Continuing Wireless Problems with 15" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air, MacBook & MacBook Pro' started by Dnovelta, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    I have yet to find a real solution for my problem.

    I have a horrible wireless connection in my house, but it's fine everywhere else. I've used the internet in the PowerMac Center in GB3, and at my school today - flawless. I come home, connect to our network (broadcast through an Airport Extreme Base Station) and I get maybe a few seconds and then nothing (I monitor this via a ping).

    For whatever reason (I can't really explain it because in both cases it was like dumb luck), I've been able to maintain a stable connection twice. I don't really know what I did - I tried many things, mostly using Network Diagnostics with Ethernet plugged in, then unplugged running the diagnostic, combinations like that.

    In both cases, when I turned my computer off and then back on, the problems came back.

    It has to be something with my network, but I don't know what it could be because my previous generation 15" MBP and 24" iMac are connected fine - it's just my new 15" MBP.

    Any idea or possible solutions? I'll probably bring my computer in on Friday and have them look at it over the weekend.

    I just tried something new: reset my AEBS and created a new network - same problem.

    I'll be using my laptop at school again tomorrow, probably more internet usage so I'll have a better feel of the connection there. As it stands now, I have the problem only at home. I don't understand what the problem is. I've changed broadcasting frequencies; 5Ghz n-only, 2.4Ghz b/g/n, 2.4Ghz n-only. I've reset my PRAM countless times already. I don't think it's an actual Airport Card problem, because it works with other networks easily, just the one at home, which is odd because all other computers at home work flawlessly.
     
    #1 Dnovelta, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  2. mac_daddy

    mac_daddy Member

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    sounds like real head ache you've got over there. From the facts you have provided, I reckon that you've got a router issue, but I wouldn't rule out a local machine problem either. I am assuming that the Network connection is disconnecting (either losing the wireless signal or its assigned IP address) rather than losing ability to browse the internet.

    Just somethings to consider.
    1. Local setting on your MBP that may have a wrong configuration. Try changing or creating a new network Location.
    2. Static IP addresses either manually set on your MBP or AEBS (perhaps wrong gateways configured). DHCP, subnets and gateways that are misconfigured has caused me hours and hours of sleep before so double check, it doesn't hurt, if you have already, check again.
    3. Resetting the AEBS or any apple base station sometimes re-uses old configurations and settings. If you can source (read: borrow) another wireless router do some tests. Try using different IP Classes.
    4. Note that your mac address on the wired adapter vs. wireless adapter is different, check to see that its not conflicting with any other machine, AEBS mac address (if set manually) or other devices.
    5. If your not already using bootcamp running XP, I would take this as a good reason to experiment. Try to check what sort of errors your getting, if its similar to OSX, then you're really looking at a router issue.

    If you can also post some technical info (ei: ping; traceroute (tracert) info from your other Macs, and any pertinent network configs) that would be a lot of help.
     
  3. mig

    mig Active Member

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    any chance you could tell me how your school internet works? mine needs a few proxy settings and that needs to be removed when i use it at home.
     
  4. olidex

    olidex Member

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    I had the same problem. I would get intermittent signals and my MBP would just shut down. When I brought it to the Power Mac Center Service Center in San Juan, they at first thought the software just needed updating.

    After a week, I experienced the same problem. I brought it back to Power Mac San Juan and was adviced that my MBP might need to be reformatted. When my driver picked up my MBP after a few hours, the technician said that my MBP's Airport card just needed to be reseted.
     
  5. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    1. You mean as in going into System Prefs and instead of selecting Automatic etc. use a new location correct? I'm already using my own which I created before when this problem arised the first time.

    2. Where would I check this and how would I determine if it was wrong?

    3. Ok, I'll try to find another router to use, but I'm not hopeful - I think we tossed the other one when we got the AEBS.

    4. Where would I check this as well?

    5. I do not have a copy of Windows to install on my computer sadly.

    @mig

    I do have to use different proxy settings at school, and when I go home I just tell FF3 to connect directly to the internet instead of going through the proxy, that's it.

