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MacBook Air WiFi dropping connection

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 25, 2012 4:40:40 PM

My new MacBook Air connects to my local network and the Internet just fine via WiFi but after about 5 minutes (if I'm watching a video, or 50mb if I'm downloading something) it drops the connection. The only way I've found to get it working again is to turn off WiFi and then turn it back on again. I don't know where to turn to get help on this...

Other WiFi connections to the Internet on my network work perfectly, without any stability issues at all. What doesn't work properly is my new MB Air, or any iOS gadgets running iOS 6.x. (I've returned two iPad Mini's because of this problem, thinking that it was a hardware problem with the Mini's and an iPod Touch which was working perfectly with iOS 5.x has also started dropping the connection since I upgraded it to iOS 6.0.1.)

Multiple iPad's (original and iPad2, iPhones (4S's), and iPod Touch work perfectly on the network, as do several PC computers connected via WiFi. I have the same problem at my home and office networks (same configurations) and also had it during a two-night hotel stay when I was trying to use the iPad Mini. It would connect fine, but drop the connection every few minutes.

I'm sure the problem is something in my WiFi routers, (doesn't explain the hotel problem) but don't understand why earlier iOS gadgets work perfectly and newer iOS 6.x or my MB Air do not.

I'm running a Cisco WAP4410N WiFi router, connected by wire to a "switch". Then between the switch and my cable modem, I've got a hardware firewall (Cisco RV220W) with its own WiFi turned off. I don't have a DHCP server, but use Static IP addresses.

If I connect the MB Air directly to my network via Ethernet cable, it works perfectly (suggesting to me that the problem is only in the WiFi part of my network configuration and not related to my Cisco firewall). Also, for testing purposes, if I bypass my entire network configuration and use an Airport Extreme router connected directly to my cable modem (with DHCP server enabled), WiFi connections through it to the Internet work perfectly without any drops.

Where/how could I get help solving this? Thank you.

December 26, 2012 10:21:01 PM

I would check the network settings in the Mac book to make sure that they are set right. It might be set to connect to an air port instead of a regular router. I would go to an Apple support page and see if you can find some info on the network settings.
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January 3, 2013 12:05:10 PM

I've solved the problem.

Logically, I hadn't been able to suspect what actually turned out to be the culprit...

iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (several of each and all running iOS 5.x) all worked perfectly on my WiFi network. Two iPad Mini's with iOS 6.0.1 failed to work (always dropping the connection) as did an iPod Touch that I upgraded to iOS 6.0.1. My new MacBook Air also failed to work properly, again continually dropping the connection.

The culprit turned out to be my Cisco WiFi routers... I'd upgraded the firmware back around the end of September or beginning of October and since some gadgets worked fine and others didn't, I really didn't suspect the router or firmware. But it turns out there was a newer version of the firmware out at the end of November, and once I installed that, ALL my gadgets started working perfectly, regardless of the version of iOS running.

I wasted a lot of time, with great frustration, on this issue and I'm glad to have finally gotten it all working. I hope this might be of help to others.

Cheers!
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February 11, 2013 2:09:30 PM

Hello TD27,

What was your Cisco Wi-Fi's router model? I am not sure we have an exact problem but one user with a new Macbook Air is having difficult time with frequent disconnection. We have Cisco Aironet 1142. Other user seems to be just fine even other Macbook Pro users. I appreciate if you can give me some more detail on your router. Thanks.
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