Wi-Fi help - set MAC ID or channel

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by whammer, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. whammer macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2014
    Hello, I am having WiFi problems. As I'm typing in this on my phone I'll try to keep it short (and please forgive any errors).

    I have Comcast at my house and, having recently made the decision to return to school full time, use xfinitywifi hotspots when at my apartment at school (basically every Comcast router broadcasts a second public network other Comcast customers can use when traveling or whatever). About a week ago, I lost internet access at the hotspot near my apartment. I can connect to the router just fine, just no internet. Despite 24 calls to Comcast and counting, I have gotten no where. I find their incompetance astounding yet, somehow, not surprising. But that's a subject for another time.

    I have confirmed that I have internet access at any other xfinitywifi hotspot. I have also confirmed that there are other hotspots in range of my apartment. The problem I have is they all share the same SSID, and OSX insists on connecting to the one with the best singal strength... Which happens to be the ONLY one that doesn't work. Is there a way I can choose which router to connect to based on MAC ID? As the routers operate on different channels, can I lock OSX to a single WiFi channel? Any other suggestions that don't end with me paying 2 cable bills?

  2. sharon22 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    I don't have wi-fi, but when I used to use wi-fi on my laptop, I remember when I'd click on the Airport wi-fi icon, there would be a big list of all the wi-fi broadcasters, along with their respective signal strengths.

    When I'd pick one I liked, I remember there was a dialog box asking me if I'd like to SAVE that as a preferred WiFi connection.

    Sorry I don't have it all in front of me... but if you search around on your computer, look for the words "save" and "preferred" or something to that effect, so that whenever you are in that wi-fi's area, it will pick the one you preferred, rather than whichever's the strongest at the time.

  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't know of a way to do it with just OS X, but I use a utility I think would do what you want, but manually.

    I use the app Wifi Scanner and from the looks of it, you could scan for wifi SSIDs, then click join to pick the one you want. I suspect you would need to do this each time though.

    Just an idea.
  4. whammer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. Its funny that I actually stumbled across the WiFi Scanner app last night and bought it because I saw the "join" feature in the screenshots. Its a great program but OSX immediately overrides it and connects to the non working router due to its higher signal strength.

    With the preferred network, same result. I think what I really need is a way to blok that MAC ID as if it were a rogue access point. Router firmware can do this, I have to believe my Macbook can. Apple support was unable to help. I also tried using airport to lock the WiFi channel using:

    sudo /System/long path to file/airport --channel=11

    OS X accepts the command but does not appear to do anything about actually changing the WiFi channel. (Its worth noting the bad AP is on ch 1 and other good ones on ch 6 and 11)

    What a strange, frustrating problem lol.
  5. satcomer, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    You have Comcrap and feel your pain. IMHP most supplied wireless routers are pure yesterday crap. They also charge you rent on that yesterday router. You would be better of getting your own DOCSIS 3 modemand your own wireless router that has at least AC wireless like either Airport Extreme or Netgear Nighthawk AC. This way you will be future proofed for at least the next three years and won't have to pay those ISP rent fees for weak equipment.

    Now your original problem. To set the OS X name go System Pregerences->Sharing pane at set the Name everything sees outside the Mac.

    To fix your wireless problem by following steps in the blog post 40
    How-to Fix OS X 10.9 Mavericks – Wi-Fi Issues
  6. whammer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2014
    Yeah Comcast typically offers poor service, but when you have a problem they really step up their game (at sucking). I've been laughed at by Comcast reps, mocked, and disconnected more times than I can count. They really are the worst company I have ever dealt with.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, but none were a viable solution. The preferred networks are just that, networks and I need to avoid a specific access point that is part of a marger network. I'll try to upload a pic of what I'm talking about. The one tagged "NO INTERNET" is the one I need to avoid. All the others work fine.

    This is easily solved in Linux and Windows. Why can't I do it on my Macbook?

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