2007 Mac Mini Dropping WIFI constantly

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dance2noise002, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. dance2noise002 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008

    I have a mid-2007 Mac Mini with Snow Leopard installed, and it's located in a room about 20 feet away from the access point. The connection to the room has never been that great for the Mini, but my iPhone 4S for example has no problem connecting to the WIFI. (The Mini seems to be really sensitive, but it does have good days as well where I get full bars). It's been on and off like this for over a year.

    The problem only started a couple days ago, where it cannot connect to the home network at all. When I put the password in, it instantly says "connection timeout". Or it will load to Google.com, but if I try to browse to anything else, it stops, the connection drops.

    It was working perfectly fine one afternoon and when I got back, it can't connect to it at all. I've never seen it struggle this much before, to simply connect to WIFI. I've had the computer for 5 years. Every computer, and phone connects perfectly fine to the network. I even tried moving the Mac Mini to a room where the router is just below, and it picked it up fine, so I don't think it's a hardware issue.

    What can I do to fix this?
  2. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    Have a read at this webpage, tips on solving problems such as yours.
  3. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    My 2 cents

    Are there a lot of other networks visible to the mini (in current problem room), if so try and change router channel.
    Try and put the mini in the same room and see if it connects ?
    Get a powerline connector and use Ethernet - this cost me about £25 (so $30+) and solved my poor connectivity issues.
  4. dance2noise002 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Yeah, the Mini is located at the front of the house, towards the street, and yeah it tends to pickup about 13-15 different access points. I'll look into the powerline thanks.
  5. Schnort macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you've had any work done on it, you may want to check and see if the wifi antenna is still connected.

    Mine came dislodged when I had memory installed and I didn't realize it (I just thought the mini had crappy wifi since I never used it on wifi before getting the memory upgrade). When I finally replaced the hd myself I noticed the antenna connector had come disconnected and once it was back in place it worked a whole lot better.

    Also, I have a baby monitor that acts like a wifi jammer (it sits right in the middle of the 2.4Ghz band but isn't 802.11 compiant). That causes all sorts of mayhem when the baby's asleep.
  6. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    The 2007 Mac Mini internal airport antenna works the best if the top of the mini is facing towards your router/Airport. That often means setting your mini up on it's side, with the top pointed towards the router. The difference can be dramatic. Also don't have anything large and metal right next to it that is directly in it's line of site to the router. This Mac Mini works very well with Apple's Airport Extreme router, and often not as well with other routers… at least that is the case with mine.

    The free application, iStumber (http://www.istumbler.net/) allows you to see the signal strength of the connection to your router.. and the signal strength of any other network in your range. But higher signal strength does not necessarily equate to better reception. Interference is often a big factor.

    Although 802.11g and n are very popular and look best on paper, and are the default setup for the Airport and many wireless routers, the reality of it is that other frequencies can work better in some situations.

    In my circumstance, I have to shoot through 6 walls to receive a signal from the Airport Extreme router which is about 20 feet away. The Airport then connects via Cat 5 cable to the wifi FIOS router. The best signal in this situation has been to set the Airport Extreme to 802.11a on channel 161. Switching over to 802.11g (Channel 11), my download speeds are cut by 2/3 or more… and wifi ing it directly to the FIOS router is lamo on the mini, but it works great on my PC laptop. The PC laptop does not really like the Airport Router.

    So you might want to give that a try:
    1. Reposition the mini
    2. Change your settings for your router.

    But nothing beats a nice Cat 5 cable connected directly from your mini to your router.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Really solid advice and thoughtful.

    In my experience, an additional option that worked very well was to have a second AE and use it in bridge mode. Let the AE do the heavy load handling of Wifi. Simply connect the Mac Mini to the 2nd AE via Cat 5e or 6 cable and put it in bridge mode. That same 2nd router might also handle other items in the room such as printers, TC, any home AV etc.

    Powerline is like WiFi in that it really depends on the environment. Under ideal situation it is an extremely efficient way to work and the dependency is usually the wiring of the home.

    Some internet/TV providers offer up a modem with WiFi. If you have one, avoid using the WiFi and connect via cable directly to a decent WiFi router. Let the WiFi router handle your network rather than the internet/TV provider's modem.

    In general, I have been lucky with nearly all my past purchases when it comes to routers and the like. What I have found -

    A Extreme - good performance, poor security controls
    A Express - moderate performance, less than Extreme, poor security controls
    Various other Routers - all hit and miss. All but one of 9 routers worked as well if not better than the Apple products and provided superior security controls - DLink, Netgear, WD, Asus etc.

    Apple's application control was better a couple of generations ago. They opted for ease over depth of power and control. Those that wish to argue the point can certainly read up all over the Internet supporting my statement by others including professionals. However, AE do work decently and I still put them in my friends' homes on their request. I explain the short comings and also the best of what AE's can do. They are happy which is the bottom line.

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