Airport Disconnects
April 10, 2006 7:58 PM   Subscribe

My iBook loves to disconnect from my Airport Express that I have set up in my dorm room. Basically, I'll go to sleep, go to the laundry room, or come back from class, and the network doesn't show up in my "Available" list anymore. The green light is still on (it's not showing yellow, blinking or otherwise), and the only way to fix it is to unplug the router for about 5 seconds and reconnect (effectively resetting it).

Past questions about this have involved PPoE, which is not involved in my setup. Any advice?
posted by rossination to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Are there any microwaves within a hundred feet or so of the Airport Express? Here at home, our microwave will scramble our Airport Express after about twenty seconds of use. (If I'm using the Express, I'll sometimes microwave in "bursts" so as not to disconnect things.) It may be a long shot in your case, but it's a possibility.
posted by jdroth at 9:04 PM on April 10, 2006

Response by poster: There is actually a microwave feet away from the APE. I'll try unplugging it later tonight when I get back.
posted by rossination at 9:40 PM on April 10, 2006

Note that the microwave only interferes when it is being used to make tasty treats. When it's just sitting there, unused, it shouldn't interfere...
posted by jdroth at 9:45 PM on April 10, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm... very few tasty treats have been made as of late. Could it be any other sort of interference?

Is it aliens?
posted by rossination at 9:51 PM on April 10, 2006

I have the same thing happen occasionally with my Airport base station (Extreme, not Express) and the only common factor I can come up with is that it only happens when I've got a lot of network traffic going on - say, downloading something from the web and also having a few large torrents running simultaneously. It doesn't always disconnect when there's heavy traffic, but the only times it does disconnect are when there is. Are you running any large downloads?
posted by toddshot at 9:55 PM on April 10, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm. Sometimes I am (I'm a college student with an enormous amount of bandwidth!), but it also seems like it does it somewhat sporadically. I'll have to set up some tests.
posted by rossination at 10:21 PM on April 10, 2006

Response by poster: OK, so it just happened again. No large downloads, no microwaving.

posted by rossination at 10:32 PM on April 10, 2006

Cordless phone. Yours, or that of someone in a nearby room.
posted by staggernation at 10:35 PM on April 10, 2006

Try updating the Airport Express to the latest firmware if you haven't already.
posted by xil at 10:58 PM on April 10, 2006

You live in a dorm so there are probably other access points, cordless phones, and microwaves everywhere.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:10 AM on April 11, 2006

Turn off your Airport Express and use your laptop to see what other network channels are in use. You want to avoid the strongest of them, by a separation of at least 5. (Normally, the only channels that should get used are 1,6, and 11, but not everyone knows that.) Also try moving where it is in your apartment... if it's getting scrambled by a microwave on the other side of the dorm wall, even a couple of feet could make a big difference.
posted by Malor at 2:00 AM on April 11, 2006

Use of the cordless phone at a 2.4GHz (I believe) used to interrupt our Airport express connection. Maybe it's a neighbor? Although when the phone call was over, so were the connection problems.
posted by piratebowling at 4:17 AM on April 11, 2006

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