Why does MacBook WiFi suck at connecting?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ahostmadsen, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #1
    I have an Apple MacBook (retina, first generation). I have an Apple Airport Extreme (TimeCapsule in fact). Why can't they connect trouble free? After waking from sleep, I often have to switch off WiFi and then switch it on again to make the MacBook connect. I bought the airport extreme because I had that problem with other routers, but even Apple's own basestation didn't solve the problem. My other Apple devices have no problem connecting to my WiFi.
     
  2. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #2
    That kind of happened to me to my 2016 rMB.

    Try resetting PRAM and SMC settings and repairing permissions.
     
  3. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #3
    I haven't had a problem with mine. Definitely not at home or work and I've traveled halfway around the world with it and my wife's MacBook Pro and I've been able to connect to everything hers has.
    It may have been completely trash WiFi but it connected.

    Mine is a 1st gen retina MacBook.
     
  4. southerndoc macrumors 65816

    southerndoc

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    I have it all the time... it's worse when connecting to WiFi at work, but it occasionally happens at home as well. Usually it happens the first time I connect after being on a different WiFi network and moving locations.
     
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #5
    No wifi issues at all here, heck mine even picks up a remote xfinitywifi hotspot when I'm my upstairs home office that other computers can't even see.

    I suspect an individual unit fault rather than the endemic problem your thread title purports. Have a chat with Apple to determine the problem with your Macbook and get it repaired.
     
  6. applesith macrumors 68030

    applesith

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #6
    I haven't had any problems with my rMB 2015 on either my wifi or at my parents house.
     
  7. funtoosh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    #7
    Before i got my 2016 MB, i was using MBP 17" Late 2011 and it never had issues connecting to my Wifi, but this new MB was having major PL issues, but then i changed my router and got a dual band router and started using 5Ghz and this issue was gone, try to switch to 5Ghz if TC supports it and it might resolve the issue
     
  8. capkapak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #8
    Is the issue such that it shows that you are connected to Wifi however nothing loads, only until you turn off and on Wifi again, reconnect to the AP only then stuff starts to load?
     
  9. ajpuciat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #9
    Yeah - Happens to me quite regularly
     
  10. capkapak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #10
    OK same issue as mine, does not happen regularly but it does happen.
     
  11. crewkid89 macrumors regular

    crewkid89

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #11
    I am not having trouble connecting to networks but I am having trouble staying connected at reasonable speeds. My transmit rate frequently drops to nothing despite having full signal and no noise at both work and home. Unless a software update fixes it in the near future I will be calling apple to start seeing about a repair.

    Unless we get a firmware update, I doubt a software update will help as I am having the same issue in OS X and Windows.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2016 ---
    Not OP but this is my issue.
     
  12. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #12
    If you're seeing the same behavior on different Wifi networks, I'd just get the support call started with Apple now and not wait unless they specifically tell you there's a firmware update coming on a specific date in the very near future.

    There's plenty of people with no issues, which points to some units having a hardware fault perhaps in a subcomponent. Even if it's firmware somehow interacting with unit to unit variance, better to cure it it on the hardware end.
     
  13. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #13
    OP, take it in for service. Very few people have WIFI issue and so you have a hardware issue.
     
  14. seggy, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

    seggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    #14
    I've had two replacements for my '16 and I'm resigned to the fact that it's not going to get better unless Apple does something about it. I may be able to find a workaround but it's definitely worse than anything else I have.

    I have the same problem as capkapak despite PRAM resets: It says it's connected, but often it won't actually do anything until I cut the wireless and turn it on again - and when it is connected and I run throughput tests they're worse than a $200 Chromebook - on N, never mind AC. Srsly.
     
  15. ZipZap macrumors 603

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #15
    Is your problem at home or everywhere?
     
  16. seggy, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

    seggy macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2016
    #16
    It (and pretty much everything else I use) seems to have no problems with the tethering from my Androids, whichever one I'm using. I haven't yet taken it into the office or anywhere else I'd use Wifi on - I usually only use an encrypted 3/4G link outside anyway.
     
  17. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #17
    Might want to do that. It'd help isolate the source of the issue, else you have no way to know how specific or general your trouble might be. Maybe there's something with your router that doesn't like your Macbook?

    FWIW, I'm on 75/10 cable internet and my Macbook hits ~90Mbps/11Mbps on Speedtest.net and BlackMagic Disk Speed Test averages around 20MBps over wifi reading/writing to my NAS. I've also seen upwards of 75Mbps uplink speed on Speedtest.net when testing from a corporate wifi network. I'm pretty sure I don't have a unicorn of a Macbook sitting here.
     
