How can I increase my Macbook’s WiFi reception?

Tricia McCarthy February 26, 2011

How can I reach more free WiFi hotspots with my Macbook. I’m sure there is something I’m missing. Thanks in advance.

  1. Philip E. Sieve
    October 27, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Even if not more networks found are open, can it pick up, from a further distance, those that are, such as a library's or a real airport's?  Thank you!  

  2. Anonymous
    March 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    My MacBook's internal card died a little while ago, and I replaced it with an Asus USB-N10. It cost $25 CAD, and picks up more networks than my internal card ever did (from six to up to 14.) Furthermore, using KisMac, I can see networks that belong to businesses eight floors down, and across the street. They're too weak for me to try to connect to, but that's pretty impressive distance.

    • Aibek
      March 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

      thanks for the feedback

  3. tricia
    February 28, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Thank you, I was hoping to expand the networks the mac sees, as I live in a busy are and it only recognizes a few; unfortunate.

    • Mike
      February 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

      The built-in WiFi Antenna is known to have limited reception [in terms of strength and range].

      The only way to get better reception and range is to get an external (USB) WiFi Adapter ~ however this does not guarantee you to gain access to more networks! There is a chance that you will see more Wireless Networks but they might be secured by encryption and password.

  4. fruitgeek
    February 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    What Mike said is correct for a hidden network, but I've also known MacBooks to have hardware issues with the AirPort Card. My parents and I both have MacBooks in the same house and theirs is ~a year newer. However, their WiFi signal cuts in and out all the time very near a place where I never had trouble with my signal. You might need to replace the AirPort card. By the way, you would still see the hotspots if you had this problem, but they would keep disconnecting.

  5. Mike
    February 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Are you having trouble connecting to WiFi Hotspots in general or are you at a place that has public WiFi but your MacBook doesn't see it?

    Some public WiFi's are using SSID hiding which means you will have to manually enter the details:
    1a. click on the AirPort symbol in the menu bar
    2a. click on Other...
    3a. enter the correct network name (case sensitive!)
    4a. chose the correct security option for that network (e.g. Personal WPA/WPA2)

    1b. open System Preferences > Network and click on AirPort
    2b. click on the dropdown list where it says Network Name
    3b. select Join other Network
    4b. enter the correct Network Name, Security option and Key/Password

    The only way to really improve reception is to either relocate your MacBook to a place with less interference or try an external WiFi Adapter e.g. a USB WiFi Adapter with an antenna.

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