Wi-Fi Issues please help

snerkler

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 14, 2012
922
26
At work my main wi-fi signal is poor (old building with thick walls) and so I have a couple of internet dongles (O2 and 3) that I can use when I can't get the main wi-fi, however recently the connection has been playing up. My 2017 Touch Bar MBP running Mojave will connect to the dongles, but then it won't connect to the internet despite the display on the dongles saying they're connected. I have the same issue tethering to my iPhone 11, however if I connect my iPhone 11 to the computer via the USB cable it will then connect to the internet. Strangely neither dongle will work even if I plug them in via USB.

Any ideas what the issue is and how to solve it?
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,731
1,982
If I understand correctly, you have a few issues.

1) The USB 3G/4G dongles are not consistently connecting to the network (probably nothing to do with wifi).
2) You wifi signal between your iPhone and MacBook seems to be problematic.

For 1) I would ensure that you go and disable wifi before using the USB device. It's possible that the wifi signal is strong enough that the MacBook tries to use it in preference to the USB, but not strong enough that it can reliably carry data.

For 2) It could be an interference issue?

USB can interfere with wifi, ironically, in the 2.4Ghz space. As can microwave ovens and fluorescent lights. So it's possible that if your USB 3G/4G device is not shielded well it's compounding the issue but also crapping all over your wifi signal. In addition, while you have your USB and Wifi active, you can go to Networks from System Prefs, click on the little cog, and Set Service Order and ensure that the USB adaptor is higher than your wifi.

I would check whether your corporate wifi is 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz or both, and see if you can force 5GHz. At home I have separate SSIDs for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and can force 5Ghz by attaching to the 5Ghz SSID. Of course, 5GHz is more susceptible to degradation from thick walls etc. But it will not be affected by USB.

The connection between the iPhone and the MacBook - I don't know of a way to force the frequency there. I would also see if you can set the Service Order there too.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 9.47.58 AM.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: snerkler

snerkler

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 14, 2012
922
26
If I understand correctly, you have a few issues.

1) The USB 3G/4G dongles are not consistently connecting to the network (probably nothing to do with wifi).
2) You wifi signal between your iPhone and MacBook seems to be problematic.

For 1) I would ensure that you go and disable wifi before using the USB device. It's possible that the wifi signal is strong enough that the MacBook tries to use it in preference to the USB, but not strong enough that it can reliably carry data.

For 2) It could be an interference issue?

USB can interfere with wifi, ironically, in the 2.4Ghz space. As can microwave ovens and fluorescent lights. So it's possible that if your USB 3G/4G device is not shielded well it's compounding the issue but also crapping all over your wifi signal. In addition, while you have your USB and Wifi active, you can go to Networks from System Prefs, click on the little cog, and Set Service Order and ensure that the USB adaptor is higher than your wifi.

I would check whether your corporate wifi is 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz or both, and see if you can force 5GHz. At home I have separate SSIDs for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and can force 5Ghz by attaching to the 5Ghz SSID. Of course, 5GHz is more susceptible to degradation from thick walls etc. But it will not be affected by USB.

The connection between the iPhone and the MacBook - I don't know of a way to force the frequency there. I would also see if you can set the Service Order there too.

View attachment 875807
Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. To clarify, the MBP is connecting to the dongles via Wi-Fi but it can't access the internet. Now my initial thought was that it was the dongle, but I get the same behaviour with the second dongle and also my iPhone, and all 3 devices show they are connected to the internet and I can also use the internet on my phone itself. However, my MBP will connect to my iPhone AND the internet if the phone is connected via the USB.

When I've gone into the Wi-Fi preferences as you've shown in your picture it shows wi-fi connected and a green dot, but also above that the direct IP is also showing as connected with a green dot, which is not the case when I'm connecting to 'normal' wi-fi.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,731
1,982
Yeah that does change things. It is still worth looking for a 5GHz option if one is available.
Does your wifi work fine in other places? Home? Starbucks?
 
  • Like
Reactions: snerkler

snerkler

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 14, 2012
922
26
Yeah that does change things. It is still worth looking for a 5GHz option if one is available.
Does your wifi work fine in other places? Home? Starbucks?
I haven't tried the 5Ghz option yet, but I'm not longer at work. In terms of other wi-fi networks it's fine, it's mobile networks that seem to be the issue, whether via dongle or iPhone.
 

O-M-A-R

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2019
2
0
I have Sky Q Router, Since the last few days the internet connection keeps on dropping every now and then. This problem happens on Wifi and Ethernet I am not sure what else to do because I have restarted the router and that hasn't seem to make a difference. My phone line seems to be functioning properly, also I have a faceplate installed so that can't be the issue.Besides I am using the ADSL that has came with the router.

Sometime back I purchased BT powerlines, the ethernet cables that came with the BT powerlines were rubbish, they were made from cheap plastic material also I was having issues with devices saying that the ethernet weren't connected to my devices. So what I decided to do was, I decided to purchase high quality ethernet cables and once I started using them my issues were resolved.

Also the ADSL cable that came with my Sky Broadband the quality doesn't look that good, also I will purchase a new ADSL cable and I will let you know if it will make a difference.

Any suggestions appreciated?
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,988
2,473
SF Bay Area
snerkler, it Seems like a lot of work for dealing with the issue. Is there any way you can have another Access Point connected to the main network and added near your workspace/deadspace?

I have fought this problem many times and found that the time, effort, lost productivity and billable hours easy covers the expense of adding an additional access points ($100-200 USD) and some cat 5e/6 cable.
 
Last edited:

O-M-A-R

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2019
2
0
Seems like a lot of work for dealing with the issue. Is there any way you can have another Access Point connected to the main network and added near your workspace?

I have fought this problem many times and found that the time, effort, lost productivty, and billable hours easy covers the expense of adding an additional access points ($100 USD) and some cat 5e/6 cable.
Hi

I don't have a spare router.

My router is constantly disconnecting every now and then.

I have purchased a new ADSL cable, but it still hasn't arrived yet.

Also my TV are connected to ethernet powerlines sometimes the picture quality can get bad.

Besides I was reading on the internet I could have a bad quality ADSL cable but I will only find out when my new one arrives and then test it.
 
Last edited:

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,988
2,473
SF Bay Area
Hi

I don't have a spare router.

My router is constantly disconnecting every now and then.

I have purchased a new ADSL cable, but it still hasn't arrived yet.

Also my TV are connected to ethernet powerlines sometimes the picture quality can get bad.

Besides I was reading on the internet I could have a bad quality ADSL cable but I will only find out when my new one arrives and then test it.
Sorry OMAR, I was referring to the the OP, snerkler issues in my comments. I updated my earlier comment to make this more clear.


Your issue sounds like something you may need to work your ISP. Hopefully they has some way of stress testing your connection. DSL was something I always had trouble with. Those old phone lines would short out when it rained or the wind blew.