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AirPort Connection Drops, Part Deux

After updating to Mac OS X 10.5.2, my AirPort connection started dropping several times per day. I resolved the issue by changing the channel from 6 to 1, despite not having any interference or even any other networks nearby (as reported by iStumbler). This was when I had an old, domed AirPort Extreme that did only 802.11g (or less).

Now that I've replaced the AirPort Extreme with a TimeCapsule, I'm running both a pure 802.11n and a "side" 802.11g network. The prior is 5 GHz.

The drops have returned.

Several times per day, my AirPort menu will indicate that I'm no longer connected. I'll select it, choose "Netski" (my g network is "Getski"), and re-connect. Thirty minutes to six or eight hours later, I'll be disconnected again. I cannot change the channel because my Time Capsule lists only "Automatic" as the option.

I had no problems with my AirPort(s) prior to Mac OS X 10.5.2.

16 Responses to "AirPort Connection Drops, Part Deux"

  1. Since my new network has the same name (and same password) as my old network, as a troubleshooting step I deleted all the entries for my network(s) (both Netski and Getski) from my Keychain. I removed "Netski" from the Network system preferences "Preferred Networks," disabled the "Ask to join new networks" option, and turned AirPort off. I then turned it back on, connected to Netski, and entered the password. I'll report back to see if that "fixes" anything.

  2. also take a look at your IPv6 settings.

    the default settings (tunnel) was giving me a bunch of random issues, and changing it to local link helped out.

    worth looking into at least. 🙂

  3. Jeff said on March 6, 2008:

    also take a look at your IPv6 settings.

    Sure. On the computer, they're "Automatically" and I have no router or any other information. No IPv6 here.

    On the Time Capsule, they're "Link-local only."

  4. Leopard has certainly had wireless network problems. The last 3 or 4 developer seeds of Leopard dropped airport connections constantly (by which I mean every 30 seconds or so!) and often couldn't connect at all. I had similar (but less severe) problems in 10.5.0.

    10.5.1 mostly fixed it for me, and I haven't had any significant problems in 10.5.2 (although it did fail to find my base station once last night.)

  5. Erik J. Barzeski said on March 6, 2008:

    I'll report back to see if that "fixes" anything.

    It doesn't. I was disconnected while watching the iPhone SDK announcement via QuickTime. Lovely. And I'm getting tired of clicking "Always Allow" when I choose to re-connect (not every time).

  6. Tried setting the channel manually to 161 by holding down the option key. I was disconnected within two minutes. Counting the last one, I've ben disconnected four times in the past 30 minutes. Make that five times - I was just disconnected again.

    Now it's been seven times within 35 minutes. I'm going to switch to 2.4 GHz (still 802.11n only) and select channel 1.

  7. Since switching to 2.4 GHz (still 802.11n only) and channel 1, I've had no drops. Knock on wood.

  8. I ran into this last night with an Intel iMac (upgraded with an nCard). None of the "fixes" IPv6 etc made any difference. My MPB (2.4 17) works fine over the same network with the TC. The TC is running at 5.8 GHz.

    I also have a parallel G network (using an Airport Express). So I connected the Intel iMac to it and started time machine. It works perfectly.

    So I think this clearly highlights a bug in 10.5.2 with n networks - in some configurations.

  9. Larry White said on March 13, 2008:

    So I think this clearly highlights a bug in 10.5.2 with n networks - in some configurations.

    Well, Larry, I had the same issues on a G network, so I don't think you've quite nailed it. I've also had NO drops since switching to 2.4 GHz and selecting channel 1. The same channel also worked back when I still had an 802.11g network.

  10. Erik J. Barzeski said on March 13, 2008:

    Well, Larry, I had the same issues on a G network, so I don't think you've quite nailed it. I've also had NO drops since switching to 2.4 GHz and selecting channel 1.

    My TC is on channel 36 (automatic) and the Airport Express is on channel 1. So it may be a channel issue. So it may be higher channels on 5.8 GHz and n. Interesting.

  11. Im having problems with a dropped connection also. I just switched from Comcast Cable DSL using a NETGEAR ROUTER to ATT Uverse running the 2Wire wireless modem and my connection drops every 30 secs. I am a new MacBook user so I am a newbie to the applications. I have no clue on what to do to fix this problem. This is very frustrating!
    And since I have typed this short message it has dropped but it appears to have regained the connection.

  12. I've got all these problems as well ..... except I'm still running Tiger (10.4.11). Only thing that changed from a stable no problem network using an AEBS is that I bought a TC and installed the Airport Utility upgrade(s). Now I'm dropping connections on both the AEBS and the TC. Have tried all the suggested fixes, changing channels, frequencies, scanning for neighboring networks, hard resets ..... No joy ... it's driving me crazy.
    As I am getting all this with Tiger maybe Leopard is not the culprit ?
    [ISP is Cablevision, using MBP, MacMini & XP PC. As a recent convert to Macs from PC hell, I hate to admit it but the only piece of that set up that seems to be working reliably is the PC.]

  13. People,

    I am having the same problem with my Mac Pro disconnecting from my 5Ghz N-only randomly during heavy network traffic. All other computers in my network and ATV work fine, but even after several airport updates this week the disconnection problem still persists. Also no trouble using G. But N is much faster, with less interference, so I want to be able to use it!!

    Anyone any luck with the latest updates?

  14. I experience the same problems on various Ralink based 802.11N routers. Ralink claims the Atheros Network adapter is a little incompatible with various other draft 2 chipsets.

    Ralinks driver 1.8 should have a workaround for this in combination with airport driver 1.3.4., but I still experience the random drops.

  15. Hi there,

    I wanted to share with you the following experience, maybe you could post it on your site.

    If you search the Apple Discussion boards (try 'connection drop') you will see a lot of discussions and questions like this one: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7313018&#7313018

    It's all about Airport and Ethernet internet connections dropping.

    I think I have figured out the problem (I use 10.5.3):

    With certain routers, OS X will choose to use the address of the router as a DNS server IP address. Therefore it will first try and contact the router to get DNS info and only after a while it will find it's way to the net.

    I had a new MacBook Pro with this issue as well as a new iMac. The latter fortunately showed the wrong DNS server IP (grey fonts) but the Macbook didn't.

    The solution is to go in the Network control panel and select 'manually' in stead of 'Using DCHP'. Then fill in IP address, subnet mask, router and DNS server. Click 'advanced' and then the TAB 'DNS' to verify whether the correct DNS IP has been entered, or to enter multiple DNS IPs.

    While in the advanced section, make sure that under the 'TCP/IP' tab 'Configure Ipv4' is set to 'Manually' and 'Configure IPv6' is set to 'off'

    This should do the trick for most people.

    So remember, if one has a dropping internet connection and no DNS server IP has been entered, the OS can still be trying to contact the router rather than the DNS servers of the ISP. Therefore the correct DNS IPs need to be filled in.

  16. comcast will flat out NOT provide me with DNS servers. if you ask, they just tell you to set your config to DHCP and let the server provide them.

    what then?


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