7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2011 8:16 AM by Tesserax
MaXaP Level 1 (0 points)

Hey guys,


A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new AirPort Extreme and have been using it in combination with my MacBook Pro 15 (i7) for a while.


The problem is that the internet speeds seem to decrease over time. Normally I get 7-8 MB/sec download speed, but after a couple of days that speed just drops to 300-500 KB/sec. The solution to the problem is simple you can either turn off the AirPort and turn it back on or you can simply do a restart from the AirPort Utility. It always solves the problem and the speed goes back to its usual 7-8 MB/sec.


Can anyone tell me what is causing this issue?


Thank you in advance.

MBP 15 Alu '10, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,080 points)

    There is a remote possibility that your new AirPort Extreme Base Station (AEBS) is not compatible with your ISP's service; however, in most cases this issue can be resolved by performing a complete power recycle of your networking equipment, as follows:


    I would recommend that you do the following as a minimum:

    • Power-down the modem, AirPort base station, and computer(s).
    • While all of the devices are powered-down, perform a "factory default" reset on the base station. This will get it back to its "out-of-the-box" configuration and make setting it up much easier, especially if you use the "Assist me" process within the AirPort Utility. (ref: Resetting an AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule)
    • After the base station resets, go ahead and power it back down.
    • Power-up the modem; wait at least 10-15 minutes.
    • Power-up the base station; wait at least 5-10 minutes.
    • Power-up your computer(s).


    In this basic configuration, computers connected to the base station, either by wire or wireless (as appropriate for the base station type), should now be able to access the Internet through the ISP's modem. Once Internet connectivity has been verified, you can use the AirPort Utility to configure the base station for wireless security and any other desired options.

  • MaXaP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your suggestion! Unfortunately, I have already tried that without any success. I guess something else causes the problem.


    I have just tested the signal-to-noise ratio as suggested here https://discussions.apple.com/message/15364528#15364528 and got the following result: 28db SNR (very good signal)

    Hmmm, what could possibly cause that issue???

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,080 points)

    If the bandwidth decay is not on the local network, but on the WAN-to-LAN interface (that is across the modem/router interface), then the issue could be one of the following:

    • The Internet service connection between the ISP and the modem.
    • The modem itself.
    • The AEBS

    I would have your ISP run a line test between their office and your modem. If that proves out to be ok, ask them to replace your modem. I am assuming, of course, that they provided you with one.


    Once both of these have been tried, and there is still no resolution, either have the AEBS checked out at your local Apple Store or return it for another manufacturer's model.

  • MaXaP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you!


    I had contacted my ISP a month ago and they told me I should be able to get 120Mbps download speed. Together with a person from the helpdesk, we tested my Internet speed using a LAN cable directly connected to the modem and indeed I get exactly 120 Mbps (even a bit more than that).


    Before bying my new Airport Extreme, I have been using one of the last Linksys routers and had actually the same problem of the speeds dropping. That was the reason for me to go for an Airport Extreme (which I am using in combination with my Airpot Express). I have just performed the same procedure of powering down all my devices as you recommended in your previous post and the download speeds are not very good. However, if I put my MBP to sleep and will power it on again after work, I am pretty sure the speed will be dropped to miserable 500-700Kbps...


    Could that be a problem with Snow Leopard and the drivers for MBP? I have looked everywhere for people with the same issue, but couldn't find any solution.

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,080 points)

    I don't think this is either a Snow Leopard or MBP hardware driver issue.


    It is normal to have some loss of bandwidth across a NAT router due to the overhead of performing IP address translations, but not as significantly as you are getting. Since you are experiencing this regardless of the router model, makes me suspect of which routers would actually "work" with your ISP's Internet service. Do they provide any recommendations?


    I am venturing to guess if you measure the throughput performance of either the prior Linksys or the current AirPort Extreme across the WAN-to-LAN interface and compare it to their LAN-to-LAN interface, I would suspect only a minor drop. One great tool for doing this is jPerf.

  • MaXaP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for all your valuable comments and tips!


    I have finally found the cause of my problems (have been testing my setup for a day now and have not experienced any dropouts or decreases in speed). I suppose, it may be helpful to other users.


    Well, the situation is as follows: my apartement has three rooms. I am sitting in the middle room working on my MBP, there is a huge living room on the left (in the remote corner, I have my AirPort Extreme). And there is also a smaller bedroom on the right (where I have my Airport Express).


    I followed the procedure described by you (a fresh install of all wireless connections: swithing all devices off, then turning on the modem, waiting 10-15 min, turning on the AirPort Extreme etc). Well, during that fresh setup of my AirPort routers I have been asked whether I want my AirPort Express to extend the range of the wireless network (which may influence the overall performance of the network). I decided to switch that feature off and guess what: the problem is gone!


    It turns out that my AirPort Express is closer to my MBP. As the Airport Express is not connected to the Internet with an Ethernet cable, in fact, it probably gets it from the AirPort Extreme and then distributes to my wireless devices (that's the whole point of extending the reach of my network, as I understand it). Usually, I put my MBP to sleep, turned it back on and the speed was terrible: instead of 5-6MB/sec download, I got 500-700KB/sec. So, this probably happened because my laptop was usually connected with the AirPort Express that was getting the Internet connection from the AirPort Extreme. Now, I have switched the feature of extending the network range off and the download speed is always stable: 6-9MB/sec, which I could never get before. I hope it will stay that way, but I am extremely happy now!


    Thanks again, Tesserax!

  • Tesserax Level 9 (50,080 points)

    You're very welcome! I'm glad you got it worked out ...