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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:45 PM   #1
realitystops
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WIFI connection Failures?

Sitting in a Coffee shop today I was unable (not for the first time) to use the internet even though I was apparently connected having joined the free service provided with a full signal strength reading. No browsing or email despite being fully connected.
All other customers (PC) seemed fine and despite several reboots etc. I was the only failed surfer!
This not the first time I have been frustrated this way when out and about. Obviously cannot blame provider as I am being told by my own machine the connection is good - right up until I open Safari and the not connected screen appears??????

Any ideas?

Oh, am in UK and using MBA11 and ML

Thank you
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:47 PM   #2
realitystops
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Anything?

No matter how obvious to you, I am sure there must be a reason that someone knows?

Any ideas??
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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My Air often does that, in an office I use a couple of days a week which has fast Internet .... it can be saying no connection when my iPhone, 2 iPads, and th iMac I use there all working fine. If I plug it into the router with thunderbolt Ethernet adaptor ... No problems.

In this building there are many other wifi systems, and I wonder if the Air has some weakness with wifi in such situations because at home I run it on a mini wifi modem (4g modem, but I only get 3G there) and there's no other systems around and the Air is fine with wifi there.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:00 AM   #4
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Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlong View Post
My Air often does that, in an office I use a couple of days a week which has fast Internet .... it can be saying no connection when my iPhone, 2 iPads, and th iMac I use there all working fine. If I plug it into the router with thunderbolt Ethernet adaptor ... No problems.

In this building there are many other wifi systems, and I wonder if the Air has some weakness with wifi in such situations because at home I run it on a mini wifi modem (4g modem, but I only get 3G there) and there's no other systems around and the Air is fine with wifi there.
Looks like it might be a dead area or an ares overpopulated with wifi sources.
On my next visit I will position myself at the other end of the cafe?
Maybe that simple, otherwise I am stumped :-(
Thanks for the consolation.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 03:51 PM   #5
nightlong
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Anyone else having this problem? Or have any solutions?

Would be helpful to know if this is a generic weakness in MBA, or whether the OP and I have problems in our machines that can be fixed.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 07:23 AM   #6
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First how do they "authenticate" a customer logging onto their wireless? I ask because a lot of businesses use the web pop-up for 'Authentication' so if you have a pop-up blocker turn on in your browser can cut that out.

Also don't rely on a strangers DNS servers. Use your own (that you can control) with something like OpenDNS.com or Google Public DNS and see if that helps.

Lastly make sure you were connecting to the cafe's wireless rather than a hacker's fraud network.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlong View Post
Anyone else having this problem? Or have any solutions?

Would be helpful to know if this is a generic weakness in MBA, or whether the OP and I have problems in our machines that can be fixed.
I get this on a regular basis with a variety of networks, although it seems more common on slightly weaker signals, with error messages saying there is a "connection timeout". The messages pop up almost instantly after I try to connect.

I also have to turn off and on the wifi on a regular basis when to maintain a connection- ie the wifi is connected but downloads become very slow or stop altogether.

I have an early 2011 13" MBP running 10.8.2.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 09:02 AM   #8
nightlong
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Originally Posted by satcomer View Post
First how do they "authenticate" a customer logging onto their wireless? I ask because a lot of businesses use the web pop-up for 'Authentication' so if you have a pop-up blocker turn on in your browser can cut that out.

Also don't rely on a strangers DNS servers. Use your own (that you can control) with something like OpenDNS.com or Google Public DNS and see if that helps.

Lastly make sure you were connecting to the cafe's wireless rather than a hacker's fraud network.
Thanks for this ... In my case, I'm connecting to a wifi system I set up in this office, I'm the boss and i maintain the system and so I know it is secure ... There are about 5 other systems in the building or in the vicinity. When I work there i often take my MBA, both iPads and iphone, and when it needs big updates my imac too, as there is fast and unlimited downloading, whereas my home office in a rural area has a limited system ... 3G Mini wifi modem.Only the MBA has a problem remaining connected with wifi at the office .. It is strange because it rarely drops out at home, when I often have just as many things connected on a supposedly more volatile, and much slower, system...

I use the Ethernet cable when updating software as it doesn't drop out then, but it's not convenient to place near the router when I'm using the MBA and staff are using the office iMac and PC laptop (which NEVER drops out, which is embarrassing, as I loathe pcs and didnt want to get it, only my office manager uses that for his ghastly non-mac accounting software,, so my temperamental MBA makes him laugh because the crap PC laptop cost $400 and hasn't so far had any problem, and so ... so much for my theory that macs are worth the money because they just work.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 09:17 AM   #9
nightlong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quasinormal View Post
I get this on a regular basis with a variety of networks, although it seems more common on slightly weaker signals, with error messages saying there is a "connection timeout". The messages pop up almost instantly after I try to connect.