    EDIT:

    Not sure if it helps at all, but even when I have no connection (to the router - I ping the router 10.0.1.1 and get 100% packet loss) my Airport indicator in the menu bar says I'm connected with a strong signal.
     
    #5 Dnovelta, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  6. mig

    mig Active Member

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    out of interest, how'd you do that? i can't tell mine to bypass school proxy settings so i had to set a different location for school, home, etc. if i don't, i can't properly use my wireless at home either.
     
  7. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    I just use FF3 at school, so when I need to use it there I go to preferences->advanced->Network->Connections->Use Proxy

    That's it.
     
  8. alikishi

    alikishi Well-Known Member

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    or add the switchproxy add-on for firefox 3. It lets you change the proxy on the toolbar na
     
  9. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    Anyway, any thoughts on what could be the cause of my problem? I can't figure it out.
     
  10. alikishi

    alikishi Well-Known Member

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    did you try moving nearer to your AEBS?
     
  11. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    @Dnovelta, if you're using any form of wireless security (WEP or WPA), turn it off first. See if you're able to maintain a stable connection after doing that. That'll help us narrow down possible causes of your problem.
     
  12. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    Yes, all my previous posts were made at home while plugged in. I do all my tests from that spot and I'm not even 2 feet from the router and the problem persists.

    Our iMac is in the same room, is farther away and has a stable connection.

    @PatrickGaerlan, I just took of my WPA password and no increase in stability.
     
    #12 Dnovelta, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  13. mac_daddy

    mac_daddy Member

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    Can you confirm the ff info:

    Your airport base settings:
    IP: 192:42:249:xxx or 10.x.x.x
    Sub:
    Router:
    DNS:
    Domain:
    DHCP enabled:
    DHCP reservations (if any):

    Your machine's wireless (AIRPORT) networks settings;
    IP:
    Subnet:
    Gateway:
    DNS:
    Domain:
    IPv4:
    Configuration Method: xxxx

    Your machines wired (ETHERNET) settings (when connect via ethernet):
    IP:
    Subnet:
    Gateway:
    DNS:
    Domain:
    IPv4:
    Configuration Method: xxxx

    The info can be retrieved from your AEBS for the 1st set. The others by going to System Profiler > Network (for IPv4 info) > Locations (make sure you select your custom location) for the others.
     
  14. mac_daddy

    mac_daddy Member

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    while your at, can you do the same for your iMac's wireless config settings.
     
  15. fteoOpty64

    fteoOpty64 Member

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    I KNOW the problem and some suggestions on solving it either fully or within acceptable alternative. It is called "dirty spectrum" and I experienced it myself. Took me 3 days to figure it out!. Now I know a quick fix when the problem recurs. It will becuase of neighbour and even cordless phone other use.

    First thing is first. There is NOTHING wrong with your computers. It is your air-waves in and around your house that is interfering with the wifi signal. ie dirty spectrum. Also TC or APE are not strong transmitters, so it got worse.

    How to solve this ?. Change the frequency of your main router. Try selecting Taiwan as a country in the frequency setting. Select a specific channel (if you can). Do not use AUTO, it will keep skipping when the carrier band has lots of interference. In 802.11g the default is ch6, try high number like ch11. NOt AUTO ok?. You will find 1 or 2 channels that work well. Stick to that.
    If you want to use 802.11n, use 5Ghz only. With dirty 2.4Ghz your n will not perform good in that frequency band. In fact, it would be worse than a g locked to a specific "clean" frequency spectrum. Lock 5Ghz on N to wide-band to get the greatest speed for new MB/MBA, MBP, iMacs. Bu range could be an issue depending on the type of concrete walls you have.

    If all those channel changing does not work, you need to buy another NON-Apple router. I suggest a NetGear router. These Netgears are powerful OK. I got a 624 that can cover my whole house, upstairs downstairs and full garden. My iPhone can use it all the way to the road. And in my bathroom upstairs which is concrete all round!.

