For a bit over a day, by AirPort Extreme has been much slower than usual. Over the past year I've had lastTxRate pretty consistently around 250, which is close to the maxRate I get (289). Lately though I'm getting values more like 130-170 — all day without ever going higher.

What factors can account for such a sudden drop in performance? What action can I take to get my rates back up?

OSX 10.10.3; Airport Extreme 802.11ac (7.7.3). I've tried restarting the AirPort, and powering off/on, as well as manually assigning channels. The AirPort has not changed location, nor have any objects between it and the devices where I'm measuring the signal. Moving closer to (leaving the room where I've always worked and moving next to) the AirPort does get the lastTxRate back up to values I'm used to.

Here's what I see in iStumbler:

  • How many Wi-Fi networks are visible to your Mac? – William T Froggard Jun 3 '15 at 23:06
  • @Froggard: 8, including an AirPort Time Capsule that someone has left completely unconfigured. I'll also add what I see in iStumbler to the question. – orome Jun 3 '15 at 23:53
  • @Froggard: Here's a thought: could some old device that's allowed on the wifi network (I have a Twine in a closet somewhere, I'm embarrassed to say, along with other assorted junk with failing batteries and antennas that can't be turned off) be messing things up? – orome Jun 4 '15 at 0:16

Issues with Wi-Fi are notoriously difficult to diagnose. It's possible that there's increased traffic in the area for some untold reason, causing contention, and forcing the connection to fall to a lower MCS index (lower indexes deal better with interference, but result in lower performance, which is what you're seeing). Often the issues go away on their own, sometimes they don't. You'd probably have to take a survey of the neighborhood to get any reliable information as to what's changed that could be causing this. It's theoretically possible that you may have too many devices connected to your router, but it's unlikely. Unless you're actively using them all at once, there shouldn't be much contention. You could try disconnecting all your devices from the network, except for your Mac, and see if that makes the problem go away.

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Maybe someone else is using your internet? If your network is password protected, probably not. It could also be a virus, in which you should download an antivirus such as ClamXav(available in the app store).

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  • The network is password protected, stealth, and MAC filtered (both on the AirPort and at the firewall). – orome Jun 3 '15 at 23:57

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