macOS Catalina is packed with lot of new features and new apps but also happens to be one of the most problematic releases for both MacBooks and desktop Macs alike. One issue that seems to plaguing some users is slow Wi-Fi speeds on your MacBook.
- 1 Speed up slow Wi-Fi on your MacBook
- 2 Check to make sure that your internet access is not blocked
- 3 Conclusion
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Luckily, there are a few different ways for you to get Wi-Fi speeds back to normal on your MacBook. These range from running basic diagnostics, to restarting your router completely.
Speed up slow Wi-Fi on your MacBook
If you are continuously running into slow wi-fi speeds, then you are in luck as there are multiple ways to get things working again. These range from changing your network preferences to simply closing out some unused apps.
Test your internet speeds
The first thing that you want to do is to double check your internet speeds on various devices. This includes your “slow” MacBook, along with any other devices you may have handy, such as an iPhone.
There are a few different websites and apps that you can use in order to check speeds. Perhaps one of the most popular options is Speedtest.net which will give you various pieces of information about the network that you are connected to.
Another option is fast.com, which is just a quick and easy way to check the speeds without a bunch of fluff. And finally, you can just perform a google search for “speed test”.
Check Network Settings
If you have diagnosed that there is a problem with the Wi-Fi speed on your Mac, there is a built-in method for trying to get everything fixed. Here’s what you can do to check your Network Settings:
- Press the Command + Space Bar keys on your keyboard to open Spotlight
- Type “Wireless Diagnostics“
- Hit Enter
- Follow the prompts
This will not work every time, but running these diagnostics will assist and fix some potential issues. If the diagnostics come back and say that there is nothing wrong, you’ll want to keep moving with the potential fixes.
Restart your router
The next obvious step if you are running into issues is to simply restart your router. For the most part, you can do this by unplugging it from the wall and then plugging it back in after about 30 seconds. There also may be a restart button found on the back of the router that you can press.
We would recommend referring to your user manual for the router in order to find the best way to restart it. Once the router has finished rebooting and the internet has reconnected to your Mac, then you can test speeds again.
Close unused apps and browser tabs
The easiest way to try and get Wi-Fi working back to normal is to close down any unused apps or browser tabs. There may be something working in the background that is eating up your data speeds that you may have forgotten about.
This likely won’t work for everyone, but it’s better to give it a shot than to continue struggling with slow Wi-Fi speeds.
Use Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi
If you have exhausted all of the other options, then you may want to move to using an Ethernet connection whenever possible. If you own a Macbook, then you will want to make sure that you have the right Ethernet USB-C dongle in order to stay connected.
This may not be the best option for some, especially if you aren’t home. However, at least you will be able to get your work done or stream some Disney+ without any hiccups.
Check to make sure that your internet access is not blocked
In some cases, you may have accidentally installed some malware on your Mac that is causing some issues. Namely, there is some malware making its rounds which sets up a proxy codenamed SOCKS which blocks access to the internet for a short period of time.
What is a SOCKS Proxy?
For some, you may not even know what a proxy is, let alone what the SOCKS Proxy is used for. But essentially, this is a tool that is used to quickly change your IP address, while also being used to bypass potential restrictions.
Typically, this type of proxy is used by VPN (Virtual Private Network) applications, especially for bypassing geo-blocked content. However, some malware will take advantage of this to get access to your information.
How to remove the SOCKS Proxy on your Mac
The steps for removing the SOCKS Proxy aren’t as difficult as you might think, as you just need to get into the System Preferences app. Here’s what you’ll need to do to remove the SOCKS Proxy.
- Open System Preferences on your Mac
- Select Network
- From the side panel, choose your connected network
- On the right-hand side, click on Advanced
- From the tabs at the top, clock on Proxies
- Locate SOCKS Proxy and uncheck the box
- Click OK
If you restart your Mac and the issues continue to appear, then you will want to reset the NVRAM and/or SMC (System Management Controller). Here’s how you can reset the SMC:
- Unplug the power cord from your Mac
- Press and hold the power key for at least 15 seconds
- Plug the power cable back into your Mac
As for NVRAM, there are a few more steps that you’ll need to take. First, you will need to press and hold the following keys on your keyboard Option + CMD + P + R. While holding those keys, press the power button once to turn the computer on, and keep holding the power button until the Mac reboots twice.
It can be rather annoying to deal with slower Wi-Fi speeds, especially if you are just trying to get some work done or unwind with Disney+. These are just some of the ways that you can get Wi-Fi working normal on your MacBook.
If you have run across similar issues but found a better or different workaround, let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, let us know if you signed up for Disney+ and if you plan on keeping the subscription in the future.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.