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Dropping Wi FI Signal

357099 Views 1,153 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2013 9:30 AM by i5.com RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • retiredatlast Calculating status...
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    Dec 13, 2009 8:11 PM (in response to William Kucharski)
    Was away from home and trying to use a couple other networks. One was a strong signal but could only connect if Macbook was plugged in to power. The other one was a week signal but could not connect at all. Neither had any security enabled. In both cases the Airport would show the network but when I tried to connect I usually got a "Connection Timeout" error.

    Back home Signal is strong, it will connect and I can usually get one web page then communication stops. The beacon in the menu bar often usually retains all 'bars' black but the requested page never loads. Sometimes the beacon will suddenly go gray, search for a while then just stay gray. Having the MacBook plugged in does not seem to make any difference at home.

    Interference from other channels is not an issue as I live in a remote area and is over 2 miles to the nearest group of houses that may have WiFi. I do not use any encryption either.

    Basically the WiFi has become completely unusable. I bought a 50 foot patch to cable run the from my router to the MacBook. (Distance to router is just over 10 feet but the store had 10 and 50.)
    1st gen MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • JPM-PL Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 13, 2009 10:49 PM (in response to William Kucharski)
    William Kucharski wrote:

    Note that WPA Personal/TKIP is significantly less secure than WPA2/AES, as the former is crackable while the second is not unless you use a very insecure passphrase.


    Thanks for the warning. But this is the only solution which works for me.

    Using WPA2 my iMac is a lot more secure as it becomes disconnected thus inaccessible for 'bad guys' from Internet. Perhaps it is not a bug from Apple but 'Advanced Security Feature'
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Intel 2.8
  • dean_novak Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 13, 2009 11:09 PM (in response to dean_novak)
    That's it. No more Snow Leopard, at least till Apple fix this wireless problems. I have experienced constant droupouts even with the last wireless client fix. Seems to me that the problem is some advanced power saving feature that causes signal RSSI to drop beyond certain limit. At my case, when I boot my mac mini RSSI starts with -60 dBm and after couple of minutes drops to -85 dBm which is not enaugh for stable connection. When I am close to the router, connection RSSI is about -30 dBm and after that it drops to -60 dBm and then I don't have droupouts but this is not called wireless then
    My Lenovo R61 is working excellent, so this is not intereference issue. Apple fix this, it's big problem.
    Mac Mini Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Handsonthewheel Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 14, 2009 10:50 AM (in response to Dummkopf)
    Just the opposite for me. Wifi was working really well although sometimes a little weak (but that's probably my gutless router). Since installing the Airport Client Update 2009-002 it rarely works. Very annoying. Have talked to Apple but they can't seem to fix it. Luckily I have an ethernet connection as well so it's not that important except we all like to have things working right!
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.1), iPhone 3G
  • retiredatlast Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2009 8:09 PM (in response to Ryan83)
    I have had this problem since upgrade to 10.6.2. About 4 weeks ago I bought a new Time Capsule to back up my wife's photos on her MAC. Three or four days ago I noticed the following but have waited to post to be sure it is consistent. The Time Capsule has two networks it broadcast. One is the primary owners network and the other is a guest network. When I start up my MAC it automatically connects to the primary network. It only works for a minute or two the all communication stops even though the beacon arcs in the menu bar all stay black. If I then choose the guest network from the menu it connects and works continuously for a couple hours or more. Once or twice it did stop but tonight it has been working perfectly for three hours. So what is the difference between these two networks? I do not any security enable on either of them. (To far from neighbor and to far down dirt road to worry about WiFi security.)
    First gen MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • dbmacdon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2009 3:07 PM (in response to Ryan83)
    I experienced this problem connecting a brand new Mac Mini to a brand new Lynksys WAG160N wireless-N ADSL2+ gateway located one concrete floor above. The devices have the latest system software (10.6.2, Airport client update 2009-002) and firmware. The gateway also connects by ethernet to an iMac 20" core duo (early 2006) running 10.5.8.

    Ethernet internet connectivity on the iMac was normal. The symptoms I observed were:
    1. Erratic file and screen sharing between the two computers through the gateway. Some connection attempts succeeded after a sometimes lengthy delay, others failed. Once connected, the link was fairly stable when active (e.g streaming video), but inactive connections often dropped.
    2. Poor transfer speeds between the computers through the gateway (e.g. 1-2 MB/s).
    3. Frequent loss of internet connectivity (Safari, Firefox, iChat) on the WiFi connected Mac Mini, even though airport showed as connected and even when there was still a functioning LAN connection between the computers. Sometimes this self-corrected after waiting a minute or so. Other times it required turing airport off and back on again, or a restart.
    4. Console airport error messages ("disassociated due to inactivity", as well as "disassociated due to station leaving", "Scan () error 16 (Resource busy)", "__ACNetworkAssociate() error 16 while scanning for Linksys", and "...airportd MIG failed (Associate Event) = 16 (Resource busy)...").

