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Question: USB C dongle kills wifi on 2017 Macbook pro

This is driving me crazy. MB Pro has no USB ports. All my devices are USB: mouse, keyboard, headphones, HD, USB stick, scanner, printer, SD card reader. So I have to use a USB C to USB 3 dongle. I have purchased 3. All have the same problem. Plug the dongle in, wifi stops working, but stays with 100% signal. With the dongle plugged in, if I stop and start wifi, it instantly connects with 100% signal, but no internet. IP and DNS are picked up correctly.


So what I do is I have to unplug, replug test, unplug, replug test, wifi off, wifi on, about 30 times until, after a random replug, it start working again.


I called up the manufacturer of my favourite dongle (Wavlink), and they sent me a firmware update, but this had no effect.


Some people have said that it is interference produce by the dongle. This seems to be nonsense, as moving the dongle close or far away has no effect - it can work or not work when the dongle is close, and work and not work when the dongle is far. The wifi always instantly connects, just doesn't work.


Other people have said this is due to a design fault in the MBPro, and that if you push the USB-C connector all the way in, it shorts with the unibody and stops the wifi working. I have not been able to reproduce this effect.


I spoke to a few other MBPro owners, and they said the had the same problem. One of them, who is richer than the rest of us got so sick of it he went out and replaced all his periperals, including external HD etc, with USB-C ones, and makes do with no dobngles. This limits how many things he can plug in at one time (2, including monitor), but this is not a solution for me as I have too many peripherals (dual HD monitors, mouse, keyboard, headset, and Ethernet dongle for when I cant get wifi to work due to this issue).


So there we have it, the only solution I have found is to use an ethernet cable and yet another dongle. This works when you are right next to the router. I have started traveling with a 10m ethernet cable, so I can use the MB Pro in a different room to the USB router. Its quite dangerous though.


My 3 different USB dongles work flawlessly with my MSI Gaming laptop, which also has thunderbolt/USB-C, so there is nothing wrong with the dongles - its the Mac.

MacBook Pro TouchBar and Touch ID, macOS High Sierra (10.13.4)

Posted on Aug 24, 2018 8:36 AM

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Oct 1, 2018 9:07 AM in response to sfromgi In response to sfromgi

User uploaded fileApple is being very disappointing to me... I did my way from Macbook air to macbook and now to macbook pro. My USB-C dongle works fine in Macbook but not in MB Pro as mentioned. I'm certain the problem cause is frequency interference. I put my hand around the dongle cable and Wifi works fine. I remove hand and wifi stops. So I wrapped the 10cm dongle cable with kitchen aluminum foil and now dongle and wifi are working. I write this text with dongle connected and LG monitor connected to HDMI dongle socket and is working well.

Oct 1, 2018 9:07 AM

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Aug 24, 2018 11:21 AM in response to sfromgi In response to sfromgi

Why do I have difficulty with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices when USB 3 devices are attached to my computer?

Some USB 3 devices can generate radio frequency interference that can cause Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices operating in the 2.4GHz band to have issues communicating with your computer. Here are some tips to avoid this issue:

  • If your USB device has a cable long enough that you can move the device, place it away from your Mac—and make sure not to place it behind your Mac, or near the hinge of its display. The antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are located there, and USB 3 devices placed there might interfere with your wireless connections.
  • If you're using adapters or dongles on a Mac computer with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, plug them into the front port on the left side of your Mac, or into the ports on the right side (if your computer has them). These ports are the farthest away from the antennas, making interference less likely.
  • To avoid interference on the 2.4GHz band using Wi-Fi, try using the 5GHz band instead. You can change this on your wireless base station. Bluetooth always uses 2.4GHz, so this alternative isn't available for Bluetooth.

from:

Using USB devices with your Mac - Apple Support


also, any of these items may be involved:

• Power Adapter cable recall

Apple USB-C Charge Cable Replacement Program - Apple Support


• firmware update for the Apple Multi-Port display adapters (specifically to reduce interference).

About the USB-C Multiport Adapter Update 1.0 - Apple Support


• LG-display recall -- to address Wi-Fi interference so severe, it knocks the Router off the air if too near the Router.

https://9to5mac.com/2017/02/03/lg-fixes-wifi-interference-problems-with-ultrafin e-usb-c-5k-display-new-units-unaffected/


.

Aug 24, 2018 11:21 AM

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Aug 25, 2018 9:55 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Do not rule out that the hardware device for ethernet/wifi/bluetooth isn't defective or been compromised by the potential for too much heat on these commonly overheating systems when an external monitor is attached.

Aug 25, 2018 9:55 AM

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Aug 27, 2018 1:36 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

@grant Thanks for the reply, but none of these are applicable unfortunately.

1) it is not radio frequency interference - it matters not how far away the dongle is, and it does not affect the wifi singal which is always 100%.

2) the cable is not the recalled one

3) I am not using the apple display adapter (and the problem exists with or without my displayport adapter)

4) The external monitors I use are Dell, and having them switched on or off makes no difference, and they dont affect my windows laptop when I was using this.

