Leopard wireless STILL sucks?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sharky II, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Jan 6, 2004
    United Kingdom
    Hi there

    I have a 2008 2.8ghz Octo Mac Pro, and also a MBP 15" 2.16GHz Core Duo... both are running 10.5.6.

    After all this time, the wireless STILL sucks on both of them. The main problem is losing reception/the connection just dropping randomly. On the MBP a restart often helps, i think sleeping the machine causes some issues, but it could just be coincidence. This doesn't help on the Mac Pro - i never sleep the machine, always shut down.

    The Mac Pro lives in the studio, and there's an iMac 2.8GHz in there, which runs Tiger. This iMac has 100% connectivity 24/7, never drops, and connection is always 'full bars'. The Mac Pro is all over the place. Sometimes picking it up and moving it a few inches to the left or the right seems to help, but again it could just be coincidence that the wireless just decides to start working again. Plus, while the iMac has 100% signal, the Mac Pro will only have a few bars.

    This is nothing to do with changing the wifi channels, as the MBP has this problem with pretty much every network i try it on. And my home ('n' airport express) and studio (netgear) networks are on wifi channels furthest away from nearby ones already. Sometimes it'll work fine for a few days, some days it'll be impossible keep a connection for more than a few minutes/seconds.

    Am i alone here - has everyone else's wifi woes subsided, or...? To me it's clearly a leopard issue. My brother had the same thing on his macbook, and reformatted and the problem went away, but then he sold it so he could buy a new MBP. I can't afford the time to format my machines any time soon.

    I can't believe this is still an issue. I don't see many people complaining about it on here... but it pisses me off that my $4000 Mac Pro can't connect to the wifi and the iMac sits there happily chugging along 24/7. And typing this on MBP on my home network, the network connection just dropped ad came back. At least it didn't do it as i clicked 'submit' as often happens... i've learned to do a command+C before pressing submit now, just in case it happens!


  2. levh macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2009
    My wireless has starting acting flaky too

    I'm surprised to see this post b/c recently I've noticed problems with my wireless (similar to what you're describing), even though everything was working fine for a couple of months. I have a new 13" macbook with OS 10.5.5 I was wondering if proximity to my wireless router was a problem since the laptop is sitting about 18" away. I have a support call scheduled for tonight (1/7), so I'll see what happens. My fear is that the hardware is bad and I'll have to surrender my laptop to be fixed. Also, it should be noted that my wife's new Dell connects just fine to our wireless router, so I don't think that the router is the problem. And, I can connect via a regular ehternet cable.
  3. discosoap macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Wireless reception grinded to a halt :-(


    I just bought a 2006 1.66ghz Mac Mini including airport card, which I am setting up as a file/print/itunes/etc.-server. Next to that I have a 1st gen macbook 1.87ghz (also with airport card). I noticed that the wireless reception is a complex thing, where it shouldn't be..
    Wireless reception on my mini sucks donkey balls, dropping connection (without reconnecting) and the transfer speed is horrible (max 100kbps where my macbook is doing 1mbps+ from the same source, same distance to the router, etc). The macbooks reception is way better than the mini's, but since the upgrade to Leopard, wireless reception has always been an issue, whereas it never was with Tiger.. I don't see why Apple is letting this happen. I can (barely) accept that wireless on my mini is bad, but on my macbook it should also be better (has from time to time the same problems as stated for the mini). I really hope they're fixing the OS with Snow Leopard, because they owe us full and decent acces to the expensive hardware we bought, and it to function proporly..:mad:
  4. dL. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
  5. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    I dont think its anything to do with Leopard, I think its to do with the aluminium casing that surrounds the Wireless Aerials on most Apple computers.
  6. mac.by.jake macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2008
    If that's the case why would this happen randomly. Mine just went out tonight while using skype. I thought it may be skype but now Im thinking its not...

    I've read a number of threads and there doesn't seem to be a problem. I getting concerned as I am self employed and rely on constant internet use.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The antenna on the MBP isn't encased in aluminum. It's under the plastic cover in the hinge. Your wireless signal has a lot to do with nearby interference. I've never had problems with wireless on my MBP.... works perfectly! If it were a failing of the MBP, everyone would experience the same problem.
  8. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    If it's happening constantly, take it to an Apple store. If it's that bad it'll show up in store. If it doesn't happen in the store, then it's the router. In my limited experience of routers (one Netgear and one AEBS), they seem to eventually "go bad". Well, the Netgear did.

