Slow Network wireless connection

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by gjw, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. gjw macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2005
    Hi there,
    I'm new to Macs and would appreciate any help you could offer me.
    I recently purchased an iMacG5 and decided to set up wireless Internet access with this machine.
    I purchased the required hardware, Linksys Cable Router, Airport Extreme card and Express base station, to allow me to do this.
    The installation and set-up went smoothly.
    Unfortunately I have not been to impressed with the speed of my wireless connection.
    Signal Level is not an issue, as I seem to be receiving a strong connection to the base station.
    I've even sat my Mac inches away from the base station and there's no improvement in speed.
    Don't get me wrong I'm not talking Dial Up connection speed here but it's no way near as fast as my Windows machine on the same network.
    The windows machine is connected to the router through a network cable so I replicated this with the Mac and there was not a great deal of improvement at all.
    Initially I thought that was just the trade off for having a wireless connection, but after testing the machine wired to the network with no real gain I don't think this is the case.
    What was more alarming was when my friend came over with his new Windows, wireless ready, laptop and logged on to my wireless network and was browsing at speeds as fast as my wired Windows machine.
    I took the laptop up to where the Mac is kept to see if there would be any drop in speed but it was super fast.
    An example would be the iTunes store, on my wired windows machine and the wireless laptop it's almost instantaneous to open up but on the Mac, wired or wireless, it can take anywhere between 30s to over 1 minute to load.
    Surely that's not right?
    Are window-based machines just faster on wired or wireless nteworks?
    Or is there something I'm not doing right?
    I love my new Mac but this is just a niggle I’m having with it.
    Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    PCs are generally faster for internet browsing purely because so many sites are optimised for them. However, the iTMS part is worrying me. Macs should be at least as fast, if not faster than PCs for accessing the iTMS. There certainly shouldn't be a 30 second difference.

    Have you got any antivirus software installed on the Mac? For the record, you don't need it unless your institution (work or uni or whatever) requires such an app.

    Is there an app on the Mac that might be sapping internet connection? Could the PCs be sapping the bandwidth while you use your Mac (making it seem slower).

    Just to establish it's a connection problem and not a rendering one, can you download a file using the PC then the Mac and tell me if the difference in speed is all that great. :)
  3. gjw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2005
    My machine is used only in the house and at present I'm not running any internet security apps on it.
    That was going to be another question I was going to post.
    Most of the time the PC is not on when I'm using the Mac.
    I've got both machines next to me at the moment and I'm trying out different features in iTMS like viewing albums, listening to music clips and brining up the movie trailer page and eveything is significantly slower on the Mac.
    I'm doing these effents at different times not simultaneously.
    Ok I'm totaly confused now. I downloaded a file on the PC and it averaged between 290 to 300 kb/s the same file on the Mac downloaded anywhere between 200 to over 400 kb/s depending where the machine was placed.
    Where the machine is normally kept gave me the worst speed at around 200+kb/s and as I got closer to the base station the speeds increased to over 400kb/s. I will look at moving the machine from it's original spot, but even with the Mac right next to the base station iTMS is still much slower than the windows machine.
    Another example is if I click on a music track for a preview it starts straight away on the PC but takes about 15s on the Mac, wired or wireless.
    I know we're not talking about massive amounts of time here but I'm puzzled about the differences. Even Apples own site is slower to open.
    Once again any help would be appreciated.
  4. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Are you running the latest and greatest version of Mac OS X? I do know that Mac OS X.4, and OS X.4.1 had miserable AirPort bandwidth. The Mac OS X.4.2 update fixed that. So make sure you're running the latest OS updates.

    Its also possible that there's something wrong with the preinstalled OS. I've had to reinstall Mac OS X a couple of times on an out of the box Mac then the problems went away.

    Also, make sure you're running the latest and greatest AirPort software.
  5. gjw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2005
    I've only recently received my Mac OS upgrade from Apple.
    So last night I upgraded from Panther 10.3.9 to Tiger 10.4.2.
    There was a definite increase in performance but nothing really significant.
    Perharps my expectations are to high, but I can't help feeling disappointed after seeing the speed of my friends wireless Windows laptop on the network.
    I'm not convinced everything is as it should be so any other nuggets you can throw my way would be much appreciated.
  6. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Is it worth checking your DNS server settings are correct? Maybe your isp has changed them recently. Also you might want to check your MTU - usually its 1500, but you could try 1480 instead.
  7. gjw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2005
    Halleluiah :D
    The problem seemed to be a rather suspect DNS address in the Airport Extreme Card TCP/IP settings. I deleted this and entered two confirmed DNS addresses, taken from ipconfig on my windows machine and doubled check in the Airport Admin utility. I applied the new settings and opened iTMS and I knew straight away the problem had been resolved. The Mac is now running at warp speed.
    I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to help me out. It was greatly appreciated.
    I think I will treat myself to a half glass of wine, ah hell lets make it a full glass, and play with my new pets, Tiger and Mighty Mouse.
    Once again thank you.
  8. Lucky8 macrumors regular


    May 18, 2005
    Dont mean to hijack your thread but how do I check which version Airport software am I using?
    When I do a software update, it says there is an Airport update but the check box is not check by default while there rest of the update softwares like iPhoto, Security, iPod updater, Java etc check boxes are all checked by default.

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