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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

446986 Views 2,055 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 12:43 PM by mbaissues RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • andyman2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 20, 2013 11:53 PM (in response to Leo_404)

    Good find on the kexts, though disappointing I suppose as well as it means the issue pre update will still be apparent in boot camp I presume.

  • Russets Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 4:29 AM (in response to Fujishu)

    Good news Fujishu, it sounds as though the new Air an excellent machine except for the wifi.


    Thank you for the reply Leo, your comments are very useful.


    Is there anyone who has a problem machine that has not installed the update and can check what their wifi firmware version is?


    Some people are waiting for Mavericks in the hope it will solve the problems but a name like Mavericks doesn't instill a sense of confidence does it? Who on earth came up with a name like that. In most of the english speaking world a Maverick is a loose cannon, an unpredicatable person you avoid and would never trust. A derogatory term. I wonder what Steve's reaction would have been to that suggestion.


    It is of concern that the Apple engineers don't sound competent and the reported advice people are getting combined with the absence of a meaningful solution tend to support this.


    The wifi update perhaps is also somethig to avoid. Rather than solving the problem it works around it by reconnecting when the wifi drops out. This is rather like making a machine that keeps putting you back on your motorbike everytime you fall off instead of repairing the flat tyre.


    So my summary of the situation:


    When it works properly the new MacBook Air is a superb machine.


    Some MacBook Airs cannot connect to the internet using wifi, no one seems to know why.


    We don't know how many machines are involved but the size of this thread suggests a lot.


    Buying a new MacBook Air is, therefore, a gamble and, without information from Apple, we don't know the level of risk.


    A wifi dongle will work properly so problem Macbook Airs can still be easily made to connect satisfactorily to wifi.


    If you are considering buying a new Air then it is best to hold off until Apple solves the problem.


    If you have a problem with your MacBook Air do NOT install the update, once updated it is probably not possible to backgrade your firmware (Apple are notorious for not letting you backgrade). Wait for a proper fix from Apple.


    If you want to change your problem MacBook Air change it at a different store from the one you bought it at to avoid getting a replacement from the same manufacturing batch thereby increasing your chances of getting a good one.


    Check your pings using the network utility in the utilities folder.


    There are some smart people on this thread trying to sort out the problem. If you post please give us the configuration of your machine, firmware version, if possible computer serial number and results of ping tests.

  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 6:05 AM (in response to andyman2)

    Hi andyman2!


    Well, I pinged each of my 3 local routers in turn as you suggested.  I got the same wildly varying ping results as others have posted.


    This may be important info:


    1. Because my mid-2013 MBA is working superbly (as I have posted).
    2. Becuase running the 1.0 update made no difference to anything I can spot (Yes, my firmware is now the 35 version i.e. <<Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (>>
    3. Because using either of richard_vd's fixes in Terminal, sadly but interestingly, do NOT make any difference with my MBA/Home Router combinations.


    I hope this info helps.


    PS: Thanks richard_vd for all your efforts









    PPS:                      A   P   P   L   E            F   I   X             T   H   I   S !!!!!!!!










  • robgw Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 9:40 AM (in response to Cloudi)

    What's interesting is that my MacBook Retina 15 shows the same Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 ( installed. The firmware update is questionable. If the WIFI works on my Retina 15 and not my Air I'm guessing that it's an antenna issue or the logic board has a component layout issue.


    I wish Apple would communicate better.

  • crashodd Calculating status...
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    Aug 21, 2013 10:25 AM (in response to vhkim)

    New MacBook air i5 256gb 8gb ram, and no wifi drops, befor or after the wifi update.

    Guess is a matter of luck or apple is geting on it with new macbooks...

  • DDSABRE Calculating status...
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    Aug 21, 2013 2:14 PM (in response to vhkim)

    Hi there, I don't know wether this might help you or not but i had the same issue and I believe the problem is due to other devices causing interference with the signal especially USB 3 devices. There is a white paper documenting this issus and the only solution I could come up with was to move the USB drive further away from the back hinge of the macbook...Like I said hope this helps.

    Best regards.

