This is related to question To let a Mac automatically use Wifi and Ethernet to double the connection speed?

It is very strange that, in a hotel (La Quinta Inns), the Macbook connection both Wifi or Ethernet at 95 kbyte / s. But after I installed VirtualBox and downloaded Ubuntu and installed Ubuntu as a Virtual Machine using the "Bridged Adapter" networking option and selecting "Wifi", the Firefox inside Ubuntu can pull data at 365 kbyte / s, as reported by both SpeedTest.net and by the Macbook's Activities Monitor for Networking.

This is very strange... what might be the cause and what can be a fix for this, so that the Macbook Air itself can use 365 kbyte / s? (If I use my iPhone 5 or iPad 3 and run SpeedTest app, then the result is similar. Assuming it is not the possibility that since Apple's device is quite popular, the network config at the hotel whenever detecting an Apple device, will lower the bandwidth, and allow PC or non-Apple device (such as Ubuntu) to run at full speed, what might be other reasons that causes it?)

P.S. But if I unplug the Ethernet, so that the Macbook and the VM both use the Wifi, and then run SpeedTest, then the Macbook has 95 kbyte / s, and the VM has 365 kbyte / s. I even just use curl to download a file on the Macbook, and it is 95 kbyte / s, so it is not due to the browser's USER_AGENT string indicating it is a Mac... I then even ran the same command line inside Ubuntu, which is

curl http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/5/a/f5a3df76-d856-4a61-a6bd-722f52a5be26/PowerPointViewer.exe >| some-file-to-download

(which is just to download some file), and when done in Ubuntu, the download speed became 365 kbyte /s. This is strange because the VM is just using the Wifi connection on the Macbook to pull data... so why will the VM be faster with 4 times the speed?

P.P.S. I called the tech support of the hotel and they told me they don't know about the VM, but they said the speed I get is normal, as they divide the bandwidth into smaller pieces... so he also gave me a "Web Proxy" to use and the speed is double as before. And so I suspect that the VM / Ubuntu was able to somehow detect the proxy on its own and use it to gain the speed.


Create a new account on your machine, connect to the wifi on a fresh account, and let us know if the speeds are the same.

There's nothing specific on a Macbook that would purposely slow down a Wi-Fi connection. If you go to the Wi-Fi icon at the upper-right of your screen. Hold down the Option Key, and click the Wi-Fi icon, it will give you more information, such as the wireless type; b,g,n and the connection speed 2.5GHz, 5GHz,etc.

Good Luck!

  • I tried that, and it is still the same 95 kbyte / s. It didn't show the hotel's confirm to log in and proceed page. (no password needed). It just connected to the same Wifi automatically. By the way, it is 802.11g, but the Macbook uses it, and so does the VM – nonopolarity Mar 14 '13 at 19:46

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