Try changing the key renewal setting on your wireless router to it's max value. I did this on my lynksys and problem stopped immediately
wireless -> wireless secirity -> Key Renewal Interval (in seconds) -> 99999 (Default: 3600, Range: 1 - 99999)
Make sure securit is WPA2 Personal
Also set your DNS to openDNS
I came here to say that I've got my problem solved by replacing the airport card! I bought an airport card in ifixit: http://www.ifixit.com/MacBook-Parts/MacBook-802-11n-Airport-Extreme-Card/IF185-0 38
I wish Apple had a replacement program for that, but I don't have any hope about that.
I've been having the same problem with my 2006 MacBook as everyone else - losing wireless Broadband connection when I take the laptop further away from the router.
Yesterday I phoned Apple and finally got the tech assistant to accept that a lot of people were having the same problem and so it was likely to be a problem with software at the Apple end. He put me on hold and checked up on the online support community messages himself, could see that this was likely to be the case and went to his senior. The upshot is that I was told that the problem can be simply corrected by re-installing the operating system. I didn't have the relevant disc to hand otherwise he would have run through this with me as I'm not very technically skilled. But it seems as if this can be easily sorted.
A friend explained that Apple sometimes introduces software updates which doesn't work on older models and throws something out of gear. That seems to be what's happened here.
OK, I'm a complete newbie here, I'm not as technologically adept as most of the other posters to this thread and I've had my first Mac - a 13" MacBook Air 2011 - for just a few weeks, but I had the same problem two days ago: A sudden loss of Wi-Fi range and browsing that crawled to a near halt.
At the risk of seeming obvious and primitive, I resolved it through a simple expedient: I dove into the router's settings (a D-Link DI 524) and simply changed the broadcast channel. In this case, from Channel 1 to Channel 8. The router reset itself to the new channel and...voila...the problem was resolved.
At least for now, I have full Wi-Fi range again and the Air is really flying. I have no idea what was interfering with the original broadcast channel, but changing the channel definitely seemed to help.
Despite the most recent posts, I am still fully convinced this is a hardware issue....no way the router settings could create the same problems in seemingly any conditions (my wireless is fine when I'm within 3 feet of any router, public or private, and never works otherwise).
Has anyone aside from "michael saggese" had any problems with a replacement wireless card? I know my 'book is old and will need replacement before too long anyway, but I dislike the idea of having to circumvent via usb connector, even if that is the most functional solution. I just want a complete fix!
I'm having similar problems - 2007 MacBook was running Tiger. Wireless reception was OK but not as good as our other (non-Apple) laptops. We upgraded to Snow Leopard and the reception was about the same. We then 0pened "Check Updates" two days later and found an update to Airport. Downloaded the Airport update and the Macbook's wireless was immediately impacted.
There are many opinions within this thread, including some that insist the problem is hardware related. I disagree - performeace for 4 years prior to the update was consistent, not great, but we could connect within a reasonable distance. No heating issues, no router issues.
I believe the driver is not completely backwards-compatable with the aircard installed in our Macbook. Perhaps replacing our current aircard with one that is newer may solve the problem, but that does not mean the current aircard is malfunctioning.
Apple makes it's money on hardware sales, unlike Microsoft who makes its money on software. It's likely that Apple does not make the same commitment to backward-compatability. They will figure out how much effort is just enough to retain customers. To test, I ask you the following question: "if this issue was not resolved with your current Macbook, would you buy a new one?" If you ansered yes...
Message to all the Experts on this forum: This post is NOT aimed at you guys/girls. I appreciate all that you do.
BUT, just the fact that no experts are really replying to this thread makes it obvious APPLE knows what's going on and doesn't care. I love Macs. I've used an Apple/Mac since 1984 and have always thought they outperformed PCs. But the truth is, they are solely out to make as much money as possible. Otherwise, they would offer some older software for users with older computers. Try buying anything but the new stuff and you have to get it from somewhere's else. Their theory: If users can't fix it, they can with a new computer.
I have the same problem happening here and have tried everything that has been mentioned above. The computer I have that's not working is in the same room with 3 other MacBooks that are. It could be soldering on the internal antenna, it could be the wi-fi card but it is most definitely not the router. I have reset the channels and it accomplished nothing. I'm not going to buy a new router because one computer is not working and 21 others are. (There's only 4 in the same room as the one having troubles) I'll let you know if I find anything out.
DON'T LISTEN TO ME!!
So yesterday I was schooled on routers... I still believe Apple LOVES to force people to upgrade BUT....
I learned setting the router channel to a specific number does not work. Setting it to AUTO however does. It didn't boost our speed or anything on other computers but the computer that was having trouble printing is now working. I had called the company that makes the router and they told me to try different channels but never let me know about using Auto. So thanks to the independently owned local Mac Retailer.
OK, call me mad, but I have literally read EVERYTHING and tried EVERYTHING to resolve my late 2008 MacBook wifi problem. There are an unbelievable amount of posts, rants, and pleas for help on this board, and lots of other Mac boards across the internet. This is clearly a widespread problem.
I wish I could offer a solution, but I can't. I have worked on this issue for the past 4 - 6 weeks in most of my spare time; googling, reading, researching, fiddling, taking apart and putting together my MacBook at least four times now (getting pretty quick at it, and I can even remember what screws go where w/o my "egg-crate" screw sorter!).