    I have a unibody MBP, iMac, MacBook and Mac Mini, all running 10.5.6, and none ever experience wireless outages with the AEBS. The Netgear I had previously worked perfectly for three years, then started dropping the connection from the MacBook and the iMac couldn't get more than 300kb/s, and the router needed to be rebooted a couple times a week. But apart from going offline during the router reboots, the Mini didn't have the same problems. The AEBS seems to have fixed all this.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, it might well have worked perfectly for a long time, and with some machines still, but unless you try out with a different router, you can't be certain if it's the router or the computer. So take it to an Apple store, or take your laptop to Starbucks, and see what happens.
  9. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I've had my Airport Extreme Base Station for almost a year now and I've not had a single dropout. I have a 24" Aluminum iMac and a 15" Macbook Pro both running OS 10.5. I never shut down my Macbook Pro, so it's constantly waking up from sleep and it always has a connection to my wireless network.

    I don't know what to tell you except to call Apple and let the know the problems you are having or take it into an Apple store.
  10. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    One suggestion that never goes out of style is to run the Keychain Access app, find the entry that has your SSID/network name, and delete it. Quit the app, and then reconnect to your wireless network.
  11. mertolovich macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    All I can say is, if you're not having problems, then good luck to you.

    There does seem to be enough of us having continual dropouts for it to be considered an actual real problem. Mine works fine for a few days, even weeks, then suddenly starts dropping out every few minutes. In system prefs it says it's connected, with proper ip address, full airport bars, but no go. If I turn airport off then on, sometimes i get the dreaded "self assigned ip address" and sometimes it starts working properly. For another few minutes...

    It's all too random and unreliable. When I bought my 2 ghz i mac with Leopard, and a Belkin n router a couple of months ago, I honestly thought we'd come far enough into the 21st century for this **** to work!
  12. Voidness macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2005
    My MacBook Pro (1.83GHz) also had Airport problems with Leopard; It would randomly drop the connection and I had to turn off Airport and turn it back on to reconnect. It did this too often it became almost unusable.

    After looking around, I finally found the cause of the problem. Airport seems to have trouble accessing Keychain to get the network password. Deleting the Airport settings from System Preferences and deleting the wireless network key from the System's Keychain solved the problem for me. :)

    Also, I noticed that RealPlayer Downloader (The utility that downloads FLV files from sites like YouTube) somehow causes the same problem. Stopping it from launching at startup and deleting the stuff I mentioned earlier fixes the problem.
  13. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Both my notebooks MB and MBP have problems staying connected for more than 10 minutes at a time, so aluminium is not the issue. I have had to piggy back an Airport Express G to the router as this is the only way to get a stable connection. Anything N rated has problems.

    My hackbook has no such problems running the same software, so it must be partly hardware related. I know that my Mac notebooks have Atheros wifi cards inside, whereas I have a Broadcom 4321 in my hackbook. However, others are reporting similar issues with the Broadcom card, so who knows?

    Just out of frustration, I hauled down a copy of Snow Leopard to see if there would be any improvement and there wasn't. Here's hoping that new drivers/wireless stack are forthcoming before it goes gold.

    I also have a Belkin N router. Now, I think this is probably where the problem lies, since I previously connected to a Netgear N router with no problems whatsoever. Looking at Amazon.com reviews, it seems to be a constant them. Something in Belkin's firmware does not get on with Apple's drivers it seems. The same hardware running Windows or Linux has no such problems.
  14. nc7r macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2007

    What you're describing it pretty odd. So you say that you've tried taking the Laptop and iMac on to a totally different network, in another house and it is still consistently having drop out issues? How often are they?

    I think the best idea would be to take one/both of the computers to an Apple Store and see if they act strange there. Doing a hardware test can check the Airport cards which would be causing you the issue, although BOTH computers is highly coincidental.

    If not then it must be either your home network interference, router or ISP.

  15. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2006
    I have had this problem throughout Leopard. I had no problems under Tiger, but as soon as I upgraded to Leopard.....BLAM. This occurred with 3 systems. I suspect that there is an incompatibility between Leopard and the wireless router, DLink 615. I recently changed the router and it seems to have gotten better, although I still have dropouts occasionally with my systems.

    Try using a different wireless router and see if that helps.
  16. godaz macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2009
    My airport is really starting to frustrate me, I am getting connection drop outs every 5 minutes at the moment.

    I am changing my SSID settings at least everyday, some days it works some days it doesnt.
  17. agramata macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    what worked for me

    Just wanted to comment on this, maybe it will help a few people with their wireless issues. I started to have this problem with new late 2008 Unibody Macbook Pro. My wireless connection would just randomly stop working even when I was in the exact same spot in my office day after day. It was very random. My gf's vista laptop would never have issues and work all the time.

