Poor wireless reception with new MBP 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by umiwangu, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #1
    Two days ago I got a 'new' refurbished 13" MBP from Apple to replace my aging 2006 MB. It's ok, but not quite as nice as I expected. One major thing I've noticed is that the wireless reception is much worse than my old MacBook. They're both connected to a Netgear WGR614 v9, but the MB is getting about 2/4 bars, while the MBP is constantly dropping the connection.

    In fact, right now I have the MB booted in Win7 and it's running Connectify, in order to share the connection with the MBP.

    I'm downloading the latest software updates right now, and then I'll see if any firmware is available, but I doubt that will make much of a difference.

    Is this because the new MBP is made from aluminium?
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #2
    Probably!
     
  3. jmazzamj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #3
    To fix the connection issue you could try changing the router wifi channel. Set it to channel 11.
     
  4. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #4
    Not even.

    You are likely getting local interference on the Wi-Fi. It may help to change channels, but sometimes that is not enough when operating in the 2.4Ghz space. Worst case, you would have to upgrade to a Wireless N 5Ghz router to solve your issue, and cut through the interference.

    TEG
     
  5. Bulldog3777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    #5
    13 in Wifi

    I have 2.4 Linksys and my 13 in MBP does great. I took it to Barcelona and used wireless all over Spain and Italy with no problem. Stayed in 3 different motels last week in the Charlotte, NC area and no problem with reception. I don't think it is the materials the 13 build that is causing the problem.
     
  6. frunkis54 macrumors 65816

    frunkis54

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    #6
    whats so good about channel 11. i noticed the other day with a iphone app that everyone on my block is also on channel 11 so i changed my channel. it worked fine before and works fine now. oh and i have also have a mbp 13"
     
  7. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #7
    I don't think that's the issue in this case. Out of ~15 networks I'm picking up, mine is the only one on channel 1. Everyone else is on 6 or 11 (with one or two on 2 & 9).

    So why can my plastic MB get the signal so well? It's still doing much better than the MBP. Thank God for Boot Camp/Windows 7 and Connectify.

    It's not that channel 11 is so special. The main point is to have your wireless broadcasting as far away from the other transmitters as possible. Even though there are 11 (or 13) wifi channels, there is still cross-channel interference. So if most of the wireless routers in your area are on channels 6 and 11, obviously you want to be on channel 1, and vice versa.
     
  8. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #8
    Chipsets?

    I'm wondering if it has something to do with the chipsets... The WGR614v9 uses the Broadcom chipset, which is the same company that makes the wireless card in my new MBP. But... the chipset in the MB is Atheros.

    Thoughts?

    Keep in mind that I'm using these side by side. It's not like I'm just imagining things.
     
  9. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #9
    There has always been questions surrounding WIFI with the MacBook Pro even going back to the PowerBook days. In comparison to the iBook/MacBook, the PowerBook/MacBook Pro has always been second to it in terms connectivity (although the range became better in the MacBook Pro from the PowerBook).

    The metal encasing of the MacBook Pro could play a part but I doubt it can affect the range that much. Other things you need to isolate/determine is if there is any interference and software, something that usually isn't considered. I know for me games that run on both OS X and Windows, those that run in Windows ALWAYS have a lower ping/latency (low 20's) compared to OS X which is always 80ms or higher. Tested this out in Warcraft/Frozen Throne, WoW and the Windows version had better wireless performance. Obviously my experience isn't the whole story but something that should be looked into.
     
  10. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #10
    Good points. I hadn't thought of the software issue. On the MB, I was running 10.4.something, and on the MBP it's 10.6.2. Other than that, I think of any differences. Oh well. At least the Connectify is keeping me sane for now. I may just replace the router with something different, whether or not it helps. I've never been fond of Netgear.
     
  11. pockyrevolution macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #11
    I've noticed the difference in wifi range between plastic and aluminum shells.

    My sister has a MacBook which gets better range (measured using iStumbler).

    I also have an old iBook clamshell which I think gets the best range, despite having just an 802.11b card inside.

    For my MacBook Pro, I ended up getting a USB antenna which easily beat out the MacBook and the clamshell iBook. Here's the one I got for $50:
    http://www.slashgear.com/rokland-be...apter-promises-double-range-for-macs-0364982/
     
  12. joecool99 Suspended

    joecool99

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    upgrade firmware in the router and the MB if newer is available

    as others suggested, check for other WIFI networks and switch to an unused channel to avoid interference
     
  13. shambo macrumors 6502a

    shambo

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #13
    Well I'd like to know if it is common knowledge that the higher spec bad boys have a better airport then because when I tested out the 13" for myself I suffered similar connection problems. Is this true or was it my imagination? Note: I tested it thoroughly so know the answer already. :rolleyes:
     
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #14
    They have the same airport shambo. :rolleyes:
     
  15. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #15
    That looks like a pretty neat extender. I tried using one that my friend uses, but it wasn't compatible with Mac. Are you sure your 11b iBook gets the best range?

    As I said before, there were no other networks on this channel, and my '06 MacBook did just fine.

    I'm finding it difficult to follow your train of thought here....

    In the end, I just got a new router from Verizon anyway. 25 up, 10 down now!
     
  16. scottlinux macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #16
  17. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #17
    The Netgear was on channel 1 (the only one free). The cordless phone is on 5.8 GHz and we have a convection oven - no microwave.

    Stop making excuses for the MBP's poor wireless reception!!!

    :)
     

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