Weird MacBook Wireless WEP Connectivity Issue

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by wtm6, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. wtm6 macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Ok so I have been looking around about MacBook Wireless WEP connection issues, which see to be abound. However, I haven't encountered anybody else having the issue I have.

    I'm using a Motorola SBG900 router from my cable company with my standard MacBook. The wireless has the following settings:

    - 64-bit WEP Key (I have used 128, neither works. Also, WEP is the only security option on this router)
    - Open Access on the Router
    - I have tried using both the $ method and putting in the key without it.

    Here is the issue: my computer will connect to the network when it is unsecured anywhere in the house, but when the WEP key is on, there is one room it won't connect in. The wireless is downstairs, and I am trying to connect upstairs. In the room right above the downstairs room where the router is, it will connect with the WEP key and without. But if I go across the hall, the router will only connect with the unsecured network. If I put on the WEP key, every single time, no matter how I type the key, Airport tells me I have the wrong password.

    It shouldn't be a signal issue, because when I remove the WEP security, I can connect just fine with between 2 and 3 bars.

    Any ideas?
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    WEP is fairly high overhead in terms of signal usage, especially compared to WPA/WPA2.

    That could very well account for the distance issue...crappy, but may be why. What I'd recommend is see if there's a way to not use the router function of your modem/router combo device, and instead use something like a Linksys or D-Link router running at least WPA encryption. I'd wager you'll see improved range as well as a VASTLY more secure WiFi connection (WEP is a joke, esp a 64-bit key).

    The only "advantage" of WEP is backwards compatibility with older computers, but if none of the computers in your household are that old, and can support at least WPA-AES, then use that as your minimum.

    Lastly, how come you have to keep re-entering the password? Can you just enter it when your close and then roam away to your room or will it drop the connection and prompt for a re-entry?
  3. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I would upgrade to a different router, or use another router as a wireless access point if you can't just swap out the router. Newer routers have improved range through the use of MIMO, as well as supported much better encryption standards such as WPA and WPA2. If your MacBook is a Core 2 Duo model, it also supports 802.11N which incorporates MIMO into the standard. Unless you can boost the signal power of the router you already have, I see no point in spending money on better antennas to increase the range of your current router instead of just getting a new one.
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Have you tried upgrading to 10.5.8? I was having problems with my airport dropping in and out on my wpa encription (which was maddening) but the update solved it for me.

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