Wireless slow in Snow Leopard - Super fast in Windows 7... what?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alexgingras, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. alexgingras macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hi guys,

    Just bought a refurbished MBP 15" and I love it. However there seems to be a major problem with AirPort.

    When I'm in Windows 7, I get 6-7 megabits per second constantly.

    When I'm in Snow Leopard, I get between 0.5-2 max. Shifts constantly. Internet is very slow. So the issue is not with my router, it's with something in Snow Leopard...

    Can anyone help?
  2. Corrode macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Welcome to the world of wireless with Mac's. I'm not an expert on the subject, but have had several troubles over the years trying to configure non-apple wifi routers with my Macbooks. If you google the problem, you'll see lots and lots of people with connection problems and Mac's. Was hoping that it was fixed in SL, as I have yet to upgrade, but I guess not... damn.
  3. Ptyger macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2008
    Knoxville, TN
    I've had wireless problems off and on with my airport card and Linksys routers. I have 2 access points in my home, one draft N and one for G. The problem usually occurs on the N connection, and not on the G.

    I can't remember if it will tell you in Leopard what protocol your wireless is using, but if you hold down option and click the airport icon in the menu bar, it will give you more information about your connection.
  4. Anuba macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2005
    Yeah, welcome to the world of Macs and networking... I've been staring at a "Preparing to copy" window now for about 45 minutes, since OS X insists on very slowly counting the number of files to be copied... Windows does it too, but it's over in a couple of minutes and I would've been done with the whole procedure by now if I had done it in Win7. And that's over gigabit ethernet, not wireless.

    Anyway, I had an issue similar to yours, my iMac's Airport was laughably slow despite the fact that I have an N router. Apparently the iMac didn't appreciate the fact that my (D-Link DIR-855) router automatically picked the best channel. I had to set it to a fixed channel (11). After that I've had no issues and I get decent speed.

    Still preparing to copy, btw... 50 minutes of preparation. :rolleyes:
  5. jamin100 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Not using Windows 7 at the moment but am not having any issues with SL and wireless
  6. slavegod macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Hey dude i just had the same problem....

    I have a 15mbps connection at my house and wifi to my PC is fine 13mbps on speedtest.net... on the 1 day old MBP 13" i have 0.5-3mbps... I thought the airport card was defective for a sec... called apple care blames my router... and says nothing was wrong.. so yeah after 5 hrs of fiddling around i turned on firewall for fun and tried it, my MBP surprisingly dled at 11-12mbps which is what my pc is getting at the time.. tried turning the firewall off still got 11-12mbps.. then i just kept it on.. I highly doubt the firewall helped the airport but somehow that helped it fix itself.. so i'm happy.. it might not work for you but you could try!
  7. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I have had many wireless problems with Macs in the past. However, when I connect to an AirPort Extreme Base Station, the wireless works perfectly. I have used nearly every other brand of wireless networking device with terrible connections to Macs.

    Unfortunately just like all other Apple devices, a Mac works best with any Apple branded wireless network device like AEBS or Time Capsule.

    Good luck.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I'm going to have to say the problem actually is the router. I've had 0 problems connecting macs to wireless routers when I set up the network.

    When I used to go fix business networks who had Mac wireless troubles all times the setting was in the router itsself.

    Some home routers, in an effort to make it "easy" for the consumer include software. A lot of people (myself included) ignore the software and just set everything up manually. This can sometimes cause problems. Try using the software that came with your router and use your Mac to configure the router, then connect your windows machine.

    Unfortunately its been a few years since I have worked with home wireless networks so I cannot tell you what to change as the technology has changed greatly. I just know at the time this was the fastest, easiest fix for me so I didn't have to delve into settings and check everything.
  9. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2008
    Southern California
    Dude... people... wireless is a radio first and foremost.

    Firewalls do not matter. "Apple works best with Apple" is a bunch of nonsense. You need to optimize your wireless network for your environment. If you are running draft N, you should not be using 2.4ghz fighting the neighborhood's Linksys and DLink's along with your microwave and cordless phone. Set your Freq's to the 40mhz band and pick a channel in the hundreds and enable wide channels. Put the router in the same room you spend most of the time in.

