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Wifi stuttering every 5 minutes

proudnixon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2017
4
1
Hello! I’ve got MBP 15 2017, Mojave. I’m playing video games using cloud platform based on realtime video streaming, so the connection stability is critical for me. I’m using wifi and almost everything works fine, except one thing: I’ve got some kind of lag every 5 minutes. Connection starts loosing packages for 3-5 seconds and then comes back to normal. At first I thought it was my router, but I tested it with windows laptop and got no lag. So, it’s definitely my mac’s problem. And every time the interval between these lags is EXACTLY 5 minutes and 0 seconds, so it looks like this is smth being programmed to happen. Feels like telemetry or «refreshing connection status» to me. Because the same package loss happens when I click wifi icon in the status bar and it starts scanning for new networks. No other traffic in the net monitor during the lag, btw. Anybody got ideas wtf is this? And how can I disable this or increase this interval between the lags maybe?
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
1,773
1,435
Barcelona
Are you using 5Ghz WiFi setting or 2.4Ghz? 2.4 is prone to interference. An example, I have 400mbps fibre BUT on the 2.4ghz setting my neighbours WiFi interferes - neighbours not using Ch1,6, 11 but 2,3,5,7,9 etc which blocks everything out and I get 0.5mbps!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I switched off on the router the 2.4ghz setting and only use 5ghz which is 99% reliable :)
 

proudnixon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 10, 2017
4
1
I'm using 5GHz and everything works smooth as butter between these intervals. As I said, it's not something external, that's my mac doing something intentionally that disrupts the connection. Maybe refreshing the networks scanning, telemetry, etc...
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,906
2,160
I don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but are you sure you’re using 5GHz? Is your 2.4Ghz disabled? Another SSID? Are you sure it’s not bouncing between them? Just asking because sometimes people are certain they’re using 5GHz and then it turns out that they’re not really.

Any other 5GHz networks?

Is it every 5 minutes of use? Or five minutes of real time? Like 12:05, 12:10, 12:15; or is it five minute intervals from when you start using it? So if you start playing at 12:02 it will predictably be 12:07?
Do data transfers also stop?

What channel are you using? And does it change?

What does Activity Monitor show for network usage during these 3-5 seconds?

How far are you from an airport?
 

lplates

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2020
1
0
I have this exact problem. I don't use my laptop for gaming but for business and often have to do video calls. The call stutters really badly every 5 minutes on the dot. It's every 5 minutes by the clock, not the call time, so 12:00, 12:05, 12:10 etc. It's driving me nuts!

It's definitely nothing to do with the router or network and it happens everywhere I go - home, work, hotel, airport. It's also nothing to do with the software as it happens with Teams, Zoom, GoToWeb, Skype.

There's obviously something running in the OS every 5 minutes that's causing the problem. I'll do some digging and post back if I find anything but, in the meantime, if anyone knows what's going on please let me know!

By the way, I'm on a 2017 13" MBP running macOS 10.15.3.
 

NuVista175

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2020
1
0
I'm very late with this, I realise that but the problem is still there on a newer MacBook Pro with Big Sur. I got my current Mac during early summer 2020 and I had some strange things going on with the Wi-Fi that I didn't have on my older one from 2013. Every now and then things starts to studder as you describe it. I wrote a small script, utilising the /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/airport -I command and log the output in a logfile. (If everything works, the script should be attached to this post)

By doing that, I soon realise that my Wi-Fi 'State' went from [running] to [scanning] every 5 minutes. If you open up the Wi-Fi settings in the top menu, where you can see and pick a network to connect to, that will give the effect but instead of every 5 minutes it's every 10 seconds on my Mac with BigSur. I think that this means that my Mac is refreshing available Wi-Fi networks every 5 minutes for some reason, even though I'm connected to one.

If I at the same time have a ping going on (with a bit larger packet size specified) I see that it takes quite much more time for a few seconds and it's at that exact time my Mac is struggling to keep up with what it's doing over the Wi-Fi network, in my case - playing PS4 games through the PS4 Remote Play app.

If anyone know how to get rid of this, I would be very glad to to hear it.

// Robert
 

Ruggy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2017
517
303
Wow Robert. A seriously impressive piece of investigation.
I'm not sure I can suggest anything you haven't already tried but anyway...
It can help to make sure your preferred network or the best network is at the top of the list.
So I would have Wifi at the top of the list in the first screen and your preferred network at the top of the list in the second.
If it's lower down it will keep checking to see if it can connect to the one at the top.
Also, did you know that there's a connection doctor? If you hold option key and click the wifi icon you'll firstly get loads of extra data about your connection but also you'll see the Wireless diagnostics setting. It might give you something especially if the signal is poor or the noise high.
It might be trying to find a new network because the connection isn't that good or there's a lot of interference?
Similarly, if there's a lot of interference from other wifi networks or other equipment (land line base station, microwave oven, mirror, USB3 interference ) then changing channels can help a lot.
I've also solved a problem like this by disabling the power saving function in the router, but that would more likely be the 5 minute example than the 10 second one.
Good luck,I hope you find what it is.
 
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