While sometimes rewarding, being an early adopter also carries its share of risks and pitfalls, and not just for the consumer. Manufacturers are prone to buyer's remorse as well, and Apple
may feel that way if it can't come up with a fix for its 802.11ac Wi-Fi
technology baked into its newest MacBook Air
models introduced at the Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) earlier this month.
We'll get to that in just a moment, but first a primer. The new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard offers up to three times the wireless speed of 802.11n, paving the way for streaming Ultra HD content and faster transfers at longer ranges. However, the 802.11ac is still in Draft form, as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) isn't finished tweaking the technology and has yet to ratify the standard, which it expects to do in February 2014.
That hasn't stopped manufacturers from shipping 802.11ac products, but just like when you download beta software, things may not always work as intended. Such is the case with Apple's newest MacBook Air models. Owners of the 802.11ac-equipped MacBook Airs have taken to Apple's support forum to complain about dropped connections.
"I have a brand new MacBook Air which is able to connect to the Internet for just a minute or two before suddenly it drops out," an Apple forum user complains. "This is even though the signal still shows at full strength and all my other devices are still able to surf the net as per normal."
Similar complaints are being voiced from MacBook Air owners using a variety of networking gear, including Apple's own Airport Extreme router. If you're experiencing the same issue, one thing you can try is updating the firmware on your router to the latest version, if it isn't already running it. Otherwise, it's a waiting game until Apple acknowledges the problem and releases a fix.