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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > My Macbook's Wifi has been steadily decreasing over the course of the past 6 months

My Macbook's Wifi has been steadily decreasing over the course of the past 6 months
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And.reg
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Feb 23, 2009, 04:49 PM
 
I got my white 2.1 GHz MacBook back in June 2008. The Wifi was impressive, up until about 6 months ago. Since then, I have had ever so slight gradual increases in the number of instances in which I would not be able to get Wifi. This being despite the fact that I get 2-4 bars at the top of my screen (often it'll say 3 or 4 out of 4 filled).

I'm on campus. I have my office downstairs, and it's been getting plentiful signal. I go to the mini-library/reading room upstairs. I go to the conference room. In all of these rooms, I have gone from getting 95% success rate in getting a reliable connection 6 months ago (roughly) down to like 60% success rate in all of these same rooms one month ago. For example, last semester, I, ever-so-slowly, lost my ability to load websites in one bleak corner of the conference room, around 4-5 months ago. So, I moved to the other corner of the room, where I had decent Wifi. A few months later, I had increasingly more trouble getting a connection there.

In my basement office, some 6 months ago, I was totally shocked that I couldn't load a damn thing. Then it became a more predictable/expected occurrence over the course of the past several months. Even in the computer cluster room on the second floor over the course of the past few months I've been having increasingly more difficulty getting WiFi signal. According to MenuMeters, no other (malicious or not!) programs are trying to access the internet at the same time on my computer.

I'm at my apartment. As far as I can remember, I think that I am able to get signal everywhere. When I put my MacBook right up to the modem, there's certainly no connectivity issue.


[1] Has my Macbook's Wifi gone all weak on me by itself, or has the University's Wifi just gotten shi***er around here?
[2] If it's the University, then why do I see other people being able to access the internet WiFi-style using their notebooks in some of the decent spots from which I had trouble accessing Wifi?

I've tried tapping the damn MacBook, lifting it up and moving it all around in the air like a fr**kin mime, nothing seems to help the situation. It's driving me insane here, because I feel as if I've become "the guy with the bad connection" and I hate cliches like that!! Meanwhile, I have no idea what other details I'm supposed to give to make the issue clear.

MacBook 2.1 GHz white
Purchased June 2008
     
polendo
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Feb 23, 2009, 05:29 PM
 
At first I thought that maybe at the university they changed the locations of the wireless routers. Then again if other people do not have trouble then probably the macbook is the problem. I donĀ“t know for fact, but maybe the antenna on your macbook is broken from one side. I remember that some laptops have the antennas on either side.. maybe one is faulting.
     
iREZ
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Feb 24, 2009, 01:49 PM
 
i do know that different electronics can hamper your wifi signal. my wifi kept going out every once in a while out of the blue for no reason, i then found out my neighbor used a 2.4ghz cordless phone, i got them a new cordless phone for xmas and haven't seen an issue yet.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
And.reg  (op)
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Feb 24, 2009, 02:08 PM
 
Oh wow! LOL.
Now I just got done with an audio conference, didn't have a single problem with my Wifi connectivity for the full hour. I'm now back in that room, sorta in a corner, not an issue. Could it really be just a buildup of interference from other devices around me? Is one cell phone really enough to do the trick? (Because connectivity issues were happening yesterday during a snow day when I got to the building 3 hours before it opened.) I'm hesitant to open my MacBook.
     
iREZ
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Feb 24, 2009, 03:52 PM
 
not cell phone, cordless phone...and yes, one was what did it for me. i know other appliances also screw with wifi strength (microwaves, etc...). you should search in the network forum and see what you could find.

you could always find a hard line to avoid pinning down the issue :shrug:
( Last edited by iREZ; Feb 24, 2009 at 04:00 PM. )
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
And.reg  (op)
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Mar 6, 2009, 01:36 PM
 
Well after opening up my MacBook, I saw that my model is a white Core Duo (but not Core 2 Duo, !!), but anyways, so there are supposed to be 2 antenna cables to the Airport Extreme card.

After opening my MacBook, I discovered that both of my antenna were tightly connected and that neither had come loose.

The presence of other EM phenomena from cordless phones etc. and how other people are sometimes (but not always) able to get WiFi reception that I can't, I don't think that cordless phones would explain the gradual decrease in my ability to get signal. So, since it's not my antenna, what else could there be?


Major correction: Apparently I have the Core 2 Duo, not the "Core Duo." ifixit's guides to opening up your computer have false information on their website.
( Last edited by And.reg; Mar 6, 2009 at 06:59 PM. )
     
ChrisF
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Mar 7, 2009, 12:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andrej View Post
Major correction: Apparently I have the Core 2 Duo, not the "Core Duo." ifixit's guides to opening up your computer have false information on their website.
Only marginally related to the topic, but the "About this Mac" option in the Apple menu is a reliable way to determine what CPU is in your Macbook.
     
   
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