Slow Wi-Fi on AppleTV

Perhaps someone has some ideas. I’ve also posted on Apple Support Forums, but no reply so far.
I have an AppleTV, 3rd gen. connected to my WiFi network. Cable speed is 200 Mbps and is solid on the desktop. I measured the speed using the SpeedTest app on the AppleTV and it is only 13.4 Mpbs. I measured the speed at the same location as the AppleTV using my iPhone SE (not the latest) using SpeedTest (Ookla) and it was 145 Mbps. I’m using a Synology WiFi router. Distance between the router and the AppleTV is about 20 feet at most. Can someone explain why this is happening or, preferably, how to improve the speed on the AppleTV itself? There is no contention for bandwidth when using the TV, none of my other devices are accessing the Internet at the time (desktop and laptop are asleep and the desktop is hardwired with an Ethernet cable to the router, laptop WiFi is always OFF when not in active use). Is it question of whether the 5GHz or 2.4 GHz band is used? Does the AppleTV connect only on the 2.4 GHz band?

A 3rd gen Apple TV is pretty old - discontinued in October 2016. Although technically still supported, it has pretty much been abandoned at this point. Many major apps (like YouTube) have already dropped support and won’t work at all.

Its Wi-Fi is 802.11 a/b/g/n. 802.11n can theoretically go up to 600Mbit/s, but that’s only if it can connect to four streams using 40MHz bands. In the scenario of one stream and a 20MHz band (most likely at 2.4 GHz), that would top out at about 65 Mbit/s. More than the data rate you’re observing, but significantly less than your Wi-Fi network’s capability.

All this having been said, are you seeing actual bandwidth problems? Do you see video playback at reduced resolution or with pauses due to buffering? If not, then I wouldn’t be concerned about a “problem” that only manifests in a benchmark application.

Have you tried using the Apple TV’s Ethernet connection? But note that its Ethernet is 10/100 - no Gigabit. So even then, you’re not going to come close to your network’s capacity. But it might be interesting to see if the benchmarks improve over Wi-Fi.

I get much better performance from my Apple TV (4th gen.) when it is connected to my 5GHz network vs. the 2.4. So much that I’ve told it to “forget” the 2.4 GHz network. By performance I mean solid connection, no drops, no stuttering or buffering. All of which are common when connected to the 2.4 GHz network.

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Note also that a 4th gen has much better Wi-Fi than a 3rd gen.

  • The Apple TV HD supports 802.11ac with MIMO.
  • Apple TV 4K (1st gen) supports 802.11ac with MIMO and simultaneous dual band (2.4 GHz and 5GHz). It also adds gigabit support to the wired Ethernet port.
  • Apple TV 4K (2nd gen - since May 2021) supports 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) with MIMO and simultaneous dual band.
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I misspoke. I have the 4th Gen. model (HD). However, I checked the router and it is connecting on the 2.4 GHz band. My iPhone and iPod are connecting on the 5 GHz band. How do I tell it to forget the 2.4 GHz band and connect only on the 5 GHz band? There are no obvious settings on the Apple TV itself.

In the Settings app, choose Network > WiFi > (Name of your network) > Forget this Network.

But I should add on that same screen, you can select your 5GHz network and re-run your tests to see if you still see the issues. “Forgetting” the network will just stop your Apple TV from auto-selecting the 2.4GHz network after a restart, etc.


So after Forget this Network, what happens. Do I Restart and manually reselect my existing WiFi network? I mean, how will it know which available network to connect to?

OK. That worked. I forgot it. Rejoined. Restarted. Then it connected to the 5GHz band (I assume) and download speeds are now 190 Mbps. Thanks a million for the tip.


Glad that worked for you. It sounds like maybe your 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks have the same name? Otherwise you’d know for sure by just looking which one was selected. If so, you may want to rename one or both of them so you’ll know for sure on all your devices. Typically, people just put “5G” or “2G” at the end of the name.

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Yes, they have the same name. I should be able to create a 2nd network on the router for this purpose. Should be a way to restrict it to either 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz. I’ll have to check the router docs for that or the Synology Website. Thanks.