rMB wifi speed

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by tbirdparis, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Just wanted to ask around if some rMB users here wouldn't mind checking something for me and sharing it here:

    I'm getting what I think is a pretty low bitrate on my wifi network at home with my rMB. Using Network Utility and looking under the info tab, I see a link speed of 54 Mbit/s. Would some of you guys mind launching Network Utility on your machines and reporting what you get, so I can see if this is (as I suspect) really poor?

    I'm not concerned about the rMB itself.. Am pretty sure this is because of the old ADSL box I have at home which has been around since 2009 or so. I doubt it has anything close to current wifi spec, but I'm switching over to fibre optic soon so I'll get a whole new router then and it should be much better. But for now it's a bit annoying. I was hoping to use my 2010 i7 MBP as a home server to be able to just stream whatever I want from my large collection of series and films (much like I currently do with Air Video on the iPad) but it's not working as well as I'd like. It could also be the fact that some of my video library is on an external USB drive (the MBP only has USB 2.0) so it could be struggling to get HD video out fast enough. But I doubt this is the source of the issue because it has absolutely no problem playing this kind of video content itself - so it really feels like poor wifi speed from the router is the culprit here. Also, if I'm in the same room as the ADSL box, it's pretty flawless, no dropouts. But a little further away and it stops and hangs for buffering often enough to be annoying.

    Anyway, what with all the very latest super duper wifi spec the rMB is supposed to have, I really doubt that it is the problem here. I'll check at the studio tomorrow where we have a much more up to date router and see if it's better there. But while waiting for the optic fibre internet to get installed I would like to get it to work a little better anyway.. I'll try changing wifi channels later when I have some time.

    So please go ahead and report what wifi speeds you're seeing, would be great to see that I'm not expecting anything unreasonable here!
  2. facrat, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015

    facrat macrumors member

    May 15, 2015
    Maximum supported speed is ~867 Mbps on 802.11ac. Looks like your router is running 802.11g. You could save yourself a lot of time by just checking your router specs yourself, or posting the model details here.

    Using a laptop as a network server is overkill and not very efficient. You'll get more bang for your buck if you just sell your old MBP and use the cash to buy a cheap, large capacity network drive and connect it directly to your router - that will give you fastest speeds as well as being cheaper to run.
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I see...

    b/g - (wifi from cable box)- gives me 30mb down on my home internet.

    n - (wifi from airport extreme)- gives me 50-75mb depending on other devices around the house.

    Ac - (wifi from airport extreme)- tops out my internet with full 152mb.

    Home networking wise I've not tested but I can stream a 4k movie from my data storage and surf without it coughing.

    As above I'd say your issue if your wifi connection being on 802.11g
  4. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Thanks for the replies. I know I could easily have just checked the spec on my ADSL box. But since I know so little about what kind of actual numbers I should expect to see depending on whatever wifi spec it has, I just wanted to see what other people were getting. It's already pretty obvious what the problem is, I just wanted to make sure that indeed my home wifi is really way overdue for an update. Looks like it is. That optic fibre installation technician can't arrive early enough, 500 Mbit/s up 200 down, here we come... :) Also the new fibre boxes here do seem to support dual channel wifi and I think it's AC (I really know nothing about wifi standards) so it should be light and day compared to what I have now.

    Re using the MBP as a home server, yep I understand that it's probably not the smartest way to go. But I really just want to repurpose that machine, I still really like the fact that it was one of the last matte screen 17" models you could get so I'd still like to hang onto it for occasional use. And while it's not doing anything specific, it can just sit there running a bunch of archive drives that I can access over the network. Is this really a dumb thing to do? Feels like an OK way to use it for the time being at least.
  5. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    So I just checked on the site for the provider (Orange) I'm thinking of going with for my switch to fibre optic internet at home. Unless they haven't updated the info, it looks like the boxes they are giving out with their fibre optic deals don't have 802.11 ac. Or at least it doesn't specifically say so. It says it has the following:

    "Double WiFi : 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n et 5 GHz 802.11 a/n" and that it offers wifi speeds "up to 450 Mbit/s".

