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Apple Extreme problems

by jcallas / May 14, 2010 11:04 AM PDT

I use an Apple Extreme as my router. It was purchased in December, 2009 and worked fine until March of this year. It is connected to my Mac Pro via ethernet and there is a relatively new iMac that accesses the internet via the airport through the same Apple Extreme.

In March, we lost internet connection. I spent an hour on the phone with a representative of our internet provider. After much experimentation, we narrowed the problem to the router as the modem and the internet connection were fine.

After getting the AE working, it went AWOL once a night for no apparent reason. I have spent hours on the phone with Apple technicians who have patiently had me adjust, check and run a diagnostic test on the AE. The last contact had me reset the Apple Extreme to the original factory settings and it has worked better, although every few days (always in the evening), it will lose internet connection. I can get it back but it is frustrating and there is no logical reason for this to be occurring. My old Lynksys never did this and it was a 1/4 of the price of the Apple product. Has anyone else encountered anything similar?

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Similar problem with a D-Link
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 14, 2010 11:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Apple Extreme problems

and the cause was low signal levels from my ISP.

It only showed up in the evenings, when everyone and his dog go online. The modem would look as though it was connected, all the correct lights, but it actually wasn't.

The proof of this was in the powering down of the modem, not the D-Link, and its inability to reconnect once it was powered on again.

The modem worked fine at all other times!


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Apple agrees with modem as likely culprit!
by jcallas / May 21, 2010 10:53 AM PDT

Thanks for the replies. I originally narrowed the problem to the Apple Extreme by disconnecting it and running an ethernet directly from the modem to the computers (I have the Pro and an iMac connected the same). When the AE was removed from the equation, the internet was fine.

In any case, a recent contact with Apple's technical support, indicates that I am not alone with this problem. It is likely that my modem, which is almost 10 years old, and the AE (almost new) might not be 100% compatible because of the wide variance in technology. To test this, I am doing the following:

1. I have arranged for a new modem from Telus to see if that solves the daily disconnection issue. We will be also getting a faster internet service to 15 bps from 3 bps (not sure if that is a factor in the current disconnection, but it cannot hurt).

2. If that fails, Apple will replace the Apple Extreme as it is under warranty.

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Nice one,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 21, 2010 9:42 PM PDT

let us know the outcome


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Internet dropouts solved
by jcallas / June 11, 2010 10:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Nice one,

Almost two weeks ago, I replaced our five year old modem with a new one from our ISP. Since then the internet via the Apple Extreme has worked flawlessly with the two Macs to which it is connected via ethernet. Thus, it appears the Apple specialist's conjecture was correct. While the old modem worked well with our old router, it was not 100% compatible with the new Extreme and the technology it utilizes. Problem solved!

Thanks for the replies. They were appreciated. All is well that ends well!

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(NT) Thanks for the update. Enjoy uninterrupted surfing
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / June 11, 2010 11:50 AM PDT
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Apple Airport Extreme
by centurion48 / May 14, 2010 4:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Apple Extreme problems

I am a bit unclear whether you are losing your connection only on the Mac Pro (ie ethernet) or the iMac (wifi).
If it is the MacPro then swap the ethernet cable and see if that makes a difference.
If it is the iMac then what might be happening is that:
a. you moved either the Airport Extreme or the iMac and disrupted the signal,
b. you are getting interference from a cordless phone or some other appliance in the same frequency band, or
c. somebody nearby might have a network and you are both using the same frequency channel.
It is easy to find out what channel you are using (hold down option key while clicking on the Airport icon in the menu bar).
To find out what other networks are using you need software such as iStumbler (for Snow Leopard?). iStumbler will display all networks it can detect. If there are other networks using the same channel as you then there can be interference and your wireless signal can be degraded. If that is the case, use Airport Utility to set another channel.
The ideal solution is to have maximum channel separation. So pick a channel number different from the other networks in the range of channels available. Assuming you are in US or Canada, the channels available are (2.4 GHz) 1-11, 36-48, and (5 GHz) 149-165. The menu bar reading I described above will indicate if you are using 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.


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