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Monday, 21 July 2014

Keep your Mac Wi-Fi working: 8 AirPort tips for troubleshooting Mac internet connections

This AirPort feature will help you troubleshoot your  Mac OS X Wi-Fi connection. If your Mac’s Wi-Fi is not working, these tips get it up and running again.

Every Apple Mac features a top-spec Wi-Fi antenna for connecting wirelessly to a local network and internet hotspot. Apple refers to Wi-Fi as AirPort, and Wi-Fi is increasingly the default way that Mac owners connect to the internet.
Few things in life are as annoying as having a patchy and intermittent Wi-Fi connection. Getting a good AirPort network setup can make a  real difference when using Mac OS X. This feature is here to help you get the best AirPort connection possible.
So if your Wi-Fi is not working, or if you have a patchy and intermittent AirPort connection you can make a few small adjustments to your system and get it running again. Here are our tips for keeping a good connection between your Mac and OS X

Mac Wi-Fi troubleshooting: Update Mac OS X

Mac OS X Software Update
Apple routinely issues software fixes and enhancements that can improve the performance of Mac OS X wireless connectivity. Click Apple > Software Update and make sure that you are running the latest version of AirPort software.

Mac Wi-Fi troubleshooting: Update router firmware

You should also check that your router is running the latest firmware. Updating your modem and router to the latest firmware depends on which router you are using.
Apple routers (such as AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule) will check for updates periodically. When one is available, a budget will appear next to the AirPort Utility. Here is how to update the firmware on your Apple Base Station.
  1. Open AirPort Utility (Go > Utilities > AirPort Utility).
  2. Select the AirPort base station or Time Capsule.
  3. Click Update.
Most routers provided by an internet service provider, such as Virgin Media, BT Broadband or Sky have a web-based interface that you access through Safari. You should find the IP address (often on the back of the router or with some accompanying documentation), enter the digits (such as into the Safari browser to access the web-based interface. Enter your admin name and password (again, these should be with the documentation). Here you may find an option to check for a Firmware update, although we are finding more ISPs are updating modems to the latest version automatically.

Wi-Fi troubleshooting: restart all network devices

If you are are having difficulty with your wireless network it is often a good idea to power down all your devices, including the Wi-Fi router, your Mac and any other device connected to a Wi-Fi network. Leave them off for a couple of minutes and then power them back up again.
The power cycle enables you the Wi-Fi router to reconnect all the devices to the network, and it will free up any spare slots that are allocated to devices that are no longer connected (such as old laptops, laptops that were in your house temporarily or other local devices).

Use Mac OS X Wireless Diagnostics to locate Wi-Fi problems

Mac OS X Wireless Diagnostics
In Mac OS X 10.8.4 Apple introduced a new tool called Wireless Diagnostics that can be used to help you get more from your wireless connection. It doesn't automatically change any settings on your mac, but can offer good advice on how to get the most from your Mac.
Here is how to use Wireless Diagnostics:
  1. Hold Option And Click on the AirPort icon in the menu bar.
  2. Choose Open Wireless Diagnostics.
  3. Click Continue.
Wireless Diagnostics tool will now check your wireless connection. When it has finished, you will get any suggestions, or it will inform you that the connection is “Working as expected." You get the option to Monitor My Wi-Fi Connection, which will keep an eye on any problems, or you can choose Continue To Summary. Click Continue. If you choose Monitor My Wi-Fi Connection clicking Continue again will stop monitoring the connection.

Re-position your Wi-Fi antenna

If your wireless router has extendable antennas, then place on vertically, and one horizontally. This type of positioning will ensure that get the best reception for your Wireless router. This is because the reception is maximised when both the device and antennea is along the same plane (so having one up and one horizontal boosts the chance of this).

Move your Wi-Fi Router

You can get much better connection between your computer and a Wi-Fi router by repositioning the router. Here are some great tips for repositioning your Wi-Fi router:
  • Move the router closer to the Mac. If you use primarily one device, such as a MacBook try moving your wireless router closer to the position of the MacBook.
  • Get the router up high. Avoid placing your Wi-Fi router at a height lower that furniture pieces, cabinets or other items.
  • Avoid other electrical devices. Other electrical devices, such as electric fans, motors, microwaves and wireless phones are all common causes of wireless interference. Try to position the router away from them, or move them away from the router.

Mac OS X Wi-Fi troubleshooting: install a Wi-Fi extender

Consider installing a second Wi-Fi device, which you can place closer to the router. Several Wi-Fi extenders are available, or you can purchase an Apple base Station such as AirPort Express. This can be used to extend your wireless network.
Tip! Change the SSID (Wi-Fi name) and password of the new device to the same as your current wireless router and modem. this will enable your mac to pick whichever device is offering the better connection without you having to switch and enter a new password.

Fix Mac OS X Wi-Fi disconnects: require admin to turn Wi-Fi Off

An option worth trying is to force Mac OS X to attempt to stay connected to the router. You Can do this by insisting that Mac OS X asks you for your password to disconnect from a Wi-Fi router. Here is how to perform this trick:
  1. Open System Preferences and click Network.
  2. Click on Advanced.
  3. Place a check in the box marked Turn Wi-Fi On or Off under Require Administrator Authorization To:
  4. Click OK.



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