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New Macbook Air - wifi connectivity problems

446476 Views 2,050 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 3:59 AM by andQlimax RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • headcase Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2013 2:14 PM (in response to dogschool)

    Cool - nice weather today here in Raleigh!

     

    Ah... well for me, that explains it dogschool... in my experience, the Westell products tend to be pretty **** lousy, and that would be the first thing to swap out regardless.  Furthermore, the analogy is like you just bought a brand new Porche or Ferrari, and you're currently driving it on plain unleaded gas in a congested downtown, instead of using premium high-octane unleaded and letting her rip on the freeway!

     

    If the device is currently acting as a modem + router + wireless access point, ideally you (or your Internet provider if they are managing the device from their end) would login into the unit and disable the wireless radio (google around or read your owners manual to do that).  Then you would plug in one of the newer routers (such as those I tested), and have that set up in AP mode.  If you're not technology savvy enough, the easiest router to "set it and forget it" are Apple's Airport Extremes (any recent or current generation), which will automatically recognize & configure the unit in wireless router or AP mode for ya.

     

    Or, what I tend to do, is have my network set up this way:  cable or DSL modem (only acts as a modem instead of acting as one of those newer modem + router devices), then I conect that to a new wireless router that it well rated from SmallNetBuilder.com.

     

    Personnaly, I prefer the stronger performance of the ASUS RT-AC66U these days, although it takes a few more steps to set it up versus something like the Airport Extreme (and allows me to tweak more settings for my network).

     

    Other things, while I'm thinking of it:

     

    1) usually preferrable to use WPA2 Personal for your securtity settings

     

    2) leave the router in Automatic mode, allowing it to self-select your wireless channel that has the least interference.  However, if you know what wireless channels are ideal in your home, can be helpful to lock the unit into a fixed channel (e.g. 1, 6, or 11 for the 2.4GHz frequency).

     

    3) use the same SSID (name) for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios, and your Mac will grab onto whatever radio is most ideal at the time.

  • headcase Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2013 2:50 PM (in response to DougsPlace)

    Hey DougsPlace -

     

    I hear ya... as someone who has been working with Apple desktops and laptops every day since the Apple IIe came out, and just about every operating system since Mac OS 2... right on up to Mac OS 10.8.4... I certainly have my concerns about Apple.  But without getting into a sidebar about Google vs. Apple, what I can definitvely say is that I honestly think this 2013 MacBook Air is one of the best products I've ever used in the 25 years as an Apple consumer and IT guy.  I won't reiterate what's been already written in the reviews -- its simply an awesome laptop with a form factor, performance, and battery life that is ideal as a total mix.

     

    Unfortunately, with most MacBook releases over the last couple of years, there's been some bugs in the wireless driver... (the support forums validate that), and usually that's something the radio chip manufactures like Broadcom has to work out the kinks with Apple's networking engineers with every OS release.  But per my last couple of posts, that's somewhat due to the nature of the wireless networking beast, and I think this recent hiccup on the 2013 MBA with its .35 driver is just another bump on the wireless road.

     

    But that said, once I was back on the .22 wireless driver, I was in OS X heaven again with this model.  And as the saying goes (which I myself didn't adhere to this time)... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!".  (which is why I'll probably hold off a month or two after the 10.8.5 release comes out, like I usually do).  Doh!

  • raducan.mihai Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 12:47 AM (in response to headcase)

    @ Headcase: From what I remember the 1.0 patch also fixes some problems with audio level during a YouTube streaming session and some Photoshop display issues. Do you have any oscillating audio level while watching YouTube without the patch installed?

     

    By the way, this is my wifi network performance, 20 feet from the router, 1 wall  in between (patch installed):

     

    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/2924346072

  • MariamNers15 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 1:26 AM (in response to vhkim)

    Hey guys!

    For those who are facing this problem-here is the solution!

    I bought a new MACBook Air mid 2013 13 inch, and constantly had this problem with home WiFi, it kept disconnecting after few minutes of not using Safari, Skype went offline, and i had to restart my laptop or Airport to get connection again-even though my bar seemed to be full.

    So i bought my MacBook in Russia and contacted Russian Apple store, they told me i had to upgrade my software to solve this inner bug, they sent me a link and when i installed it ,the problem vanished completely. You can also find this software in apple website, i am not going to post this link since it is in Russian and won't make any sense for you guys who are abroad but just to let you know YOU CAN SOLVE THIS PROBLEM JUST BY DOWNLOADING THE UPGRADE!

    Also they said if the problem doesnt solve then I will have to contact my internet provider to upgrade my router (even though i have about 8 devices of different brands which connect perfectly fine with internet).

    So yeah guys, i have read plenty of solutions to this problem, and have tried many things until i called the apple,just to let you know its a bug in all macbook airs mid 2013 and apple people worked hard to solve this for you-don't attempt to do things if you are not a professional, thats my advice.

    good luck!

  • MariamNers15 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 1:31 AM (in response to vhkim)

    Hey guys!

    For those who are facing this problem-here is the solution!

    I bought a new MACBook Air mid 2013 13 inch, and constantly had this problem with home WiFi, it kept disconnecting after few minutes of not using Safari, Skype went offline, and i had to restart my laptop or Airport to get connection again-even though my bar seemed to be full.

