WiFi/Bluetooth interference

I kept seeing links last week to this article about how wonderfully fast Macs are at connecting to WiFi networks. I sort of resented it, because my Mac didn’t connect quickly when awakened—at least it didn’t until I turned Bluetooth off.

I mentioned the problem back in December when my MacBook Air was only about a month old. It would wake up immediately when I lifted the lid, but more often than not it wouldn’t connect to my home network. Toggling AirPort on and off always got the connection going, but doing so was a pain, even after I wrote a script to do the toggling with a single keystroke.

Eventually, I found this discussion on MacRumors, in which someone with the original MB Air had the same problem. Another forum reader suggested the problem was some sort of interference between Bluetooth and WiFi and advised turning Bluetooth off. I looked up in my menubar, saw the solid black Bluetooth icon, and decided to give it a try. My WiFi connection has been immediate ever since.

MB Air menubar icons

I don’t know whether the “interference” was truly a signal interference or simply some sort of software fight between two protocols, and I don’t know what I’d do if I were using a Bluetooth mouse and needed it turned on all the time. Maybe my problem wasn’t just that I had Bluetooth on but that I also had the MB Air set to “discoverable.”

Whatever, the problem’s gone now, and now I have the instant-on Air that everyone raves about.