Apple connection problems
December 3, 2008 3:35 PM   Subscribe

Apple wireless connection problems.

I have a problem connecting to my wireless network on apple macintosh.

The computer eventually connects to the network after a few timeouts. However my applications believe they are not connected to the Internet. The network was set up on my computer using the airport utility and an apple time capsule. Now, the airport utility cannot find any apple devices can be found. I know the apple is in range of the time capsule because neither device has moved and the connection has been seamless in the past.

Furthermore, my iPhone connects to the Internet via the same network without difficulty. This leads me to believe that the problem is with the computer. Rebooting the cable modem, the time capsule, and the computer doesn't seem to help.
posted by Pants! to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The computer eventually connects to the network after a few timeouts.

Does this mean that it connects to the wireless network after a few timeouts, or that websites begin to load after a few timeouts? Two entirely different things and the answer matters in troubleshooting. You can, for instance, join a wireless network but if the router (your Time Capsule) is not able to communicate with your ISP (cable modem, DSL modem, etc.), then nothing will load.

Are you certain that your iPhone is using the wireless network successfully and not falling back on Edge or 3G? Again, just because it shows it connected to a wireless network, it doesn't mean that it's sending its traffic via your ISP...

Tools like can help you determine what Internet connection you're using.

Have you tried removing the previous Airport networks from the list located here: System Preferences --> Network --> Airport --> Advanced. And then rejoining the your wireless network?
posted by at 3:51 PM on December 3, 2008

I connects to the network, but safari and other apps still cannot connect to the Internet.
posted by Pants! at 3:55 PM on December 3, 2008

While this might be normal connection problems, Apple is having SERIOUS Wifi problems with their recent laptops. Our house has 2 Apple laptops (An early 2008 Macbook and a Late-2008 MacBook Pro), both of which can hardly get on the Wifi network and show the same symptoms you are experiencing.

In the same house multiple Windows laptops, a Nokia N810 and an older Powerbook G4 can get on the Wifi access point with no problems what so ever.

There is a lot of folklore out there about how to mitigate this particular problem, but no real solution yet. I'm getting ready to call Apple Care.

(I wish I could have answered this by using my MacBoo Pro, but it has decided not to get network this afternoon)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2008

I've seen the folklore that bottlebrushtree is talking about...the anecdotal evidence and stories. And it's clear that something is going on. However, whatever is going on, it is absolutely not universal to a specific model or OS iteration or update. I maintain hundreds of Macs at a school, most of which are late model MacBooks or late model MacBook Pros (none of the newest mid-Oct 2008 model, however). And we haven't had any of the problems connecting to our extensive Apple wireless network (50+ Airport Base stations).

In my consulting work, I've set up several of the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros and haven't experienced the problems that you're talking about.

This isn't to say that there isn't a problem. I've seen the endless threads on the Apple Discussion Forums and Mac tech mailing lists. There's clearly something going on. Nobody's been able, as far as I can tell, to have isolated the cause. My advice above stands. Try setting up your Apple wireless network again, having flushed out previous wireless settings.
posted by at 4:13 PM on December 3, 2008

Also, in regards to the iPhone connection, my ip address is my ISP's and not 3G. Removing the previous airport networks did not resolve the problem.
posted by Pants! at 4:14 PM on December 3, 2008

I don't think I can set up the network again because the airport utility can't find the time capsule
posted by Pants! at 4:20 PM on December 3, 2008

Example 1.

You might try a few more things:

a) reverting to Firmware 7.3.1 on your Time Capsule. Many are saying that there are serious issues with v7.3.2 on the Extremes and Time Capsules.
b) turn off IPv6 in your Airport network settings. Use IPv4 only.
posted by at 4:28 PM on December 3, 2008

I just tested connecting to the internet on the network via a WinXP laptop, which worked.

I can't try reverting to a different firmware because the Mac can't find the time capsule.
posted by Pants! at 5:14 PM on December 3, 2008

I can't try reverting to a different firmware because the Mac can't find the time capsule.

Meaning? Airport Utility can't find the Time Capsule? What happens if you try to connect to directly via IP number (probably unless you changed default subnet)?

