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Wifi Constantly Dropping in Lion

522125 Views 2,266 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2014 2:35 AM by WSR RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • torndownunit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 11, 2012 2:33 AM (in response to gphonei)

    Results were the same.  Obviously using the Airport, I did give 5ghz a try.  And as with the previous router, tried a variety of channels with it.    As with other setups, no other devices including another Mac latop running Snow Leopard had any issues with any of the network experimentations to try to fix the problem.   Just the iMac.  Any 'fix' was just temporary on that machine.   But, with it hardwired it's fine, so it's staying that way.

     

    Again, there are only 2 other networks in my area, and no new devices in the house broadcasting since I was using my Macbook. There is no more interference than there ever was, which is very little.    The network was the same when I got the iMac, and it was the only device that had issues.   I switched to an Aiport Extreme to see what would happen, the results were still the same.  Along with trying every other tip in this thread as well.  There was no problem up until I started using this iMac.  And there still is no problem using any other devices.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 11, 2012 7:34 AM (in response to torndownunit)

    Okay if the airport bars are going grey, then something in the RF environment is whacked out.  Were you able to use the instructions for turning on "debug" logging?  If you do that, you might find some interesting details in the wifi logging.

     

    Look at this page in particular:

     

    http://prowiki.isc.upenn.edu/wiki/Enabling_Advanced_Logging_for_Wireless_in_Mac_ OS_X

     

    UPenn was involved with Apple in trying to resolve the problem for their students, so stuff on their Wiki might be very imformative.

  • TotallyFred Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 4:33 AM (in response to gphonei)

    Factually: if iPhones and iPad work well, RF pollution alone can not be the root cause.

     

    I have the same issue at home; all my devices worked perfectly (2 iPad, iPhone, Squeezebox, Wii, Mac on Lion, Mac on Snow Leopard). The Macbooks work perfectly with WiFi and Bluetooth.

     

    Now I upgraded the Snow Leopard MacBook to Mountain Lion and it is the only machine to experience the problem. It has issues with both WiFi and Bluetooth.

     

    Of course, I also thought about RF problems. I performed a site survey and my wifi is clean; all AP's use different and non-overlapping channels; signal strength is also good. All other devices in the house keep working well (especially my Wife's mac that uses BT and WiFi).

     

    It seems to be that the Bluetooth (which other threads mention) and WiFi (this thread) issues are  stemming from different root causes that are not (just) RF related. Maybe software only or hardware+software related but point in case, this is *only* an ML issue.

     

    It is therefore hard to blame the environment even if tempting.

  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (14,955 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 6:49 AM (in response to TotallyFred)

    Oh, Freddy.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 8:14 AM (in response to TotallyFred)

    TotallyFred wrote:

     

    Factually: if iPhones and iPad work well, RF pollution alone can not be the root cause.

     

    I have the same issue at home; all my devices worked perfectly (2 iPad, iPhone, Squeezebox, Wii, Mac on Lion, Mac on Snow Leopard). The Macbooks work perfectly with WiFi and Bluetooth.

     

    Now I upgraded the Snow Leopard MacBook to Mountain Lion and it is the only machine to experience the problem. It has issues with both WiFi and Bluetooth.

     

    Of course, I also thought about RF problems. I performed a site survey and my wifi is clean; all AP's use different and non-overlapping channels; signal strength is also good. All other devices in the house keep working well (especially my Wife's mac that uses BT and WiFi).

     

    It seems to be that the Bluetooth (which other threads mention) and WiFi (this thread) issues are  stemming from different root causes that are not (just) RF related. Maybe software only or hardware+software related but point in case, this is *only* an ML issue.

     

    It is therefore hard to blame the environment even if tempting.

    Okay, without a spectrum analyzer you will not be able to see all RF that is present.  Sure, you can see "wifi" or "bluetooth" or other "standards", but proprietary things like wireless telephones, VCR extenders, baby monitors etc., are not going to be visible.

     

    Clearly the software changed something.  Practically, I think it's Apple trying to provide better performance for AirPlay and other network services.   This means that it might not tolerate as many dropped packets as might actually be happening.

     

    If you use file sharing in your house, what kind of "bandwidth" do you see when copying large files across the network.  If you can use FTP, or other lighterweight, more likely to stream applications, that will provide more information.  Also try speedtest.net to see if you see any visible differences in a wired vs wireless situation.  That might make wireless radio issues more visible, but most of the time wireless speed, even with errors flying continuously, can out pace most peoples ISP bandwidth, so local file copies between machines inside of your network are more revealing.

     

    If you have the experience, you can use "tcpdump" on your mac with the wireless up, and see if there are odd packets flying across the network indicating retransmission is occuring, or timeouts are causing resent packets.

