Wifi Dropping - What Should I Do?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Joebrown, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Joebrown, Aug 31, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    Joebrown macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2014
    Hi, I know this subject is one that's been bouncing around the internet (especially the Apple forums) a lot since last years Mavericks update, however, after trying as many of the fixes I've read as possible, I've still not found the right one :confused:

    I've had my iMac since Early 2012 and had no issues with it for two years, but 9 months or so ago it suddenly began to wifi drop when I was downloading or browsing and I've been unable to find a fix since. We hadn't switched routers at the time or moved the positioning of either the iMac or the router.

    Why I Think It's The iMac (Software or Hardware)
    -Nothing was changed in our house before it began to drop, same router, same iMac, same positions and no other new tech to interfere.
    -All of my other devices including Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV and Printer all still work from the same room as the iMac, which suggests it's not signal related.
    -The wifi icon doesn't actually drop, just it's connection does, as if it's still connected but goes to sleep and glitches on retrieving any more data via the wifi from then on in. I then have to turn the macs wifi on and off to almost alert back to the signal again.

    Why I Think It's Wifi/Router Related
    -If I move the iMac to the landing or downstairs it begins to work fine (Seems a bit of a coincidence)
    -I've tried many, many of the online suggested software fixes, including a reinstall of OS X (although without fully restoring the iMac, as I didn't want to loose Microsoft Office) to no evail

    Fixes I've Tried
    -Adding a new wifi location
    -Deleting and re-adding the router to the mac
    -Turning the router on and off
    -The router installs it's own firmware automatically and is up to date
    -Changing the routers wifi channel manually to various ones
    -Changing the wifi's password settings from WEP to others.
    -A variety of little changes in the iMacs preferences
    -Reinstalling OS X Mavericks through Start Up Recovery (but without clearing the Internal Hard Drive - retaining the initial settings)
    -Probably many others I've forgotten too

    So that's everything I've got I think, I've tried everything I can think off but it's just left me baffled. :confused: I don't know whether it's the wifi or the iMac, or even something else and when one thing happens to suggest the one, something else happens five mins later to suggest the other.

    It's the most irritating of things, I've just had a new Macbook Pro and almost wish I'd had one with a larger SSD, so I could just scrap the iMac altogether! If anyone has any other idea's on what it could be or where I should go next, I'd really appreciate hearing it. This thing's beginning to send me nuts now :roll eyes:
  2. Kayan macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    I've had similar problems in my house and when you mentioned that "the icon still shows it's connected but the connection doesn't work" it sparked my attention. For me, it was often the case that the router/modem was going bad and was still broadcasting a wifi signal, just not one that connects to the internet. So You can check that.
    But, if you do in fact have other computers connected to the same network at the same time and show no problems, then that negates that theory.
  3. Joebrown thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2014
    Hi Kayan, that's interesting to hear, but while this keeps happening to my iMac upstairs, my phone, macbook and my stepfathers separate yet identical iMac downstairs still work fine, which as you say suggests it's not a fixed hardware problem with the router. Idk, I just can't put it together...
  4. bensimpsy macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    My 2011 does this also. I didn't read too much into it because my router is the opposite side of the house and the signal isn't great, and my area is very congested in wifi networks and there are no free channels.

    What worries me is I put EoP to solve this issue, but my Ethernet connection drops every few hours, similar to the way the WiFi connection drops. The EoP LED's indicate everything working fine.
  5. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Hey look I'm on board with this thing, but just forget it. I have spent 18 months trying to work out why my rMBP intermittently and inexplicably drops wifi connection and I'm none the wiser. I have tried console tweaks, router tweaks and OS tweaks to no avail. All my other Apple devices work fine.

    In the end I gave up, I suggest you do too. But if you succeed please post your results here.
  6. Joebrown thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2014
    Hi steve, I understand but what's the point in having the thing nowadays if you can't download a song or even browse the web without it dropping wifi every 2mins. :rolleyes: Did you ever call apple about yours? What have you done since?

    That sounds pretty similar bensimpsy. My router's also in the opposite corner of the house, with to help things further, the fireplace chimney breast directly next to my iMac between the two.

    Perhaps, I might try an EoP to and feedback my results. It's just getting one that sits flush behind my desk as that's the only plug near my mac. Besides the dropping, how did you find your EoP any other time? Does it keep up the speed etc :)
  7. bensimpsy macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    For what I use it for - which is just getting Internet to the other side of the house it works just fine.

    I bought a pretty low end EoP set (D-Link, was around $60 AU) unfortunately Internet in Australia is pretty bad (currently I get 8 mbps) so in this case there is no bottleneck. I sometimes max the connection out transferring a file to my NAS. This particular EoP unit only have 10/100 Ethernet, and I have a feeling not even that gets saturated due to the technicalities of data over power. It has no issue streaming HD Video from the Mac to the TV. Not sure how good Internet is in the US but if you are getting 100mbps + you will either need a better set than I, or perhaps you will have bandwidth issues.
  8. steve23094, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    The tricky thing is if you move your iMac to the landing it starts to work. I wonder whether your neighbour's wifi (or even some other device) is interfering with your signal?

    I never went through Apple, I'm out of warranty and I suspect it would be one of those problems that everything works fine when someone else looks at it.

    In the end I have racked up my own problems up to instability in the wifi card in my MacBook or issues specifically between my router and Macbook, but I can't prove either. Because mine is intermittent it's hard to diagnose. I just put up with it and pray that one day it will fix itself. It really only causes me problems when online gaming and I don't do that often.
  9. bensimpsy macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    This is exactly right - I almost guarantee its due to interference as was in my situation. Spend $2 and by WiFi Explorer (I think that's what its called on the app store - yellow icon, ill check when I get home) and that will give you a pretty good idea of whats going on around your area.
  10. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Don't forget if you end up trying something like WiFi Explorer (I use it myself and it's a nice app) it is not going to identify interference from non-wifi sources like microwave ovens, baby monitors, cordless telephones and lots of other radio devices.
  11. Alekto macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2012

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