No reliable Airport connection upon booting Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Xian Zhu Xuande, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    Hiya folks,

    I've had a small problem for a little while and I figured it might be worth tossing out here. Maybe someone can make heads or tails of it.

    We have multiple computers at our home. I use an Airport Extreme (latest model) to share a 20 Mb connection across a WPA/WPA2 wireless network. All other computers in the house are using the connection without a problem. My Mac Pro, however, always struggles with bandwidth when it is first powered on (enough that web browsing is relatively futile). If I reset the Airport it solves this problem until I turn the Mac Pro off again.

    The Mac Pro is a room away from the Airport, which does its job well enough that I can browse in my relatively sizable back yard, in front of the house, or even out in the street. It is on the floor for the time being, which is something a senior technician at Apple noted as cause for degraded signal. It has never worked in this regard and I'm not sure how long this problem has lasted, as before I moved the Mac Pro was always connected via gigabit ethernet. Short of hauling the Mac Pro in to the Apple Store for some blind troubleshooting I am not sure what might be causing this. I've got some pretty extensive networking experience and the folks in Apple's networking division are equally baffled. We've replaced the Airport.

    Has anyone encountered something like this?

    In the least it would always be good to have some extra ideas before discussing the issue with someone at the Genius Bar, especially considering they'll likely be far less experienced than the Apple Care senior engineers.
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    When you work with wireless networking, interference from ALL kinds of sources becomes a problem.

    Last night, I had my MacBook Pro resting on the bed with the Buffalo Wireless-N access point in the nearby closet. My wife was blow-drying her hair and I was trying to connect to my computer in the other room, which is hard-wired.

    I couldn't get connected at all. I could ping the computer but even when I attempted to connect over AFP directly to the IP address, it wouldn't connect. Finally, I connected over FTP, but was getting sporadically slow bursts of data, followed by fast bursts of data.

    Then my brain started functioning... and I moved the laptop from the top of the bed (near my wife and the blow dryer) to the end of the bed and experienced fast connection speeds again.

    Check your environment. Are you near a HVAC unit? A major power line in the wall? Another wireless transmitter?

    After that, I might suggest trying the "hack" to put an external WiFi antenna on your Mac Pro.

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