Mac OS X Mavericks internet issues
April 17, 2014 2:14 PM   Subscribe

I've been having internet issues at work for a while now. I'm using Mavericks on a retina MBP, and the internet will repeatedly just start being abysmally slow connecting to websites.

Websites will often just hang at the "waiting for www.metafilter" on the status bar in Chrome, (or equivalents in Firefox or Safari)
I've tried using Wi-Fi and/or ethernet (through thunderbolt) and the issue persists. As far as I know, my work doesn't use a proxy server, and other computers seem to be unaffected.

Weird things are that:
1) When the internet is working, it's ridiculously fast- like 500/500 Mbps up/down. I'll do a speed test and get those speeds, and then a minute later, won't even load.

2) Sometimes, when I'm connected on both wifi and ethernet, if I pull the cable on the ethernet, pages that were sitting there at the loading screen will suddenly finally load. But, this issue doesn't go away if I use only ethernet or only wi-fi.

3) Pings are almost always responsive- right now I'm trying to reach and it won't load, but pings are responding in the <50ms range.

4) traceroute also doesn't show any obvious problems.

I'm still learning OS X, so I'm not even sure where to start in diagnosing this problem. Any ideas, utilities, command line scripts to find the problem? I tried looking at wireshark logs, but it was a firehose of completely incomprehensible information to me.
posted by thewumpusisdead to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are there other Mac users at work? If so, and if they are not having the same problem, compare their Network settings to your Network settings. Specifically, see what your DNS settings are.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:55 PM on April 17, 2014

Yeah, the first thing I do when the Internet is a bit wonky is try using Google's DNS servers ( and or something similar. A bad DNS server causes a world of hurt.
posted by Fortran at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2014

I doubt it's a purely DNS issue. Pings work correctly, nslookup calls return fine, and, I tried the Google DNS servers and the problem still persists. And google's DNS returns the same IP as my company's DNS.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 3:47 PM on April 17, 2014

No solutions, but a bunch of questions that might help narrow down the culprit:

Did this start out of nowhere on hardware that used to work fine or did you just get the MBP? Did anything else change at work or in your computer around the time this started happening?

Does an IP release/renew or reboot help at all?

Disable any extensions you're using?
Maybe create a new user account and try running safari with no additional software running?
Maybe try using activity monitor to compare resource usage and running processes between times of slowness and times of swiftness?

How about FTP or VPN speeds? Is it just the internet/http or can you connect within the local network at full speed?

On WiFi, does moving to a new physical location make a difference?
How about a different patch cable or wall port (preferably one that is known to be good)?

Are you using iStatMenus or similar to monitor it? What other software is running that might be messing with your connection?
Does it occur at regular time intervals or at certain times of day?

Have bootcamp installed? Try booting into Windows while it's happening and see if there's any change?

When you are using only ethernet, do you disconnect from the wifi network or disable your airport? I've had issues with mine (also a MBP Retina) when both were present - I had to disable wifi alltogether when using the ethernet thunderbolt connection.

posted by Th!nk at 6:08 PM on April 17, 2014

Run Network Diagnostics as outlined in this article .
posted by PickeringPete at 6:45 PM on April 17, 2014

Its possible that your computer is downloading updates in the background without asking you if you want to do it. Next time this happens to you, try launching the Activity Monitor and see if there is any application hogging your bandwidth. Ive been a mac user since OS9 and I hate hate hate hate the stupid appstore, which will use 100% of your connection to download updates without asking you before hand, or telling you that its doing it.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 10:50 PM on April 17, 2014

Local shares over SMB seem to work fine even when everything else is choking. FTP also seems to work, even to the same server nets. What could cause this?

Location doesn't make a difference.

Activity monitor never shows any activity over the link when it's happening.

Rebooting usually fixes the problem for a few minutes. Renewing IP seems to do nothing.

I've pretty much tried all configurations of disconnecting wifi, turning it off completely, deleting it from the network interfaces page, and same for the ethernet.

1) When I try that "assist me" in network, over Wi-Fi it always says "could not connect to the wi-fi network", even when I am actually connected. When I try it over ethernet, it always says that it is working fine (which I'm sure it does look like, since I have an IP, DNS, and can ping
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:40 AM on April 18, 2014

Try this.
posted by PickeringPete at 8:01 PM on April 18, 2014

« Older Why Even Bring It Up?   |   How can I get access to my mother's medical... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.