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I have setup a LAN using AirPort. The nodes are Mac Minis. The OS is OS X Lion 10.7.3.

The AirPort connects to the Internet using cable and the internal connection is wireless. I tried to ping each machine. The latency is very high, from several ms to 1s. But the latency is just below 1ms if I use cable instead of wireless.

Does anybody know why this happens?

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It is because you are using wireless!

Whilst 1 second does seem high, it depends where you live - there could be a lot of interference generated by other wireless spots, microwaves, lights - anything really.

If you need to use wireless, see if you can change the channel, if you can't and as long as there isn't packet loss, you may just have to live with it.

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I have downvoted the answer because it is not very informative. Wireless latency is on the order of 10ms, not 1000ms. I suggest using iStumbler to see if radio interference is really the cause of your latency. (Check the signal-to-noise ratio on your connections.) – Phrogz Oct 19 '15 at 17:22

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