not surprising in the least. I've had similar experiences. I won't be buying another apple machine thats for sure. My next box is a hackintosh desktop powerhouse from tonymacosx86... i'm sick of weak poor quality hardware that breaks. This is my third mac and the first 2 died just outside of the warranty. catastrophic motherboard failure out of nowhere, cost to repair is almost as much as just getting a new notebook.
They really don't seem to care about the wi-fi / MacBook Air issue and are being entirely dismissive of their customers. When I raised the issue in a NYC store, the "genius" told me that I needed to "adjust my perception of reality" and that the number of comments on this forum isn't at all significant. On a completely unrelated note (sic), their stock was down over 12% today, losing nearly $60 billion in market value.
I haven't looked through all 48 pages so determine if anyone else has had this happen. I'm having the same issues, sometimes the MBA connects to my wifi network, sometimes it doesn't. I've triead many different routers, airport express, airport extreme, you name it, seems to work for a bit and then goes back to the annoying exclamation mark - when I do get a connection I'm afraid to close the lid for fear of not being able to get back on again.
I run Parallels (V8) for work with a windows VM running on it. I have the VM hardware config set to use Display Ethernet first (thunderbolt to mac display with ethernet) and wifi second. When I'm home using wifi, in the mac OS I've got the dreaded exclamation mark, however windows (which leverages the exact same connection - no wifi setup configured in windows) can get to the internet - my windows based browsers and applications have full connectivity while the Mac side is fubar....I'm at a total loss - it at least gives me a workaround when it happens but also reinforces what a bad purchase decision the MBA has been - anyone else running parallels or another VM seeing the same thing?
I recently had wifi connectivity problems with a new macbook air and thought I'd share my experiences here. First, some background.
Years ago, we had a wireless network consisting of an Airport Extreme (the old one that was somewhat dome-shaped) and an Airport Express (the old one that plugged directly into the wall). This worked fine for a late 2006 white Macbook (OS 10.4, later 10.5) and an older Powerbook, but my Thinkpad T42 (win XP) would not stay connected reliably, dropping the signal at random times and requiring multiple resets and other annoyances. So after a bit of research I replaced the whole network with a pair of Linksys WRT54GLs flashed to DD-WRT v24. One ran in regular AP mode and the other in repeater-bridge mode so as to get an old (non-wifi) imac and the laser printer downstairs on the network.
This DD-WRT configuration was one of the most reliable installations of any kind of technology I've ever used - I had to reset the routers maybe twice in three years, and neither the above white Macbook nor the Thinkpad, nor a November 2008 Al macbook (OS 10.5, later 10.6), nor a 2011 Macbook Pro (OS 10.7) ever had any problems staying connected.
Unfortunately, when the November 2008 Al macbook was replaced a few months ago with a 2012 Macbook Air (OS 10.8), the MBA would not stay connected reliably (although it had no problems in other places where it was regularly used, e.g. office wifi networks).
It's worth noting that the user account/data were copied via the Apple migration utility from the 2008 macbook to the new MBA. One theory of MBA problems is that (sometimes) they are caused by settings getting ported over from an older OS improperly, but that doesn't seem to have been the case here, I don't think.
All of the following - gleaned from this and other threads/sites I found while trying to troubleshoot - were tried, but to no avail, or at least no regular avail (i.e. a restart would sometimes work, but only for a while, or sometimes not at all)
-disconnect / reconnect to the wifi network
-use network connection troubleshooting wizard
-turn wifi off/on
-reboot the MBA
-change the wifi channel
-change the wifi security method (e.g. WPA2 vs. WPA)
-change the network name
-change from a/b/g broadcast mode to forced g-only or b-only
-clear the SMC
-manually delete user/system keychain entries related to the wifi network in question
-set MTU = 1453
-add manual DNS entries (cf. picking these up via DHCP)
-add new location in location manager
I did not try the following, either due to lack of time or seeming inadequacy / hackishness of the solution:
-have Apple replace wifi card in MBA
-alternate wifi hardware (e.g. USB adapter)
-genius bar visit for troubleshooting generally
-keepalive shell script running in background
I should add that in the midst of tinkering with Linksys router settings, the macbook pro 2011 started having connectivity problems as well, although it never had any previously.
