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Old Jan 22, 2012, 09:35 AM   #1
TheJing
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MBP connects to wrong Wifi every single time. Why?!

First of all, the "A connection timeout has occured" dialog box keeps coming up which is very annoying. You would expect a 1000$+ computer to be able to connect to the internet the same way my 200$ Asus does.

But that's not the biggest problem.

I have 2 different wifi's at my house. One that I normally use, and one that I use because 20% of the time my MBP can't connect to the one I want. Sometimes it can't even connect to the second one so I have a mobile broadband too, which is a lot faster than the other ones but I only have 20GB per month on it.

When I woke my computer up from sleep it used to connect to Wifi1 all the time and if I wanted to connect to Wifi2 I would have to go through the menu and click on it.

But, ever since I added a password to Wifi1, it won't connect to it. It never does. It always connects to Wifi2 which is incredibly annoying.

Yes, I have taken all the other networks out in the network preferences. The only one on that list is the one I want it to connect to automatically.

This problem is the same on both my Macs.


Does anyone know if there is a solution to this incredibly stupid problem?
Shouldn't Apple just fix the "Connection timeout" problem, which a lot of people seem to have, with a simple software update?

I love my Macs but sometimes I just wanna throw them out the window.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 10:27 AM   #2
malman89
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So under Network > Airport > Advanced > Preferred Networks you have Wifi1 as the top option and it still selects Wifi2?

Is Wifi1's password saved in your Keychain as well?

I've recently noticed something similar, but less odd. I have a similar setup (Wifi1 my PW Wifi, Wifi2 the open internet downstairs), except I'm usually connected via Ethernet from a cable coming out of Wifi1's router (I have a small place and am usually located at a desk, so why not).

However, after some time Wifi1's wireless connection totally disappears from my list of networks and it connects to Wifi2. I'm still using the Ethernet from Wifi1's router, but if I disconnect it goes to 2 and it takes some time for 1's wireless to pop up usually. Never noticed it doing that before.
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Old Jan 22, 2012, 10:31 AM   #3
TheJing
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Originally Posted by malman89 View Post
So under Network > Airport > Advanced > Preferred Networks you have Wifi1 as the top option and it still selects Wifi2?

Is Wifi1's password saved in your Keychain as well?

I've recently noticed something similar, but less odd. I have a similar setup (Wifi1 my PW Wifi, Wifi2 the open internet downstairs), except I'm usually connected via Ethernet from a cable coming out of Wifi1's router (I have a small place and am usually located at a desk, so why not).

However, after some time Wifi1's wireless connection totally disappears from my list of networks and it connects to Wifi2. I'm still using the Ethernet from Wifi1's router, but if I disconnect it goes to 2 and it takes some time for 1's wireless to pop up usually. Never noticed it doing that before.
Yea that's weird too. Apple could probably fix all this pretty easily if they wanted to.

I suppose the password is saved in my keychain since it never asks me for it.
When I delete networks from the list (Network preferences - Advanced) they disappear but then I put the computer to sleep or shut it down and when I start using it again it will just connect to Wifi2 and there it is again on the list. It is under Wifi1 though, so I don't understand why it keeps connecting to it.
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 05:30 AM   #4
TheJing
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I guess I won't be buying a Mac next time since I kinda need to use the internet but a Mac isn't capable of connecting to it 9 times out of 10.
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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Have you tried removing the password from Wifi1 and see if the issue is resolved? I would try that as you said that it worked fine until you put the password in. Are the two wifi access points running on the same channel, as if so, the Mac will choose the one that has the best performance?
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 12:33 PM   #6
TheJing
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Have you tried removing the password from Wifi1 and see if the issue is resolved? I would try that as you said that it worked fine until you put the password in. Are the two wifi access points running on the same channel, as if so, the Mac will choose the one that has the best performance?
No, I haven't tried to remove the password from Wifi1. It's actually my neighbor's Wifi but I pay them to use it so it's not like I'm stealing it or anything.
But they're gone on vacation and will be gone for a while so I won't be able to remove it for another month or so.

What was that about the channel? What is that?

I have the second Wifi here in my room so maybe I could change that one and see if that helps.

How exactly would I do that?

Thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 12:49 PM   #7
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The channel is what the wifi signal is carried upon. The channel represents the frequency range (each channel has a set frequency range that it operates upon). When interference occurs the strongest signal wins out. In this case WIFI2 may in fact be operating on the same channel and the mbp will connect to it as it is a stronger signal (other things such as bluetooth, cordless phones, and microwaves will interfere with a signal as well). Changing you wifi to another channel, may help to alleviate the issue. You would have to go into the router settings to change the output channel (each router has a different way to get to that but it will be under the settings of the router (admin ability needed to change).

You can down load wifi tools such as wifi scanner that will scan the airwaves and tell what wifi devices are present in your area and what channels they are operating on (this can help to solve interference as the reason wifi1 is not working may be that someone else in the area is interfering with that signal and that is beyond your control). Since WIFI1 is not yours, it may be that the owner changed the output power or they changed the channels when they added the password and this may be the cause of the issues.

It could be the wifi within your mac or is could be something beyond your control, like issues with the neighbors router, interference from a neighboring party or transmission, or something else. This will take some trouble shooting on your part. Do your other devices have these same issues since the password change as well??
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 12:53 PM   #8
TheJing
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
The channel is what the wifi signal is carried upon. The channel represents the frequency range (each channel has a set frequency range that it operates upon). When interference occurs the strongest signal wins out. In this case WIFI2 may in fact be operating on the same channel and the mbp will connect to it as it is a stronger signal (other things such as bluetooth, cordless phones, and microwaves will interfere with a signal as well). Changing you wifi to another channel, may help to alleviate the issue. You would have to go into the router settings to change the output channel (each router has a different way to get to that but it will be under the settings of the router (admin ability needed to change).

You can down load wifi tools such as wifi scanner that will scan the airwaves and tell what wifi devices are present in your area and what channels they are operating on (this can help to solve interference as the reason wifi1 is not working may be that someone else in the area is interfering with that signal and that is beyond your control). Since WIFI1 is not yours, it may be that the owner changed the output power or they changed the channels when they added the password and this may be the cause of the issues.

It could be the wifi within your mac or is could be something beyond your control, like issues with the neighbors router, interference from a neighboring party or transmission, or something else. This will take some trouble shooting on your part. Do your other devices have these same issues since the password change as well??
Thanks for all the help.

Right now I'm connected to Wifi1. As I said, it does work sometimes.

And yes. My Air also has issues connecting to that network.

I guess I'll wait and check with them when they get back. I have Wifi2 (slow) and Wifi3 (super fast but only 20GB/month) so it's not like I can't access the internet while I wait.

But thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 01:02 PM   #9
squeakr
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If you can connect sometimes and not all times, then it sounds like an interference or signal strength issue. How far away is the router as you may be in such a way that the signal is good at times and bad at others. A router can be set to the automatically set the channel based on surrounding interference and traffic, thus it selects the best channel available at the time. However this could be a channel that yields the lowest throughput and strength for your location. I have mine set to a channel determined by me that yields the best signal strength. If I set mine to auto it sometimes chooses a better channel, but the coverage area then drops significantly for me, thus I occasionally scan my area and set my channel accordingly to provide the best signal and throughput for my environment.

Good luck with fixing it. How many bars does the wifi signal indicator show on your macs and is it the same on both?
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