    Use a WIFI sniffer like netstumbler for the PC (google one for Mac) and set your router to channel 1, 6, or 11 after surveying the area and determing which channel has less interference. Do not use other channels unless absolutely necessary as they just over lap. 1, 6, and 11 are the only true separate channels.

    I have a Linksys WRT610N, some refurb'd DLink, and a newly added Airport Express for music streaming. I get ~20mbit downloads from speedtest on my uMacbook Pro using any of them.

    For those of u running G, remember, if you have a wireless B device connecting to your wifi (friend/brother/parent), this will slow your entire network down to B speeds.

  10. impedimentus macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2009
    I'm convinced there is a problem with Snow Leopard

    Excellent wifi speed with Leopard, terrible slow down after upgrading to Snow Leopard. I switched to a Hawking usb stick, no help. If I run Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux in Parallels or VM Fusion I get excellent wifi with either the Mac Airport or Hawking, but going back to Snow Leopard and wifi turns to cold molasses. This is not a router or other hardware problem, this is a Snow Leopard problem and Apple needs to fix it! Running a MacBook Pro unibody.

    My wife's MacBook wifi runs fine with Leopard.
  11. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    im having a similar issue, i got a netgear wireless N so i could play xbox via sharing my macbooks connection with the xbox and my roommates could still stream hulu on the media center and then my internet on my macbook got slower than it was with the wireless G. thought it was the router so i took it back and got a linksys wireless N. Still same problem. SLOW internet and bad xbox connection when thats going. No idea what the issue is but i dont want to go buy a Airport base station at the BS premium apple charges if thats not going to fix the problem. Is this SL? is it my settings? its pretty lame that i can borrow off my neighbors weak signal and have faster speeds than my brand new N router 10 feet away.
  12. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Similar problem here. Wireless works well in 64-Bit Vista and 64-Bit Ubuntu 9.04 on my Mac Pro -- but not in Snow Leopard. It worked also well before the upgrade to Snow Leopard.

    So I tend to say that this is not a radio (configuration) issue, this is a software problem in Snow Leopard.
  13. rodo macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2009
    can you further detail this? I'm getting best results using channel 13 because many cards don't allow it-hence it's usually free.
  14. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Sometimes if I have problems, I can just turn off the wireless card and turn it back on real fast and that fixes it.
  15. A Macbook Pro macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2009
    I never knew about problems with Mac's on non Apple routers. Good thing I chose an AEBS.
  16. Tom R macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2009
    What??? I am considering switching to MacBook Pro and when I ask at Apple Store thay always say "no problem at all".

    I have two homes and different routers and internet set ups at each and I have NO issues with PC.

    I don't really want to worry about router and channels(?)...

    Those that say "get the Apple router" make me nervous. You HAVE to exisit in a PC world...at least beyond you own home.

    Is connecting to routers at home and wireless at "hot spots" more of an issue with an Apple?????

    I want things to be "easier" to manage...certainly want all "connections" to be non issues?

  17. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I was having problems with my uni mb until apple released a update a few months back before the release of 10.6. SL hasn't caused any problems that I'm aware of.

    OP, have you tried checking for any system updates?
  18. Eruanno macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2009
    Interesting. With both my white MacBook (which my father is now using) and my new 13" MBP I've never had any issues either connecting to or getting reasonable speeds at any networks I've stumbled on yet.

    Quite the contrary, actually. My mother has a HP Pavillion something-something laptop that took us a LONG time to figure out how to set up the bloody wireless network on. (Like a few hours-long), whereas the MacBook(s) have always just asked for the network password and then kept going without any hiccups (yet).

    (And yes, my 13" MBP is running Snow Leopard. The white MacBook still runs Leopard. Both work equally good.)
  19. rodo macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2009
    Nah you shouldnt get many issues... really... you will get exactly the same issues you can get with a win computer.... nothing you can't solve googling for a while... i use my mac in many heterogeneous places, from large corp networks to my home where i have other windows & linux computers and works quite good.

