Forum Question: Airport Extreme Problem


I have 3 Macbook Pro’s and one AirPort Extreme (bought dec 2008), all has been working flawlessly for a year until about two-three weeks ago.

This is what happens:

Old Macbook Pro (2007) – Works perfectly 100% of the time, always at least 20mbit/s connection
New Macbook Pro 15″ (2009) – Drops/slows down, sometimes fast 20mbit/s sometimes slow 0.01mbit/s
New Macbook Pro 13″ (2009) – Drops/slows down, sometimes fast 20mbit/s sometimes slow 0.01mbit/s
iPhones (2G/3G/3GS) – All Work perfectly 100% of the time

I have reset the Airport Extreme 20 times and tried the latest firmware 7.4.2 without luck. I have even downgraded to several other types of firmware. But problems still remain. This is doing my head in since I cannot any longer use the Airport Extreme with the newer MBP’s.

So, only the new macs seem to have this problem. But the strange thing is that my older computer works 100% all the time!!!

Has my Airport Extreme broken or is anyone else having this problem?

— David Froster

Comments: 6 Responses to “Airport Extreme Problem”

    1/13/10 @ 8:09 am

    Impossible to really diagnose the problem remotely — you might want to take it in to the Apple Store.
    But one thing that would be different on your newer Macs vs. your older ones is the type of 802.11 used. The new ones probably use 802.11n, while the old ones, and your iPhone, use 802.11g.
    So try playing around with those settings in the Airport Extreme — et it to g only, or mixed. Also try changing the channel settings.

    1/20/10 @ 12:14 am

    I agree with Gary hard to diagnose is hard and try to set your Channel to a specific channel. I recommend channel 11, but it really depends on what your neighbors (if they use wifi) are using. Most routers default to channel 6 and that may also be the channel you are using. Apple routers are set to Automatic Switch but I much prefer to just set it at a specific channel. Also keep in mind it sound like you are using 802.11g and 802.11n devices. It is said that the mixing of the two can cause lag and keep in mind signal strength and interferences (like baby monitors, microwaves etc) I would disconnect each device and test each one by itself with all others offline and than one-by-one connect all back up checking for any lag.

    12/17/10 @ 1:27 am

    I have been having the same issue for the last two weeks. No real indication as to why it ever began other than I had turned off my router and Airport Extreme Base Station off for a weekend while I was away from my place.

    iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, all have no issues at all with my Airport Extreme Base Station. Can stay connected throughout my living room, bathroom, bedroom, no issues whatsoever.

    My 5 month old MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz Core i7 Airport is sometimes perfect, able to connect, DHCP, and browse without issue. Then, for no reason, I won’t be able to join my wireless network, or when I can join, I can’t pick up an IP address. And then it will connect, pick up and IP, and then it won’t browse. No real rhyme or reason to when this will happen, or when it works.

    I thought that it was an issue with my MacBook Pro, but then my sister visited with her brand new MacBook Pro 2.26 Intel Core 2 Duo, and while a month ago she was able to connect, DHCP, and browse without issue, this weekend she had all of the same issues I was having.

    My XBOX 360 and MacBook Pro have absolutely no issues with the wired connection. Only my WAN seems to have this issue.

    Did you ever find a solution to this?

      6/19/11 @ 10:29 am

      Did you get an answer to this? My MB Pro (13″ i5) which is ~6 months old has recently started dropping its wireless connection too. I know it is not the router that is the issue.

      I can’t find any real answers online and, of course, Apple is no help….

    1/24/11 @ 11:04 am

    I have the following devices (among others) on my home LAN:

    2007 Macbook Pro (wired, gigabit)
    Mac Mini (Wireless, supports N)
    2 iPhone 4s (Wireless, supports N @ 2.4GHz)
    PowerMac G5 (wired, gigabit)
    (all connecting to Airport Extreme using transparent bridging to Qwest DSL modem)
    Using OpenDNS instead of Qwest DNS.

    After upgrading to Qwest’s VSDL service (20Mbps/896Kbps) in my Denver area neighborhood, I took a new interest in testing my bandwidth:
    The MBP (wired or Wireless N) and G5 get about 17-18Mbps)
    The Mac Mini fluctuates wildly from 2Mbps to 17Mbps.
    The iPhone 4 get’s anywhere from <1Mbps to 12Mbps.

    So I've concluded that I have a wireless issue that does not affect the MBP (though in fairness, the MBP sits about 3 ft. from the AE).

    After a lot of searching, I've found that the iPhone and AE do not always work well together (ironic) and many people have "fixed" their problem by setting the AE to 802.11 B only. I've found, however, that regardless of the flavor of 802.11 I'm using (aside from N 5GHz, which the iPhone does not support), my speeds on the Mini and iPhone are never consistent.

    I've always had a love/hate relationship with my AE, but this might be the final straw.

      1/24/11 @ 11:09 am

      Which AE do you have? I’m getting much better performance out of the newer dual band one than the original single-band AE. But I haven’t run tests like you have.
      I would never suggest going to the old 802.11B — G, maybe, but not B.
      Have you tried just switching channels. I found that my neighborhood (and house) are full of devices that use the same 2.4GHz range as some channels. So channel switching to 1 or 11 has helped.

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