6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2007 11:13 PM by John Pietrzak
Chuckie85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm able to share my iMac's internet connection with my iPhone via the built-in AirPort wireless card (it finds and connects easily to the wi-fi connection), but it only works intermittently: when browsing the internet on my iPhone, it stays connected to the wi-fi network, but it only works in short bursts, with up to 15 or 20 minutes between those short bursts while the iPhone browser churns but nothing happens. Apple Support didn't have an explanation (except that it shouldn't work at all, so I was probably connected to someone else's wi-fi network - which isn't the case). Has anyone else had a similar issue?

iMac Intel Core 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • 1. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    Jason L Community Specialists Community Specialists (9,475 points)
    Hey Chuckie85,

    If the iPhone works intermittently on the Wi-Fi network the issue is most likely interference.
    Do you see a lot of Wi-Fi networks to choose from? Is the iPhone or iMac near a wireless phone or microwave?

    Try the tips in these articles:

  • 2. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    Chuckie85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    There are no other Wi-Fi networks in the area to choose from. There's no wireless phone or microwave near the iMac. It behaves the same whether the iPhone is right next to the iMac or wandering around the house. Could something else be causing the interference? The only other electronic device near the iMac is the printer, which is hardwired to the iMac.

    Thanks for the links. I changed the AirPort channel a couple of times before (it's been on "Automatic"), but I gave up on that as a solution. I'll try that again more extensively.

  • 3. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    John Pietrzak Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Actually, I'm seeing a problem which may be similar to what you're seeing; we've been discussing it in this thread:


    Apparently, when using the iPhone (or touch iPod) with certain types of Airport hardware, people are seeing intermittent failures (particularly on longer-latency transactions -- web pages hosted right on the iMac, Mac Mini, or MacBook sharing its internet connection can almost always get through without hitting the problem). When they try using the phone at other hotspots (or with older or newer versions of the Airport wireless system) the problem goes away.

    I've used my Mini's Airport wireless to share my internet connection before, so there's likely no problem with the hardware. Fixing this is probably going to require a software patch from Apple...

  • 4. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    Chuckie85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the link to the other thread. It makes me feel better to know that others are experiencing the same issue and that it's not something unique to me.
  • 5. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    Andrew T. Level 4 Level 4 (3,210 points)
    Hello Chuckie, Sorry to see your having this issue.

    Posted below are some simple tips you can try that may improve connectivity between iPhone and your Mac.

    I would like to first state that your Mac is not designed to be a router, and it does have a limited range and it is expected to not always be stable when you have other devices trying to connect. This feature is intended to be a temporary solution.

    You may wish to purchase an actual WiFi router. For example Airport Extreme 802.11n Router

    Troubleshooting: Turn on Interference Robustness on your Mac's WiFi card. It will decrease any interference from 2.4 GHZ Devices ensuring that your Mac maintains a better signal and hopefully carries that over to the iPhone.

    Troubleshooting: Try testing with Internet Security off. So if you setup WiFi security on the Mac. Try turning this off for testing and see if you get different results.

    Troubleshooting: Change the channel the WiFi network is broadcasting. This can help improve signal strength and stability.

    Again the current setup is a Temporary solution and not meant to replace and or take the place of an actual WiFi Router.
  • 6. Re: iPhone connection with iMac built-in AirPort Extreme Wireless card
    John Pietrzak Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Hi Andrew!

    I hope your tips help Chuckie, but I'm afraid I'm still seeing the problem on my iPhone. (Assuming that Chuckie is seeing the same problem that I am...) I turned on interference robustness, but that didn't help. Then again, I've got my iPhone sitting about three inches from my Mini, so I figured it should have a strong enough signal... I've tried turning off the various security features before, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. I have tried three or four different channels, but not all of them; I guess I could start going through the whole set one by one.

    However, in the discussion thread I linked to earlier, several of us with this problem have been fiddling around, and have determined that this problem seems to exist with the WiFi hardware in a particular subset of Apple products, apparently mostly being the early Intel-based machines. (G4 machines so far seem to work, as do current Intel machines.) Moreover, the glitch is particularly sensitive to the latency with which transactions occur; web pages hosted on the Mac providing the internet connection only rarely hit the glitch, where the exact same page hosted on a distant site hit the glitch far more often. Due to this, I don't believe this problem is one of general internet settings; I'm thinking we're seeing a situation where the iPhone and the Mac are falling out of synchronization somewhere while waiting for packets to be transferred between each other.

    BTW, are you suggesting that we should not use "internet sharing" with WiFi on a Mac? I've been able to use it successfully in the past on my Mini with other computers... I can understand that a Mac might have less range than a dedicated wireless router, but I didn't expect that it would actually not be able to be used as a router.