    And tampering with the channels thing does help a lot, sometimes what happens is that the channels are so collapsed that literally there's no space for another computer. In my flat building there are more than 120 wireless connections and you NEED to worry about what channel you are using ;)

    dont worry someday theyll grow up and undestand ;)
  20. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2009
    Couldn't disagree more. A badly configured or malfunctioning (or very well configured firewall if the person that configured it wanted to be annoying) firewall could result in huge slow downs.

    My home network, parents home network and other half's parents network have Netgear products, and have never noticed a problem. My Macs always outperform their Windows counterparts
  21. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    Like others have aid apple routers do work the best.
  22. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    I ran perfectly under a Linksys WRT54-G for years, with degrading wireless performance only very lately. The latest wireless firmware upgrades on the Mac side, seemed to solve that.

    I just upgraded to a Linksys WRT610N and everything works great as well.

    Finally at work I connect Macs to all manner of Cisco and Linksys versions of Cisco with my MacBook and MacBook Pro. No issues whatsoever. Add to that airports and hotels.

    I find it hard to believe that Apple has an issue with non-Apple wireless gear.
  23. pbassek macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2010
    Hi, desperatley need some help. My internet has been running really slow since the upgrade to snow leopard.
    I've put a pc laptop next to my mac and tested speeds side by side on speedtest.net. Im using the same wifi connection for both...
    My PC laptop gets 5mbits/sec, and my mac struggles to get upwards of 1.5mbits/sec.
    I remember doing a speedtest before the upgrade to snow leopard and the mac was equally as fast as the PC.
    I've tried everything I can find on the interent about changing DNS settings, flushing cash, but nothing helps...
    Also when using a mobile phone connected to wifi, the internet on the mac just seems to come to a complete halt!
    Anyone got any ideas or should I revert back to leopard???
  24. McMoronic macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    If the router is yours, I'd say give tomato or dd-wrt a try in order to help boost your speeds. I can bet its a n router lol. Good luck tho.
  25. WASTED-1, Oct 5, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011

    WASTED-1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    Slow Leopard

    Had exactly the same problem which confounded me for weeks.

    Tried everything I could find online, from hassling ISP, tweaking router, changing network settings, updating drivers, standing on my head, standing on my next-door-neighbour-but-one's head...

    Try this - it actually worked for me.

    Make sure you have a proper functioning Snow Leopard installation disk.

    Back up your entire existing Mac System disk/partition to an external drive (I used SuperDuper http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html), and for safety's sake, any other partitions that happen to be on the same physical disk as your MacOS. If unsure, back up EVERYTHING - you should anyway!

    Using Disk Utility, completely wipe and reformat that drive/partition. Be careful not to wipe anything you haven't backed up.

    Using the Snow Leopard installation disk, do the obvious and install Snow Leopard.

    Connect to the internet and use speedtest.net or similar to check your new connection speed.

    I went from 5 or 6 Mb/s using Leopard, to 0.2 Mb/s on upgrading to Snow Leopard, to 20+ Mb/s after a fresh installation (on a fibre optic connection which 'promises' "up to" 35 Mb/s).

    Not sure if it's all down to continual system updates, system/software clashes, or corrupted system files over time....
    But it doesn't seem to be the OS itself, Apple hardware, or ISP-related issues, though any of those interacting with another may degrade services to a point.

    I'll keep an eye on my system as I reinstall software as and when I need it, and if there is any major change I'll report back.

    I'd be happy to hear back from anyone that finds this fix useful, or indeed useless.

    Good luck!

    PS. Using Channels 1, 6 and 11 is good advice, and should be used where possible to avoid clashing with neighbouring networks, but in my experience the performance boost is less than 20%, and a 20% boost of piss-poor is still poor, so not a solution for terrible connections. More a tweak for connections which are already acceptable. In fact, in situations where, say, 120 networks are all sharing 1, 6 and 11, using 3, 4, 8 or 9 might be beneficial, but still not a fix to the overall problem.

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