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Thread: wireless interference over network on MBP

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 13, 2011
    Red face wireless interference over network on MBP
    Hello everyone!

    Ok so this might be a weird/uncommon situation but let me explain. I bought wireless headphones on sale a year ago (sennheiser 170 I believe) and I have it setup on my macbook pro which is my main computer. The problem is that every time I turn on the headphones I loose my wireless network on my mac -,-

    To fix it I usually have to go to my airport menu-icon and repeatedly turn it off and then back on. Sometimes its as few as 5 times... sometimes its closer to 35 times before my network will reestablish itself.

    As you can see it's pretty annoying and I've tried everything { waiting 30 seconds between activation, increasing my wireless router power management (on the net it says this gives a stronger signal from the router), even messing with some settings on my mac for the wireless interface}. I can't find anything that works though

    I thought its also worth mentioning sometimes when I turn the wireless card off and then on again, it still won't connect but I will see my network name listed in the "connect to" dialog. If I click that though it will just keep searching and searching and finally timeout.

    Any help would be appreciated as today I think I've finally had it with trying to just make do with it the way it is. Its a 9 on the annoying scale if you can imagine.

    Thanks everyone!

    PS my mbp model is early 2011 and I have no special wireless card installed - its all stock. also my router is a D-link with firewall enabled. On normal operations I get excellent signal to the router so I know its probably not anything to do with the distance of my computer from the router.

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2011
    This sounds like that you may have conflicting 2.4Ghz interference. The classic situation usually presents itself when you have, for example, a wireless telephone base station (2.4Ghz) near your wireless modem/router (2.4Ghz).

    Is your router dual-band by any chance, so that you can manually chose to connect your macbook to the 5Ghz band?

  3. #3

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Lake Mary, Florida
    I agree with Pendlewitch's assessment, although be aware that it doesn't need to be dual band to work around interference issues.

    All wireless routers have settings to help work around interference issues. Assuming you know how to access your router's configuration (and this will vary from model to model, so be sure to reference your manual), the settings in particular you're looking for are known as "channel", and if available "channel width".

    Setting the channel will vary the frequency very slightly - for example, from 2.417 to 2.422 GHz. Your client devices should adapt to the change automatically. Channels at the lower end of the spectrum (1-3) typically offer better range, but because of this, are often more crowded and contentious. I recommend running a scanning program to see what wireless networks and channels are being used in your area, so that you can avoid any overlap in choosing the best channel.

    Secondly, there is often a setting called "channel width". This can be set by the factory at 20Mhz. However, if it's available, it should DEFINITELY be set to 40MHz (or better yet, if there's a 20/40MHz auto-switching setting, this is ideal). This should certainly help with conflicts.

    And finally, if it's an old 802.11g-based router, or if it was supplied by your carrier, you may consider upgrading. Wireless routers have come a long way. Most ISPs supply garbage routers that are insecure and low-performance. In most cases, I recommend disabling the wireless features of the carrier router and turn all firewall functions off, allowing my own router to do the same.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Sep 13, 2011
    Thanks so much for that information. A few quick questions for you

    1) should I change my mode to only wireless n or keep it at wireless g/n?

    2) I took it off manual channel - can you recommend a scanning program? Is there a way to tell which frequency my headphones are using?

    3) I set it to auto 20/40, the only option besides that was just 20. Would that be sufficient

    Thank you!

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2011
    Hi newmanm,

    The first issue is moot..some devices that you have may only work with 'G' but why not try it anyway as you can always change it back if need be.

    I use iStumbler for monitoring other wireless networks. It is free. Your headphones are using 2.4 Ghz but quite exactly which in detail as cwa107 describes I wouldn't know.

    The auto 20/40 option would be the best in my opinion.

    There is some light reading here on the subject to compliment cwa107's advice.

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