On my iMac I have two user accounts, an administrator for myself and a regular for my mom. The iMac is connected via Airport to a Linksys WRT54GS Wi-Fi router, using DHCP. On my user account, the connection will occasionally drop out, especially after the system comes out of standby, but it usually reestablishes itself within a few seconds. If it doesn't, I turn Airport off for several seconds, then turn it back on. This usually solves the connection problems. The connection almost never drops out while I am actively using the system.

However, on my mom's account, the connection drops out much more frequently, sometimes even while she is using it for browsing and email. In the past, she has used the technique of turning Airport off and on again with success, but lately it seems like that solution is not working reliably any more. Recently, she has experienced some very long waits for the connection to reestablish, sometimes 10 minutes or more. She has also reported freezes and the beach ball in several of these cases.

She is not doing any high-bandwidth stuff on her account, just basic browsing with Firefox, and reading and sending email with Apple Mail. These unusually long waits and frequent connection dropouts are only affecting her account, not mine, and seem to be getting worse as of late.

This is on a 17'' iMac Core 2 Duo (2006) running 10.4.11 with all the latest updates.