I’ve had a MacBook Pro for about 6 months now and I loved it until about a month ago. Then suddenly, my Internet connection started having problems. Basically, OS X was connected to the wireless network at home and the Internet would work for some time, but then would suddenly disconnect.
After a random period of time, Airport would again reconnect to the wireless network! After a few more weeks, Airport would remain connected to the wireless network, but the Internet connection would simply die. However, this was something unique to only my MacBook. All of my other Windows machines connected to the wireless network and could access the Internet.
Towards the end, I literally had Internet on my Mac for 10 minutes in a whole hour. I was ready to switch to Windows 7, which was installed using Boot Camp onto my Mac.
However, since I knew it was not a hardware issue, I could not help but dig deeper. Luckily, after hours of online research and pulling my hair out, I finally figured out why Airport was connected to my wireless router, but the Internet connection would keep dropping.
I’ll mention a few things you can try, the first of which fixed my problem. It was nothing to do with the settings on my Mac, but instead the settings on my wireless router.
Wi-Fi Protected Setup
Yes, Wi-Fi Protected Setup! This is some new standard released back in 2007 that aims to make it super easy to secure your wireless network if you know nothing about routers and security. Note that is not required in order for you to setup a secure wireless network.
In my situation, I have AT&T U-Verse where I live and they installed their own wireless router, which I have to use for my entire wireless network. And, of course, this setting was enabled by default. Up to that point, I really had no issues with the network being setup that way, until I get my MacBook.
Once I disabled Wi-Fi Protected Setup, my MacBook has not disconnected from the wireless network or the Internet once! So if you’re having problems with Airport connecting and disconnecting from your wireless network all the time, try this.
First, log into the web interface for your wireless router. It’s usually some internal IP address like 192.168.0.254. You can figure out the address for the router by checking to see what the default gateway is in your network settings.
You can determine the router address in OS X by going to System Preferences, Network and click on the Advanced button.
Click on TCP/IP and you will see a line that says Router. That is the address you need to type into your web browser.
Login into your wireless router using your username and password. Once you are in, the setting you are looking for depends on the router. In my case, I have to click on Wireless to change the security settings for the wireless setup.
As you can see, I have set the Wi-Fi Protected Setup to Disabled. Go ahead and restart your router if you like, but it’s not required. You can turn Airport off and then back on again and you should hopefully not have the Internet disconnecting problems on your Mac!
In the same wireless settings page, another option could also be the culprit. Make sure that you check that the Wireless Channel is set to Auto.
If neither of these options worked or applied to you, then maybe there is something misconfigured on your Mac, which would cause Airport to keep disconnecting from the wireless router.
Go into your Network settings and make sure under TCP/IP, that DHCP is selected for Configure IPv4. For IPv6, make sure it says Automatically.
On the DNS tab, make sure your DNS Servers list has the address of your wireless router and nothing else.
If you’re still having problems with Airport, your wireless router and connecting to the Internet, take your Mac to the Genius bar at a local Apple store. Note that this post is for people who were already connected to the Internet, but keep losing their connection for no reason.
If you have any other solutions to the Airport disconnecting problem, post it here! So far my MacBook is working great again!