I've had a problem with my Wi-Fi connection to a TP-Link router from MacBook Air. It has been solved by manually changing Wi-Fi channel on the router from "Automatic" to an average value.

What channel ranges do MacBook Air's Wi-Fi NICs support? Is there a way to tweak it to a required channel not visible by default?

P.S. My country is Ukraine and my router does have this value set.

  • Do you want to narrow this down to a certain country since WiFi channels are different around the globe to comply with local radio laws or is that the point of the question - mixing a computer set for one region to a router set in another perhaps?
    – bmike
    Dec 11, 2012 at 19:59
  • @bmike I live in Ukraine. But my other devices (Linux box and a few Androids) see the network perfectly. Dec 11, 2012 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


The manuals for all Air are stored online at http://support.apple.com/manuals/#macbookair and it looks like the latest Air is certified under the EU and Russia - but I don't see a good way to know precisely which channels are supported from a pre-sales or reference.

You can however, open your System Information utility and select Wi-Fi. It should show you the current Locale, Country Code and supported channels for your network adapter.

Wi-Fi Locale, Country Code and Supported Channels

  • Ah, now I see: my router has channels 1-13 and it seems that "Automatic" means 13 in absence of other networks. Thanks Dec 11, 2012 at 20:16
  • 1
    In the EU channels 1-13 are allowed by regulation and also supported by Mac hardware. The Asia/Pacific region adds channel 14 but only goes down to 6. Channels 6-11 are supported all over the world on 2.4GHz (802.11b/g)
    – MacLemon
    Dec 12, 2012 at 14:37
  • Had a Router and wireless extender.. it worked for both. thanks
    – medampudi
    Jul 6, 2018 at 19:01

I ran into a problem not seeing WiFi routers in Europe with my late 2008 Macbook. I originally read some posts saying that U.S. models' hardware only supported the U.S. WiFi channels, but later found this was not necessarily true.

It turns out my laptop's WiFI does support (at least) European channels (e.g. 12 & 13) that are not supported in the U.S. Interestingly, the way to enable usage of the proper channels (at least in Snow Leopard) was to change the region (System Preferences -> Language & Text -> Region). (That preference displays a note: "Changing the region may affect the availability of Internet services." This seems to confirm the notion that a certain region would not let the computer see channels supported in another region.) You can use the "System Information" tool to confirm the effects of the region selection on the network adapter .

Most of the routers I have used while in Europe have the WiFi channel selection set to "Auto", and interestingly, most of the time, the routers were using channel 13, so my laptop was not seeing the WiFi station until I figured this out.

  • Dude, thanks a lot! Your insight that changing the region changes the list of supported channels helped me to set up the connection with 5ghz! May 1, 2018 at 21:13
  • thank you so much. This have been bugging me for a long time.
    – VOX
    Apr 8, 2020 at 3:45

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