Are you willing to reset the Time Capsule to factory default settings?
posted by at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2008

I started having troubles much like those described here when I got the new macbook pro. I updated itunes at that point as well, and started noticing serious continuity and connection problems with airtunes. I restarted the dsl modem, airport express base station and macbook several times, remade the network, updated quicktime, reinstalled itunes, reconfigured ipv6 settings, restored appletv (the airtunes receiver), and tried quite a few combinations of cursewords. None of that worked.

Here's what has 95% fixed things: I plugged in one of my old airport express units, between the appletv and the AEBS. My setup lets me play airtunes through that unit reliably, and sometimes I try it through appletv and it seems more stable, but both still cut out (the airport express cuts out way less).

I do see web and bittorrent hanging for up to a minute or so, sometimes confusing enough to bomb out itunes if it happens to want the internet when things go south. It's quite a mess, and until I happened to try the airport express, I was pretty frustrated. I still am, though to be fair I haven't tried the applecare route yet to see if they can solve it. It sucks to get something that is largely so well made to fuck up so utterly on a feature that has become so essential. Blech. Good luck to everyone having this problem still. It's a nasty one.
posted by holycola at 12:05 AM on December 4, 2008

I have this problem at a local coffee shop, both with my Macbook and my iPod touch. It takes a while to even SEE the network (think 10-15 seconds). I can connect to the network, but all of my applications say that I am "not connected to the internet." If they reset their wireless router, it usually works, but I can't ask them to do that every time I go in there (plus, there are usually 15-20 other people working with no problem on laptops).
posted by proj at 5:16 AM on December 4, 2008

I spent a couple hours on the phone with Apple, until it started arbitrarily working while I was waiting on hold for someone else. Ten minutes later, it stopped again. I ended up going to the store to buy a long Ethernet cable, which works, although I don't know what was wrong.
posted by Pants! at 6:13 AM on December 4, 2008

If you have a wireless phone in the house, try unplugging it's power. That helps my airport network.
posted by conrad53 at 9:02 AM on December 4, 2008

I posted this question a while back. I have had no luck in finding a remedy, despite other machines -- Apple, and non Apple -- having no trouble whatsoever with their connection.

Voodoo seems to fix things on a temporary basis. I had no connection this morning, but half an hour of using Network Diagnostics, turning wifi on and off, and renewing the DHCP lease over and over again has got me online, for the time being.

However, despite my anger, this is all good nourishment for my cynical side. This stupid wifi problem, a keyboard that bruises my fingers and two dead motherboards have taught me to hate Apple just as much as I hate Microsoft.
posted by popcassady at 5:27 AM on December 5, 2008

Can you humor me, please, for a moment and try the following: Command-drag the Airport menu extra out of your menu bar--which will make it POOF disappear--and then restart your computer. And tell me, does the flaky wireless persist?

I'm tracking this issue on Apple's bug reports and on some mailing lists and someone has suggested the above as a possible work-around. I'd love to see confirmation or refutation of the above but don't currently have an affected machine in front of me. The rationale for this potential work-around is that the Airport menu bar initiates frequent network scans for wireless networks and these may be causing an issue.

Note that you can still easily join a wireless network using your Network System Preferences pane.
posted by at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2008

mrbarrett, I tried you suggestion but the problem persisted.
posted by popcassady at 11:07 AM on December 13, 2008

Just to chime in with a bit of sympathy, but my Time Capsule has just done pretty much the same as yours; everything was working fine until a couple of days ago when *poof* all internet connectivity was lost. I fiddled around for days and found that I had to set my modem to have a static IP, and the TC to use the same static details whilst serving up DHCP to the rest of my network.
Now, if something is connected by ethernet to the TC, it gets the internet perfectly.
Anything connected by wifi can see the rest of the network, inherits the same network settings (own IP address, router, DNS, etc.) as ethernet-connected devices, but steadfastly refuse to connect to the internet. I've checked this with a PPC Mac mini, a 3G iPhone, and a Macbook (with OSX and XP, with the same lack of external connectivity on each).

The weird thing is, there *is* an internet connection there - pings work fine, as does mail (IMAP via gmail), as does traceroute... I thought that the problem was indicated here, as he second hop looks weird (a substantial delay, and just * * * is reported back) but the same happens when connected by ethernet.

Wonder if I can hold Apple responsible for hair loss??! It may be completely coincidental, but the only thing that changed on my configuration was the Safari 3.2.1 update that was installed on the 11th... and this was pretty much the last time that the connection worked properly. Weird.
posted by Chunder at 3:29 AM on December 14, 2008

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