    This is one area that I really know nothing about, not in terms of what the current specs are all about anyway. Does anyone know if it's common for mainstream ISPs to be offering 802.11ac as part of the default wifi spec on internet boxes (no idea what you even call them in english!) they supply with fibre optic deals? Or is this standard really ultra new and so still taking its time to show up? In any case I already know that I'll be more than happy with 450Mbit/s for home use, but in theory, how would you go about getting 802.11ac if your internet box doesn't have it? Do you need to buy a separate router?
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    It don't have ac but it does have a/n so it'll be massively quicker than your used to.
  7. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    Not all equipment currently on offer from service providers will support 802.11ac. I just got Comcast service and the cable modem only supports 802.11n. I would need to get my own wireless router (or my own cable modem with built in wireless) if I wanted 802.11ac.
  8. doobry macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2010
    Check if you can disable wifi on the router? If so, get an Airport Extreme. My rMB gets 850Mb/s in most rooms downstairs and that's enough for pretty much everything you could ever want to do.. As I've only got 70Mb/s fibre.. It's also more than enough for browsing and internet stuff anywhere in range of it.. Even if you can't disable wifi, make it an obscure wifi name, add a hideous password and then hide the ESSID. You can still then use the airport. :)
  9. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Thanks for the suggestions! I've never really put much thought into routers or Airport and such.. have pretty much always just used the standard wifi on whatever internet box I've had at the time. At my places of work it's a different story, but I don't personally set any of that up. So at home I have my appointment locked in with the technician for the 10th August to come and install fibre optic. They've guaranteed me a minimum of 500 Mbit/s down and 200 up so, obviously really looking forward to it. I'll have a main work machine at home physically wired up to ethernet so it should get the maximum benefit. Then I'll see how the devices on wifi do. If it seems decidedly below par, I'll look into getting a router of some kind that does 801.11 ac, since my rMB and phone both seem to support that. In any case, it's going to be a new world compared to my current bog standard ADSL... and the best part is that in getting a package that folds in my cell phone account with the internet/TV/fixed line service, I will actually be paying less per month than I already do now which was already pretty cheap. Sweet!
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    They will supply you with a n based router which will cope just fine with that speed. The only reason you'd want ac is for network transfers to be honest.
  11. jesusplay macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    just got the rMB yesterday....Why is the it maxed out at 8xxMbps over wireless ac and not the full 1.3Gps? Smaller internal card? my pro and imac get full 1.3gbps
  12. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    I don't really know much about this area (hence me starting a very basic thread on the topic), but from the Anandtech review of the rMB it says:

    Our final benchmark is a quick glance at WiFi performance. The MacBook ships with a Broadcom 2x2:2 802.11ac solution, which means that in theory it is capable of delivering up to 833Mbps.​

    So it looks like the rMB does support the ac spec, but to that speed only because of the wifi hardware it uses?
  13. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    The rMB only has 2 antennae (2x2), not 3 (which is what the rMBP and iMac have). Therefore, it will max out at 867mbps in 802.11ac and 300mbps in 802.11n, not 1300mbps and 450mbps respectively...
  14. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Just out of interest, does anyone here use one of those Time Capsule Airport routers? The current model which is essentially an Airport Extreme with 801.11 ac and a 2 or 3 TB internal drive. Any good? I'm sort of interested in the idea of using Time Machine (for once) to backup up my rMB and home iMac. Till now I've used the trusty old solution of an external drive with Carbon Copy Cloner to make a clone of the system drive as often as I remember (which is not often enough lately). A bit worried that using this setup would end up just permanently clogging the new faster wifi network I'll have at home since it's going to be backing up in the background all the time. Would be keen to hear what people think of it.
  15. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Minor update: Just got my internet upgrade to fibre optic installed today, and yep.. all my wifi networking problems have melted away. The new wifi router they installed is giving me 300 Mbit/s and is strong enough to cover pretty much the whole house without too much degradation. As for the internet speeds, well I was promised a minimum of 500 Mbit/s down and I'm actually getting 900 down and 350 up so.... this changes things somewhat! Especially considering that till yesterday on ADSL I only got 8 Mbit/s down and 0.8 up. This is the first (and likely last) time I've ever been happy with anything to do with an internet service provider, ever.

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