  • XYLIAO Calculating status...
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    Aug 21, 2013 2:35 PM (in response to DDSABRE)
  • craigz_212 Calculating status...
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    Aug 21, 2013 2:46 PM (in response to vhkim)

    interesting. i was going to wait until the weekend when i could further test, but i've been having similar issues as everyone here. my ping times are all over the place to both my local router (an older non-n, non-ac airport extreme) and to external sites. i was having issues with my cable modem as well that i've just replaced and which initially seemed to resolve my issue.


    however as soon as i plugged in a usb3 external drive to backup the macbook air (i7, 8gb, 256gb) my wifi died. generally when i had the issue i could toggle wifi off then back on and be 'fixed' for the next 5-10 minutes. however for as long as the usb3 disk was on and connected i was unable to reconnect to my wireless network. removing the disk resolved the issue.


    is it possible that apple is unaware of the usb3 interference issue and neglected to properly shield the port? regardless the ping performance is indicicative of an issue regardless of whether my backup drive is connected or not.

  • DDSABRE Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 2:59 PM (in response to XYLIAO)

    Yep, that one....

  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 5:06 PM (in response to DDSABRE)

    Ok...can`t say alot right now, but this problem is not being brushed off by Apple...

    I guess all of the complaining about the issue is being heard at higher levels...

    nothing firm yet, and no fix, but they are interested in diagnosing the issue at the source if it is repeatable

  • robgw Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Aug 21, 2013 7:24 PM (in response to dogschool)

    I was just in the Apple Store in South Bend IN tonight. I checked all 8+ Airs on display. They were all running .22 of the firmware and all of them had the WIFI disabled (greyed out). They seemed to be getting their internet supplied via a USB cable. 


    I'm not sure if that's normal but I would assume they would be using AirPorts and have the WIFI enabled.

  • InLA Calculating status...
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    Aug 21, 2013 7:33 PM (in response to vhkim)



    I posted several pages earlier that we have two MBAs built in July with extra RAM, memory, and the 1.7 processor.  The 1.0 patch solved the problem with dropping connectivity altogether, and a problem we were having with Adobe Acrobat, but then we started noticing the lags.  We have a new Airport Extreme (which rocks for range) and none of our other devices were having connectivity problems.


    Last evening we took our MBAs to Genius Bar at the Apple Store at The Grove in Los Angeles.  A technician ran a bunch of diagnostics and found the lags by running pings.  Since he couldn't tell if the problem could be caused by all the other devices hooked up to the store's wifi, he asked if I could leave it over night for the engineers to run testing.  So I did.


    I just picked up the MBA and the Genius Bar attendant told me that the Apple engineers are aware of the problem, it's a known problem that Apple acknowledges, they are working on a solution, and it will be fixed with a software or firmware update.  So he said to keep an eye out for updates.


    That's all I know.  I'm just repeating what the attendant told me.  But that's all I needed to hear.  We really like the MBAs and are glad that Apple has acknowledged the problem and will fix it.


    For what it's worth, there have been some speculation in this thread that there may be interference from USB3 devices, but we don't have any.


    Cheers!  (And patience!)

  • buffest Calculating status...
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    Aug 22, 2013 5:25 AM (in response to Russets)

    OS X Mavericks is named after the Californian surf spot Mavericks.


    Maverick a derogatory term?


    Merriam-Webster defines it as 'an independant individual who does not go along with a group or party'. (Sounds a bit like Macintosh in the nineties.)


    Independance is the focal point of most other definitions as well.


    Although locations have replaced cats, I'm sure Apple is happy with the meaning of the word Maverick.



    I've had my Macbook Air 2013 13" / i7 / 8GB / 256 for a month. Steady wi-fi on my Linksys EA6500 dual-band (AC) router.

  • andyman2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2013 5:46 AM (in response to buffest)

    when you say steady wifi, do you get a consistent ping?

  • buffest Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2013 6:08 AM (in response to andyman2)

    I have monitored and scrutinzed the wi-fi on this Macbook more than any other computer I've had - kinda in fear of having a fauly one ;-)


    I haven't registered any wildly fluctuating pings like people report in this thread. I have only noticed normal variations depening on which room I'm in etc.


    But I haven't checked only for ping variations (nor only from Macbook to router with no ISP involved). I'll have to run some more tests.


    Still, I have never ever experienced any computer with surfing performance anything near my new MBA on my home network. How it would've performed in a café on a old out-of-date router I have no idea and will probably never find out: this MBA will probably never leave the house.

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