    So i bought my MacBook in Russia and contacted Russian Apple store, they told me i had to upgrade my software to solve this inner bug, they sent me a link and when i installed it ,the problem vanished completely. You can also find this software in apple website, i am not going to post this link since it is in Russian and won't make any sense for you guys who are abroad but just to let you know YOU CAN SOLVE THIS PROBLEM JUST BY DOWNLOADING THE UPGRADE!

    Also they said if the problem doesnt solve then I will have to contact my internet provider to upgrade my router (even though i have about 8 devices of different brands which connect perfectly fine with internet).

    So yeah guys, i have read plenty of solutions to this problem, and have tried many things until i called the apple,just to let you know its a bug in all macbook airs mid 2013 and apple people worked hard to solve this for you-don't attempt to do things if you are not a professional, thats my advice.

    good luck!

  • maharajji Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 1:43 AM (in response to MariamNers15)

    Can you be more specific please? Are you talking about the software update 1.0 that was released on July 18th? That update only worked for some, but for a lot of people the problem persists and for others it introduced the wifi problem when there initially wasn't one. I hope you're talking about a different update because I'm desperate for a solution and if you are talking about a different update could you please tell us what to search for? Thank you

  • raducan.mihai Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 6:10 AM (in response to MariamNers15)

    WARNING !!!!

     

    Do not press "Apply update" if you are not a professional! 

     

    @ maharajji: He's probably talking about 1.0 patch.


  • dogschool Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 6:56 AM (in response to raducan.mihai)

    Apple wi-fi fix inwented in Russia first

  • headcase Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 7:02 AM (in response to raducan.mihai)

    raducan -

     

    Yes, I posted information on how to address the fluctuating audio bug on the 2013 MBAs without applying the 1.0 Software Update in an earlier post on this thread.   Scroll up a page for more info.

  • headcase Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 7:17 AM (in response to MariamNers15)

    MariamNers15 -

     

    Unless you are referring to something "new" from Apple engineering, your contact in Russia is incorrent. 

     

    Please read my recent posts on this thread for information on the persistent latency bug that is introduced in the .35 wireless driver that comes with the 1.0 Software Update.  This seems to be effecting all 2013 MacBook Airs, whereas the original .22 wireless driver that came out when the laptop first shipped with its new Broadcom wifi radio does not have the latency bug, and only a minority of 2013 MBAs are experiencing connectivity issues with that .22 driver.  Furthermore, based on my testing, its worth instead remedying any connectivity issue you may have with the original .22 wireless driver, by first experiementing with another model of router or access point, as opposed to updating to the problematic .35 driver.

     

    So in other words, if you have 2013 MBA, you should NOT install the 1.0 Software Update from Apple, unless absolutely needed.

  • headcase Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 7:36 AM (in response to vhkim)

    Per some news hitting the web today, Apple is about to push out 10.8.5 to customers in the next day or so.  Although the notes of that maintenance release refer to fixing the known AFP performance issue with AC wifi radios (basically, for the 2013 MBAs), there is no way to know if the wireless driver in that release includes a fix for the latency bug introduced in the recent .35 driver from the 1.0 Software Update.  Will have to wait & see upon its release.

     

    For those willing to wait, I will test the final 10.8.5 release code on a backup USB flash drive I have now for my 2013 MBA, and post my results here.

  • Cloudi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 2:36 PM (in response to headcase)

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  • orchetect Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 3:07 PM (in response to headcase)

    I've examined the WiFi update package, and (as far as WiFi is concerned) it's only adding/updating one file:

     

    /System/Library/Extensions/IO80211Family.kext/Contents/Plugins/AirPortBrcm4360.k ext

     

    A recovery re-install of OS X seems a little overkill.  If someone with the .22 driver can zip this file (it's a kext package folder) then all that is needed is to replace this .kext file (and do the appropriate chmod/chown terminal commands on it) to get the .22 driver back.

     

    Oddly enough, I have a recently downloaded OS X 10.8.4 full installer from the Mac App Store (Not downloaded with the Air - with a Mac Mini), and this AirPortBrcm4360.kext is nowhere to be found in it so I was unable to locate any such original .22 driver that way. That seems odd, unless the Air has its own slightly modified OS X installer that includes certain Air-specific extensions.

  • headcase Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 3:26 PM (in response to orchetect)

    orchetect -

     

    Hardware drivers, by their very nature, are often model specfic.  Hence, until the broader 10.8.5 release comes out with the drivers for the 2013 MBA, the only way to access the .22 wireless driver is via the special build of 10.8.4 for our MBAs (usual process for any new Mac, btw).

     

    As for the method of rolling back by reinstalling one driver file as opposed to reinstalling the entire OS... if you look at past efforts of using that method, it often ends up with mixed results for users, as sometimes there are other file dependencies in the OS beyond the modification of that one file.  It can also cause complications when doing upgrades to the next release (e.g. upgrading from 10.8.4 to 10.8.5), unless the user first wipes the hard drive clean.

     

    So I don't recommend it for the casual user.  But those who are daring and don't mind any potential issues from cropping up can certainly give it a go.

  • orchetect Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 3:37 PM (in response to headcase)

    headcase - You're absolutely correct. I would be very much appreciative if someone were to zip the file however

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