5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2013 2:41 PM by Cursor
Cursor Level 1 (0 points)

I have a Mac Mini HTPC, core two duo with 2GB RAM in an upstairs bedroom.

Using Home Sharing, we watch iTunes movies that are on a MacBook Pro, which is in a downstairs home office. Both computers are networked wirelessly with an Airport Extreme, and both seem to be running a 2.4Ghz wireless N signal. Both computers use OS X, 10.8.2.

For some reason, starting the last couple of months, it takes the Mini forever to load a movie, and when it does, the movies sometimes freeze in the middle.

I've done an internet speed test on the Mini, and it's getting about 15% of the full download speed, but 100% of the upload speed. Also, I've tested my iPad in the upstairs bedroom, and the movies load and run fine on it. So that tells me that the wireless signal should be fine on the second floor.

Does it sound like the wireless card is bad on the Mini, and is there a diagnostic tool that I could use to let me know for sure? Should I look into getting a dual-band Airport Extreme, so I can run a dedicated 5Ghz signal (still need the 2.4Ghz signal for my wife's Dell laptop)?

Any help is appreciated. This has stumped me for a while.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,615 points)

    Hi, 5 GHz doesn't penetrate wall/floors very well, so may be slower than 2.4 GHz.


    Open Console in Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when this happens.


    Open Network Utility in Applications>Utilities>Info tab, select Airport/Wifi & what is the Link Speed & are there any Errors/Collisions on the right?


    Open Activity Monitor, Show:>All Processes, sort on CPU%, see if anything using too much CPU% when this happens, click on Memory tab, do you have many Pageouts?

  • Creeper74 Level 2 (360 points)

    you may also want to try changing the wireless channel that your access point is traveling on.  if additional wireless networks have been added in your immediate vicinity, you may be trying to climb over one another on the same channel.  i used to have to do this every once in a while at my home.


    this is a change you only need to make on your wireless access point...not on your client devices.

  • Cursor Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there any downside to using the "auto" channel on an Airport Extreme?

  • Creeper74 Level 2 (360 points)

    I'm not sure how Apple (or any manufacturer, for that matter) determines which channel to try first when 'Auto' is selected.  I usually select the channel manually...just a personality quirk, i guess.


    i used to use a netgear router (2.4 band) and would experience interference on a pretty regular basis.  i picked up an airport extreme on black friday because my local apple store had them on sale for about 150, and i've had no issues since.  i set up a single network name for both the 2.4 and 5 bands, and interference has dropped to zero.


    There are over ten times as many channels available in the 5 than in the 2.4, so the likelihood of interfering with another network is that much smaller.  I originally balked at even the BF price, but the fact that i haven't had to worry about it since setting it up was worth the premium i paid.

  • Cursor Level 1 (0 points)

    This is tempting me to upgrade to the dual band AE. I'll look into a refurbished model off of the Apple website; those are usually much cheaper and still covered under Apple's warranty. Thanks!