cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

candell
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎18-02-2014

BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

I recently set up a BT Smart Hub to replace my HH5 and all was great, until I bought a new Macbook 2019. I have a 2013 which is struggling with some modern tasks hence the new machine.

The new machine however seems to have very poor wifi connectivity, I've been through the typical bumph with Apple, resetting NVRAM and the likes but only to tick boxes as it was like this since new.

Today I installed a wifi signal strength tool on both laptops, the results are interesting.
 
Sitting next to the router (BT Smart Hub)
 
New Macbook - 2.4GHz gives a signal strength of 78%. 5GHz signal strength of 77%
Old Macbook 2013 -  2.4GHz gives a signal strength of 86%. 5GHz signal strength of 86%
 
In my office (upstairs immediately above the router)
 
New Macbook - 2.4GHz gives a signal strength of 53%. 5GHz signal strength of 32%. Drop wifi constantly.
Old Macbook 2013 -  2.4GHz gives a signal strength of 64%. 5GHz signal strength of 60%. Never drops.
 
Before replacing the laptop, they sent me a list of actions to test with the router as the tech guy said that some newer routers have issues with Macbooks?!?! Here's the page for anyone interested - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT202068
 
All settings were as advised except for setting the channel widths which I can't seem to change. 
 
2.4 is on 11 (was on 1 before I pressed to rescan) and 5 is on 36 (stayed on 36 during the rescan).
 
Can we change this, what are people's thoughts, Apple are likely fitting their Macbooks with poor wifi but it's a big difference between my old 2013 and the 2019. At the moment it is unusable in my office as the internet is constantly dropping.
8 REPLIES 8
markhawkin
Pro
Posts: 407
Thanks: 58
Fixes: 8
Registered: ‎17-07-2016

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

@candell 

Personally I would buy a second hand Apple Airport Express.

It's a device that has merits in it's own right (it will act as an Airplay device for one thing) but when cabled to another router (for example your Smart Hub) it will produce a WiFi network which your Mac is likely to get on with well.

 

 

I am the satisfied customer....
candell
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎18-02-2014

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

Thanks for the suggestion, I will look and see if I can find one.

Baldrick1
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,006
Thanks: 2,656
Fixes: 177
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

@candell 

It might be worth doing a search on the BT forum. There's a lot of BT customers out there with this router, you should see if it's a general issue and if. there's a solution.

candell
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎18-02-2014

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

Good idea, will do

DaveyH
Champion
Posts: 1,946
Thanks: 466
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎15-11-2012

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

Have you disabled the 'Smart Setup' on the BT Smart Hub

 

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44328/~/what-is-smart-setup-on-the-bt-hub%3F-how-can-...

 

And also split the bands 

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/56419/~/how-do-i-split-my-bt-hubs-ssid-%28wireless-ne...

 

Both are known to cause issues with Apple h/w.

 

I also would avoid wasting money on an Airport Express personally. They're old, discontinued and unsupported now, and weren't particularly anything special when still available new. The money would be better spent elsewhere IMO, if the above doesn't improve things

 

 

candell
Grafter
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎18-02-2014

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

Hi

After a while changing a setting at a time, I finally have a resolution. Everything within the Apple document made no difference, so as DaveyH suggested I then tried splitting the bands. Wow, that was the one. Since splitting, I have not experienced a single drop in connection.

So for anyone reading this post (queue some seo words) with a similar issue in that your Macbook 2019 drops wifi connection, first split the bands on the router.

I hope it helps someone and thanks to those who helped me.

dvorak
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 24,792
Thanks: 4,487
Fixes: 1,139
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

It's pretty much all MacBooks, same symptoms on a 2018, 2016 and 2013!

I installed whole home wifi and no longer have these issues.
Customer / Moderator
If it helped click the thumb
If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'
adrianscotter
Pro
Posts: 240
Thanks: 152
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎28-10-2016

Re: BT Smart Hub and new Macbook

Things I would check...

Try 2.4GHz, always pick a channel nearest the centre of the channel numbers like 6 or 7 if they aren't too busy with neighbours.  If your router has antenna's that move, lay one horizontal and keep one vertical, or lay the router on its back to test upstairs.  Radio signals are like a ring doughnut dropped onto your antenna, they don't properly go up or down as well as they go out.  Some routers use 'planar' antennas that are directional.  Don't have a huge encryption key, make it 10 characters to see if that helps (it does make a difference on older kit).  From what I recall, Apple kit doesn't work with WEP encryption.  Finally, for all of their advertising, Wi-Fi is dependant on many factors, one of the more important ones is the transceiver strip they use in the routers, BT are not know for buying good routers, the last time I looked (admittedly, a while ago) they were paying around £8.60 for the BT HomeHub from China.

Live long and prosper!