How do I get my router to play nice with my MacBook Pro?
October 24, 2010 6:07 AM   Subscribe

My Linksys T-mobile HiPort Wireless Router is sporadic and weird with my MacBook Pro 2007 Santa Rosa's wireless networking. What's the ideal way to fix this? Or should I get a new router? And what will we do when our contract is up and T-mobile shuts down the landline?

Anyone know a good way to get these two things to play nice? My internet drops out every few minutes, only to return mysteriously a few minutes later. I'm perfectly close to the router and have a good signal, and I've tried rebooting both the router and the PC. I tried getting the latest Atheros drivers for the wireless card on the Mac, but it still seems to have these issues, whether I'm running Ubuntu, Windows, or Mac.

Other networks seem to work fine with the Mac, so it doesn't appear there's so much something wrong with the router or my Mac as problems with their interactions.

As far as I know, it's been good on phone service and networking wired. It also seems to work well with the WRT54G with DD-WRT running as a bridge to our old desktop. I notice no sporadicness there.

Failing that, what's a good router to replace it with? I don't really need the 802.11N bandwidth right now, but I figure it would be nice to have, anyway, for futureproofing. Being able to flash it with DD-WRT/Tomato/other custom firmwares would be nice, too, as I'm a power user, and I think we need an advanced QOS since we have VOIP and I find that any time I do something very bandwidth intensive, the phone connection gets bad.

The WRT54G is currently doing bridge duty, but I could replace it with a USB/PCI wireless adapter. However, I found it to be a bit lacking as a router, as it would get overwhelmed when I downloaded something on bit torrent and sometimes need a powercycle to work again. It's not the original WRT54G, but a later model that has a low amount of memory and needs the micro build of DD-WRT.

And yes, I'm aware T-Mobile's VOIP lines are getting phased out with the end of our contract. But my mom really likes the option of using a pseudo-landline. Speaking of which, any good way to dock a phone, via a dock or bluetooth, so that it can be used like a landline (IE, pick up the phone, hear a dialtone, dial a number, and incoming calls ring the cordless phones)? Or is there a good, cheap voip (around the $10 we pay now) service that's high quality and fairly easy?

  • How do I fix the connection between my MacBook Pro 2007 Santa Rosa and my T-Mobile Router?
  • Failing that, what's a good wireless router to replace this one? Preferably 802.11N and flashable with DD-WRT.
  • Is there a bluetooth dock of some sort that lets a cell phone work like a landline when my mother is at home? For when our contract is up and T-mobile shuts down our landline?
posted by mccarty.tim to Technology (4 answers total)
Just to be clear, I meant "Dock a cellphone." This would be great, as it would mean my mom could use the same phone number at home or away without having to deal with Google Voice, call forwarding, or multiple lines, which are a bit out of her reach, technically speaking.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:14 AM on October 24, 2010

I have the same MBP and had similar issues with wifi on some routers. However, it seemed to be a driver thing, not a hardware thing, as I could connect just fine running Windows, just not OS X. Not sure what fixed it for me - I upgraded to Snow Leopard which helped, but also had a logic board replacement (not due to wifi issues). If you want the DD-WRT options, why not one of the newer Linux-ready WRT models, or a used early-revision 54G? My home network is 2 WRT54Gs, and I'd add a 3rd if I had one.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:34 AM on October 24, 2010

If you haven't upgraded to Snow Leopard, do it-- it fixes something upfucked with the Atheros driver. That was the only thing that solved my identical issue, after an AirPort subsystem & antenna replacement (but before an unrelated logic board replacement for a bad GPU).
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:10 AM on October 24, 2010

I'm running Snow Leopard.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:24 AM on October 24, 2010

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