Why does 5ghz Wifi Suck on MacBook Air and other Apple Devices

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dwmreg, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. dwmreg macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2007
    I've noted a lot of problems with 5ghz wireless in my home. I don't know the root cause as of yet and so I was wondering if any of you experience the problem I'm having.

    It is very noticeable on my MacBook Air. I'll be using it and I'll have drop outs - the signal strength indicator is good, but the wifi performance slows to a crawl or just flat out stops. Safari stops loading pages, Mac App Store downloads stop or slow to a crawl. If I switch to the other band everything goes back to normal and it is fast again. I don't ever see any issues on the non-5ghz band.

    I've seen the same problem on my iPhone 5.

    I'm using a 4th gen Time Capsule and a 4th Gen Airport Extreme. Both with the latest firmware.
  2. HarryKNN21 macrumors regular

    May 25, 2012
    Hong Kong
    First question, how far are you sitting from the Airport Extreme?
  3. dwmreg thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2007

    I'm in home without lead painted walls - as my friend joked which is under 2000 square feet. No signal strength issues I have full bars and two access points. Doubt its a distance issue since it happens any where in the house.
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Other than signal strength u want to look at signal quality or signal to noise or whatever they call it in the Apple world. This number tells u how noisy your environment is.
  5. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I've seen this too but it seems to happen only when I'm connected to an AE that is transmitting different protocols on the 2.4Ghz and the 5Ghz bands. If the AE is transmitting WiFi n on both, then it seems to be OK. If I only have the 5Ghz n listed in my MBA Networking, then it's also better.

    I get better data rates on the 5Ghz n but it depends on which AE I'm connected to. As I have an iPhone 4S and a WiFi Camera I have to maintain a 2.4Ghz non-n protocol (unfortunately).
  6. Talon Six macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2012
    The Gulf Coast
    How can you tell what band your Mac is using?
  7. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Option, Click on Wifi symbol on the top right of the screen. Looks for Channel: (2.4/5) GHz.
  8. dbroncos78087 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    My Netgear names the 5GHz into the name of the wifi. It reads something like "NETGEARXX-5GHz".
  9. RolledUp20s macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    Wrexham, North Wales
    I had this issue using a net gear n300. 5ghz was pants in the kitchen, next room. I just used 2.4ghz in the end, much more reliable and faster. Weird

    That's on my mac air 2011
  10. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    The 2012 MBA uses a Broadcom 43xx from everything I have read, it is NOT a dual band card. It can use 5GHz wireless connections from what I understand, but you need to select the proper channel.

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