9 Replies Latest reply: May 24, 2013 7:16 AM by Linc Davis
bowsplash Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Last month, my apartment complex changed its network from a pretty wide open Wi-Fi to one where we must enter a user name and password every 30 days for each machine.  Since then, both my MacBooks (2012 MBP running 10.8.3 and 2008 white MB running 10.7.5) have very slow connections.  Web pages will fail to load, or load incredibly slowly (as in the progress bar moves an inch then stops).  We get bursts of activity (as also seen in Activity Monitor) lasting for seconds (limited to 4mbps down/0.2mbps up by the new ISP).  This occurs on both Safari and Firefox.  iTunes music store, the Mac App store, Mail, and Spotify all exhibit identical behavior.  My iPad, iPhone, and another's Windows netbook connect without any obvious difficulty.  We had a rep from the new ISP come to check out our connection, and he believes that the problem is directly related to the MacBooks (a virus on both?).


Things I've tried without change in behavior (with the 2012 MBP):

1.  Connecting directly to ethernet (and turning off AirPort).

2.  Restarting the computer and the router.

3.  Logging in elsewhere in the complex

4.  Changing DNS to and

5.  Deleting AirPort and re-installing in System Prefs

6.  Following the excellent "Step by Step to Fix Your Mac" https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-3353 on these forums, including clearing every cache imaginable with Onyx, and uninstalling Java, Silverlight, Flash, and any System Pref plugins.

7.  Sorting through Activity Monitor to find anything else running on my CPU of consquence--I don't think so.

8.  Confirming good ping and down/up speeds on Speedtest.net with my iPhone


I know little about networking, but I'm learning.  Any other suggestions?  Why does the MacBook behave differently on this network?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), 4GB RAM
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,660 points)

    (a virus on both?)

    Macs running OSX do not get viruses.  Your ISP rep only said that because he/she could not figure out what is wrong or even if the problem is on their end instead of yours.

    1.  Connecting directly to ethernet (and turning off AirPort).

    If your MBP is slow even when connected to the ethernet, there could be a number of reasons for this.  One of them is that the ISP is the problem.  You need to contact them and speak w/a senior tech who is familiar w/Macs.  These techs are usually Tiers 2 & 3 top level support.

    Take a Speedtest & give your ISP the results: 

    Another reason could be you do not have enough HD space.  How large is you HD and how much space do you have left?




    You may already tried a few of the following:


    Try the basics first:

       Change your router channel number.  Most times this works & is all you have to do.


    Disconnect & reconnect your modem.  unplug it for about 10 seconds.  Plug it back in.  Do the same for Apple’s routers.  Wait for everything to reboot.


    System Preferences>Network

    Click the Assist Me button.

    In the next window that pops up, click the Diagnostic button & do the necessary.


    Research Knowledge Base for network problems that pertain to the OS that is currently installed on your computer.   See these basic networking KB Articles:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1401 AirPort troubleshooting guide


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2712 Using network locations in Mac OS X


    Manually provided DNS server addresses are higher priority than DHCP's


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1714 Solutions for connecting to the Internet, setting up a small network, and troubleshooting




    What to do when you can't connect to the Internet


    Also, run the Airport Utility app which is located inside the Utilities folder.




    If using a  Linksys router, contact LinkSys Customer Support and/or post in their forums.


    If using Apple's Airport, please re-post over in one of the AirPort Forums.




    THANK YOU very much for stating/listing all your troubleshooting efforts.  Very much appreciated.
























  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,310 points)

    Head to System Preferences > Network > Airport > Advanced >TCP/IP and turn off iPV6.


    Delete the GoogleDNS entries so ti reverts to your ISP's DNS and reboot.



  • bowsplash Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for the suggestions.  I agree that my ISP rep looked a little confused by my problem.  He was comfortable using Terminal (at least for basic network queries--more than I know how to do).


    Although I physically have the ISP's router in my apartment, the ISP has changed the password, and I'm unable to change channels (though that shouldn't explain the peristent problem on ethernet).  I've tried restarting it many times, including unplugging it.


    I just emptied my trash (and restarted the computer).  500gb HD, 24gb free.  No change in performance.

  • bowsplash Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    ds store:

    Thanks for the ideas.

    I deleted the google DNS addresses--now I just have the ISP's defaults.  I restarted, no change in performance.

    And I couldn't figure out how to turn off iPV6 (choices are automatic, manual and link-local only).

  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 Level 9 (56,660 points)

    bowsplash wrote:


    Thank you for the suggestions.  I agree that my ISP rep looked a little confused by my problem.  He was comfortable using Terminal (at least for basic network queries--more than I know how to do).


    Although I physically have the ISP's router in my apartment, the ISP has changed the password, and I'm unable to change channels (though that shouldn't explain the peristent problem on ethernet).  I've tried restarting it many times, including unplugging it.


    I just emptied my trash (and restarted the computer).  500gb HD, 24gb free. No change in performance.


