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AirPort Extreme Connection Flakiness

For the first time in a long time I'm incredibly upset with an Apple product.

Update: see the fourth comment. Derrr.

I recently bought two AirPort Extreme Base stations to improve my home network.

They've been nothing but trouble. They disconnect intermittently. Tonight I've restarted an episode of Dexter no less than eight frickin' times trying to get it to run. The stupid Xbox is plugged into the AirPort Extreme!!! I'm not even halfway through the episode - I keep getting disconnected from Xbox Live.

I've simplified the network as much as possible. The cable modem is plugged into outside cable that enters the house in the basement. The "Basement" AirPort Extreme is plugged into the cable modem. Two ethernet cables run from "Basement" to the DVR and the Xbox 360.

I have a Time Capsule (the old kind, the kind that can't do n and g simultaneously) that connects to the network and shares a USB printer, but I disabled networking so that clients can't connect to it.

I have a second AirPort Extreme called "Upstairs" sitting about 15 feet above "Basement" on the floor of my bedroom. It has a DVR and a PS3 plugged in via ethernet.

I have two AirPort Expresses (the old 802.11g versions) that I'd like to use to extend the network, but I've unplugged them because I thought they might be causing problems and yet I'm still having problems.

I've hard-coded numbers (IP Addresses). I've tried several combinations of various things. This is PLUGGED IN and it won't stay connected.

I was disconnected twice just writing this. There seem to be plenty of reports online of issues just like this - the AirPort Extremes are using version 7.5 of the firmware and people seem to think that it's flaky and buggy.

I'm at my wit's end right now. This shouldn't be difficult, yet I can't go five to ten minutes without being disconnected from a service that never even goes over the airwaves? WTF?

4 Responses to "AirPort Extreme Connection Flakiness"

  1. Oddly, my wireless access last night never really seemed to flake out. I was able to watch the rest of one episode and another complete episode of Dexter online with the PS3 (wired to the "Upstairs" base station which wirelessly connected to "Basement") and my MacBook Pro never seemed to lose its connection.

    I thought perhaps that Xbox Live may have just been flaky last night, but I have no real evidence of that. I looked for reports in a few places but didn't see anything.

  2. My family and I watched Nightmare Before Christmas on Netflix via the Xbox360 last night. Worked as advertised. My 360 is wired to a Dlink GigE switch which uplinks to another Dlink GigE switch with finally uplinks to a Linksys 310N that hits my FIOS connection. Strange though that streaming from a Windows 7 powered Media Center skips and lags a bit but streaming from Rivet on my old PowerMac G5 works flawlessly. Sorry you're finding everything to be such a hassle.

  3. Aaron said on December 25, 2009:

    My family and I watched Nightmare Before Christmas on Netflix via the Xbox360 last night.

    I tried again to watch Dexter the next night. It crapped out again on me nearly immediately. For some reason I keep getting disconnected when I'm wired in to the AirPort Extreme base station.

    I again watched only part of an episode of Dexter downstairs on the thing that's never wireless, then was able to watch two+ entire episodes without incident upstairs on the PS3.

    I'm glad to hear that Rivet works so well for you. 🙂

  4. After writing that last comment I decided to check on a few things. Oddly I couldn't ping my downstairs DVR, which I thought I'd set to 192.168.1.51. Long story short - it turns out I'd set both the DVR and the Xbox 360 to 192.168.1.52 instead, so correcting that will likely solve the Xbox 360's connectivity issues. The DVRs are connected (and pingable) to the Internet 24/7 and will apparently "check in" from time to time. Since they had the same IP internally, undoubtedly that knocked the Xbox 360 offline.

    I'm still hesitant to add the two AirPort Expresses (802.11g) back to the network. I'm fairly confident I can add the AirTunes one confidently - less confident about adding the one that's intended to extend the network.

    Prior to this "wired" connectivity mess with the Xbox 360, and what prompted me to gut the network and simplify yet again, was the fact that several times throughout the day the AirPort Extreme in the basement, the main one, would pop up AirPort Utility and tell me it had a WDS error. Just as quickly it'd often disappear and say "problem resolved" without any doing on my part.

    Right now, somehow, I don't even have a WDS tab in the setup.


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