Mac Forums

Mac Forums (
-   Apple Desktops (
-   -   Ridiculously slow wifi on iMac - Please help :( (

Chris2007 05-21-2013 06:57 AM

Ridiculously slow wifi on iMac - Please help :(
I bought a 2009 20" imac a month or so ago and have terrible internet speeds with it for most of that time. I'd come to the conclusion that it was due to virgin medias new traffic management as I do download a lot of stuff however I've done a speed test on the main computer that's connected directly and that's getting 33mbps. I've also done a test on my brother's old crappy laptop and that's getting around 18mbps. I'm getting approx 1mbps.

I've no idea why this would be the case. On my old 2007 imac I had no issues with internet speed and was connecting in the same way. Any advice would be much appreciated

pigoo3 05-21-2013 07:26 AM


Originally Posted by Chris2007 (Post 1516374)
I'd come to the conclusion that it was due to virgin medias new traffic management as I do download a lot of stuff however I've done a speed test on the main computer that's connected directly and that's getting 33mbps. I've also done a test on my brother's old crappy laptop and that's getting around 18mbps. I'm getting approx 1mbps.

Given your test results...I would say that the conclusion that the problem is "Virgin Media" is incorrect. Otherwise all your computers using WiFi would be slow.

Since you tried a direct connection with your "main computer"...why not try this same test with your 2009 iMac.

I'm possibly suspecting a faulty Airport a direct connection would take the Airport card out of the equation.

- Nick

Raz0rEdge 05-21-2013 11:35 AM

The 2009 iMac has a 802.11N Airport adapter. What WiFi router do you have and does it support 802.11N? I'd do the hardwire test like Nick recommended to isolate it to the Airport card.

Depending on where you purchased this iMac, if you find the Airport is faulty, you might want to go back and see what you can work out with the seller, unless it was sold an as "As Is" sale..

Chris2007 05-23-2013 10:26 AM

Thanks for the responses.

I choose to get an ethernet cable to connect directly but now I have an even more frustrating problem. I did a speed test and get much better speed - 30mbps. However it still seems incredibly sluggish when loading web pages, even more so than when connected wirelessly. I have emptied the browser cache so that isn't what's causing it.

I'm really starting to regret getting a mac now. I could've got a brand new PC with support and a warranty for the same price. Now I'm lumbered with an ineffective machine that I won't even be able to resell

Raz0rEdge 05-23-2013 10:33 AM

OK, let's start with the basics.

What version of OS X is on this Mac? Was it a clean-install? Were you given the necessary media? If the machine wasn't clean installed with OS X, I'd start with that first.

What are the other specs of the machine? Memory? I presume you are using Safari as your browser, can you open up Activity Monitor (under Applications->Utilities) and sort by CPU% to see what processes/programs are taking up CPU bandwidth.

Next, at the bottom, click on the Memory tab and tell us what the values of Free, Active, Wired, Inactive and Used say. Also tell us what Page In/Out values you have..

Chris2007 05-23-2013 11:07 AM

1 Attachment(s)
It's installed with Mountain Lion 10.8.3

I don't think it was a clean install since it also had Abode CS and Ableton already installed when it arrived. Unfortunately it didn't come with the disc for Lion but I've emailed the seller to request it. Is there a way to restore without the disc?

Memory wise it's 6GB, I'm using Chrome as the browser but have tried Safari as well and that's also very slow loading pages. I looked at the CPU usage and barely any is being used so I don't think that's the issue.

I've attached a screenshot for the memory stats.

Your help is much appreciated :)

Raz0rEdge 05-23-2013 11:38 AM

OK, looks like you are OK on the memory side and Page Outs.

How about CPU usage, once Chrome was running (and it runs each tab as a separate process) how much of the CPU was being used?

You can indeed do a restore of Mountain Lion without the disk (since Mountain Lion didn't come on a disk but rather a digital download) by holding down CMD+R during bootup to enter Recovery Mode and then you download the Mountain Lion installer over the network.

However, you didn't purchase Mountain Lion, so it won't be available for download from the App Store under your Apple ID. Mountain Lion is only $19.99, so perhaps you can grab a copy of yourself and then do the re-install should we exhaust all other options of troubleshooting the sluggishness..

Chris2007 05-23-2013 12:10 PM

I just did something incredibly stupid. I erased the hard drive before purchasing a copy of mountain lion (I didn't know you had to have an apple ID that had it purchased). Now I have no way to buy mountain lion and cannot start up my computer. I don't know anyone else who owns a mac so I can't even ask a friend to purchase it on my ID.

My god I'm so stressed at this point:Grimmace:

Raz0rEdge 05-23-2013 12:21 PM jumped the gun before reading my post it seems. You are indeed in a catch 22 now and that's one of the downsides of a digital download only version of OS X that you get as part of a Mac purchase..

Do you have an Apple Store near you? If so, perhaps you can call them to see if they will help to get you the Mountain Lion installer on a USB flash drive or you could take your Mac in and they will get ML installed for you..

Chris2007 05-23-2013 01:35 PM

Yeah it's amazing the stupid things that stress can make you do lol

I just assumed you'd be able to do a fresh install of mountain lion without having to purchase it first. That's a lesson learned.

I'm now attempting to create a bootable USB for lion from my brother's laptop. The last thing I want to do is hulk my mac down to the apple store which is miles away

I appreciate your help anyhow

Chris2007 05-23-2013 04:05 PM

Just a quick update to say that I've done a clean install of Mountain Lion now and it's made no difference to the wifi speed. I imagine it's either an issue with the router that I have not working well with macs or there's a problem with my mac's wireless card.

Raz0rEdge 05-23-2013 04:10 PM

Ahh excellent, good to read that you are back in business.. Well you're headed down the right path, so see if you can temporarily borrow another router to see if things change. Otherwise it's the Airport card.

On the other case when you hardwire to the router, does Chrome and Safari loads things quickly?

Chris2007 05-26-2013 11:34 AM

Now that I've restored it, the internet is very fast when it's connected via an ethernet cable. The trouble it's not practical for me to have it connected that way since my mac is upstairs and the router is downstairs.

I do have an old netgear rangemax router that I think I'll try tomorrow. I have a hunch that there isn't any problem with the mac's network card as it stays connected consistently, it's just the speeds that are very low.

Raz0rEdge 05-26-2013 04:43 PM

Actually one of the hallmark failure of wireless adapters is that they can stay connected (doesn't take much for that) but perform ridiculously on the speed aspect.

Chris2007 05-28-2013 06:05 AM

Yeah I think at this point it's almost certainly the wireless card that's the problem. The mac is 4 years old after all. I choose to get the BearExtender wifi adapter. Fingers crossed that will do the trick. I'll report back here after I've tried it

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.