I can unequivocally state that this wifi problem IS NOT related to routers. My MacBook is the only wireless device in my possession that does not get excellant wifi in every situation with every router I have encountered in the past months (home, work, Starbuck's, etc.). My wife's Late 2009 MacBook, both of our iphones, and both of our kids ipod touches work in every situation that this recalcitrant MacBook does not.
I can't recall exactly when it started (roughly coincides with Snow Leopard upgrade?) but I have had consistently weak wifi (finds only the Apple Extreme Base Station in the room I sit in, where before it found no less than five neighboring wifi networks from different houses in the neighborhood at any given time).
things I have tried (most more than once):
1) reset PRAM
2) reset SMC
3) delete and rebuild preferences files
4) replaced WIFI card (twice! - that makes three cards tried)
5) Plugged in a known good MacBook wifi antenna (No help) -- I did not actually replace the antenna (by now I was beginning to suspect it NOT a hardware issue), but I did plug in the known working antenna, booted the MacBook with the topcase open and new antenna extended, and had the same exact strength (or lack thereof) on wifi.
6) I never downgraded the actual installed OS, but I keep old OS's on Bootable drives for testing, and I tried booting from USB boot drives with Leopard, Snow leopard, Lion and even Tiger, and NONE improved the situation (so much for reverting to an earlier OS!)
6) and then, I replaced the LOGIC BOARD, which came with yet another wifi card attached, and STILL the same wifi strength (or, shall I say WEAKNESS!).
At least the logic board replacement was performed for other issues, and not the Wifi, but I was FLOORED when it made exactly NO difference!
So, I believe (read - "in my opinion") most, in not all, AirPort cards have been firmware updated somewhere between mid-late Leopard and Snow Leopard, as a part of a routine software update. The firmware update, for whatever reason, does not function well with this particular wifi card/MacBook combination, and IS NOT reversible with an OS downgrade, so remains stuck in the minimally useful state with decreased range.
My UGLY solution, little as I like it, is a plug-in USB wifi stick (Edimax b,g,n wifi white USB stick) that just pops up the software when the stick in inserted, and finds SEVEN neighboring wifi networks within range, and reads my home network at 100% as I sit here in my livingroom (router in the bedroom in the far end of the house).
I HATE having a 2 1/2 inch STICK protruding from the left side of my otherwise pristeen MacBook, risking damage to itself and my USB port by banging it against something, but, at least I can get full-speed wifi at the local Starbuck's now (I couldn't even connect before).
I would be very grateful if someone has some real insight into WHAT has gone wrong with so many of these MacBook wifi cards. And even MORE grateful if a solution could be found.
I realize that a three, and nearly four year old MacBook's wifi issues are not high on Apple Support's priority list, but perhaps they could at least determine if is a reversable problem if they would dedicate, perhaps, ONE technician to working on it.... It would sure make a LOT of people with this problem a lot happier, and perhaps a bit more inclined to buy Apple products in the future.
thanks for giving me the space to RANT!
macbook1,1 here 2006-ish, running 10.6.8
never had this problem before prior to like a month ago
basically beyond a certain range, my wifi consistently drops, though i can use for like 10 minutes or so before it happens again
maybe I downloaded some bad wifi drivers from Software Update? is there a way to check a log of what i might have installed?
when i goto About this Mac --> More Info --> Network --> Airport
it says i got this firmware...
Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x168C, 0x86)
Firmware Version: Atheros 5424: 126.96.36.199
It's the Macbook and there is no way to fix it. I posted earlier it was the router but it just happened to be blind luck that when I changed a setting on the router, the macbook worked. The next day it was up to its old tricks... sometimes works, most of the times it doesn't, walk it closer to the router and it works. The only workarounds are getting and Airport Express and putting it close to where you're using it, or getting a usb antenna like the poster above. Anything else is wasting your time and money.
One thing that can work is changing the channel on the router (not if your router does auto channel selection of course).
Try setting channel 1 and letting the Mac connect. Then do ALT-(Wifi menu) and you will see which channel the Mac is connecting with (should be channel 1) and the signal strength RSSI value. Higher values (less negative) are better. -90 its not going to work. -70 is OK, -50 you are on top of the router.
Repeat for each channel and then pick the best.
You could quite easily have some interference nearby that kills certain channels. Of course you could live next to a factory that swamps the lot and then the solution is ethernet :-)
Alternatively buy a new router that can do auto channel selection.
Bought my Macbook in December 2006, started noticing airport signal performance issues about a month ago 12/2012. Found this thread and followed this advice.
Bought a replacement Airport card for $8 from an online reseller, $7 for an antistatic wrist strap, and followed the replacement directions on http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+MacBook+Core+Duo+AirPort+Card/287/1
Worked like a charm! Total cost $15 This fixed lag issues and improved flash performance. I wrote this response from the newly installed.
Mac Book Pro is faulty in the wi-fi department and Apple offers no answers. I have a 2011 Mac Book Pro and I'm having the same problem. The Mac Book Pro wont pick up the wifi any further than 1-2 meters away from the router. It used to work but suddenly stopped one day. My desktop mac and smart phone pick up the wifi fine from several meters away so it's not the router. I have tried all remedies posted on all varieties of forums (and there are MANY with this same issue).