  18. seggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    #18
    I can get perfectly respectable speeds when it's working, but it's always lower than much less capable (in theory) devices as I said. Have you tried it against anything else in exactly the same location?

    Don't know about a unicorn, but as I said I've had three to date, and I don't have one Wifi network at home - I've had so many issues with Macs (consistently the most issues) as well as Surfaces / VAIO's the most in Windows-land (much less, but still extremely egregious - looking at you, various Surface Pros - at times) that I have three overlapping Wifi networks that has, to date, a very high chance of at least one working stably on any device.

    Network 1: AC Sonicwall Sonicpoints with coverage in and out of the home. Used for all my 'proper stuff' - the Surfaces and Thinkpads.
    Network 2: Mixed AC Buffalo Airstations and Edimax N access points with coverage in and out of the home. Used for all my Androids, Windows Phones, Chromebooks, second-string Windows hardware. Seems to be the most 'device agnostic' - ironically the Edimax, the cheapest AP's I own, seem to offer the most stable connection to the most variety of devices - albeit slowly.
    Network 3: AC Airport Extremes with coverage entirely in the house and a slight distance outside. Used for all my Macbooks, iPads and iPhones.

    The Macbooks I've had to date haven't been comfortable on any of them: I was expecting the Airports to not present any major problems since my other MBPs and iPads to seem to generally behave with the Extremes - and failing that the Edimax's, but no.
     
  19. deeddawg, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016

    deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #19
    If by "same location" you mean within 1-2 feet, then yes. Just tried the other three computers sitting here, two windows laptops and a mac mini, and re-ran the test on my Macbook.

    89.96/12.15 & 89.95/12.07 on the two Windows 10 laptops, then 91.38/12.08 on the mac mini, followed by a retest of my Macbook that yielded 91.71/12.15. As I'm sure you're aware this stuff will vary over the course of a day on cable, so I ran these four tests sequentially with only a few seconds between each.

    Wifi router is Netgear R6300v2 attached to a Motorola SB6141 cable modem.

    I can't speak to what you're experiencing, but can only say from my experience my Macs have been solid. I also had a 2011 MBA13 as predecessor to my retina Macbook, and a 2010 MBP13 before the MBA. I can't recall any wifi issues with any of them.

    I forget what model my prior router was, but it was netgear. It was solid for years, but then something broke with the 2.4GHz side and I replaced it. That was kind of interesting to diagnose; one morning my home security information/touch panel could not longer get out to the Internet (weather forecast) yet my phone and computers all could. Finally figured out the panel was on the 2.4GHz side of the network and the other stuff was on the 5GHz side. Sure enough, something had failed on the 2.4GHz side of the wifi router.

    Anyway, just tossing out my experience for comparison. Hope it's able to help in some manner.

    As for your setup my only question would be whether you've ensured everythings on its own channel so they're not interfering with one another? With that question I've exhausted any pretense at expertise I might possess. :)
     
  20. seggy macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2016
    #20
    Yeah - they're set to as non overlapping a channel as possible based on their location. It's not like I have a lot of interference either. The Mac issues in general aren't unique to being home.
     
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #21
    Do report back if you ever figure it out. Seems most don't have any issues based on posts I've seen, but something in your "environment" (broadly speaking) seems to be creating an issue for you that most others don't have.
     
  22. neo_cs193p macrumors newbie

    neo_cs193p

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    #22
    I too am experiencing this issue with the 2015 rMB, both at work and at home (different Wifi routers). Happens quite often (at least once a day).
     
  23. crewkid89 macrumors regular

    crewkid89

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #23
    I have been back and forth with AppleCare. First they had me run Wireless Diagnostics which never seems to do much of anything but produce a 16 mb gz archive. I contacted them back after it happened again. This time they had me do PRAM and SMC reset which I feel like is the mac equivalent of "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

    We'll see what happens but I have a feeling I'll be in touch with them again soon.
     
  24. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #24
    Not with the same notebook, but when I ran the app in Mavericks two days ago, for a colleague, in two different locations, it produced more than just the file. There were suggestions, tailored to the peculiarities of the two environments.

    Can you recall the plain English suggestions that were in the window of the app before you closed the app?
     
  25. crewkid89 macrumors regular

    crewkid89

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #25
    It said that the gateway couldn't be reached, to try changing channels, and to check connection between router and modem. While these are all decent, albeit generic, suggestions for a home network that isn't behaving, they are nonsense on a brand new cisco wireless network that is working fine with every other device I have been using. The controller and APs automatically change the channel based on noise across the network. The primary gateway and switches all seem to be working fine as well.

    It seems the only possibility it doesn't take into account is the wireless card not working correctly in the macbook itself.
     

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