Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The internet connection in my new apartment is very slow. A quick ping analysis revealed that the connection to the local wireless router times out for most of the time, and then suddenly a burst of responses arrive at my computer:

...
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=118 ttl=64 time=3178.272 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=120 ttl=64 time=1225.360 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=121 ttl=64 time=236.787 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=122 ttl=64 time=2461.583 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=123 ttl=64 time=1494.037 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=124 ttl=64 time=494.176 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 132
Request timeout for icmp_seq 133
Request timeout for icmp_seq 134
Request timeout for icmp_seq 135
Request timeout for icmp_seq 136
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=125 ttl=64 time=12927.955 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=126 ttl=64 time=11941.344 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=127 ttl=64 time=10960.659 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=129 ttl=64 time=9209.920 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=132 ttl=64 time=6379.093 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=134 ttl=64 time=4592.873 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=135 ttl=64 time=3611.050 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=137 ttl=64 time=1707.638 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=138 ttl=64 time=1454.327 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 146
Request timeout for icmp_seq 147
Request timeout for icmp_seq 148
Request timeout for icmp_seq 149
Request timeout for icmp_seq 150
Request timeout for icmp_seq 151
Request timeout for icmp_seq 152
Request timeout for icmp_seq 153
Request timeout for icmp_seq 154
Request timeout for icmp_seq 155
Request timeout for icmp_seq 156
Request timeout for icmp_seq 157
Request timeout for icmp_seq 158
Request timeout for icmp_seq 159
Request timeout for icmp_seq 160
Request timeout for icmp_seq 161
Request timeout for icmp_seq 162
Request timeout for icmp_seq 163
Request timeout for icmp_seq 164
Request timeout for icmp_seq 165
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=139 ttl=64 time=27302.576 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=140 ttl=64 time=26672.267 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=141 ttl=64 time=25857.129 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=142 ttl=64 time=24876.902 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=143 ttl=64 time=23917.238 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=144 ttl=64 time=22954.547 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=146 ttl=64 time=20971.374 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=148 ttl=64 time=19035.209 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=149 ttl=64 time=18093.645 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=150 ttl=64 time=17115.060 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=151 ttl=64 time=16134.581 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=152 ttl=64 time=15152.730 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=154 ttl=64 time=13193.789 ms
...
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1008
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1009
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1010
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1011
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1012
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1013
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1014
ping: sendto: Host is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1015
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=993 ttl=64 time=23227.377 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=994 ttl=64 time=22314.867 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=995 ttl=64 time=21560.757 ms
ping: sendto: Host is down
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=996 ttl=64 time=21570.701 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=997 ttl=64 time=20693.877 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=998 ttl=64 time=19697.575 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=999 ttl=64 time=18994.966 ms
ping: sendto: Host is down
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1000 ttl=64 time=18078.317 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1001 ttl=64 time=17121.933 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1005 ttl=64 time=13845.239 ms
ping: sendto: Host is down
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1006 ttl=64 time=13219.874 ms
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1007 ttl=64 time=19729.676 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1008 ttl=64 time=18732.998 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1009 ttl=64 time=17755.881 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1010 ttl=64 time=16843.075 ms
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
ping: sendto: Host is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1031
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1032
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1033
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1034
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1035
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1036
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1037
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1032 ttl=64 time=6104.387 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1033 ttl=64 time=5449.738 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1034 ttl=64 time=4535.141 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1035 ttl=64 time=3558.326 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1036 ttl=64 time=2680.332 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1037 ttl=64 time=1905.030 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1044
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1045
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1046
ping: sendto: Host is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1047
ping: sendto: Host is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1048
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1038 ttl=64 time=11568.943 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1050 ttl=64 time=64.830 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1051 ttl=64 time=198.585 ms
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1052
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1053
...

I am using Mac (Lion) with airport; the same problem is prevalent on my iPhone and my friend's Mac (Mountain Lion) as well.

The problem persists even if I move my computer close to the router (thin wall), and persists across reboots of the router. The ratio of timeouts to bursts of responses is varying, some times most pings are answered, other times most pings are lost.

Have anyone experienced anything similar, or have any suggestions as to what is wrong? I don't know the brand of the router, but I want to have some good suggestions to the landlord before I bring it up with him again.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Do a good site survey and make sure there are no interfering APs(router). A tool like inSSIDer can help. Versions for MAC available. Good tips on what to do to fix but basically, look for APs on same channel and then change your AP to an unused one.

Most APs will auto select a channel and that often results in conflicts.

Do the survey a few times during the day.

Also assure your security is good and there are no unknown "guests" and if this is managed by someone else, see if they can identify the number of users and if someone might be saturating the link with something like streaming media or torrents

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.