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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Unusual airport problem

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Member Since: Jan 10, 2009
Posts: 2
timloudon is on a distinguished road

timloudon is offline
So... there are plenty of threads about this kind of problem, some of them very imformative and useful, but my problem does not seem to match what's happening to most people.

I've had my macbook (intel core duo) for over 2 years, and only recently encountered the problem of reduced signal strength, if there is any at all. Nobody else in my house has this problem. Airport works fine during the day, but after a while it just loses the connection. I can connect if I go and sit next to the router but nowhere else. A system restart does nothing and the problem, once there, will continue until I give up and go to bed. When I get up, it connects with full strength!

I've tried firmware updates, and I've even tried taking the thing apart to see if the airport card connections are loose, which they weren't. I still took it out and reconnected it, which seemed to temporarily fix the problem, but later on i was disconnected while watching some video content (the BBC iplayer).

Could it be that my airport card is just simply dieing? If so, will buying a replace and putting it in myself do the trick?

My hard drive recently died (gave me a grey screen with a '?'), so i bought a new one. Could it be that my mac's just getting too old?

My housemate suggested that it could be an overheating problem. Or that it could be spyware, or something else along those lines.

Do you have any advice?
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Member Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 16
waz is on a distinguished road

waz is offline
hey Tim.

My Macbook is more than 2 years old. Running fine as ever.

After replacing the hard-disk, do you still have that problem?

It is possible that your Airport card is dying. However, you might want to check the connections.

I used to have similar connection problem with my Macbook, but only in the evening. I realised then, I got too much 2.4Gh signals all around the house - from wireless audio video sender, cordless phones, wireless camera, and even from the neighbours wireless signal.

Since then, have reduce all those to just the neighbours wireless. Connection is more reliable now.

You mentioned reduce signal - did you mean zero?
Low signal and zero is totally different issues if you are next to the router.
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Member Since: Jan 10, 2009
Posts: 2
timloudon is on a distinguished road

timloudon is offline
Cheers for the reply!

When I replaced my hard drive and installed OS X, the problem of complete system failure was fixed.

The connectors on the actual airport card were fine.

With regards to the signal strength, whilst I'm sat next the router, I get 3 or 4 bars. When I walk upstairs to my bedroom, the network just disconnects abruptly. Although this is only the case when it starts playing up. When it does work (usually after a long rest, like overnight) I get full signal strength.

The problem only seems to have happened recently too.
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Member Since: Sep 01, 2009
Posts: 1
bdsteve is on a distinguished road

bdsteve is offline
i'm having literally the exact same problem. wifi works fine for about 15-20 minutes then the signal strength dies to one bar if i'm further than 10ft from the router. if i then wait a few hours or overnight, presto, works fine for another 15-20 minutes.

have you figured anything out yet?

i've updated ALL my firmware etc. checked connections. all my other computers work fine all throughout the house.
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Member Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posts: 1
TheAmericanStig is on a distinguished road

TheAmericanStig is offline
I am having the exact same issue. My MBPro works fine within five-ten feet of AirPort Extreme router, but in living room or at university/library it doesn't even recognize networks it once did. My friends MBPro and other computers work fine on my network, and in other networks, so it's not a router issue. Right now I'm in my kitchen, where service usually doesn't work - for some reason is now.

I went to Apple Store, they "pinged" my laptop and sent me on my way. Replaced some network files, also.

I'm afraid my Airport card is failing. Any thoughts? Need to get this fixed. Will cost $90 for the card, $60 for installation ( unless I can do it myself ).

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Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 59
Big_Mac is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Mac 27" 2.66 GHz Intel Core 4Gb Ram|SL|Dual Band 1TB TC|AEX(n)|iPhone 4|iTouch 2G|160GB ATV|MBA

Big_Mac is offline
Guys - Waz's response is about spot on in terms of the root cause of the issue you are seeing....

Like your hardware failure, (applying the same principle to the airport card), you wouldn't see a gradual degradation of signal quality - it would fail outright, and you would lose service.

If you are in a shared house, which will often have multiple sources of interference on the 2.4 Ghz range, or there are multiple users on the same network - you need to do some 'network' spring-cleaning, and ensure the router is situated centrally (as high as possible) and away from any potential sources previously mentioned.

Router-wise: check how many other Wireless access points (neighbors etc) are using the same frequency as yours, experiment and change channel it if necessary. try switching to a 5 Ghz signal (if available)...

Try these steps before shelling out on new hardware - if signal strength still sucks, consider additional Access points, or adding WDS components (Airport Express etc)...

Good luck
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Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 59
Big_Mac is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Mac 27" 2.66 GHz Intel Core 4Gb Ram|SL|Dual Band 1TB TC|AEX(n)|iPhone 4|iTouch 2G|160GB ATV|MBA

Big_Mac is offline
Sorry - forgot to mention this site as a good (if a little outdated resource):
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