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

Why would Airport suddenly drop sharing after about 30 minutes?


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Old Mac Oz

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
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Gday All,

Sorry if this has been asked before. I've a bit of a look but cannot find anyone else with the same problem although look similar.

Most days; after about 30 minutes our Airport network drops out and users lose contact with the network. Why?

Our network consists of a desktop (2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running 10.5.8) connected to the internet by a standard ADSL modem and connected to the three laptops in the house by Airport using the desktop as a 'host/server'. At the end of each day we completely shut down the desktop for the night and reboot it next morning.
The laptops are
MacBook 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo with AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x8D) running 10.5.8
MacBook 2.26 Ghz Core 2 Duo with AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x93) running 10.6.4
iBook G4 1.07 GHz PowerPC G4 with AirPort Extreme running 10.3.9
None of the other macs are on the network (most are too old)
Sometimes simply restarting airport on the host computer and the laptop clients can reconnect but this is never a reliable connection if it works. It is more than likely to drop out again.

Most times it goes straight to staying dropped out. Restarting the host fixes the problem for the rest of the day almost every time.
My son is a bit of a hacker and has discovered that if we force quit these processes:
bootpd
mDNSResponder
nmbd
ntpd
configd

in this order we can regain AirPort connection without rebooting the host. This also fixes the problem for the rest of the day almost every time.

To me this seems like the electronic equivalent of kicking it in the gonads - hard. Seriously I am concerned that we are fiddling around with activities best left alone.

What do these processes do and are we destabilising the system by terminating them?
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MacBozo

 
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Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
Location: West Central Florida
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Are you strictly 802.11n? Is there anything in the area (including other wireless networks) that could be interfering? Are you strictly 5 GHz band or 2.4 GHz? If 2.4, that could indicate an interference problem. I've found on my little home network (internet access is via a dLink router and I'm using an AP Express to stream iTunes to my living room stereo), on 802.11g, 2.4 GHz band that I had to "lock" the dLink to channel 8 and the Express to channel 7 to eliminate drops and simply poor wireless performance. There are several other networks in my neighborhood as well as other 2.4 GHz devices that could interfere.

Michael
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Old Mac Oz

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBozo View Post
Are you strictly 802.11n?
As far as I know I am using only the default setting for my computer, whatever that is. I've just checked the network settings and the 802.1X tab has not been modified at all.
Quote:
Is there anything in the area (including other wireless networks) that could be interfering? Are you strictly 5 GHz band or 2.4 GHz? If 2.4, that could indicate an interference problem.
I don't think so. The local mobile phone network uses the 2.4 GHz band but I have not got a clue how you would adjust either the band or the channel in use.

If it was an interference problem the problem would keep returning most times within the 30 minute window. THIS problem only occurs once a day (most days). Unintentionally we left the system running for the last four days. After its initial recurrence the system did not fail. The obvious answer - to leave the system running continuously - is not an option for a whole of reasons.

My question is what the processes listed in my original question do and whether the force quitting of them will cause problems.
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MacBozo

 
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While connected to the AP, Option-click on the AP icon in your menu bar. That will give you some important information. I've had absolutely no reconnection problems or dropped connections since I found the most stable channels for my location and locked them in - no "Automatic" settings. Is your network hidden? I did have connection/reconnection problems from my wife's computer when I had my network "hidden."

Michael
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Old Mac Oz

 
Member Since: Jan 24, 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBozo View Post
While connected to the AP, Option-click on the AP icon in your menu bar. That will give you some important information. I've had absolutely no reconnection problems or dropped connections since I found the most stable channels for my location and locked them in - no "Automatic" settings. Is your network hidden? I did have connection/reconnection problems from my wife's computer when I had my network "hidden."
Thanks for this info. Now I can tell what channel my client machines are accessing (currently it is Channel 11) but I cannot see any way of locking or even changing it.

I am NOT using an Airport Base Station so I cannot use Airport Utility. I am accessing the airport card built into the desktop. This machine does not show the channel in use when I use the Option click trick at all.
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MacBozo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mac Oz View Post
Thanks for this info. Now I can tell what channel my client machines are accessing (currently it is Channel 11) but I cannot see any way of locking or even changing it.

I am NOT using an Airport Base Station so I cannot use Airport Utility. I am accessing the airport card built into the desktop. This machine does not show the channel in use when I use the Option click trick at all.
The wireless router sets/assigns the channel. You may need to futz around with its settings to find what is most stable for your network and environment.

Michael
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