2 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2012 11:40 AM by hoddemic
hoddemic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hey Guys,


I have a Macbook that's about 5 or six years old and it's progressivly getting worse with its ability to obtain and maintain an internet connection and when it is connected the speed seems to be slowing down as well.  Is this something that can be fixed with some software finagaling, or does it require updating an internet card or buying a new computer?  Currently everything is up-to-date on it.  Here are some specs if they help:


OSX 10.6.8

1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo




  Card Type:    AirPort Extreme  (0x168C, 0x86)

  Firmware Version:    Atheros 5424:

  Locale:    FCC

  Country Code:    US

  Supported PHY Modes:    802.11 a/b/g

  Supported Channels:    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165

  Status:    Connected

  Current Network Information:


  PHY Mode:    802.11g

  BSSID:    0:24:b2:d9:e:78

  Channel:    9

  Country Code:    US

  Network Type:    Infrastructure

  Security:    WPA2 Personal

  Signal / Noise:    -80 dBm / -96 dBm

  Transmit Rate:    12


I hope that stuff helps/means something to someone and you can give me a hand.  If it's something I can fix myself awesome, or if I can take it to the Genius bar that'd be fine too - of if it's a "buy a new one" deal - lay it on me!  Thanks guys!



  • 1. Re: Older Macbook with waining internet capabilities
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,410 points)

    Speed can be a function both of how fast you receive and send data (basically your Internet connection) and how fast your computer can process what it gets.  We  need some details on what makes you think it is slow.


    My Mac is about 10 years old and still handles the Internet okay.  


    What do you mean by it is slow?  What are you doing? Typign e-mail or streaming Netflix? How fast a connection do you pay for with your ISP?  Have you run a test with a service such as Speedtest or Speakeasy to see what connection speeds you are seeing?


    A few general observations which may (or may not) have something to do with your speed.


    First, I see your signal strength is pretty low at -80dB, though your noise level is about normal low at -96dB.  Still, with a weaker signal you may not receive data as easily an  it has to be sent several times.


    Second, I see you are using channel 9.  In the USA there are 3 truly unique channels, channels 1, 11 and 6.  Most people use one of these three.  If you are using channel 9 and have lots of neighbors then you are interfering slightly with users of both channel 6 and channel 11 and may see degraded connection speed.  I have neighbors who use the same channel as I do and at times I lose Internet altogether.

  • 2. Re: Older Macbook with waining internet capabilities
    hoddemic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Thanks for the quick response!  I'm a med student and watch a lot of streaming videos for school and they constantly stop playing to buffer, or the video will say connection lost (even though I'm still connected to the internet - it's just going very slowly).  I use Comcast for my cable internet.  After doing a speed test (through Comcast's website), it said my download speed was 12.69 Mbps and my upload was 4.18 Mbps.  In terms of signal strength I'm only maybe 10 or 15 feet away from my router, which is a few years old - so maybe that's in need of replacement?  Also, for the channel selection on my router, would you recommned I change that to "auto", or just play around with them until I find one with the least interference from the neighbors?  Thanks for all your help!