Your new MacBook Pro has slower Wi-Fi than your old one, but fret not

What you need to know

  • Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have slower Wi-Fi than older models.
  • The new MacBook Pros max out at 1200Mbps.
  • Older Intel Macs can reach speeds of 1300Mbps.

You'll never notice the difference.

Apple's new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks are pretty great and blazingly fast, but it turns out they have slower maximum Wi-Fi speeds than older models. In use, however, it's unlikely anyone will ever notice.

A support document spied by Anton Bulzomi notes that the new M1 Pro and M1 Max machines, plus the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro, have a theoretical maximum throughput speed of 1200Mbps via their 802.11ax 5GHz radios. Older Intel Macs, however, top out at 1300Mbps via 802.11ac 5GHz.

It's unlikely that anyone would even notice the difference in speeds, however, and the differing standards — 802.11ac and 802.11ax — do mean that things are more complicated than raw throughput capabilities. Bulzomi notes that they were unable to see any big speed differences between the new and old Macs when running tests.

All of this is probably moot for most people — none of this matters unless you have the correct Wi-Fi hardware in use and have the very best conditions available. Wi-Fi speed is a complicated beast at the best of times and I would absolutely say that this 100Mbps is highly unlikely to cause issues in real-life use. It's also worth noting that anyone who needs to transfer huge amounts of data would be best served by using a wired connection method, regardless.

There's little doubt that the new MacBook Pros are the best Macs Apple has ever made for people who need the most possible performance on the move. This 100Mbps speed difference isn't going to change that.

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