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rjo98 Level 1 (0 points)
I just bought a brand new MacBook Air last week, installed all the updates on it from my home wireless network. I then try to use it on another wireless network, and sometimes it will connect, but then it always drops the connection and won't reconnect. Sometimes resetting the router helps for a little while, but then the same thing happens. I've hooked Windows XP laptops and an iPad up to this wireless network and they do not drop their connection like this. The Air is fully updated per Software Update, has the firewall turned on, and has a bluetooth mouse in use. I set IPv6 to off in the Network preferences. The wireless device is a Linksys 610N, but its set to 2.4GHz since the iPad can't do Wireless N.

What can I try to resolve this? Most settings on the router are set to their defaults or auto, so not sure if its a specific setting the Air doesn't like or what.

MacBook Air 11", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • CH Lim Level 1 (5 points)
    I also bought my first ever Apple computer MBA 13" and I believe it came with OSX10.6.4, and I was able to connect to the internet through the Air Port to update my software to OSX10.6.5. Then I almost regretted that I ever converted to Apple since I had been using CPM and Window OS for the last 30 years. I had the same problem of disconnection, loosing IP, never could log on because it kept asking me to switch off/on the router, etc. I spent two days and night trying to figure out whether it was an hardware problem, reloading the OSX, formatted the drive and reloading everything. Finally took my new MBA to the service center and they could logged on immediately without any issue. They told me that it must be a software problem or firmware problem, and ask me to take it home to wait for a software patch. This is such a great start for a new Apple owner, because I told the service center that I have 2 Mac Pro, 3 PC notebook and 3iPhone logging onto my router and none of the appliances are having such problem as this new MBA.

    Anyway, I did not give up and continue to trouble-shoot my issue with another router and modem, without the gateway (integrated), and I think I found the issue without want to waste more time verifying and wait for Apple to figure out.

    I think the OSX 10.6.4 is good for WEP 64bit wireless security, but I think the OSX 10.6.5 needed to have WEP 128bit wireless security. I am not sure about the reason why, but the Air Port will not recognize WEP 64bits secured routers or it will only secure it once. Then it will continue to switch in and out or it will continue to "home" its signal with any router that is 128 bits WEP. I had just set my wireless WEP security to 128bits HEX and had no problem logging my MBA anymore. Rather it will also zero in without any problem. I have not experiment with WPA or WPA2, and hope Apple or someone could share some insights on why Mac Pro OSX 10.6.5 has no issue logging on to routers secured with WEP 64bits, while MBA OSX10.6.5 is creating such havoc in logging on wirelessly. It is annoying that MBA most convenient internet access is wireless, and Apple had not issue any alert on this "flaw" or ever recognize it as such.
  • OmniAtlas Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a similar problem -- wifi connection maintains at 100%, but I have intermittent drops that do not allow me to surf. I have to turn off and turn on airport to resume my web browsing.

    I was running WPA2-PSK; switching to WEP fixed the problem. I tried setting my router to 'N-mode' only and it was unable to connect; so far, it only connects in G-mode.

    Have you tried holding down the option key and clicking on the airport button on the taskbar? It should provide you with more information about your connection.

    My other devices have no problem connecting and maintaining a connection with the router -- it seems to be a 10.6.5 / firmware problem.
  • fnauta Level 1 (0 points)
    My 13" MacBook Air gives me the same trouble. Not everywhere, especially at home.

    The basic behavior is like this: the computer will be connected to our wireless network. Then after some time (sometimes an hour, sometimes longer) it will disconnect from the network. Sometimes the internet connection is not working, although the connection to the airport seems to be strong (max, 4 bars).

    My best guess is that it has to do with switching between N and G networks on the same wireless access point. I've observed that while I play music through the Airport the music stops every once in a while. If I look at the airport menu at the same time, I can see that the computer stays connected to the N-network, but the other networks that normally are visible in the menu (our G-network, the network of our neighbors) drop from the menu. After a few seconds the music resumes and the other networks show up again in the menu.

    Pretty annoying...
  • (n_n) Level 2 (345 points)

    So have you guys tried the troubleshooting provided by OSXDaily.

    As the matter of fact, I have no problem for wifi at all since I bought my first ever laptop of MBA.

    I need input from you guys (no point complaining as it won't solve the issue) and maybe we can learn from each other and in fact I have another article of troubleshooting wifi but it's rather long-winded.

  • Xav8tor Level 1 (50 points)
    I had the same issue on an iMac and Mac Pro. As others have suggested, the switching between N and G seems to cause problems with internet access and speed. My Air, on the other hand, picks up about a dozen networks in the neighborhood. The reception on it beats the iMac and Pro by a mile. The solution for me was in fact setting the router to N only, resulting in a 30 to 35% speed increase. Bear in mind that, while N is faster, G goes through obstructions (walls) better.

