Airport Extreme or Cable Modem? - Signal Drop

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DEXTERITY, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004

    I would greatly appreciate any help with this problem. I'm using an airport extreme (latest firmware) with 10.6.3 on a mac pro and a macbook pro. The mac pro is wired the macbook pro is connected via wireless.

    I constantly have signal drops. While the airport extreme seems to stay online (green light is sold) the cable modem always resets itself.

    I can't figure out if this is because of my Optonline service or due to my router (airport extreme). Cablevision states nothing is wrong with my cable internet connection and the issue may be with the router. I've tried three different modems from them and they've supposedly checked everything (wires, signal, etc). I still think it has something to do with them. I'm hesitant to try DSL as it is slower (no fios here yet).

    I don't get how it can be the router if both my desktop and laptop lose connection to the internet at the same time if they happen to be connected online at the same time.

    Is there anything I'm overlooking in regards to the airport extreme? Should I trash a particular preference or try a different setting?

    I'm kind of desperate at this point since it is highly annoying to constantly get knocked offline more than 5 times a day.

    Thanks in advance .
  2. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    I would say it was the cable modem as well, best thing to do is plug one of your macs direct into the cable modem for a while and see how the signal behaves.

    I would also google for the cable modems admin interface as that often has more diagnostics available with regards to SNR etc. If your provider has a support forum, chances are users/staff will know what all the figures mean and if any are abnormal.
  3. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    thanks, i will try as suggested. I assume if the problem doesn't happen when plugged directly into the modem that the airport is the problem? If so, do airport extremes normally go bad after a year?

    Appreciate your help.
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    My Extreme has been well behaved for nearly 3 years now but I too have had frequent modem drops in the last few weeks, especially as its gotten hotter. My ISP says my levels are fine on the modem and I'm having it swapped out tomorrow to see if its the AEBS or the modem. 1 year sounds a bit too soon but 3 years is not unheard of in routers.
  5. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    thanks for your input.. hopefully I get this figured out sooner than later :)
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Turned out to be my modem. Swapped in for a new one (at the ISPs expense, of course) and its all good. Hope your solution is as easy.
  7. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    good to hear.

    My only update is, I do know its not my router as I had problems all day today while plugged directly into the modem.

    I'm waiting to hear back from the techs supervisor. Hopefully they come up with something.
  8. sstrippoli macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2005
    Airport Extreme Signal Drop

    Dear Forum Readers-

    I am posting this Sept 28, 2010 following a call to AppleCare Support yesterday. The call was eventually escalated to an Advanced Support Tech and after an lengthy session with them the reason/cause of the problem was still not fully identified ... much less resolved. Therefore, my case was being further referred to Apple Engineering for consultation. I am to receive a call-back from the Advanced Tech in about 5 days following his consultation with Engineering.
    If you have researched this issue online (thru Apple site as well as as other online forums & postings) you will see that this problem has been reported as far back as 2007 or earlier _and_ have plagued older versions of Airport Extreme as well as the newest to date (A1354 - Dual Simultaneous 2.4/5Ghz).
    Various Users have encountered the problem in different configs & usage conditions; from repeated spontaneous dropped connections, when attempting a mobile call, during torrent downloads, when watching movies, etc. The problem does NOT seem to be ISP carrier specific, nor modem specific. The only commonality seems to be that it is a sudden spontaneous loss of PPPoE Connection & an IP address. The loss is sometimes brief (a few seconds) with the connection re-established. For some users, sometimes the dropped connection is NOT automatically re-established. However, even when the drop is brief, data flow is disrupted.
    For me, I notice the problem mainly (and almost exclusively) during streaming content. YouTube is almost unusable to me. Occasionally I will get thru a whole video, but most often it will start and I can see the data loading but then I see the streaming-buffer progress bar stop, the play progress bar catches up to it, and that's it !! When the streaming stops, the Airport icon in Menu-bar usually reports attempt to establish PPPoE connection. Occasionally, Airport Utility will even launch to report the problem to me. Even if/when it does re-connect... streaming content will not resume again.
    My details:
    I am in Baltimore/Washington area.
    My ISP is Earthlink :: COVAD provides the backbone.
    Modem: Speedstream 5260.
    Airport Extreme A1354 (2009) which I bought to replace
    earlier 2007 Airport Extreme A1143 in unsuccessful attempt
    to resolve this very problem.
    Airport Express-n A1264 to extend network
    MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz :: but problem occurs on other devices too
    System :: OS X 10.5.8
    Replaced Airport hardware
    Rebuilt entire LAN
    Changed various settings (channels, wireless options, etc)
    Connect via wifi with all other devices turned-off, except BaseStation & laptop
    Connect via ethernet to Airport Extreme
    Connect via ethernet directly to Speedstream modem :: using new PPPoE connection in Network in Sys Pref's
    Problem did NOT occur when connected directly to DSL modem.
    Thus problem is not with Service Provider _nor_ with the modem !!!
    Problem appears to be clearly related to the Airport Extreme.
    Problem DID occur when connected using Airport Extreme...
    ... even when connected directly using ethernet rather than wifi !!!
    So it is not exclusively a wireless or radio problem.
    Some past postings have questioned problems with WMM (wireless multi-media) functionality, with QoS (quality of service) issues, with need to have to Ports 500 & 4500 open, with needing IP SEC pass-thru.
    I still have no answers or solutions to share but wanted to post some detailed info to help document the problem for others (and for Apple) that the problem DOES exist, seems to be longstanding & still unaddressed, and some of the attempts or steps taken to identify or resolve the problem... thus far unsuccessfully ... even with Escalated Apple Support.
    Any & all comments or contributions regarding this issue will be greatly appreciated. And quite a few other Apple Airport customers, not just by me.
    s. strippoli
  9. Pale Rider macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2002
    I have just had a similar experience. After several visits and tests by Comcast here in the Bay Area, where I was experiencing repeated loss of Internet, I swapped out my most recent 5th gen Airport Extreme for an older 2d gen and everything works again. I wanted to blame Comcast, but it turned out to be my AEBS.

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