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Won't connect, unless my Mac is RIGHT next to the router


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FrustratedJill's Avatar
FrustratedJill FrustratedJill is offline
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07-May-2012, 04:35 PM #1
Won't connect, unless my Mac is RIGHT next to the router
After months of troubleshooting, I finally got a brand new wireless router. Now I can connect to the internet, but ONLY if my MacBook is within 5 or 6 feet of the router. Any ideas on how to make my computer better at picking up the connection? The AT and T technician said there's nothing more he can do. And the guys at Apple's "Genius Bar" tell me there's nothing wrong with my computer!
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07-May-2012, 06:25 PM #2
What are the symptoms when it won't connect?

Does the Mac see the network but just not connect?
What signal strength does the network show from the Mac?
Are there other networks in the area? (seen from Mac)

Do you have any other devices/idevices and do they connect OK from the problem areas?
What wireless band are you using?
Have you tried a different wireless channel?
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07-May-2012, 09:02 PM #3
When the Mac is right next to the new router, I have 5 "bars" of strength. Twelve feet away, I have 2. Twenty feet away, I have none and get a "connection timeout" when I try to log on. It sees the network, just won't connect. My spouse's laptop (not a Mac) has no connection problems at all.

I'm not sure what you mean by "wireless band." It's ATT U-Verse, if that's what you mean. I have no connection issues at other locations, but I don't know what kind of routers they have wherever I go! The ATT technician assured me that there is no better router than what he installed yesterday.

Thank you for trying to help!
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07-May-2012, 09:27 PM #4
What I mean by band, is in the router config you can set the wireless channel (just like a TV) your router uses.
This is so if your neighbours are using the same one you can change one to avoid interference.

I don't think that is your problem, because loosing that much signal 12' away is extreme.

Have you or can you test your MacBook on other networks? (Cafes, stores, friend, whenever)
This determine whether the issue is indeed your router or a problem with the MacBook.

I don't know the routers AT&T uses so might not be much help in checking it's settings. (You can't always trust what they say)

Did AT&T leave you instructions or a manual for getting into the router configuration to see it's settings?
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07-May-2012, 09:33 PM #5
Is there a brand name on your router?

I see there seems to be a lot of problems with a 2-Wire brand that AT&T uses and Macs.
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07-May-2012, 09:35 PM #6
Yes, I've tested it at several other locations, and it only seems to have this issue at home. That's why we got a brand new router just yesterday! Even though the old one tested out by ATT to be just fine, they installed this second one anyway. My husband's laptop is connected to the other one, and my Mac is connected to the new one. The technician realized my problem, and said there wasn't anything he could do on his end. He seemed to believe the issue is with my Mac. So no, he didn't leave any instructions on how to adjust the router, but if that was the issue, I think he would have done that before he left!

Thanks!
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07-May-2012, 09:38 PM #7
Yep. It's 2-Wire! This may be a stupid question, but can a person just buy a router somewhere, like at a store, and install it themselves? Or do I need to go through ATT since they're our service provider?
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07-May-2012, 09:46 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedJill View Post
Yep. It's 2-Wire! This may be a stupid question, but can a person just buy a router somewhere, like at a store, and install it themselves? Or do I need to go through ATT since they're our service provider?
I found countless threads where it indeed seems to be a problem between these routers and Macs.
Several threads have mentioned tips but the problem seems to return.
Even if you fix the connection problem. seems there are other issues that can cause slowdowns. (This requires another fix)

Yes, you can buy a router yourself from anywhere.
You have to enter the config screen for your 2-Wire router by browsing to 192.68.1.254 and turning off all the WIFI/DHCP/DNS features. Essentially you are just turning this into a modem.

You then connect your new router to the 2-Wire router using an ethernet cable.
You than enter the new routers config (IP address depends on modem, but like above) and set up your WIFI setting as you want.
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07-May-2012, 09:48 PM #9
Thank you so very much!!!
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07-May-2012, 09:54 PM #10
FYI: If you go this route, make sure to google the model you are looking at for reviews/opinions. There are a lot of cheap routers out there.

You could also ask AT&T if you can get a different non 2-Wire model. Some people have had luck with that, but I know they never like to admit their hardware isn't perfect.
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07-May-2012, 10:34 PM #11
I had some wireless router issues once and it turned out that there were several people in my neighborhood all using the same router channels so there was packet "conflict".

I found a website that scans all the channels used your router and also will show you all the other wireless devices within reception range of your location and you can determine what channel is least busy and set your router to that.

The website is here:

http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler#q=
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