    After reading through this Apple forum it appears that many think OS X 10.6 is the culprit. However, there are similar threads in Lynksys forums where WiFi drops commonly affect not only Apple, but other machines as well and many point to the Lynksys device or its firmware as the culprit. Probably there are a number of different hardware, software and environmental causes for WiFi failure in different network scenarios.

    In my case, I eventually noticed two other wireless network signals getting into my home from the neighboring townhouses. According to System Profiler, one of these was on channel 11 - the same as the Lynksys; the other was on channel 1. I changed the Lynksys to channel 4 and Voila! problem completely resolved. All other gateway and OS X network settings are default. No special tweaking of the gateway or OS X network settings required.

    The wireless-N WiFI connections are now quickly established, stable and fast using WPA2 Personal security. So, in my case the Mac Mini, OS X 10.6 and the Lynksys WAG160N gateway all perform 'as advertised' and are a pleasure to use. I just had to find a channel free of nearby WiFi interference.

    Regards and good luck
    Mac Mini Core 2 duo 2.53 MHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Lynksys WAG160N wireless-N ADSL2+ gateway
  • Donald_Paul Ramsay Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2009 2:44 AM (in response to Ryan83)
    I have had the same issue with SL since I loaded it on to one of my mac's this is the configuration of my system

    ADSL Router connected to airport extreme unit. Imac running 10.5.8, macbook running 10.5.8 work pc lap top running windows xp. All these units can connect to the system and it runs all day no issue. When I connect my other macbook running 10.6.2 the system hangs after approx 1 hour. I have contacted Apple and the issue was raised to a Tier 2 tech we have gone through the following:-
    1 - Its your ISP no it is not as other machines are Ok and it worked before I upgraded to 10.6.2
    2 - Reset the router and check for firmware upgrades all up to date.
    3 - Clean install the issues still arises after 1 hour.
    4 - Provide Apple Tech with data log of system until the system goes down.
    5 - No response from Apple yet.

    I thought of buying a new machine and trying this out until the guy in the shop said if you still have a problem you cannt return the machine. So no purchase of new machine.

    This is clearly an issue with SL and Apple do not have the answer and the Tech's whilst trying there best are unable to tell you what the real problem is.

    Please will you all ring apple support lines and flood them with the queries there is no charge for this and maybe Apple will get their act together and resolve the issue.
    imac, 2 macbooks, old snow imac, Mac OS X (10.5.8), air port extreme
  • lantzwr Calculating status...
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    Dec 20, 2009 6:07 AM (in response to Ryan83)
    Add me to the list. Running Snow Leopard 10.6.2, with the recent Airport Update. The update helped for a while, but the last three days it is back to dropping out after an hour or two. Restarts don't work, shutting down Airport doesn't help. Apple please fix this. I have bragged for three years to all my Microsoft friends how good and reliable Apple products are, I sure don't want to have to eat crow with all of "Them".
    MacBook Pro 15", Intel Core Duo, 1.83 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.2), 2006 Week 10 machine, and iPhone 3G, OS 3.1
  • california99 Calculating status...
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    Dec 20, 2009 6:41 AM (in response to lantzwr)
    It's definitely worth trying manually setting your wireless channel (at the hub) to one that is not being used by wireless nets in your area that have a signal strength (RSSI) close to yours. (Easily determined in Snow Leopard by option clicking on the airport indicator in the top menu bar. Lower number in absolute value is stronger.)

    At least in my case, the problem that arose after my SL upgrade seemed to be caused by problems in the laptop-to-hub communication, nowhere else in the system (even when I got a strong wireless connection but could not reach the Internet), and was exhibited only on my two SL machines, not my PC or my iPhone or my old Tiger Motorola Mac laptop (which were happily surfing the Web via the same hub when my MBP said it could not get onto the Internet).

