The larger of Apple's MacBook Air laptops featuring dual microphones and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Slow WiFi connections with MacBook Air

I have Macbook Air problem with its WiFi, its very slow what could be the problem? Bad wireless card

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Randi - You'll need to give us more here. Are you connecting to your own WiFi base station Access Point (AP) or are you having problems with public hot spots? If you have your own AP are you connecting to your own system or to the internet? Also what have you tried.

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Anna - Check your systems & AP setup.

I think you got your self caught in the 5 GHz problem 802.11ac range issues: Overcoming wireless signal shortcomings.

Different frequencies have better distance and can get though walls better. 5 GHz is great for data throughput but it can't reach as far or get though walls that effectively. What I do is setup the different bands of my WiFi router with slightly different names (I add 2 & 5 at the end of the name per the frequency).

Now try this:

Your older MacBook is accessing the 2.4 GHz band with its older radio.

Now alter your settings in the Air so it to is accessing the same 2.4 GHz band.

You should now see the same performance numbers! From the same location in your house.

Also don't forget the 802.11ac based Air systems don't have MIMO (two matched antenna's) So you won't get the full ability unlike the newer MacBook Pro's can which have MIMO with 802.11ac. Even still MIMO services are limited to a single system at a given time. This is where the newer multiple flow feature that many Router companies just intro'd in Los Vegas CES show MU-MIMO this last week will give you the real bang in performance if you have a local server or very good access to the internet with multiple systems fighting for access over your WiFi network.

FYI: Most of the US has very poor data rates though there ISP. Even still the resource at the other end may still throttle you. So it will be still awhile before we get then needed data flows to really benefit with these faster local connections to the internet.

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Was it always this way or did you recently upgrade to Mavericks or Yosemite (lots of known wireless issues with those OS builds).

Further slow network issues can sometimes be:

  • an ISP issue,
  • grabbing onto someone else's new open home network,
  • a new home network running on the same channel as yours.
  • P2P sharing (iTunes music, iPhotos, doing cloud backups, streaming video to a TV) can also slow a network.
  • "Freeware" phoning home

Try checking the network ID your using, try chaining your wireless setup.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it accepted.

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Apple knows this is a issue and they want to blame everyones wif. I have a macbook pro build 2011 and it is 3 times faster than my new macbook air on wif.

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I am in the same boat; it's apparently a common issue. My iPhone connects to the wifi just fine. My coworker's older MB connects just fine. It is only my 2013 MB Air.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/21/2013-...

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The Engadget article you have here is over a year old. The Air's do have limitations as they are not MIMO capable unlike your MacBook as well as some iPhones! Has your coworker ever upgraded the systems firmware or the OS? I would start there.

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Everything is up-to-date. I've also read elsewhere that the location of the wifi antenna on the MB Air was poorly chosen (bottom, beneath plastic strip)?

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mmm... I don't know where you got that idea. Here's a picture of the antenna wires exiting the lid assembly: AirPort antennas The bottom hinge cover of the display is the location of both the WiFi & Bluetooth antennas. Here's a good writeup on how to gain the best performance: 4 Wi-Fi Tips from Former Apple Wi-Fi Engineer

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my 2015 mbp is hopeless on my home wifi network. they want you to spend more money on their products to get the full use out of your products that you've already spent a VERY pretty penny on. fek the greedy kents. apple, what a joke.

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How about checking your signal strength and see if the location of your WiFi AP is located at the best placement within your home. Many people with large homes setup a Mesh network which is when you have multiple AP's located at different parts of your property. This is needed more so with the 5.0 GHz WiFi bands as the distance and ability to pass the signal through walls is not as good as the older 2.4 GHz bands. But the 5 GHz bands offer much better throughput!

I would recommend you download this app: WiFi Exporer which is a great app to see whats happening with your WiFi networks.

FYI I have over 100 Apple systems using our local meshed WiFi network without any performance issues. But it does take a bit of effort in not only the design of the network but making sure everyones systems are properly configured. My biggest issue is when someone or our neighbors setup an AP that sits within our bands. Lucky I've managed to either over-ride them or got them to alter there AP to a different band. At one site we've started using shielding on the walls to cut down our signals from crossing into other offices nearby.

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Randi Austrian will be eternally grateful.
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