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Suddenly very slow internet - can my Wifi receptor be damaged?

felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
Yo.. I had my Mac Mini for a few years now and never had any problems with Internet speed on it. I have a 14Mbit wifi connection, but lately wifi has been very "up and down" on my Mini. Sometimes it barely works, but most of the time I get like 2Mbit on speedtest.net. This has occurred for a week or two.

However on my iDevices I get around 14Mbit, so it's not my router. So my question is if my Mini's wifi receptor can suddenly break down even though it's just been standing still the whole time (I haven't moved the Mini around or anything)?

I'd try plug in an ethernet cable but I don't have one right now. I'll give it a shot when I get one soon, but until then I'd like to hear what you guys have to say..?
 

IvanOhio

macrumors newbie
Jan 7, 2012
24
0
Troubleshooting

Have you checked for any updates for the firmware of the router?

Have you checked your internet connection by connecting the mini directly by ethernet? (bypass the router)

Any issues with your provider? i.e. outages, work being done, etc

Have you done any software / hardware updates with your mini?
 
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Mojo1

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2011
1,236
13
The modem can also fail. I recently replaced a Motorola Surfboard 5101 that was around five years old.

Contact your ISP first because tech support can save you some time if the problem is on their end. If that checks-out OK and you lease the modem they can send someone to check the modem. But if you own your equipment do your own trouble-shooting or you will be charged a fee if a technician visits and discovers that the glitch is with your gear.

Bypassing the router via an Ethernet cable is a basic trouble-shooting step, so bite the bullet and get the cable unless your ISP will do it for free.
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
I borrowed an ethernet cable to test and I get 13Mbit now, so with cable it works perfectly fine. On Wifi it's still bad though.

I tried the alt + clicking wifi icon and took a screenshot:

http://imageshack.us/f/706/20120117095107pm.png/

So what do you guys think? My Mini is more than two years old AND I put in extra RAM back when I first got it, so I don't think Apple will repair it (for free, at least).
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,181
1,459
Poole, England
I borrowed an ethernet cable to test and I get 13Mbit now, so with cable it works perfectly fine. On Wifi it's still bad though.

I tried the alt + clicking wifi icon and took a screenshot:

http://imageshack.us/f/706/20120117095107pm.png/

So what do you guys think? My Mini is more than two years old AND I put in extra RAM back when I first got it, so I don't think Apple will repair it (for free, at least).

Nothing looks out of place. You're getting a decent signal strength and your transmit rate is exactly what I would expect from a router running in G mode on the 2.4 GHz channel. Are you sure the performance is worse than before?

Have you tried restarting the router?
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
Nothing looks out of place. You're getting a decent signal strength and your transmit rate is exactly what I would expect from a router running in G mode on the 2.4 GHz channel. Are you sure the performance is worse than before?

Have you tried restarting the router?

That's strange. I'm certain it's not running normally, there's a huge difference compared to just a week or two ago.

I tried powering off the router and on again. I didn't want to reset it in case it would delete the settings I've made on it (I had problems playing BF3 online on my PS3 so I had to add my PS3 in the router settings - this btw shouldn't be what causes the problem as the wifi has been working fine after these changes).

Can it be hardware related you think?


Edit: just wanna thank everyone in here taking their time to try and help me out ;)
 
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theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,181
1,459
Poole, England
I don't think it's hardware related. Don't reset your router, but maybe you could do a "cold restart" on your router. In other words, switch it off, unplug it from the plug for 10-15 seconds and then start it again. It should still have all of your settings. This method works for a lot of odd behaving electronics from PVR/Cable TV boxes to TVs so it's worth a try. If it really bothers you, there isn't any point in wasting time on this. Just buy a shiny new N router - they are pretty cheap these days.
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
I tried unplugging it for a minute or two and now I get 13Mbit :) when I last tried unplugging it, it was only for a few seconds, so apparently that wasn't enough. Thanks dude
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
That's the site I've been using :) It gives me 13 right after I unplug the router, and then a while after it goes back to not wiring at all or sometimes giving me 2Mbit.. But can it really be the router when my iPhone and iPad works fine all the time?
 
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Mojo1

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2011
1,236
13
If you have hardware that is connecting at the expected speed while your Mac is having intermittent problems, then it is likely that the problem is with the Mac and not the router. WiFi cards can fail.
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
This is horrible. What do you think a new one would cost me (if it's rather easy to install myself, like the RAM were)? If it's too much I have an excuse to buy a new Mini :)
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
yeah I guess I could look into how to change that. But wouldn't the channel only be affected by other wifi networks? Cause there's only one (thick walls in my building) and it has been there for a while when my wifi worked just fine

Edit: How can I make the computer forget the network like you can on iPhone? Maybe that would work.
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
I am considering buying a wifi dongle that goes in the usb port. i would like to avoid the ethernet cable as I'd prefer not to have it running across the floor (I already have one list containing cables running across the floor, but it doesn't have room for more cables).

My question is if it is possible to disable the built in wifi receiver and tell the Mini to use the USB one instead?
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
Nah, not really. Don't know how to and what it will cost me, but I guess I could try and google it a bit :) It just seems easier to buy a USB wifi dongle if I can tell the Mini to use that, and not use it's internal wifi card.

It's gonna be rather temporary anyway, I think I might buy the next Mini that comes out
 
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rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,513
Try changing your DNS servers.

Go to System Preferences.
Click on Network.
Select the first connection in your list and click Advanced.
Select the DNS tab and add 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 to the list of DNS servers.
Click OK

Those are OpenDNS servers. You can also use Google's or others. Google's are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
 
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felixen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2009
816
100
Try changing your DNS servers.

Go to System Preferences.
Click on Network.
Select the first connection in your list and click Advanced.
Select the DNS tab and add 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 to the list of DNS servers.
Click OK

Those are OpenDNS servers. You can also use Google's or others. Google's are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

Thanks. I just tried but it didn't really help.

So I borrowed a USB wifi dongle from my dad. How do I disable the Mini's internal Wifi card so I can use this USB one instead?
 
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