    Since setting my hub channel to one that overlaps minimally with any neighbors' networks, I get good performance for a few days. Then it will fail. And here's a major clue to at least one problem that is going on. When my system acts up, I check the neighboring networks, and sure enough a neighbor has reset their wireless channel!!! (I live in the heart of Silicon Valley, and pick up between 5 and 12 wireless signals at any one time, and I am pretty sure that those of us with SL Macs, and there are a lot of Macs in this part of the world, are now chasing one another around the channel spectrum. This BB probably does not help us in this regard, since more people are learning to switch channels, and channel chasing now seems the weekly, if not daily norm!)

    In the meantime, the only remaining fix I can think of is to buy a 5 GHz router that offers me different channels, but then I'll likely need to run cables to position the router in something close to near-vicinity, line-of-sight. (That's what I have in my workplace, where there are hundreds of local wireless hubs fighting for the local airwaves, and my MBPs connect flawlessly and fast there. I suspect Apple's HQ, just down the road from me, has a similar setup.)

    This, of course, is a workaround, not a fix, since the world we live in is predominantly a 2.4 GHz one. Since I get great connectivity without problems with all my other wireless devices, and did with my current two MBPs prior to the SL upgrade, this is clearly an Apple issue, and SL is definitely a factor (though seemingly not the only one), and only Apple can determine exactly why it is having so much trouble.

    Great connectivity for me this morning, BTW. I chose a new channel two mornings ago. I probably have a couple more days before I need to switch again.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2), DLink DIR-615C wireless router, firmware 3.11NA, AT&T DSL service
  • california99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2009 7:21 AM (in response to california99)
    BTW, in case it can help the Apple engineers, I typically get an RSSI of -41 or so, the neighbors' signals come in one around -65, one in the -71 region, and a whole bunch in the -80s. I stay well away from the channels of the two strongest signals, but maybe the others still interfere. The MBP Snow Leopard problem seems to be that interference from much weaker signals on other channels cause problems that do not arise with other computers or other versions of Mac OS, or with the iPhone 3G.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2), DLink DIR-615C wireless router, firmware 3.11NA, AT&T DSL service
  • lurker412 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2009 8:08 AM (in response to california99)
    I have had the wireless woes for several months. After researching it on the Web, I am fairly sure that there is a constellation of problems here, not a single one with a single cure. Looking for WiFi interference and changing the router channel has worked for me. However, note that I am running 10.5.8 and the problems started when I was running 10.5.7. It is, of course, a PITA to have to change the router config whenever the MacBook's wireless goes off into the weeds, and as more and more neighbors start using wireless, the problem is likely to get worse. However, since none of my Windows machines are affected by the problem, it is clearly a problem that can be solved. One can only hope Apple is listening.
    White MacBook (4.1), Mac OS X (10.5.8), And a whole bunch of Windows machines
  • Donald_Paul Ramsay Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2009 8:08 AM (in response to Ryan83)
    California 99 thanks for the 2 posts.

    The problem I have swapping channels is that I will also have to swap channels on the XP machine where I have no admin rights. I could buy a new airport extreme unit and use that at the 5Ghz range but feel loathed to do that as it will be work round and cost me more money and the airport extreme is working fine.

    I really do suggest that everyone with the problem logs it with Apple get a case ID and then it may get up the ladder of resolution.

    As I live in the UK the router I have is a BT Voyager 240 which is working fine.

    Thanks again. I will have to continue to use my partners iMac and my trusty ipod touch which works fine.
    as before, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • lurker412 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2009 8:16 AM (in response to Donald_Paul Ramsay)
    Donald_Paul: It is not necessary to tell XP which channel you are using. It will scan all available channels by itself. When I change my router, my XP machine doesn't even need to be restarted--it doesn't miss a beat. HTH.
    White MacBook (4.1), Mac OS X (10.5.8), And a whole bunch of Windows machines
  • MagnetiCat Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 22, 2009 11:07 PM (in response to Ryan83)
    Hello, having exactly the same issue. I am running the latest Mac OS X on a Macbook and on an iMac. The connection to the wi-fi router, a DSL-Link 624t stops working. I try to disconnect and reconnect, and I cannot login anymore. This is not occurring with other windows PCs.

    One thing I noticed is that this, so far, happened only while I was using Firefox. I'd consider this a coincidence, but the error started occurring after I installed the latest Firefox, yesterday, and it occurs every hour or so - forcing me to reboot the machine as the only solution - while I am browsing with Firefox.

    So far, with Safari I had no connection problems. But again, maybe this is just a coincidence. In any case, this is an urgent matter as Firefox is fundamental for web development.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • MagnetiCat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 22, 2009 11:10 PM (in response to MagnetiCat)
    I forgot: both systems are brand new.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
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