. Usually if I reset the router, it fixes the problem. Just a thought and worth a try if you haven't done that yet.
  6. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    Good idea. My wife is doing some work and I can't boot her off the network, but I'll try that shortly.
  7. aiongiant macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    um yea my network drops here and there also for my mbp
    what i ended up doing before was changing the router settings from wep to wpa2 and seems to work alot better for me anyways i dunno why but it works lol

    the other thing i might try is maybe getting rid of that network on your laptop like all the keys it save kind of like a forget network thing on the iphone
    and let it discover it again from scratch?
  8. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I'm using wpa2. I'm going to try no security just to see if I can get it connect (I haven't touched in a few hours). Tomorrow I plan to go to a wi-fi hotspot to see if it can connect there. If necessary, I'll just take it to an Apple Store and see if they can get it to connect to their wireless network.

    If it works on another wireless network, I'm just going to replace my router.
  9. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I think I have a flaky Linksys router.

    I rebooted the router earlier. The MBA connected, but it was very slow. I left it alone and watched a movie.

    A few minutes ago I turned off all security on the router. The MBA connected and has been fine since. I turned off the wireless security earlier, so I'm not really sure what happened.

    I apologize for getting cenetti's hopes up.
  10. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    There are extenders out there, maybe you need to give one of those a try. They are made by Linksys and work quite well. My sister added a huge addition to her house. From where the router was to the 3 added bedrooms was quite a ways. The extender was placed mid ways, and the new addition did not suffer at all from the distance.
  11. Jshwon macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
  12. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    well let us know what you end up doing.
  13. djinn macrumors 68000


    Oct 4, 2003
    Couple of things to also consider, if there are a bunch of wireless networks your laptop might get confused. I had that problem and had to change my Channel from the default (6 or 11) to Channel 1.

    Everything works fine now.
  14. larryj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    Earlier today I was having trouble when I was a few feet from the router. At that time, if I took the MBA upstairs (2 floors between it and the router), I would get zero bars. Now I get full bars.


    If the problem comes back, I'll try switching channels. Thanks.
  15. dbp1999 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2006
    Wireless Options here & AEBS v's Timecapsule

    had this kinda problem almost constantly a year ago (using MBP's and Macbooks here), solved by buying the AEBS into my original model which does the DSL part and then using the Apple network from there...problem only seemed to be at home, never had issues roaming and I roam a lot.

    Will be getting a time capsule following the debacle on USB drives on AEBS.

    Wondering if the Timecapsule will be a kinda 'cheating' file store, so put stuff on my MBA then delete it the next day, sbe on Timecapsule and searchable ;-), Hey Ho almost 1G of home net storage...

    Only concern then is as Time Capsule does hourly backups for the day then keeps a daily back up for the day (must delete the hourly ones) then a weekly n (deletes the daily ones?)... I just dont know how it works enough yet...
  16. Impulse29 macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2004
    Wireless networks work best if the router is placed up high, rather than low. I find with my mbp that the signal is very bad, so I've had to modify my network.

    I now have 3 routers: my main airport extreme N on the top floor, which is attached via ethernet to a Linksys wrt54gs on the second floor, and that is connected via WDS to an airport express on the ground level. The N network is MUCH stronger, which is why I didn't choose to add it to my WDS (airport express, and my iPod touches are G)

    That's another thing you must consider, the network goes as fast as its slowest client. Meaning if you have a b/g router, and there is one b computer on the network, all of the computers (even if they're g) will operate at b speeds, and will also affect the range
  17. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Try changing the angle of the antenna(s). The lowest signal will be directly above (off the end of the antenna).

    I have no trouble with my MBP, even in weak areas. Not sure if you mean to say the antenna(s) are covered by the case or not, but, anyway - they're located under the display hinge cover, which is plastic.
  18. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
    My old MBP never had a problem with a network....ever...
  19. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I had an issue where my Aiport connection would drop whenever one of my cordless phones was in use. I changed the channel on the base station to something with little or no interference and that solved the issue.
  20. Jsn macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    Works even better!

    My MBA seems to have a wider range than my old iBook G4, at least on my home Airport. Sitting where I am right now, I used to get about half-strength signals. Now it's full strength.

    Your mileage, of course, may vary.
  21. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Mine is okay but definitely not as good as the MB. I used to see 8 or more networks and now see 4-5. Seems like MBP ranges which makes sense.
  22. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I don't have an MBP or an MBA, but we used to have a Aluminum Powerbook.

    I recall we had some issues, but not sure it was with the powerbook.

    We installed a set of gain antennas on the router and that seemed to fix it up.

    But I was using the Powerbook outside the house about 70 feet away, we put the router near the window facing where I was working.

    In any case those antenna helped up the signal.
  23. pondie84 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    The only thing I have problems with wifi wise is my Ipod Touch. I have the feeling it's more due to my AEBS than anything else though...
  24. ipodtouchy333 macrumors 65816

    Nov 15, 2007
    I have a Linksys A+G router and am wondering how it might work with a macbook air. I know a lot of stuff about computer...I think but I'm not sure about wifi and stuff of that nature. I'm not sure what the differnce is between all the letters and such.. Can someone please help. Thanks

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