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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

444450 Views 2,049 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2014 9:41 AM by thiagobona RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 10:18 AM (in response to andyman2)

    No, but I haven`t asked. If this does not get resolved soon I am thinking about 3 times what I paid might be ok, if you get my drift.

  • lunaticitizen Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2013 12:37 PM (in response to Cloudi)

    Hi Cloudi,

     

    Thanks for the detailed information. Like you, I have had no problem connecting to any wireless access point with any configuration. The only problem is that sometimes it disconnects unexpectedly and unable to reconnects automatically. It's also frustrating that I haven't been able to replicate the problem under a specific condition. The problem appears (at least to me) to be random, and it must be a pain in the neck for Apple engineers to debug the problem.

     

    Last night I did simple ping tests from the MBA to: 1) my router, 2) a Mac Mini with wired connection to the router, and 3) my personal server on AWS infrastructure. Then I compared it with my old Panasonic Le'ts Note (PLN). Here are the numbers:

    • MBA/PLN to my router

              + MBA: average 44 ms, standard deviation 30 ms

              + PLN : average 3 ms, standard deviation 1 ms

    • MBA/PLN to my Mac Mini (wired)

              + MBA: average 48 ms, standard deviation 31 ms

              + PLN : average 3 ms, standard deviation 3 ms

    • MBA/PLN to my personal server

              + MBA: average 53 ms, standard deviation 30 ms

              + PLN : average 7 ms, standard deviation 1 ms

     

    As we can see, the numbers for the MBA were not good at all. Especially with big standard deviations, as you might already know, the performance of applications that use VoIP or RTP will suffer. I use Skype frequently, and indeed the MBA is outperformed by any other machine that I have.

     

    I've also had some TCP performance issues with the MBA. When I tried accessing my SMB shares in my external harddisk which is connected to my router, the MBA performance was not good. The maximum speed I got was 120 Mbps, compared to 300 Mbps I got when using Let's Note. It appears that OS X is just unable to do TCP window scaling properly. This is not a problem exclusive to the MBA, though. My Mac Mini gave me similar results. So much for the world's most advanced desktop operating system

     

    Back to the original problem, I still think that this is a driver issue. It's gonna take weeks or even months until the problem is solved. If you guys have already bought an MBA as your main computer and experiencing this problem, I suggest that you return it and get your money back. I think I'm going to wait until they release a fix. I still have another laptop, anyway.

    MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 1:38 PM (in response to lunaticitizen)

    Tried to call the higher level support guy who said "call me anytime-I want to get to the bottom of this"....

    Called yesterday-left a message..no reply...called again today after getting lag,wifi drop 157 times while I tried to work on this machine..no answer again and no callback.

    I just got the "spinning pizza of death" a while ago while doing nothing..had to reboot.

    Apple does make cool product, but I think in their haste to keep releasing killer stuff they are getting sloppy on the details....their stuff is fairly pricey and I think we have high expectations of quality and support, but something here has been lost. I have had fairly high level dealings with them before on issues with software and machines, some of which were quite expensive....I was told in the end "what do you expect from something that only cost $ X dollars?'...as if their prices were a bargain and we were just looking for a cheap deal. I am weary of fighting this issue. I like the product but its not worth what is left of my sanity....I don`t really need the money...I`m just going to become a very big thorn in the Apple...

  • DougsPlace Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2013 3:36 PM (in response to lunaticitizen)

    I disagree - it's been 2 months since the thread started; it should not take (more) months to debug. I'm an Apple customer 25 years and the unresolved problems 13" MBPr (fan) and 13" MBA (WiFi) should be fixed by now.

     

    I bought a Samsung Chromebook last weekend for $200 with 100gb free google storage for 2 years included. To tide me over while I wait to buy a MBA.  Talked to Samsung support three times while I learn 100% cloud computing ecosystem. Each time a real person answered, did not ask me to repeat serial #'s, model #'s, chipset, firmware version, purchase date, ticket #, none of  the nonsense it takes applecare 10 minutes each time you call - samsung tech just got right to my question. They had my Chromebook stats in my customer record.

     

    Chrome OS is not a laptop replacement - yet. I'm not suggesting it is replacing an OSX laptop. Yet.

     

    But, Samsung and Android are now outshipping  iOS and iPhone.

     

    I am a 25 year apple customer who cant reliably purchase a new apple laptop 2 months after release.

     

    Mr. Cook -are you listening yet?

  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2013 4:35 PM (in response to DougsPlace)

    I am ready get my money back, buy a chromebook and blow the $900 savings on something stupid. I hate that its come to this, but Apple is blowing me off....there is no fix and they know it-they just put you through the roundy round hoping you will give up or accept less than the functionality you paid for. I am a long time customer too, and have a warhorse 17" pro that has been used 24/7, dropped, abused for years without a single hiccup. There is no excuse for them continuing to sell this MBA knowing about the issues that plague a good share of them.This is going to cost them.