Especially in light of this, and after at least 10 hours of researching and troubleshooting I started to consider more drastic measures - changing the firmware on the Linksys routers or buying new routers altogether.
DD-WRT seems to have drifted from the open-source philosophy and had some security holes a while back, so I did not want to just upgrade to a newer version of that. I also didn't want to bother messing around with Tomato because I wasn't sure different firmware on the same hardware would address the problem. I then considered buying new non-Apple routers and flashing them to Tomato, but it seemed this might not absolutely fix the problem either, although I wouldn't mind upgrading to 802.11n (the Linksys hardware only supported 802.11g).
Ultimately I just drove to the nearest Apple Store (about 30 minutes away) and bought two Airport Extremes. After the usual setup, the MBA began to work normally again, and has functioned perfectly ever since (no issues with the Macbook Pro 2011 which had been fine on the old configuration as well). One would hope Apple laptops would work well on Apple's own wireless gear, and it seems to be true at least in this case.
I can't say for sure alternate firmware on the old Linksys hardware wouldn't have worked, or that Tomato/DDWRT/other alternate (or even stock) firmware on some new non-Apple hardware wouldn't have worked. But ultimately I ran out of time to keep troubleshooting.
I think at least in this case I can rule out the idea that the power management aspect of the MBA was cutting power to the wifi card and thereby dropping the signal (another theory I've seen at least for some MBA wifi problems), because if that were the case then the problem would have persisted even after switching to the Airport Extremes. I haven't looked in fine detail at how various wifi routers / adapters vary in their implementation of 802.11b/g/n, but I can only surmise based on this experience that they are not all perfectly equal, and that the risk of conflicts increases the greater is the age between (at least some) wireless routers and (at least some) wireless adapters.
In summary, if you've been having this kind of problem, you may save time and headache (although not necessarily money) by simply trying different wireless networking hardware. And if that doesn't work, you could always return it.
sorry to be sarcastic. it is working fine when the sun and the moon are in the right right angle. once the network is a bit loaded with other computers, my MBA surely will be among the first ones to be disconnected or rejected. I had to accept that wifi is not the winner feature of MBA. I think the situation is even worse if it used in a desktop mode with sceen shut down with an external display connected to it. - "Snow Cat" was good. :-)
The service order is under system preferences. Click on Network and when it opens you will see on the left listed Wi-Fi, etc. and they will also either have a green, yellow or red dot next to them. If you click on the gear next to the + & - signs you will have the option to change the "service order."
Bad news though....I am working with an authorized apple tech. and he said it is probably just a temporary fix and ordering a new aiport card. I have also been using a "test" user account instead of my normal account in order to figure out why I am seeing the "spinning beachball" but it is now happening in the "test" account now. Meaning it is probably not a programming issue. My bet is the airport card!!
the Apple replaced today my "DISPLAY MODULE".
They said there is something, which as needed for the wifi signal... (or maybe the wifi? I am sorry, I can not remember...) so now it is working fine... I hope it will tomorrow too and everything... (my problem was the same: my Macbook Air 2012 MID dropped the wifi after few sec, and somethimes not worked for few days, somethimes could worked with the other wifi not in my home of course... etc.)
I am sorry about that, I am just learn your language yet...
So I got my MBA back. They had not replaced the airport card as that wasn't the issue apparently. They had replaced (for the second time) the display. In store wifi was working fine. Got it home and wifi is working fine when I'm about 6 feet from the router. As soon as I move into another room, it drops completely. All other devices have download speeds at 30mb. It's so exasperating!