  • benforrestcc Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 31, 2012 8:05 PM (in response to gphonei)

    I would like to chim in my own experiences.

     

    Note: has been flawless for past 6 months.

     

    Mountain lion , recent upgrade to firmware wifi dropping out every 10minutes. Not gray bars, just connection drop. mac book pro on same network working fine. 5Mhz. 

     

    Attempted to change MTU size based on this article http://j.mp/SdXLmu at macrumours. I used 1453 to play it safe.

    No difference.

     

    I have an airport. upgraded that to 7.6.1. no change.

     

    now using the non 5 Mhz , been fine for last 24 hours.

     

    DEFINITELY something in the firmware for the 5Mhz area of things.

     

    Ben Forrest

    Geodica Touchpass, User Strong Authentication Made Simple

    see more at www.geodica.com

  • eliasfromnewyork Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2012 3:06 AM (in response to lhale)

    This issue was persistent in early Lion releases, but had been fixed at later upgrades. Upgrade your machine to 10.7.5, this issue is fixed now.

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2012 7:49 PM (in response to benforrestcc)

    benforrestcc wrote:

     

    I would like to chim in my own experiences.

     

    Note: has been flawless for past 6 months.

     

    Mountain lion , recent upgrade to firmware wifi dropping out every 10minutes. Not gray bars, just connection drop. mac book pro on same network working fine. 5Mhz. 

     

    Attempted to change MTU size based on this article http://j.mp/SdXLmu at macrumours. I used 1453 to play it safe.

    No difference.

     

    I have an airport. upgraded that to 7.6.1. no change.

     

    now using the non 5 Mhz , been fine for last 24 hours.

     

    DEFINITELY something in the firmware for the 5Mhz area of things.

    I am not sure you can reach this conclusion with that logic.  If the bars were always black, then your WIFI was working "as the pipe" to your router, but something between your computer and the "internet" was not working correctly.

     

    Were you able to do any of the "ping" testing to see if you could get "ping -n 8.8.8.8" to work when your browser wasn't letting you access the website you were going to?

     

    There seem to be many people like you who have had working "WiFi", but the browser was just not able to connect for some reason.  That's the problem that still seems to be happening. With some people having ISPs with broken DNS or other services, it can be difficult to work through all the issues unless you've got a firm grasp of which parts of the internet infrastructure are used in what ways and at what moments, so that you can test what is working right up to finding what is broken.

  • Berend de Meyer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2012 5:12 AM (in response to lhale)

    This is probably the best solution for having a great and stable WiFi connection!

     

    IMG_0309.JPG

  • WSR Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 2, 2012 5:18 AM (in response to Berend de Meyer)

    lol - That's just how I have imagined him!

  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2012 5:32 PM (in response to WSR)

    WSR wrote:

     

    lol - That's just how I have imagined him!

    I know you guys have great fun believing that the only thing to do is point at Apple and say it's all their fault, because everything else "works".  What is funny to me, is that so many will waste their time and money, believing Apple is the problem, without actually understanding what is wrong.  So the end result, is that eventually either Apple does solve their problem, because they have one of the real Apple problems that we've seen fixes for so far.

     

    1.  WiFi would not reconnect comming out of sleep.

    2.  There is/was a hardware/firmware issue with a specific series of WiFi cards it would seem.  However, Apple

          has yet to include such "wording" in any updates, so it's still not clear that this is actually a problem.

     

    So far, there are no facts which indicate that anyone should still be having problems with WiFi connected internet functions.  That's why I ask whether or not these people are seeing black airport signal bars, or grey.

     

    Once we know that the bars are staying back, then it really shifts the focus to the networking stack.  There are then only about 3-4 things to consider.  First, is DHCP working between your router and your computer.  If you open up network preferences, and see an appropriate IP address, netmask, default/gateway router address, and the DNS tab has appropriate, working DNS server addresses.  You can telnet to port 53 on those addresses and if you get a connection, you at least have connectivity.  If that works, then you can instead try "dig @<ip> time-a.nist.gov" where <ip> is each of those DNS addresses, in turn, and see that it works, with output something like as shown here:

     

    $  dig @<ip> time-a.nist.gov

     

     

    ; <<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>> time-a.nist.gov

    ;; global options: +cmd

    ;; Got answer:

    ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 22473

    ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 4

     

     

    ;; QUESTION SECTION:

    ;time-a.nist.gov.                    IN          A

     

     

    ;; ANSWER SECTION:

    time-a.nist.gov.          1164          IN          A          129.6.15.28

     

     

    ;; AUTHORITY SECTION:

    nist.gov.                    1295          IN          NS          gdnsea.nist.gov.

    nist.gov.                    1295          IN          NS          dns-x.boulder.nist.gov.

