Mac OSX v Netgear Router
April 28, 2007 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Trying to solve a Mac internet disconnection issue. As always there is

I have a Mac Mini running OS X 10.4.9 connected to a Netgear DG834G router via an ethernet connection. The router has the latest firmware installed. I also have a Windows XP Pro machine connected. They are both on static IP addresses on the router, though I also tried them on dynamic ones. They have both in the past been connected to this router via wireless and wired connections.

The PC plays along nicely. The Mac has browsing the web issues. Every now and then - actually quite frequently - the Mac gets 'server not found' errors in Firefox, and I have to repeatadly click the Retry button to get it to load the page. Looking at the router logs, the router is maintaining its DSL connection - its the Mac somehow crapping out. Like I said, no such issues on the pc.

I've tried different hardware by swapping the Mac HDD into different machines. I've formatted and re-installed OSX completely. I've tried wired, I've tried wireless. I'm at the end of my tether.

Before I go buying another DSL router, any suggestions or known issues ?
posted by superfurry to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does this just happen in Firefox? What about in Safari? What about other internet-connected apps on the Mac (such as IM)?

Next time this happens, fire up a Terminal window, and try 'ping'. Do you get any replies, or does it say 'no route to host' or 'cannot resolve'?
posted by chrismear at 4:04 AM on April 28, 2007

Hey- I just had to throw in here that I had a similar experience. I don't remember what model the Netgear router was, but it was impossible for me to use some banking sites (which made my life VERY difficult for a few months). My housemate had no problems with his PC. After a month of freaky problem solving (is it getting spark? is it getting gas? oh wait,..) we deduced that it was the router. We borrowed a different router to test the theory. Instant success. Ditch the Netgear. Life is so much nicer now.
posted by cometwendy at 4:30 AM on April 28, 2007

I've seen this sort of behavior before and it almost always was a result of IPv6 being activated in the TCP/IP preferences.

Dig into your Network preferences and make sure IPv6 is disabled.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:15 AM on April 28, 2007

Open a terminal window and type ping (assuming this is the gateway address of your router). Then move the terminal window behind your main window, such as the browser. When you get a site time-out, look at the terminal window. Has the ping also started timing out? You can scroll up the terminal window to see the historical results. From this you'll be able to tell if OS X is a fault, or just your browser.

If you're connected to the router by ethernet, and not wifi, then I don't think this is going to be a router problem. Some Intel Macs have notorious wifi connection problems, which have been addressed in two separate updates by Apple, although some people still claim to have issues.

It might be DNS problem. Have you tried using OpenDNS? The two DNS server addresses are and Plug them in and see what happens. I advise everybody to use OpenDNS because it's faster than most ISPs.

Other than that, all I can say is try different Ethernet cables. Are the cables particularly long? Remember that there are distance limitations on cat 5 cables.

FWIW I had similar problems when I used AOL broadband here in the UK, but that was also across a wifi connection, and also before Apple released the two wifi updates. So I never knew what caused the problem.
posted by humblepigeon at 5:21 AM on April 28, 2007

Odds are it's the router, though no idea why it'll play with one machine & not the other. Couple of things to suggest -- First, make sure it's not getting too hot - you don't have it stacked between a bunch of other peripherals, do you? 2. Someone who knows better than me suggests the Linksys WRT54GL model specifically. It's apparently better engineered that other Linksys products, and he's seen real-world results when people were having router problems.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:23 AM on April 28, 2007

Another thought -- if you're setting up the Ethernet prefs manually in the System Prefs, what do you have entered under the 'DNS Servers:' field, if anything? You can just add the router's IP address here, but a while back, I was having slow/no loading problems at work (I have a static IP from Time Warner there) and got a couple DNS server numbers from them, and that fixed the problem.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:27 AM on April 28, 2007

My Netgear router does something like this. In the wireless settings somewhere, there's a drop down menu allowing me to choose between "b", "g", "b and g", or "Auto 108MPs". The last time I had the timeouts you're describing, switching it to Auto took care of it. I'm not sure about the time before, but I seem to remember that fixing it either required switching it to "g" or going to a different preference page where I turned off the 108mps advanced features.

So there might be a couple of things to try.
posted by ontic at 8:24 AM on April 28, 2007

Well, I'm in the same boat with a d-link router. Have you taken the router out of the equation and connected the mac directly to the cable/dsl modem? When I do, there's no problem. But when I put the router in the middle: no love. Also, mine is limited to select sites, not everything. Metafilter is one of the domains I can't get through the router. My probelms about a month old. Can't quite match that to an Mac Software update, but that's my suspision.
posted by putzface_dickman at 1:03 PM on April 28, 2007

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