    If you can't get your Air to connect on N, try G only and see if that solves the issue. Also, try a wireless sniffer like iStumbler to see what channels other nearby networks are using. Pick one not being used by others on each band, then try again.
  • henrus Level 1 (25 points)
    I've had my MacBook Air for about 6 months now. Never had problems with it. My Time Capsule (wireless router) is in another room, and was able to use my Air in my bedroom with no problems. Always got full bars. A couple weeks ago, I started having connectivity issues. Nothing really changed with my setup as far as I can tell. No new hardware or software (except for the various apple updates which I lost track of--On OSX 10.6.6 now), just use my laptop for browsing web, photos, etc. The connection bars for wifi were still pretty much full (perhaps occasionally losing one bar), but the Air would intermittently lose its IP address. It would work for a while, but not for long, and then simply lose all connectivity. Turning Wifi off and then back on would not help. Rebooting would not help. Forcing a new IP address would not help. My iPad, however, had no connectivity issues. I noticed that occasionally, when I got the iPad to download a page, the Air would start to work again, but then would drop the IP address soon after.

    After trying multiple things, I ended up logging into my Time Capsule and tried to click the "Allow this Network to be Extended" button. I was going to change the Airport Express that I have in my room to extend my network rather than have it simply be a client for my iTunes library. This change to the Time Capsule of course forced the router to reboot. Once I did this, all my connectivity problems went away. I suspect it had nothing to do with the "Allow Network to be Extended" change, but that some neighbor must have been using the same channel that my router was, and when it rebooted, it found a different channel. That's my theory anyway, but I thought I would document this fix since it worked for me, though it may not work for anyone else.
  • jimmyfromirvine Level 1 (0 points)

    same problem here with my macbook air. its really annoying!

  • brittany1362 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is Apple ever going to resolve this issue!?!?!  This is ridiculous!  My fiance and I are using the same router - his PC has never lost signal while I'm forced to perform a hard restart every 10 minutes or so.  Very frustrating considering the machine is less than a year old!!

  • Izwan I Level 1 (0 points)

    I just bought the MBA 13 inch and is having wi fi problem since day one. Keep disconnecting every 5 minutes. Cannot really do any surfing and is really annoying. Have been trying to look for a fix but the recommended ones are not working. Will keep trying tonight. Apple help line has not really added anything new.


    I see that a lot of same issue with upgraders to Lion - but not much noises yet by the count on this thread on new MBA purchases which is a bit strange.... why us? Perhaps something to do with our wi fi set up. In any case, i hope Apple will come up with a solution soon. Just converted to the macbook and regretting the decision so far....

  • jimmyfromirvine Level 1 (0 points)

    My MBA 13 has similar problems. The only time I do not have this problem is when I am connected to a apple airport extreme. Any other router my MBA loses connection within 5 minutes. My secondary pc laptop does not experience the same problems. So I know its the MBA.


    This is my first apple notebook is ******* me off. I wonder if the brand new MBA have the same problems? I bought mine in march 2011. 

  • colinfromeast victoria pa Level 1 (0 points)

    Just for information of the thread, I have a new mid-2011 MBAir (4.2) with Lion which also experienced this problem straight out of the box. As described here, I have the same symptoms of appearing to be connectedd but not being able to send/receive. The only way I can resolve this is to disconnect and reconnect to the access point. Sometimes (like now) that will be ok for 30 minutes or more. Other times, it will drop out straight away again.


    As I've posted in one of the other threads, the thing that annoys me about this is that there are so many forum threads dedicated to this all over the internet (for many years), but there appears no action from Apple on it - preferring to ignore it's customers problems. While I've been a Apple user for a few years, this is my first Mac purchase and it has left a bitter taste in my mouth to say the least. I've been using a MBPro for a couple of years and never had any such problem (in the same network).


    Also for information of some of the other posters - I experience this on a 'G' access point, so the issue is not isolated to N/G switching. Additionally, 'N' WiFi in itself does not necessarily have shorter range through walls - 'N' operates on two frequency bands: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, while 'G' operates on the 2.4Ghz only. While certainly the 5Ghz band should get poorer penetration through walls and other obstacles, the advanced technology used in 'N' WiFi should more than be able to make up for that - it uses very sophisticated muti-path signal recombining and other tricks which should make it effectively more sensitive and able to sustain much higher data rates despite significant signal attenuation. Depending on the particular obstacles and range you're talking about though, each case can be different.


    I've done some network captures on my problematic MBAir, and at other points in my network to see if I can identify the problem. Once I get the phantom dropout happening I notice that my Air's WiFi can still receive network traffic normally, as it sees all transmissions from other network devices around it. Also, it thinks it is still connected to the network (as it should - the network manager shows an active connection) and it tries to send packets onto the network when you make particular requests. It appears to me that these packets never actually make it out into the network, and it just keeps re-trying until it eventually times-out.


    While I accept other causes are possible, this leads me to believe that the problem is with the Broadcom wireless driver. As for how the same problem can be faced by many different generations of Mac - I would hazard a guess that it is likely that, always having used Broadcom WiFi chips, that there are large parts of shared code between the driver for various models, allowing for problems to be inherited down generations. Identifying the specific issue in the driver leaves many and complex possibilites, so I won't speculate further here, but it seems like a good place to start.


    Apple? Where are you on this?

  • sean199 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well Apple, you made my choice easy. This is the last mac i ever buy.

  • Status Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the 13in MBA, a MacBook Pro and a MacBook - all three are connected to the same network.  Only the MBA is having this problem.  It happens all the time.  It is becoming a bit frustrating.  I see no Apple response thus far.  Apple has been great to date with my other machines.  Let's hope we get a response soon!

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