    If your neighbour has a more powerful Netgear like RangeMax, it will cause you problems. This is why locking to a clean channel is a better choice.
    I actually use 3 routers, TC locked 5Ghz Wide (270Mbit connect), Asus 700G NAS/Router locked to ch8 on g only. My netgear 624 upstairs locked to ch11.

    Note: SMART wifi and GLobe WIZ wifi service can cause interference problems. Also, you might get it to work perfectly but one day, it will fail to connect again. Just change the channel. Good luck.
     
  16. fteoOpty64

    fteoOpty64 Member

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    Oh, use WPA2 security always. The routers does that on hardware so its fast and secure.
     
  17. rattrapante

    rattrapante Member

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    I agree with finding a clean channel, when I got my MBP (starosa) I had problems with getting a consistent connection with an older d-link wi-fi router, which I wrongfully blamed and replaced with a Linksys Cisco router. Though the problem was still the same, just then I decided to try a different channel (CH10) and the connection became consistent. If only I tried that previously, it would have saved me from buying a new router.

    Though, my wife's macbook and my other 2 windows notebook never had any problem of getting consistent connection even in the default channel.
     
  18. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    @Dnovelta, fteoOpty64's suggestion to change the channel is a good one. To help you determine which channels to try first, download AirRadar. It'll show you any other WiFi networks nearby and which channel they're using (among other things). If it detects other WiFi networks in the area, change your router's channel to one that's at least 5 channels away. For example, if you find that there's a nearby network using channel 6, set your router to channel 1 or 11.

    NOTE: If you have any WiFi devices from the U.S., don't go above channel 11 because their WiFi cards will only go up to that channel.
     
  19. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    The thing is, during my stretches of stability, I was on the default channel (it was 6). Not sure what to make of that.

    I'm using 5Ghz N-only right now, and the signal is dropping constantly. It's not as frequent, maybe get 20 minutes of stability and then if I use Network Diagnostics it gets "repaired".

    I've tried changing the channel, sometimes I'm only getting Automatic as my choice, maybe I need to turn off interference robustness to allow me to change the channels?

    And I think it probably is something in the airwaves, but I wonder why all the other computers are totally fine with it, even under the b/g frequency. Why just this one computer?

    There are no other networks in range, so I assume there aren't any other routers either, unless they're using a closed network. In any case, the only phones in my house are some landlines, my Nokia 7390, my mom's N70 and my dad's Blackberry. Other than that no other wireless devices (that I can think of).

    I'll try doing some channel changing tomorrow, but the whole airwaves thing makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that it works elsewhere. Just wonder why it worked at GB3 where there are many more computers and phones around, wouldn't there be more interference there?
     
  20. Dnovelta

    Dnovelta Member

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    I downloaded AirRadar, and it detects only my network. Either my network is the only one in my area, or any other network is closed in which case I wouldn't detect it anyway.

    So, on the N-only 5Ghz frequency, I'm on channel 36 with problems. The signal is still weak, even though my Airport menu bar indicates a strong signal. For a while I was experience actual dropouts, where the signal indicator would go grey, but that hasn't happened in a while. Also, at one point I left a ping running and it completed with only a 5% packet loss, but then once I tried to use the Internet, the ping stopped.

    I just tried to use Network Diagnostic to check my WiFi signal, and it kept saying I couldn't connect to the network, even though I was - according to the menu bar indicator.

    As it is right now, AirRadar is telling me that my Avg Signal is 59% (which I presume is very low) and my Max Signal is 66%, and at the moment my signal is fluttering around 62-64%.

    I suppose I'll try a range of channels using 2.4Ghz b/g, but I thought 5Ghz N-only would be it.

    The whole "dirty signal" thing makes sense, except for the fact that the times that I've had stability I've been on both 2.4Ghz b/g (on the Automatic channel) and 5Ghz N-only. Then when the problems re-occured and I tried switching back and forth - no improvement.
     

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