Monday, February 16, 2009

Do I need a new router?

I have a D-Link DIR-625 router with the most recent firmware. We have more than a dozen devices connected to the router, at least five of which routinely use the wireless connection to access the Internet. My Mac is the only of those devices that consistently experiences incredibly aggravating problems maintaining its connection.

Here's what happens: When I open my MacBook Pro's screen, AirPort immediately detects the presence of the access point and attempts to join. This is successful more often than not, but not always: sometimes it times out (requiring me to turn AirPort off and then back on again). Sometimes the connection is successful and I don't have to worry.

But as often as not, it will acquire a local IP address - something like - which never, ever results in connectivity to the Internet. At this point, I have to go into System Preferences, Network, Advanced, TCP/IP and click "renew DHCP Lease". This sometimes results in a new IP address - like - which always connects to the Internet. But other times it just results in the same IP address as before, or another local IP which doesn't give me any connectivity. When that happens, it may take 6-10 renewals before I get the "right" IP address and can connect to the Internet.

My wife's WinXP laptop doesn't have this problem, nor do my BlackBerry or her iPhone. Is this a known problem with D-Link routers? Or is there some super-secret Mac config option I need to check like "[ ] Never acquire a useless IP address"?


  1. I think it's a Mac issue, actually. I have similar problems with my Macbook, with a Linksys router. My wife's HP (running Vista) has *no* problems, and an old Dell I have with XP on it has *no* problems. It's very, very frustrating. I haven't found a solution yet, if I do, I'll let you know.

  2. Rick, You need to post which swireless card syour MacBook pro has (using the Apple System Profiler) also are you using WEP, WPA or WPA2... sAlso take a look in the system log to see if there are any messages / errors.s

  3. Wireless card is Airport Extreme, Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 ( Using WPA to secure the connection. When I'm home I'll take a look at the router's log... just find it odd that this only happens with my Mac and no other device on the network using wifi.

  4. try to use static ip configuration, not dhcp

  5. If you are getting a bad IP address ( instead of then that's a DHCP issue and not an AirPort problem.sDo you have multiple access points, is your D-Link and DSL boxes both acting as DHCP servers?

    Is the D-Link in bridging mode and you are using some other DHCP server?

    You can enable DHCP client logging:

    sudo ipconfig setverbose 1

    Then turn AirPort Off and back on and grab the system log from the time of failure.

  6. Roger - this is a huge help. Thanks - will follow up privately if I continue to see this behavior! (FWIW, I'm nearly certain this is a D-Link issue, but following these directions will certainly help isolate the cause.)

  7. Did you manage to get this fixed Rick? I am getting the same problems on my macbook and can't find a solution anywhere on the internet, did you manage to sort this?