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I'm using a MacBookPro connected to an AiportExpress' Wi-FI network.

Every once in a while, the Wi-Fi will choke up and either drop some packets, or lag horribly for several seconds.

I'm losing hair over this because every time I chat on Skype, the call hangs randomly due to this problem.

Any idea what's wrong?

Some more details:

  • two networks are set up: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, and the issue happens on both
  • the network uses WPA2 Personal for security
  • the Airport is in the same room with my computer
  • the Airport is fairly new, bought this summer, model number off the back: A1392
  • tried connecting to a neighbours wifi to see if it's a problem with my computer, or interference. It's not, it doesn't happen on their network.
  • tried resetting it several times
  • tried changing channels manually

Ping results are below, so you can see what I'm talking about. EDIT: 10.0.1.1 is the Airport's IP

64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1795 ttl=255 time=0.813 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1796 ttl=255 time=3.335 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1797 ttl=255 time=3.403 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1798 ttl=255 time=3.414 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1799 ttl=255 time=3.227 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1800 ttl=255 time=3.274 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1801 ttl=255 time=3.253 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1802 ttl=255 time=3.292 ms
>>>>  choke starts  <<<
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1803 ttl=255 time=53.977 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1804 ttl=255 time=35.049 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1805 ttl=255 time=19.820 ms
>>>>  choke ends  <<<
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1806 ttl=255 time=0.716 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1807 ttl=255 time=0.705 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1808 ttl=255 time=0.919 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1809 ttl=255 time=0.659 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1810 ttl=255 time=0.877 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1811 ttl=255 time=0.679 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1812 ttl=255 time=0.854 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1813 ttl=255 time=0.644 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1814 ttl=255 time=3.779 ms

... time passes ..

64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1599 ttl=255 time=0.674 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1600 ttl=255 time=0.930 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1601 ttl=255 time=0.665 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1602 ttl=255 time=1.085 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1603
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1604
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1605 ttl=255 time=104.969 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1606 ttl=255 time=11.521 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1607 ttl=255 time=0.926 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1608 ttl=255 time=0.993 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.1.1: icmp_seq=1609 ttl=255 time=0.745 ms

And the Signal-Noise ratio:

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Try turn off the 5GHz. Additionally, are SSID on both 2.5GHz and 5GHz same? –  John Siu Dec 23 '12 at 6:38
    
What tool are you using to get the signal strength? –  ranman Dec 28 '12 at 6:34

2 Answers 2

Wifi stability is highly influenced by any elecromagnetic emission you have near you: fridge, tv, power plugs on walls etc. To troubleshoot a problem, try to move your WiFi airport express to different place, preferrable anothe building / house. If problem persist, it's hardware problem. If not - it's positioning problem and you need to place airport inside your appartments in different places and select the best one.

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I am having a similar problem and I think I have found out what causes the choke (music skipping) in my case. It happens when I open or close my fridge door and also when the fridge compressor starts-up or powers-down. The interference is coming through the power socket and not through electromagnetic interference. Maybe the same in your case?

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