  • c4dynamic Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2013 7:06 PM (in response to vhkim)

    C'mon apple, what the ****?

     

     

  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 7:18 PM (in response to c4dynamic)

    And the article is almost 2 months old....still selling them

  • gleninwelly Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2013 8:59 PM (in response to dogschool)

    OK - I got fed up with my Macbook 2013 13" continuously dropping off the wifi.  It was happening every 5 -10 minutes and performance was abysmal.  Really frustrating because everything else is so good (performance, battery life, etc.).

     

    I now have excellent WiFi performance but I have made compromises and I still expect Apple to fix and resolve the real issue.  This may help those of you pulling your hair out in the meantime...

     

    I got my Macbook to forget the 802.11AC network completely and also turned off the 5GHz radio on my Asus router.

     

    So now I have just 802.11N performance but it's rock solid through the house and the Macbook holds the connection reliably.

     

    Hope this helps others.  The problem for me when AC 5GHz is used is that all wifi on the Macbook just drops with annoying frequency.  In the picture below there were lot's of steep dips to zero every 5-10 minutes.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 3.56.34 PM.png

  • Russets Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 10:27 PM (in response to gleninwelly)

    A very interesting post gleninwelly.

     

    What you are saying is that you have a mid 2013 Macbook Air. (you said Macbook)

    It had similar wifi connection problems that everyone else is having.

    You configured it so that it would not connect using 802.11 ac but instead using the old 802.11n and it is now working fine.

     

    How did you configure it to not use the 802.11ac protocol?

     

    So does this mean the the mid 2013 Macbook Air has 2 solutions.

    1     Use the 802.11n protocol.

    2     Use a wifi dongle.

     

    With either we can achieve wifi performance that matches the earlier Macbook Air performance?

     

    Still not what Apple promised but it does make the Macbook Air viable.

  • gleninwelly Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 10:55 PM (in response to Russets)

    Hi Russets,

     

    Yes, it's a mid 2013 Macbook Air.

     

    I have my router setup to use one ESSID for 2.4GHz 802.11n and the other ESSID to be 5GHz 802.11ac.

    First I got the Macbook Air to forget the AC network and just use the N network.  This is what did the trick in my case.

     

    I disabled the AC 5GHz radio and ESSID simply becasue I'm not using it.

     

    I plan to turn it on again if Apple resolve this problem or provide a hardware replacement Macbook air that works as advertised.  They have to fix this problem one way or another.

  • andyman2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 11:00 PM (in response to Russets)

    Hi Russetts, not for everyone I'm afraid.

     

    If you see my earlier thread, looking at return times and packet loss on my MBA, it makes no difference.  11ac, 2.4ghz n or 5ghz n, all the same RTT lag issues and occasional packet loss.

     

    I also earlier mentinoed that I'd tried a 11n dongle.  And I don't understand why, but it exhibits the same problem, only on this laptop though.  Fine on my macbook pro and desktop PC.

     

    So no fix yet!

  • andyman2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2013 11:01 PM (in response to andyman2)

    Hi gleninwelly,

     

    Could you ping google.com from the terminal for about 20 pings and and then post the summary?  keen to see if you're getting dropouts now it all seems ok.

  • tpkirkpatrick Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2013 11:13 PM (in response to andyman2)

    What's a good ping?

     

    I got a replacement air (RAM upgrade) and it's been working like a champ.

    These are my pings:

     

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=100 ttl=54 time=46.169 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=101 ttl=54 time=27.572 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=102 ttl=54 time=27.927 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=103 ttl=54 time=26.847 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=104 ttl=54 time=25.949 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=105 ttl=54 time=26.668 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=106 ttl=54 time=26.102 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=107 ttl=54 time=26.910 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=108 ttl=54 time=25.993 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=109 ttl=54 time=22.067 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=110 ttl=54 time=23.886 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=111 ttl=54 time=27.045 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=112 ttl=54 time=26.635 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=113 ttl=54 time=26.876 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=114 ttl=54 time=28.693 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=115 ttl=54 time=27.113 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=116 ttl=54 time=27.393 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=117 ttl=54 time=30.484 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=118 ttl=54 time=29.583 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=119 ttl=54 time=23.084 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=120 ttl=54 time=27.478 ms

    64 bytes from 74.125.227.198: icmp_seq=121 ttl=54 time=25.759 ms

  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2013 5:53 AM (in response to tpkirkpatrick)

    can you explain how to do the ping test?.

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