    You're running out of HD space.  That's the problem.



    Empty the trash in the Dock as well as iPhoto’s trash!


    Open up your application folder & go through all your apps.  Trash all the apps you no longer want and/or use.


    An easier way to do this is to open the Application folder in list view & press the Command+j keys.

    In the the dialog that appears, click the "This Window Only" button & the "Calculate All Sizes" check box.

    Wait a bit until your file & folder sizes have all been calculated, then click the "Size" column to sort your apps from the fattest to the most anorexic.


    Get rid of all your photo files you don't want and/or need.  Same goes for those pics off the websites you downloaded (gifs, jpegs, etc.).  Or transfer/move them all to a photo/movie storage site like ImageShack and Photobucket, 2 of the most popular  FREE  storage sites.


    Get rid of all your video & music files you no longer view and/or listen too.  Especially, if you already have the actual CD/DVDs or you can later redownload from a website.  Or transfer them all to a FREE video/movies and/or music storage site.


    Use Spotlight to make sure you got rid of everything.  You can even trash directly from Spotlight!  Better yet, download this FREE software called Find File.  This app puts Spotlight to shame (works w/Mountain Lion).


    Drag what you don't want and/or need to the trash.  Better yet, download this neat little shareware app *demo* called AppZapper.  It basically does all the work for you by not only trashing the apps but the apps preference files, caches & all its associated files.

    Another software that does the above is AppDelete.  Best of all this software is free!


    Burn what you want and/or need onto CDs or DVDs. Not everyone has the  luxury of purchasing an external HD and/or the system requirements for iCloud to store their "stuff.”

    Dropbox is a free storage utility to check out.

    You can check with your ISP to see if they offer *free* storage space.  Most if not all do now-a-days.   There are thousands if not millions of *free* storage facilities on the web also.  Use your favorite search engine to search them out as they come in different storage sizes to fit your needs & wants.


    Check for duplicate fonts.

    Applications>Font Book

    Select “All Fonts”

    If you see any “black dots” next to any fonts this mean you have duplicates and/or multiple versions of these fonts.


    To clean this up, select a “black dotted” font or the Apple + *click* to select multiple dotted fonts;


    What the above does is turns off the duplicates & multiple version fonts.  Not delete them.

    More than likely the “extras” were installed by other programs and/or other users.


    Clear out font caches

    Use FontNuke.  It does all the work for you.  And, best of all it’s *FREE*.


    Printer Drivers

    Get rid of all the printer drivers you don’t need & use except the ones for your *current* printer(s)/scanner(s).

    HD>Library>Printers Folder

    If you accidently threw something out that you needed for your printer/scanner it can be easily obtained from the manufacturer’s website and/or from the CD that came w/the printer/scanner.


    Garage Band

    Has about 1GB of loops stored.  Get rid of some some them.  You surely don’t use, like and/or need them all.

    HD>Library>Audio/Apple Loops>Apple>Apple Loops For GarageBand

    Or just get rid of the Garage Band app altogether if you don’t use it.


    Get rid of extra languages

    Strip your computer down to your “native” tongue.

    You can do this with a *FREE* utility called Monolingual.  Another app that apparently does all the work for you.  I’ve never used it.  However, a lot of users here swear by & recommend it highly.

    However, there is a warning for *native English speakers*. Make sure you keep BOTH English and English (United States).


    Other Resources:


    HD Space Checkers:

    Disk Inventory X (FREE)


    WhatSize (SHAREWARE)


    OmniDiskSweeper (FREE)


    GrandPerspective (FREE - donation)




    Mac Performance Guide


    Slimming your hard drive




    Rule of thumb: You should never let your hard drive get to where you have only 10-15% of space left.





    Quick fix

    How To Quickly Free Up Hard Drive Space on Mac OS














  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (165,660 points)

    Boot into Recovery mode. From the OS X Utilities screen, select Get Help Online. A clean copy of Safari will launch. No plugins, such as Flash, will be available. While in Recovery, you'll have no access to your saved bookmarks or passwords, so make a note of those before you begin, if they're needed for the test.


    Test. After testing, reboot as usual and post the results.

  • bowsplash Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the clearing-out tips.  I've gotten to about 55GB available.  Still working on it, but I've noticed no difference in performance thus far.


    I'm concerned that this may be related to my ISP.  What could be the issue?

  • bowsplash Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for that tip.  Unfortunately, booting in Recovery Mode made no impact in the speed.  When I open Speedtest.net, it will stall, stall, stall (like the background and ads open, but not the main interface).  This may go on for several minutes, and it may finally "fail to load".  If it does come up, it opens right away, and I get good pings (20-40ms, download around 4mbps).


    Every single site I go to (in addition to Mail, iTunes, App Store, etc) is slow EXCEPT google.com and news.google.com.  These always load quickly.


    Any ideas?  Thanks for all your help.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (165,660 points)

    If all the information you've provided is accurate, the problem is not caused by anything in your computer. It's either in your router or at your ISP.