Airport works, web doesn't?
August 22, 2010 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Non-Mac guy w/ Mac problem. GF's Mac connected perfectly at our old house via an Airport. At new house, it "sees" the wireless network, but...

...nothing happens. No web pages at all. The network is up & running - her Mac can see it, identify it, and shows signal bars - but no web, no e-mail. Any thoughts?
posted by davidmsc to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It could mean that the Mac hasn't pulled an IP address (or at least a working one) off the router. Easiest thing to do is to open "System Preferences > Network", then click "Advanced > TCP/IP" and finally "Renew DHCP Lease". Since she probably has no lease, this will prompt her Mac to dump whatever internally-set IP she has and possibly get a new one. If all else fails, a good old fashioned restart might help.
posted by littlerobothead at 9:05 PM on August 22, 2010

My roommate and I had this problem -- she could see my network but couldn't connect to it. We just had to change the type of security key I had for my network (apparently it could handle one kind but not another); I'm afraid I don't remember the details, but that could at least be something to explore.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:15 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

what littlerobot said plus:

make sure Configure IPv4 is set to "Using DHCP"

if the new IP address begins with 169, the likeliest cause is an incorrect key. just click on the "airport" tab on the above mentioned screen, delete your network from the list and try reconnecting using the airport menu at the top.
posted by triceryclops at 9:52 PM on August 22, 2010

I had the same problem and the same solution as EmpressCalligygos. Took it to the Genius Bar and they reset the security (I think it was from WPA2 to WPA) and now it works.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 10:26 PM on August 22, 2010

Response by poster: Sigh...tried all of your suggestions, to no avail. Thanks for the advice - at least I'm learning a bit about how Apple computers work! Will keep digging and tinkering with settings.
posted by davidmsc at 11:12 PM on August 22, 2010

Are you sure it's *your* network her computer sees and not your neighbor's? That is, is your SSID unique and not, for example, a ubiquitous default like "netgear"?
posted by ellenaim at 12:40 AM on August 23, 2010

Old, but still relevant.
posted by unliteral at 6:17 AM on August 23, 2010

When you say airport, do you mean an Apple wireless network router, like the Airport Express or Airport Extreme? Apple, to confuse things, also calls the laptop's internal wifi cards "airports".

Are other computers connected to the same network and working normally? Have you reset the modem?

Sometimes the wireless router will be working fine (as it sounds like it is) but the modem will have disconnected. So you're on the wireless network, but the network isn't connected to the internet. Just flick the power to the modem off, wait 10 sec, and plug it back in. Wait a few minutes for the router to restart, and try it again.

The Network Diagnostic Assistant can help you with this. Go to System Preferences -> Network -> Assist Me. It should trouble shoot every possibility.
posted by fontophilic at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2010

Usually this is an issue with the encryption on the router. Macs have trouble with WEP passwords. I'm not sure what kind of router you're using at the new house, but configure it so that it has a WPA or WPA2 password. Then create a new "network location" on the mac: assuming that you're running OS X 10.5 or later, go to "System preferences> Network" then "Location> edit locations," click the + sign. It will create a location called "untitled." Click "done" then click "apply." Select your network from the airport menu and enter the new WPA password.

That's usually the first thing they would have you do if you called Applecare.
posted by ndicecco at 10:45 AM on August 23, 2010

If you plug into the network with an ethernet cable and you can connect to the internet, that means your modem is working correctly. That's an important first step.

Does the Airport Utility app (under Applications/Utilities) connect to the router (assuming it's an Apple router)? If it can connect, you could do a fresh setup of it and try again. What Mac and what router is she using?

The only network security that's worth using, by the way, is WPA2. WEP and WPA have been cracked. though I guess they're likely to keep casual users from jumping on and using your bandwidth.
posted by fishpatrol at 5:01 PM on August 23, 2010

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