Airport Ex-What?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by imnotatfault, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. imnotatfault macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #1
    I have an Airport Extreme. Bought it when it first came out. Every couple hours it disconnects me from the internet and I have to cycle power to get things working again.

    I just took it to the Genius Bar today and he basically said I'm SOL, warranty is up, and to just buy an AP Express since it's smaller, has the same range, and operates on more channels than the Extreme.

    Now, besides my obvious annoyance that that is hardly how one troubleshoots a piece of hardware, why would the price point be so different? Is it simply because the Extreme has a WAN port and a modem? Or is there a performance difference that he neglected to tell me about?

    Before I spend any more money, I'd like to hear some suggestions (regarding any facet of this problem...).
     
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    I own an Express, but have never had an Extreme. The only major definitive difference I can think of is that the Express can handle up to 50 computers at a time, but the Express can only handle ten. Thus, the Extreme is more suitable for corporate settings. I have seen a couple of reports from people who think the Express has a slightly shorter range than the Extreme, but I don't know if that has been verified...Apple lists both with a range of 150 feet (I think).
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    I have an AEBS. It's worked wonderfully for the three years I've owned it. And I don't even think this comment about the Express using "more channels" is even true. All 802.11g devices operate one channel at a time (only those "super" ones that run faster than 54MBPS when you use all the same brand hardware use more than one channel, AFAIK). And the set of channels is limited by federal law, at least in the US.

    As for your problem...we need data:

    1) Did it always do this or did it start doing this at some point?

    2) When you say disconnect from the internet, does the Mac disconnect from the AEBS or does the AEBS lose its internet connection? You can differentiate based on whether you lose the bars in your Airport icon on your menu bar or not.

    3) Who is your ISP, what type of service is it (Cable/DSL), and what is the device upstream from the AEBS (name and model #)
     
  4. imnotatfault thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #4
    It didn't always do it, but now it's getting to be fairly consistent. I can go days without it dying on me and other times it may happen up to a few times per night (no rhyme or reason I am aware of)


    Mac stays connected to base station, just loses internet.

    I use Road Runner for Cable. Scientific Atlanta DPC 2100 Series modem
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Okay, another stupid question....

    Did you have this cable service, then get the AEBS, and then start to have the issue, or have you never had the cable service without the AEBS? Have you tried a Mac plugged directly into the cable modem? In other words, how do you know it's the Airport and not the cable modem or cable service at fault? If the cable modem is timing the AEBS out of it's DHCP lease, then you would see the exact same pattern of behavior...

    But assuming you have that covered...as far as your Airport setup, is it set up so that in the Internet tab, you have:

    - Connect using Ethernet
    - Configure using DHCP

    And in the Network tab you have:

    - Distribute IP addresses
    - Share a single IP address
     
  6. imnotatfault thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #6
    The settings you suggested were all there. The only thing that deviated from the default was that my DHCP lease was set to 24 hours instead of 4 hours. I changed that, but I'm not so sure that would cause any problems, or would it?

    I've had the base station since it came out, actually. Also, if I plug modem into Mac and everything works fine.
     
  7. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #7
    I am a victim of the very same problem. My airport express would always 'disappear' at random times. I thought it was just the fact that it was trying to behave as a 10.0.1 node on a 192.168 network, but I got rid of my third part D-Link and now I have two airport expresses: One the main router, and the other the client for the stereo. The client one still disappears, and I have to yank it out and unplug it. This happens randomly. Perhaps it is so screwed up by 2.4 Ghz cordless phone use that sometimes it cannot be automatically located by the main router after the phone hangs up (which is usually the case).
     
  8. imnotatfault thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #8
    Also, for reference, I DO NOT have a cordless phone or use a microwave EVER, if that makes things easier for you guys to figure this out.
     
  9. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    I have an Airport Express that does that as well. Mine's even more fun in that when I unplug it, it won't power back up if the USB printer is plugged into it, so I have to unplug the AE, unplug the printer, replug the AE, wait 10-15 seconds, then plug the printer back in.

    What's weird is that sometimes it'll "disappear" 2-3x a week, then be good for several weeks, then act up again.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    When the computer loses the Airport signal (bars) -- THAT is indicative of interference. Your pattern is not at all indicative of an interference issue. Here there is something wrong between the AEBS and the cable company.

    As for the DHCP lease, that could have something to do with it. But I'm not sure what the best setting is ... mine is actually set to 14 days. It could be that your cable modem is forgetting it. You might try setting the DHCP lease timeout to be a very small number, so that the AEBS keeps asking to renew and reminds the modem it's there. If this makes it worse, then try the opposite logic and make the lease very long. I'm not sure which is technically correct, but one may improve performance.
     

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