Aug 27, 2018 1:36 AM

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Aug 27, 2018 1:41 AM in response to sfromgi In response to sfromgi

FYI, I had a slightly different but related issue today. I am traveling, and needed to connect my samsung external HD, and use the wifi at the same time. As using the USB-C to USB dongle stops the wifi working, I could not use this to connect the HD, so I tried using my single mini USB-C to USB converter (not a dongle, a simple converter). When I plugged in the HD with this device and the normal USB 3.0 HD cable I always used, WIFI instantly died, but in a different way - as soon as it was plugged in, wifi signal went to zero, and I could not connect to any wifi (but could see them in the list). When I unplugged the HD, wifi signal instantly went back to 100% and instantly reconnected.


So there you have it. I cant connect anything to the mac, with any type of connector, without losing wifi. I have now tired 4 different USB-C dongles and adapters, and all fail, even the simplest of USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter. Again, I use this adapter, cable and HD on my MSI laptop every day with zero issues. Its the Mac.

Aug 27, 2018 1:41 AM

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Sep 12, 2018 8:17 AM in response to Javadave2001 In response to Javadave2001

Their locations are different distance from the antenna in the MacBook, as noted in the Apple article I cited above:

If you're using adapters or dongles on a Mac computer with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, plug them into the front port on the left side of your Mac, or into the ports on the right side (if your computer has them). These ports are the farthest away from the antennas, making interference less likely.

Sep 12, 2018 8:17 AM

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Oct 1, 2018 9:07 AM in response to sfromgi In response to sfromgi

User uploaded fileApple is being very disappointing to me... I did my way from Macbook air to macbook and now to macbook pro. My USB-C dongle works fine in Macbook but not in MB Pro as mentioned. I'm certain the problem cause is frequency interference. I put my hand around the dongle cable and Wifi works fine. I remove hand and wifi stops. So I wrapped the 10cm dongle cable with kitchen aluminum foil and now dongle and wifi are working. I write this text with dongle connected and LG monitor connected to HDMI dongle socket and is working well.

Oct 1, 2018 9:07 AM

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Oct 1, 2018 10:19 AM in response to sfromgi In response to sfromgi

Curious.

According to WavLink:

Why does my wireless mouse or keyboard slow or not work properly when used with the hub?

Most USB receivers for wireless mice and keyboards operate in the 2.4Ghz band. When connecting the receiver to any USB 3.0 port there is potential for interference that can affect the devices performance. The most effective method is to add a short USB 2.0 extension cable between the hub and the receiver to mitigate the effect, and many wireless keyboards and mice come with such a cable for this reason.


Intel has a technical white paper on the behavior for those interested here:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-in terference-paper.html

Given this information, I cannot see how it is possible to blame Apple for things not working. Please let me know what you are thinking, because for me the logic is not working.

Oct 1, 2018 10:19 AM

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Oct 1, 2018 12:49 PM in response to Buster_From_Oak_Park In response to Buster_From_Oak_Park

I can see that the logic is not to work, but why does it work on Macbook? Shouldn't Apple overcome this possible issues before they happen? If the antenna is near USB-C Ports isn't this expected to interfere with other devices? Shouldn't MB-Pro's antenna be somewhere else in the machine? By other hand, if low quality dongles and devices interfere with MB-Pro I think the computer should STOP and simply say "your devices are not suitable for this computer, go to a Apple Store and spend 100$ on our devices and be happy". I wasn't expecting to search the internet for a solution for several hours and make several try and error actions when I have in my hands one "cutting edge machine". This is why I liked my Macbook Air so much, never gave me a head ake! I only swapped to a Macbook because the low disk capacity. And now swapped to a Pro for more speed... but isn't happening.

Oct 1, 2018 12:49 PM

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Oct 1, 2018 12:53 PM in response to AMarcos In response to AMarcos

I am still not following. How is Apple to blame when, if one reads the Intel white paper, this is clearly caused by third-party manufacturers not properly testing or shielding their products? Intel is completely transparent about their testing methods, and they clearly say where the blame lies. I would really like to learn here, but I just don't see what possible logic leads you to believe this is an Apple problem.

Oct 1, 2018 12:53 PM

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Oct 1, 2018 1:31 PM in response to Buster_From_Oak_Park In response to Buster_From_Oak_Park

Because a) it works perfectly and without issue with wifi on both my thinkpad and my MSI laptops. b) It is nothing to do with interference. It instantly shuts down wifi networking, even with 100% signal. If I unplug and replug a number of times, randomly it works perfectly with 100% speed and no issues. This is made signifantly worse because apple do not prvide any usable ports, requiring a sack of dongles. So far, all 3 I have purchased, from reputable manufacturers, have problems with macbook, but all work perfectly on my Windows notebooks which also have thunderbolt 3/usbc ports (but I dont use it be default on these, as both my winodows laptops have ethernet, displayport, hdmi, 3xusb etc, and happent to be lighter or the same weight as the MBpro).

Oct 1, 2018 1:31 PM

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Question: USB C dongle kills wifi on 2017 Macbook pro