    I watched syslog and when my Airport would drop, there would be a message regarding the beacon interval being too long. So I went into the advanced wireless settings in my router (I'm running a linksys router with DD-WRT installed instead of the default firmware) and changed the "beacon interval" to something lower. It was pre-set at 100ms so i lowered it to 50.

    It's been a week since the change and I haven't had a single disconnect since.

    This may or may not be a cure for everyones issues, but maybe it will help a few people.
  18. bolen macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2008
    I'm using a Linksys WRT54GL together with my MBP (10.5.6) and my connection is rock solid, always full bars. I have like one disconnect per month, max, and it goes right back up again in a couple of seconds.

    I think there's some compatibility issues between different routers, I've tried different open firmwares on my WRT54GL (I'm currently running the Linksys original) and there were big difference between them (original, DD-WRT, Tomato etc.). Tomato were rock solid on my old Macbook (Late 2006, black) but it wasn't working 100% with my gf's HP or my new MBP so I moved back to the original and the connection has been solid since.

    My recommendation is to try with another router or try with different settings like suggested above (beacon interval and so on).
  19. mertolovich macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Any updates on this issue??

    Well, I don't know how everyone else is going, but my situation hasn't changed. I check back every so often to see if there's been a breakthrough on this Airport fiasco, but it seems to have gone quiet. Is there some update or fix I haven't heard about?

    I've tried pretty much all the suggestions I've read in this forum, and some have worked - for a while. Sometimes just changing my router channel makes it work beautifully for a day or two, then it all goes to crap again. Sometimes instead of dropping out completely it just starts going so damn slow it's not usable.

    Anyway, I'm moving house soon and will make sure I position things so I can hard wire my mac into the router. My G4 at the other end of the house which is hard wired works perfectly...

    Shame we Mac users aren't able to enjoy the benefits of wireless internet like everyone else, but there you go.
  20. Ferneaux macrumors newbie


    May 7, 2008
    So far, I'm giving the "beacon interval" setting a try. (i.e. lowered it to 50ms)

    My wife and I have two separate types of Mac latops... hers is a new unibody MB... and mine is the previous model MBP. (both at 10.5.6) We initially noticed the problem when I had our wireless network set through our TimeCapsule (10.4.1).... and it only seemed to happen on her MB, not my MBP.

    It wasn't until about two weeks ago that my MBP started dropping the wireless connection as well... and there wasn't a single "sure fix" to get it back. Sometimes it would come back after turing off/on my airport on the MBP, other times I'd have to readd the connection entirely. In worst case, I had to remove the connection, turn off the airport, go to the Keychain and remove all the SSID's from there, readd my network manually to my preferred networks list, turn back on the airport, and finally rejoin my network to get back online. :(

    btw.... this also stared happening on both of our iPhone 3G's as well.

    It wasn't until our wireless started dropping at @ the same time that I started looking at the TimeCapsule as the possible culprit. Nothing changed there, so I didn't suspect it at first. So, I turned off the TimeCapsule and plugged in an old Linksys WRT54G that I had.

    As suspected, it worked fine for about a day, then we ended up with dropped connections again.

    Just two days ago, I went out and bought a new Linksys WRT160N router and kept the TimeCapsule out of the loop. Last night.... dropped connections again. This time around, if we were lucky, the connection would come back on it's own in a minute or two.

    As many other forums as people have posted, both our laptops had the lovely "AirPort: No beacon for too long time" message in our Consoles at the time of the network drop.

    Since I had not tried lowering the beacon interval on the router yet, I thought I'd give it a try. Being that this is happening to ALL of our wireless Apple products, I'm hoping that the resolves it.

    ...crossing my fingers.
  21. cipher29 macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2009
    99% of these issues are related to interference in the 2.4Ghz band.. Move to an AP that has 802.11a or 5.8Ghz (apple airport extreme) and you will notice ROCK SOLID connectivity all the time.
  22. Sir Loin Steak macrumors 6502

    Sir Loin Steak

    Feb 2, 2009
    One or two posters above have referred to 'full connectivity', and 'full bars', etc.

    Is there some tool on the iMac/10.5.6 that I can view, perhaps have on the dashboard to give me a visual indicator of my own connectivity?

    FWIW, I have got no problems with connection - I know its there, but I don't know how 'much' it is there, if you follow me.
  23. Mac.80 macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hold down the "option" key and click on the airport icon in the menu bar to view status.
  24. Sir Loin Steak macrumors 6502

    Sir Loin Steak

    Feb 2, 2009
    ok, er, where's the option key? And which is the menu bar?

    ok, I found the airport button on the menu (top right, right?), but not sure about the option ket you mention.
  25. misterredman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007

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