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What should the"default behavior" be for WiFi network connections?

148 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2013 12:14 AM by tweetzero RSS
tweetzero Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 14, 2013 4:07 PM

I Have been able to at least temporarily fix the plethora of problems encountered after downloading Mountain Lion to my 2009 17" MBP just ten days ago.  Thanks to the time and effort of so many posters that are much more savvy than me, I successfully executed the steps suggested in many of the posts and with good results.  It surely beats running down to the Apple store and being told that I am the only one with a problem.

Okay,  I've  realized that I don't really know what the default behavior of the WiFi network connection should be? 


Should the Wi-Fi drop down in Network always be" looking for networks", even though I am obviously on my Network?

Should the Wi-Fi be connected at all times even when your computer is in sleep mode- or deep sleep mode?  There have been so many problems with Wi-Fi dropping off,slow or hanging loads, etc.


I unchecked "ask to join networks, in Network preferences thinking it might stop looking for networks when it doesn't need to because I'm already on mine.  I do see my neighbors (four neighbors) in the drop down in Network. 

How do you get into Time Capsule's settings, to check speeds, especially ping?  What should the ideal settings be?

How do you know if your DHCP license is renewed? I've heard that feature isn't working and may be the culprit to some of the Wi-Fi problems.

I'll look forward to your help in understanding more about this.  I've been in the support  area a lot lately, I've read plenty of definitions, and explanations of the different options to choose from in Apple's support area, but nowhere have I seen anything that explains what the default behavior should be or perform  like. 

Thanks, as always.

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 17in. 2.5GHz Intel Core i7
  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Generally, you don't want to tweak the wifi settings. It pretty much takes care of itself. The caveat to that is, of course, if you're experiencing problems.


    The 'looking for networks' behaviour only happens when you log in, wake the mac from sleep OR when you click on the wifi icon. You clicking on it tells the mac  "I want to see what networks are available" - so it does a scan for you to check to see if any new networks have appeared since you last clicked on it (or woke/logged in). In short, if you don't want it to look for new networks, don't click on the icon!


    Unchecking the 'ask to join networks' option only applies when your mac detects a new network (such as when it wakes) that you haven't already authorised; it'll ask you to confirm whether you want to join it or not. Otherwise, if the network is open it'll join automatically. You should keep this selected if you travel around with your Mac. It's a good idea to know what network you're on before you start plugging in passwords or typing other things into the mac.



    There is a utility that you can use for ping and traceroute called 'Network Utility'. Click on the Spotlight icon in the top right of your screen and type "Network' and you should see it at the top of the list. Hit 'return' to open it.


    DHCP licences are normally renewed automatically by your router every 24 hours. Again, there's no reason to be messing about with that unless you're experiencing problems.



    If you're experiencing wifi dropout, let us know, and we'll make some suggestions, but if you're not, you're best leaving your mac to manage the background processes. It knows what it's doing!


    Message was edited by: softwater

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    tweetzero wrote:


    I've  done pretty well not letting the Mac do it's thing because it knows what it's doing. Not with ML is doesn't.  


    Well, you'll note that I said 'generally' and 'unless you're experiencing problems'...


    But good that you solved your problems. To be fair, it's not that "ML doesn't know what its doing", it's just that installing a new operating system that is compatible with 40 different models of mac ranging back in time from 2007 or so with a multitude of different hardware configurations and a variety of compatible and incompatible existing software packages is never going to be a simple 'click and install' for every user (it's a feat that it is that simple for so many, actually).


    As someone once said on these forums, installing an OS onto a computer is analogous to performing major heart surgery on a hospital patient.


    In some ways Apple have themselves to blame for user frustration, in that they sold both Lion and Mountain Lion as exactly that: a "click and go" app as if it was a $1.99 utility on the App store, and thus raised expectations that were never going to met in every case.


    Still, I dare say you learned a lot about how your macs work in the process, and that in itself is a good thing, right?


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