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Apple patches 2013 MacBook Air Wi-Fi issue, but 802.11ac speeds still low

3903 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Sep 30, 2013 4:24 AM by Kerry Dawson RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Roki75 Calculating status...
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Jul 20, 2013 3:12 PM

Today I just received my new Macbook air 13 inch, with 802.11ac wifi together with the new airport time capsule with wifi 802.11ac.


The speed is however disappointing, although I installed the new patch. Here is the perfromance at 1 m distance from the airport in 5GHz and "ac" mode:


Wifi menu: Never more than 174MBit/s

Network Utility says 289MBit/s


Then the emiric test (1 m distance):

1) Transfering 500MByte files: peak speed was 16.4 MBit/s

1) Time machine Backup of 80GByte: 4 hours!!!! I boght this hardware in the believe, that it would be less than 1 hour according to my math with the promised 45MByte/s.


The acivity center confirmes that the peak speed is arond 15-16 MByte/sec which then also explains my empirical results measured by a watch.


This is highly highly disappointing, as speed was the only reason for upgrading to this 802.11ac investment (Macbook air + station). Really really bad!


What is the problem dear Apple? Where is the 1300 MBit/sec connection? Or the 800 at least. 500 at least. But 174 !!!???

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4), +Airport Time capsule 2013
  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,615 points)
    One notable issue not addressed by the July 18 Macbook Air update is a problem with file transfer speeds over 802.11ac networks. As we (and others) reported, the new MacBook Airs aren't as fast as they should be when transferring files over 802.11ac using the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and Server Message Block (SMB) protocols under OS X. Using a network bandwidth testing tool like iPerf, a different file sharing protocol like FTP, or transferring files in Windows rather than OS X yields transfer speeds that are about as fast as expected, which leads us to believe that the issue is fixable in software. However, according to our testing, today's update doesn't resolve the problem just yet.


    see also for full details. 802-11ac-wi-fi-speeds/



    Its a SIMPLE software fix

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,630 points)

    The warranty entitles you to complimentary phone support for the first 90 days of ownership. If you bought the product in the U.S. directly from Apple (not from a reseller), you also have 14 days from the date of delivery in which to  exchange or return it for a refund. In other countries, the return policy may be different.

  • Kerry Dawson Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    I wouldn't want to return mine. However, I think Apple needs to do something to enhance the performance of the WIFI. My iPad and iPhone run at twice the speed that my MacBook Air on my ISP network. Disappointing but I wwould think correctible.

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,615 points)

    Its very correctable, bootcamp'd new AIRs running under Win8 are getting 157% FASTER speeds than older model AIRs, its the TCP in the OSX thats the "issue"     ,.(TCP transmission control protocol: a protocol developed for the internet to get data from one network device to another), whereas I believe the same AIR are getting 40 something % faster under OSX.   A HUGE discrepency


    ...this has to do with how much data is recieved before a confirmation is acknowledged.


    ....the TCP is running at 64 in MAC OSX, and  running at 250 (250 something..) in Win8 . This is most certainly an easy software fix, how thats upcoming I wont speculate



  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,615 points)

    be patient.   it has not been "months".   its been 1 month.  And the only place youre going to see those speeds is at home.        Jo Blo coffee or public wifi isnt running ac speeds anyway  regardless.

  • Kerry Dawson Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    My issue is I'm running on a six month old Apple network and the MacBook Air is running at half the speed of the iPad and the iPhone. I had a late 2012 MacBook Air and then converted to the 2013 MacBook Air. I got it for the extra memory. I love my MacBook Air but really it shouldn't be running at half the speed of the IOS devices. In fact, I'm sure as I was researching this, I found documentation to say don't expect the IOS devices to run at the speed of a notebook as they don't have the same attenaes. Plus, I was told by Apple that running OSX they run half as fast as Windows so technically hardwarewise there is nothing wrong. I would think this is not such a big deal to fix.

  • Mikael_B Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    It is still embarrasing that (the) one main selling point, the high wifi speed, is not working, especially  one month after release, it should of course work when released. And I expect more and more widespread use of the high speed nets in the future, so it is not a relevant argument that most public wifis dont use it today.

    Apple pulled a similar stunt with the Ipad 3s 4g capability

  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (13,615 points)

    Actually I have the new Airport Extreme, the Ipads I use run faster due to signal strength and the beamforming technology of the new extreme.  


    Those without 802ac devices will notice they can connect faster and of course further away with the new extreme not based upon the older devices running 802ac (which they arent) but because of antenna gain, improved SNR.


    Even those tech reports on the new AIR, though reporting “not as fast as could be the case”, are STILL reporting faster than previous AIR.


    The window sizing TCP ‘issue’ is a matter of a line or 2 of code.

  • creos Calculating status...

    Seriously, this issue is so embarassing. I know a bunch of fellow students including me, who are holding back from buying new MBAs since it is a essential tool for us students. Nobody wants to invest so much money in a laptop which has such a major problem.

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