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Another automatic AirPort connection fix Network
I run a closed WPA2 Airport network (not out of poor neighbourliness, but due to New Zealand's backward broadband situation, with very restrictive and expensive data caps.) This is normally not an issue, my laptop identifies the network and logs on automatically, as it should. To do that, I set the Airport configuration in Network Preferences to "By Default, Join Preferred Networks," and under the Options button, "Automatically add new networks to the preferred networks list."

After recent changes to my system, I could not get it to join the network automatically. Each time, I had to type in the name of the closed network, and the WPA2 password, in order to get access. This is both a nuisance and a slightly increased security risk, so I was keen to get back to the automatic login. Everything in the network settings was apparently as before, the network was at the top of the preferred list, and I began to wonder if a recent Airport or System update (I'm on Mac OS X 10.4.5) had broken the previous functionality.

What turned out to be the problem however, was that I had changed the Airport network while trying to get a USB wireless adapter working with it. The change in the network password to a 13 character one for improved compatibility was not updated in the preferred networks list in the Network Preference Panel. So the automatic connection was still operating on a previous password. Once I manually changed it to the new one, everything operated as before. A minor issue perhaps, but the sort of thing that can be quite infuriating until you track it down.

Two previous tips addressed this issue in terms of the Keychain. This tip identifies the password issue in Network Preferences, and provides the needed fix.
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Another automatic AirPort connection fix | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: dal20402 on Mar 14, '06 02:45:48PM

It's not un-neighborly at all to close access to your network. It's the only sane thing to do. You never know who might drive (or, in the city, even walk) past your house and send 1 million spam...

If you trust your neighbors enough to give them access, give them keys to your network (ideally, separate keys from yours, provided you're geeky enough to set up PEAP).

Maybe I'm too paranoid, but I don't even trust my neighbors that much. The consequences are just too severe (loss of connectivity from the only broadband game in town would be really bad).

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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: henryh on Mar 16, '06 06:10:28PM

Yes, I agree about not allowing access to the network. The issue is more one of allowing people to use the connection and bandwidth (without accessing your network, good firewall needed).

However, previous experience with an open airport connection and $250 worth of extra traffic in a month meant that is not something I feel able to do anymore.

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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: kholburn on Mar 14, '06 03:58:44PM

I don't have all those options in my home location. Odd. If I create a new location I get them. I am running 10.4.5 but this location has been with me since a long time ago, perhaps 10.1 or 10.2

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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: henryh on Mar 16, '06 06:16:23PM

Not sure if this is the same problem Glenn Fleishman described a while back in TidBITS

He says the more recent Apple updates fixed it though?

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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: Zo-1 on Mar 14, '06 07:36:03PM
An easy fix, and perhaps what Airport wants (whether we like it or not) is to go into Options, set to Automatically Add New Networks to Preferred List . . .and then go back and uncheck that as soon as your preferred network is added.

I find this to be a seamless and lasting fix after updates. Then you can select Ask Before Joining Open Networks, but you won't be pestered about your own.

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Another automatic AirPort connection fix
Authored by: sjonke on Mar 16, '06 08:20:11AM

Another option that seems to work great is the shareware utility Location X. It now has a feature that can automatically trigger a Location X "location" when you connect (or disconnect) from specified wireless networks. What's especially cool is that Location X "locations" can do a lot more than just change OS X locations (they can do that too, of course). They can trigger the launch of scripts (shell and applescripts), change your browser home page, change the default printer, even change the sound volume, etc. etc. I recommend it.

--- What?

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