Use your Mac’s standard OS X apps to optimize your home Wi-Fi network

“Some time ago I visited my parents, and as these things tend to go, they had a list of things that bothered them about their computers, iPhones and iPads and the Internet connection,” Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten reports for TNW.

“I like helping them, so tried optimizing their Wi-Fi network first,” Van Zanten reports. “In the past it would suffice to look at the AirPort symbol in the menu bar top right. If it would show a full signal (all bars black) it would work, and if it didn’t, it wouldn’t. But it seems that the AirPort symbol now always displays a full signal, even when the signal is bad.”

Van Zanten reports, “Fortunately, there is an easy way to check signal-strength, and it is just a few clicks away.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The AirPort symbol was fscked by Jony Ive in OS X 10.10. It needed no change. So he and his programming staff changed it into a wimpy symbol that looks as if you have NO Wi-Fi when you’re actually at full strength. And of course they ripped out the signal strength code.

    This was one of the many fsck-ups perpetrated in OS X 10.10 that limp forward today. Letting Ive loose on the OS X GUI was one of Apple’s stupidest blunders. The result is worthy of kindergarten.

    And I’m an Apple fanatic pointing this out. 😛

    1. Instead of the 3 lines, they should have that shape with a solid color all the way full for 100% and vary like the battery symbol. Or perhaps the 3 lines with a fill color behind them.

          1. Sadly, no. WordPress does not provide a way to upload images. It only allows links to images at servers on the web, and I’m not currently running a web server. BUT, this image will give you a great idea of the difference in width of the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. This is the line thickness and darkness of the icon in 10.9.x and earlier:

            In 10.10.x onward the line thickness is about half of the above and the lines are a level of gray, not black. The gray is reminiscent of the icon in 10.9.x and earlier when you’re not connected to the Internet. Thus instant confusion. No change was called for or sensible.

    2. I agree. Simple intuitive software died with Steve Jobs. Every new release is like playing Wheres Waldo with the features. Application functionality and usefulness is being sacrificed for the sake of artistic expression.

  2. Also useful is Apple’s [secret & hidden] Network Utility. It used to be located directly in the Utilities folder. As of, again, OS X 10.10 Apple (Ive?) decided to bury it where no one can find it:


    If you have Admin permissions, make an alias of it or simply copy (not move!) it back into your Utilities folder. It has similar capability to the good old freeware WhatRoute.

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