     

     

    ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:

    dns-x.boulder.nist.gov.          133          IN          A          132.163.4.9

    dns-x.boulder.nist.gov.          133          IN          AAAA          2610:20:6b01:4::9

    gdnsea.nist.gov.          433          IN          A          129.6.13.3

    gdnsea.nist.gov.          433          IN          AAAA          2610:20:6005:13::3

     

     

    ;; Query time: 61 msec

    ;; SERVER: 192.168.1.1#53(192.168.1.1)

    ;; WHEN: Sat Nov  3 19:04:12 2012

    ;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 186

     

    If DNS is not working, that is what you need to focus on.  If your ISP or DHCP from your router, is not already using the DNS server, 8.8.8.8, which is Googles public DNS server, try adding that on your DNS tab to see if that fixes the problem.

     

    Finally, call your ISP and ask them why DNS is not working!

     

    Additionally, if you want to see how these kinds of problems can manifest as a "My WiFi is not working" problem, go in to your DNS settings, and put the IP address of a non-DNS server machine in, and then try and use Safari or whatever browser you use on your Mac and see how it reports the problem back to you.  Usually, with a non-functional DNS server, you'll just see the page load "stall", and eventually timeout.  When the DNS server is broken, then it may reply immediately with a failure and the browser will not show you the page.

     

    Even if all your other devices are working, and you really feel that it's just your Apple computer that is having the problem, that doesn't mean, necessarily that it's problems are Apple's fault.  The standards for WiFi are non-trivial, and that's why routers cost $50 or so, for low end, 802.11g and upwards of $200.00 for 802.11N with Gigabit ethernet ports and VPN services.  If it was simple stuff, you'd pay $20.00 for a router, like you do an FM broadcast radio receiver.

     

    There are many "small" or "new" companies taking the open source Linux software systems that Cisco/Linksys put together for the WRT54G router, and they are creating their own routers, by just buying the RF decks, and other bits from various parties.  These cheap routers, can be problematic, if they don't have proper RFI shielding in the receiver, don't have good heat disapation and many other things which have become visible failure modes for them.

     

    And also, the changing standards and the complexity of the software systems mean that you need to check your vendors website for firmware updates, and make sure you have the latest applicable firmware installed on your router.  There can be bugs in even the newest routers, because they've become commidity priced, and are shipped with the lowest delivery cost possible.  So many times, an early release of the software was burned in, at the factory, expecting the user to update it.  Many routers, now have an installation CD which guides you through doing this automatically.

     

    These things are not just a toaster that you put your bagles in for breakfast...

  • Michael Sciascia Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2012 7:29 PM (in response to gphonei)

    As long as the problem goes away when I reboot into Snow Leopard....  NO HARDWARE CHANGES!!!

     

    Then it is something Apple did to Lion/Mountain Lion. 

     

    If it is not the OS, then please explain why it is not a problem in Snow Leopard.    You cannot blame my hardware.

  • WSR Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2012 4:50 AM (in response to Michael Sciascia)

    As Steve Jobs used to say... "It Just Works".

    There should be no need for effing about with networks.

  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (14,955 points)
  • gphonei Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2012 8:41 AM (in response to Michael Sciascia)

    Michael Sciascia wrote:

     

    As long as the problem goes away when I reboot into Snow Leopard....  NO HARDWARE CHANGES!!!

     

    Then it is something Apple did to Lion/Mountain Lion. 

     

    If it is not the OS, then please explain why it is not a problem in Snow Leopard.    You cannot blame my hardware.

    Remember, I have said that there is perhaps at least on problem which Apple needed/needs to fix regarding hardware and firmware interaction when the airport indicator is grey as opposed to when it is black, meaning that the WiFi connection is up and running.

     

    If you have "The Apple WiFi problem", then yes, you have a gripe and you can take the actions you want.

     

    The problem is that there are people who have other problems, and because this and the other issue have so many comments, people believe that any problem they have is "The Apple WiFi problem".  Those people will have little luck waiting for Apple to fix their problem.

     

    Also, it is apparent to me, that Apple's focus on AirPlay and other streaming and efficient network use, means that if you have a marginal WiFi network, that you may find that it is not good enough for Mac OS-X.  The more advanced features and exploiting them for maximal effective use, requires very good, effective software.  Apple may have some work arounds that they could put in place to deal with certain manufactures or local network environments.

     

    Waiting for Apple to fix your problem puts your problem(s) on your shoulders to experience.  You can decide whether you want someone else to fix it for you, get some help working around or fixing the problems, or going at it yourself.  I choose not to waste my time waiting for someone else to fix a problem that I can understand and either point the finger at the problem and help get it fixed sooner, or otherwise fix it myself.

     

    You are free to use your own time in whatever way you think will be best for you.  But, that choice, being your choice, puts you in a position of responsibility where you get to deal with whatever falls out of that choice.

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