View Full Version : Macbook Wireless Problem

1st April 2009, 07:28 PM
Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently bought myself a 2.4 Ghz Macbook to replace my dead '04 iMac G5 and while it's the best computer that I've owned, I have a small niggling problem with my wireless connection. I'm currently on an Optus broadband plan, with a Siemens Speedstream 4200(?) router hooked up to an Apple Airport Extreme, which is located in the living room. This setup has been working a treat for nearly 2 years now and works perfectly everywhere around the house for our 2 iBook G4's, my aforementioned iMac G5 (before it's tragic and painful death), an MSi Wind and some rubbish Samsung notebook.

My Macbook can also access the internet, however when I take my computer to the living room (where the router + modem is), it doesn't work anymore! It's got a full signal yet I get a "connection timeout" error. Did a wireless diagnostics test through System Preferences but that doesn't work either. The internet works again once I walk out of the room, but as soon as I'm within about a 2-2.5m radius to the router, it sh*ts itself again.

If someone could help me, that would be great!

1st April 2009, 09:38 PM
+1 on these sorts of problems. I was gonna post a similar thread but glad I did a search first. Though it looks like my problem is different but here goes.

I've got the 2.0Ghz base model of the OP's Unibody Macbook and am using a Billion 6404-VGP wireless. I also have an Airport Express in the garage, a Dell Laptop and an iPhone. I had to move the Billion to a different jackpoint to use the ATA on a phone and so have configured the AE to "join" the wireless network and that seems to be going alright.. The iPhone and dell are not to my knowledge having any timeout issues but if I move the Macbook more than say 5m away from the Billion, despite getting full signal (according to the Airport monitor) I lose signal (someone set up us the bomb).

Usually it comes back by turning the Airport interface off and on again. I've tried changing the Billions' channel to no avail and thinking about changing security settings (plain jane WPA2 Personal..wow)

Anybody got a fix?

2nd April 2009, 12:22 AM
I can't comment on the OP, but for the billion modem user, I think it might well be WPA2. I used to have MAJOR issues with billion and their implementation of wpa/wpa2 which oddly seemed to only affect macs (check out the heaps of posts on whirlpool.net.au on this).

I have since ditched the billion (after using so many of them) and no longer have the issues - using a DYNALINK modem, but the linksys also have no issues.

try upgradingthe firmware, but i think you might end up needing a linksys or similar.

29th April 2009, 02:29 PM
Update. I too ditched the Billion, for wireless at least, and got me an Airport Extreme with the simultaneous bands thing going on. It's been great, at least right until today when I took my two laptops and iPhone to bed with me today (not for kink, just because I'm sick and needed entertainment of the non-sexual kind!) O_o Our bedroom is on the second storey and the Extreme is down in the lounge, y'see.

Anyway. After a little while of misuse the Macbook lost its DHCP lease and wouldn't renew it. No matter what I did, it gave me Connection Timeout:


So I checked my other laptop - my work Windows XP machine. Was still connected just fine. So was the iPhone. I was even able to renew DHCP leases on both. Both of these are on the same AP (though using the 2.4ghz band rather than 5ghz..hmm) Next I deleted the profile in System Preferences, turned Airport off and On again, and got this:


Eventually it connected but with a self-assigned IP, ie, still no work. Even after resetting the Airport Extreme I couldn't get the damn thing to work.

Finally I went downstairs with the macbook and watched it connect no dramas whatsoever.

This does seem to indicate there is an inferior antenna or something in the Macbook? Maybe it was something related to the 802.11n channel?

PS - now it's got its IP address back from DHCP I'm back upstairs in bed with the macbook (reow) and connectivity is once again full signal and I'm getting fast throughput!!

29th April 2009, 02:51 PM
March of the Pigs? That's gold baby.

29th April 2009, 06:31 PM
Update...OK, no update. Still scratching my head - I am contemplating if the developers of the house put a sheet of lead in between the floors. Distance wise we are not talking very far. What pisses me off is the signal meter doesn't drop AT ALL before I start dropping pings.

30th April 2009, 08:57 AM
All of a sudden, I am having the same issue.

MB loses signal, goes to 1 bar, then 0 bars. Lose connection to the network. iPhone and all other network devices work fine. Try to release and reconnect and it may timeout. Other times the signal goes back to 4 bars by itself. Restart of the MB also resolves the issue.

The router is a 7401, running 5.60c which I know has some issues, but the fact that other network devices are fine is a concern.

Any ideas?

I've taken some advice from WP and changed the IP address to fixed and set it outside my DHCP range. I'll see how that goes.

30th April 2009, 12:47 PM
Nup, that didn't work.

Signal strength just dropped away, lost signal. Walked to the router, strength increased and network came back.

30th April 2009, 03:19 PM
I have random problems with the dual band extreme, sometimes the internet will not work on the 5ghz with good signal but if i join the 2.4ghz network it works.

30th April 2009, 09:56 PM
Dare - different symptoms. When I get traffic standstills I'm still showing 4 wireless bars.

Something smells fishy. Let me paint you a picture.

This is a bastardized view of my lower living area. When the Airport Extreme (AX) is hooked up next to the home entertainment unit, the Macbook has crying fits when its upstairs in the bedroom. I originally thought I needed the AX there to hook my PS3 up for streamy goodness.

However, when I move the AX about 6m to its new location under the stairs, it's fine. Under the stairs resides my bastard Billion 7404VGP. I hate it so much I turned off its wifi completely and use and abuse it solely for its crappy non-Annex-M ADSL2+ interface and shithouse ATA ports (well, one of them). I'm too cheap to go out and buy a half decent router/modem. Anyway, I realised there wasn't much difference in usability because there is a bit of cat5 running from under the stairs to the entertainment unit so that's going straight to the PS3.

I dont understand the reason why the Macbook picks up DHCP fine when the AX is under the stairs but not at the home entertainment unit. When I use iStumbler in the bedroom its' showing me the same signal strength. For crying out loud.

28th February 2010, 10:23 AM
Similar Problems here...
New Mac book pro (ali model) connected to Optus broadband wireless router.
Works good one day ..crap the next. Tried lots of things after searching on Google for tips.. Its seems that "airport" has had massive problems if one seeks real answers. All my old laptops had no issues with wireless connectivity in this same location. Now the new expensive Mac its a nightmare.
I suspect it is frequency tracking problem (afc) between the W router and the airport card in Mac. This can explain the many different problems many thousands are currently experiencing.
Apple need to come clean on this ongoing problem.
in the meantime switch off the home wireless router and re boot after 10 min and then restart your Mac ....
This works for me and my problem but may not work for you.
Good luck and keep annoying Apple for a real solution.

1st March 2010, 05:00 AM
Shyoon, the most likely cause is due to an overloading of RF from your router. Essentially your Mac is too sensitive or your router is very powerful but when the two get near each other the reciever in your Mac get so overloaded it cant cope and cuts out. You best bet will be to move the router to another room if possible.