Why does my Airport connection drop every evening at the same time?
May 5, 2009 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Every night this week my Macbook has stopped connecting to my Airport. Why? How can I fix this?

Original Airport base station, circa 2002. Macbook.

Never had a problem with this equipment and have been using this same Airport in this same apartment for seven years. Now this week my connection to the Airport stops working around the same time every evening but resumes working a few hours later. Not an internet problem as I can connect via cable.

What's going on? And you should talk to me like I'm complete idiot. I can work computers by plugging them in and that's about it.
posted by meerkatty to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Someone just moved in and is using a cordless phone operating on the same wireless frequency?

Try changing the frequency on the base station and see if that fixes it.
posted by holgate at 5:57 PM on May 5, 2009

Best answer: Also recommending changing the frequency, which is also often referred to as the wireless "channel", and should have 1 through 11 as options. I've heard that channels as far away from each other as possible minimize interference, so try one that's pretty distant from whatever it's currently on and see if you continue to have the same problem.

This would be a setting you would change on the Airport, btw. Not sure how as I've never used one, but it shouldn't be very complicated.

There were a lot of sudden strange wireless issues that I couldn't figure out at my girlfriend's parents' house, and it took me a long time to realize that it was something as simple as changing the channel on the router. Once I did, everything worked flawlessly again, so I hope this is in fact the problem that you're having!
posted by miraimatt at 6:04 PM on May 5, 2009

If this is a graphite base station (you said "original") it may be at the end of it's life, I've had two die in the past year.

As suggested, try going into the airport admin program and changing to a different frequency. Also, does it matter if you are closer to the base station? And, are all of the lights on the base station still green when you're not connecting?

And, if you can try to connect with a different computer, you can rule out a problem with the airport card in your MacBook.
posted by HuronBob at 6:10 PM on May 5, 2009

And, if you can try to connect with a different computer, you can rule out a problem with the airport card in your MacBook.

You could also take your MacBook to the Apple Store or your friend's house or a coffee shop, and see how the wireless works there.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:12 PM on May 5, 2009

Response by poster: It's this base station. And it works just fine except for the same 3 hours or so in the evening. Doesn't help if I'm closer. The centre light is on. Can't connect to it from my iPhone either during this outage time, so don't think it's the computer.

I tried changing the channel with these instructions.
When I bring up the Airport Admin Utility, my base station doesn't appear to select. Hmm.
posted by meerkatty at 6:17 PM on May 5, 2009

We've had a similar problem, only it's just for 5 minutes or so around 9 every evening. Our working theory is that Time-Warner resets IP addresses every night and it takes a few minutes for the Airport to reset itself. I don't know if this applies to your problem or not.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:26 AM on May 6, 2009

Response by poster: Yep, changing the channel on the airport base fixed the problem. Thanks!
posted by meerkatty at 1:27 PM on May 11, 2009

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