Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Oct 4, 2007 12:43 AM by Pete Harris1
dreamsareweird Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
My Macbook Pro (first batch of Core 2 Duo's) has always had trouble with wireless internet reception. If I sit in the same room as my wireless router it's basically fine, but if I even go into the next room the signal drops, and it gets worse the further I go. I only live in a 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor of a brick 2 flat, it's less than 1200 sq ft total, and my wireless router is located pretty much dead center. If I'm in the front or the back of my apartment, forget it, no signal at all. That's less than 30 feet away!
On my crappy old Sony Vaio PC laptop I could all the way down to the basement, even out in the back yard and have no problems at all with surfing the net and transferring files.
I've tried alot of settings internally with my MBP with no results, I want to go back to square one and just see if anyone has had a sinliar experience.
This is really the only (very) frustrating thing about my much loved MBP. Sometimes it feels like I've travelled back to 1992 on a 286mhz PC and I'm using dialup.....

Macbook Pro, 15.4" 2.16ghz C2D, 1gig RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Friendly, but sometimes cranky
  • asbestoslung Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I seem to have the same problem, roommate will ocasionally bring home a Dell laptop from work and get a much better signal. Also with in the class rooms at my school I will notice the person sitting next to me running a computer without an airport will have a much stronger signal, even when we are so close. Seems that no matter where I go, I get a weaker signal then everyone else
  • clintbradford Level 3 Level 3 (905 points)
    Are you running any 2.4gHZ wireless phones n the house? Is your neighbor?

    You might want to mount the router on a wall - a wall closer to the center of the house rather than one on the far side. Move the unit around, while someone in the other room with your computer watches the signal strength on the computer.

    WiFind from is a more precise indicator of signal strength of nearby networks.

    Which router are you using? Does it have an antenna jack on the back?
  • dreamsareweird Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    It's a D Link DI 524, centrally located in the apartment, it has an antenna on the back. It's always been in the same place.
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    To be blunt, yes, the MBP's wireless reception is relatively poor. The reason? The aluminum case blocks the radio waves. Your wireless signal is received only through the antenna located in the clutch (note the rubbery area under the MacBook Pro lettering on the bottom of your display) - that rubbery material is transparent to the radio waves.

    Most plastics, unlike aluminum, are relatively transparrent to radio waves - thus, wireless reception is better on a typical PC becuase there is more than just a single small 'window' for reception. The MacBook (non Pro) - same wireless hardware as the MBP, but polycarbonate case instead of aluminum - has wireless reception that is noticably better than the MBP (or a PowerBook, for that matter).

    So, this isn't Mac issue, other than the design which uses a metal case, but an issue of physics. And (blatent Star Trek reference follows) you can'na change the laws of physics.

    Hope this helps...
  • dreamsareweird Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    If that simple fact is true (and I'm not doubting you), I actually feel better in a way. It means that I'm not crazy! That and now I can stop messing around with settings and accept the fact that this machine has poor wireless reception. Maybe it will keep me from meandering around the net when I should be working on projects. Apple is actually doing us all a favor, since the internet is becoming the new television with ads and really bad celebrity gossip crammed everywhere!
    Thanks for the info.
  • clintbradford Level 3 Level 3 (905 points)
    ...To be blunt, yes, the MBP's wireless reception is relatively poor...

    I couldn't be more pleased with the wireless performance of my MBP purchased last Fall.

    And I do not believe my expectations to be sub-par.

    And so it goes....
  • i.3d Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
    My son has a 3 years old IBM laptop and I must say that there a few spots which we visit often, where he gets up to 11 networks and I get 1 if I am lucky.
    So over all, I think the Airport is ****-weak.
    Is there an antena extension for MBP?

  • i.3d Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
    ... hmmm interesting, my previous post has been censored!
    I did put a word in it starting with a P, followed by an I and 2 S'.
    **-weak is a cute australianism to describe things which are weak.
    So, on offence meant to anyone.
    That word also means beer, and **-weak can mean "weak as beer"
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Well, hold on. I said relatively poor. "Relatively," as in "by comparison". I am happy with my MBP's wireless performance - it sees all the networks I need to connect to from where I need to be. However, when I open up my work-issued HP laptop next to my MBP, the PC sees more networks from further away compared to my MBP. Now, I don't need to connect to the wireless network of the person who lives a few houses away, so I'm not complaining about my MBP's wireless performance. But the reception is relatively poor compared to other laptops, and there's a logical explaination for that.
  • dreamsareweird Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I don't need to see my neighbor's networks, which I easily can with my MBP, I just need to be able to use mine!
  • Milton Laughland Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    To improve reception, would inserting a third-party network card (and software) improve reception?
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    An ExpressCard wireless solution like this one should, because the antenna would be outside the case. Note that there's no indication of Mac OS X support for this card on the vendor's website.
  • Ricktoronto Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)
    In the old days there were a couple of cards that used the Broadcom chipset (Linksys was one) that worked with a Powerbook G4. But that was with the AE card removed. Since you can't do that with a MBP I am not sure how well it would work. I have really good reception at home and on the road with my MBP anyway. In some fairly low tech environments like airports and small hotels.
  • ltrmoore Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Aha! Although I'm not happy to see others having the same problem....I am in a way. At least we have an answer now. I didn't think to think about the aluminum case deflecting wireless signals. I posted here a while back "My Macbook just isn't picking up wireless signals very well " and now I understand! Thanks for the post.
    Bob Moore
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