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

Wireless network: I am in dire straits


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cciot

 
Member Since: Dec 07, 2009
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 7
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Mac Specs: MacBook 13"

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Alright, so, I have been tirelessly searching the blogosphere for a good few weeks but it seems no one has exactly the same problem as I do with my beloved MacBook. It is early 2008 model (I am going to give you as much info as possible as I'm not sure what is really pertinent). I am not well versed with computers, unfortunately.

My problems started a month or so back when I decided to upgrade to Snow Leopard. My wireless internet would stop working when I brought it back from sleep, or when I started it up... Or, anytime basically. It would either not detect the wifi at my home, or "connect" to it, only to have Safari or any other browser tell me I'm not actually connected to the internet. To add another symptom to the list, it can also now connect to the internet, and be really slow! Now, I have a WPA password on this, and other devices, including my smartphone (Nokia, incidentally) and my boyfriend's Toshiba laptop work flawlessly on the network. It is only my MacBook that has problems connecting to this wifi. Also, when I took my computer to uni with me, it had problems connecting to the secured (protected) wifi networks there. It is not a local issue. When I connect to the internet using an ethernet cable at home, my MacBook has no problems connecting and speed is not an issue.

When I took my MacBook to my local Apple Store, as you do, I was told that they could not replicate this problem with their wifi. However, the reason I believe this is, is because their wifi (the standard "Apple Store" network) is not password protected. It still intermittently showed "You are not connected to the Internet" from Safari, but they assured me this was due to their own wifi problems, and that when they took my computer in, they had no issues connecting to their wifi, and thus concluded there was no problem connecting to the internet.

So, basically, I am at a loss for what to do. Apple Store has effectively NOT helped me since they couldn't replicate the problem, and a recent formatting of my MacBook to both 10.5.2 and the Snow Leopard upgrade I bought shows me that this should be a hardware problem connecting to secure wifi networks. My question now is, what can I do about it?

Any help AT ALL is much appreciated.
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hojkoff_101

 
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Member Since: Oct 18, 2005
Location: Edinburgh Scotland
Posts: 225
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From what you have said it is CLEARLY your laptop that is the problem. Have you tried taking the password off your wireless network and then tried to access it? This might be worth a try to see if it is definitively passwords that is causing the problem. Don't worry about removing the password for half an hour or so.

I know this is not the best of advice ever given (in fact it could be the worst ever) and I would recommend waiting to see what others say before you go ahead with it but perhaps re-installing OS X might fix things. That;s the sort of needlessly desperate action that I'd be taking at times of despair!


Let us know how it goes.
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cciot

 
Member Since: Dec 07, 2009
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Hi, thanks for getting back to me!

Yup, just after I posted that message, we took the protection off of the network, and it worked like a charm. Then we put the protection back on, it worked until I put the computer to sleep and brought it back up again... And then it refused to work.

To make matters more confusing, I am actually writing to you on my MacBook, using the wifi network, during the rare moments that it actually seems to work! I really don't know what to do

Also, I forgot to mention in the original post, but I did actually re-install the OSX today, which just goes to show that did not fix matters at all!
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Big_Mac

 
Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
Location: Bournemouth, UK
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Hi cciot - as another fix to try: have you gone into <preferences> <network preferences> and deleted all previous entries for old networks (using the delete (-) option), and then re-entered/re-connected to the network you wish to join?

Also, how old is your modem/router - does it support WPA/WPA2?
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cciot

 
Member Since: Dec 07, 2009
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Hi,

Yep, I think I did something along those lines. I have deleted all the previous entries for old networks, and then reconnected.

My modem is a Netgear, and I got it with Virgin broadband... Not too old since I only got it in February? And when I've gone to the settings on my browser (you know, typed in my IP address into the bar), then I do have WPA security on.

However, it is important to note that my wifi functioned pretty much flawlessly well into October, and only after upgrading to Snow Leopard did I start to have problems connecting. In that time I have not changed any of my settings. Also, having formatted my computer and downgraded back 10.5, I am still experiencing the same problems. It might, sporadically, sometimes connect to the wifi, but mostly, the ethernet cable is my best bet.

I do have another appointment at the Apple Store today where I will have to tell them that I will not take my computer back until they've figured out what is wrong with it!
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markscottie

 
Member Since: May 04, 2008
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Hi,

I am having a very similar problem, I have several devices connected to my wireless network (Netgear) - Mini Mac, Samsung Netbook, HP Laptop, PS/3, Phillips Music Player, and an iMac, just recently the iMac will just drop off the wireless network and will not reconnect at all, I have tried removing all of the locations and references to my wireless and still no joy - I am still on Leopard, last time this happened a couple of weeks ago removing all of the locations and references to my network worked but not now!

All other devices are fine...
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markscottie

 
Member Since: May 04, 2008
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It looks like I may have an answer!

I have assigned my iMac a fixed IP address, including the DNS server, routing and default gateway all is now OK.

Still a bit odd, but working.

Let me know how you get on...
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Big_Mac

 
Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
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Cool - glad its sorted. I've seen this issue a lot recently, but granted it's been on user's macs who have recently upgraded to SL. The DNS registration issue following SL upgrade seems to be a common issue, but i'm not convinced its software related as yet.

As a rule of thumb, whenever upgrading the OS, or any other component that will affect your 'normal' network setup - 9 times out of 10, a simple reboot of all network nodes (in the home, that really only applies to your router - whatever flavour) will ensure you should be back to situation normal in a jiffy...

if you have a more complicated setup, wireless or not - please make sure to power down all assets connected to your network when making any changes - this will ensure that following any changes (or additions to your network setup - new routers, software etc) all assets will flash-up and image the new settings, without searching or being bogged down by any legacy settings that might be lurking in the background...
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cciot

 
Member Since: Dec 07, 2009
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 7
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Okei, just a wee update

I have now gone to the Apple Store again, and after fitting me with a new Airport Extreme card, I have been told that the problem is between the MacBook and the modem/router. I have been able to establish a proper connection to the wifi now most of the by fiddling around the channels, but the internet is still EXTREMELY slow. After I pinged the server, I find that I always have at least a little packet loss, and at worst it is 90%-100%. This probably is the reason my internet is slow I have switched from Safari to Firefox and that certainly seems faster but has not completely helped the situation, and I couldn't have expected it to!

What to do?
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Big_Mac

 
Member Since: Dec 08, 2009
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 59
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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

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When you say 'pinged the server' - do you mean your router had 90-100% packet loss?

So your ISP is Virgin, and what 'advertised' speed is your download running at (i.e. 'upto' 8 Mbs etc.,)? What DNS server do you use to access their services - changing this can sometimes speed up your browsing experience...

Some other thoughts:

1. You say you have encryption on (WPA at least, but pref WPA2!)? There should be an option on your router to see what devices are attached to your network - make sure someone isn't leeching your bandwidth!
2. Check the firewall settings on the router/MB and ensure you are not throttling your internet with rules/restrictions etc.,
3. Goto Speedtest.net - The Global Broadband Speed Test and run the ISP speedtest - it will also check the latency on your line - post back the results
4. Make sure there isn't too many 'things' creating interference between your MB and wireless router (microwaves etc, etc,.all operate on the 2.4 GHz freq) - as you don't have an issue when connected via ethernet i assume?
5. Double check what channels (i.e. a/b/g/n) your router is broadcasting on - assuming you have a new airport card - and if you have an 'n' enabled router - change the settings to broadcast on the 5GHz freq ('n')

Let me know how all the above goes, or if you've been through all this previously...
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