I also have to turn off and on the wifi on a regular basis when to maintain a connection- ie the wifi is connected but downloads become very slow or stop altogether.

I have an early 2011 13" MBP running 10.8.2.
I wonder how common this is, and if it is an OS or a hardware issue. I will phone Apple next week ... But if it is a hardware issue they probably won't admit that.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quite Common

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Originally Posted by nightlong View Post
I wonder how common this is, and if it is an OS or a hardware issue. I will phone Apple next week ... But if it is a hardware issue they probably won't admit that.
Read here and here. Also Apple Support Communities have posting. I have Mountain Lion on my machine and I too experience wifi drop offs from time to time. Its not a deal breaker though.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 06:25 AM   #11
realitystops
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Up Date

Satcomers comments I am sure are relevant. Unfortunately I have no idea what they mean.

I have never deliberately gotten involved with DNS etc. etc. because I have no conception of their use.

Using MAC for years just so I don't have to.

Living in the middle of nowhere and the main town being more of a large village I feel quite safe on the local cafes wifi..

So that all aside. MacAir says connection made ( relevant password used), wifi owner they say all OK, PC users have no probs?? Most confusing my wife visited the cafe yesterday and had no probe at all?

Confused in Scotland seeks advice.

Thank You
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 10:48 AM   #12
satcomer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realitystops View Post
Satcomers comments I am sure are relevant. Unfortunately I have no idea what they mean.
DNS (Domain Naming System) is why you don't have to put in IP address to go to web sites.

Now IMHO MOST ISPs barely understand DNS! So in the long past I used my own DNS but that was put away soon because it needed working on it constantly. However when setting up that DNS server (late at night after work) I had a list of reference servers near me but in a tired state I accidentally telnetted into my ISP server (by using the wrong IP), that had no username/password setup. I then called my ISP 9after getting out of their DNS server and gave them the story what had happened. The ISP manager tried from his workstation and saw exactly what I saw!!! This really opened my eyes that most ISPs have NO CLUE about DNS!

So I went with a third party DNS provider OpenDNS.com (they have an instructional video) but a year or two ago started charging for Advanced functions (that you don't have to worry about). Then google got into the game when released their Google Public DNS (YMMV).
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 05:42 AM   #13
realitystops
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Dns??

I read "satcomer" avidly but without the slightest idea what I was reading!

I promise you I am not a stupid person but I really have no conception of the majority of this web/software gobble-de-gook!

If my laptop does not work on a public wifi and others do - what do I do to fix it?

If I cannot do anything (comprehensible/reversable) then who can?

If none of the above do I just live with minor frustration till new macair or whatever comes along?

If a Mac does not work why fix it? ;-) ?
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 06:16 AM   #14
satcomer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realitystops View Post
I read "satcomer" avidly but without the slightest idea what I was reading!
Didn't you read the Wikipedia post I listed. It explains in simple terms what DNS is.

Quote:
I promise you I am not a stupid person but I really have no conception of the majority of this web/software gobble-de-gook!
DNS is NOT "gobble-de-cook"! It is how anyone using the Internet gets to web pages with having to remember thousands of IP addresses. To change DNS on a Mac open System Preferences->Network pane, 'Advanced' button, DNS mini-tab, + button and add 208.67.222.222 & 208.67.220.220.

Quote:
If my laptop does not work on a public wifi and others do - what do I do to fix it?
1.Go to your Mac and turn of wireless.

2. Open System Preferences-> Network pane. At the top of Network pane you will see the toggle bar for 'Location'.

3. Use the 'Location' toggle bar and choose 'Edit Locations'. A new window will pop-up and in that window select the + button. Then type in a custom name Location calling it whatever you want. Then 'Done' button to close the pop-up window and then in the main Network pane click on the 'Apply' button to save your new changes.

4. Rejoin a wireless network and try it out.


Quote:
If I cannot do anything (comprehensible/reversable) then who can?
Most people who grew up with the internet.

Quote:
If none of the above do I just live with minor frustration till new macair or whatever comes along?
Any problem can be fixed short of serious hardware problems.

Quote:
If a Mac does not work why fix it? ;-) ?
Because you "upgraded" you Mac and did not do a Fresh install. Apple usually refreshes the "network stack" with every version of OS X. Like any "software" change can get mess up certain things.
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Last edited by satcomer; Aug 30, 2013 at 09:17 AM.
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