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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures Internet
If you have a new Intel Macbook, you may have noticed some problems connecting to Wifi hotspots like Internet Cafes and libraries. I never had such problems with my old iBook. The symptoms are as follows:
  • Joined to an open network with no problem
  • Unable to surf the Internet
  • Your IP address is 169.something
  • No amount of renewing DHCP leases or reboots will fix it
The usual suggestion to fix this problem is to reboot the router -- or buy/find a new one. Clearly those aren't viable options when the router isn't yours, and you've already forked over $10 for a coffee and scone.

On a recent trip, I had this problem repeatedly at many different places. By accident, I found a partial solution: Run the Network Diagnostics program located in /System » Library » CoreServices. Somehow, Network Diagnostics is able to get a valid IP address about eight out of ten times when nothing else will.

My speculation is that these routers never get rebooted and are just horribly slow at giving out DHCP IP addresses. Perhaps Network Diagnostics runs the DHCP client with a longer timeout; I don't know. I just know it worked often enough for me to notice the difference.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one. Note that you can also get to Network Diagnostics through the Network System Preferences panel: click Assist Me, then Diagnostics.]
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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: C14ru5 on Feb 05, '07 08:02:05AM

Thanks! All that fiddling around in Network Preferences in my OS X years, and I never noticed the "Assist me…" button.

What I've done at such times, is kindly to ask the PC user next to me if he could show me his ipconfig, then gamble and set a manual IP address for myself which is one or two numbers higher. An extremely embarrasing thing to ask (when "everything is easier on a mac"), and also it might ruin the connection of other network devices nearby. So the solution mentioned in the article is much better!



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: zpjet on Feb 06, '07 01:22:34AM

It's Tiger stuff, there was no network assistant in Panther.



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: umijin on Feb 05, '07 08:27:15AM

Hmmm... I've suffered from just this problem and ran the network diagnostics to find that the only suggestion was to reboot the router.

Even when I've been able to get our computer lab tech to reboot the system, I still can't get an IP address.

So, I'm not sure this suggestion helps all of us.



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: aubreyapple on Feb 05, '07 08:47:54AM

I like this solution. In the past, I have seldom been able to get DHCP to work in remote locations. Instead, I have manually assigned my own IP address and, if it is not already assigned, the router will take it. One can usually tell what range to use, but typically I just use 198.168.1.10, but sometimes the 1 is a 2 and sometimes you have to dig deeper to see the real network address.

Then I also keep a record of the DNS servers I typically use from home and those work remotely too (most of the time).



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: rdepom on Feb 05, '07 09:04:50AM

Hmmm... I'm a student and have had this kind of issue with my University's network. I've long suspected that the DHCP request is just timing out, but never found a way to increase it. If anyone knows of a way, please let us know! But as a bodge way of fixing it, this is a good solution - thanks!



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: roshr on Feb 05, '07 12:40:54PM

I am running version 10.4.7 on an iMac G5 on a college network. Why am I running 4.7? Because each time I've downloaded 10.4.8, I am troubled with this same problem (able to join the college's network, unable to surf, IP address won't configure---stuck at 169.something---has to be 10.150.something to work here). So I'd have to do a very lengthy "roll back" to 4.7, after much time on the phone with Apple Support.

I don't know much about wireless networking. But I do know that my college uses "802.1X" which contains my username & password. I also know that I've tried Network Diagnostics when trying to get online using 4.8. It obviously never worked for me.

Here's the deal. Even using 4.7, which is perfectly stable on my network right now, when I run Network Diagnostics (even though my network is fine), it selects my AirPort Network but says "Network Change Detected: Your network configuration has changed. Click OK to proceed to the next step" which the next step asks for my WEP Wireless Security Password. So on 4.7 I have to exit the process and reconnect to the AirPort Network, but this doesn't happen on 4.8.

This is the stumper -- I've gotten my college's tech dept to help me, and it turns out there is no WEP... our information is in the 802.1X configuration. So how am I to get the router to give me an IP address when I can't complete Network Diagnostics?

This has been going on since October or November, i think... The second or third time I tried installing 4.8, it gained the correct IP address after like 45 minutes of being turned on, but lost the IP address after being put to sleep (and could not regain it). Very confusing, because other students with MacBooks (i'm unaware of anyone in my dorm with an iMac) are perfectly fine. And when I took my iMac to Tech Services across campus, it connected immediately there!



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: mystery-man on Feb 05, '07 01:02:39PM

I have the same problem on my college... since last update (airport update)

I cannot reset the router, and the connection is not WEP , is 802.1X... damn certificates!

I don't know waht to do... my friend has a MacBook and his connection works perfectly... WTF!, I have a MBP core duo (he has a core 2 duo... it must be that :s )

please, any tip or advice is welcome... in home, mi WPA personalo connecticon works, so, i dont knowwhy the college wife sucks so much!! (it works for a round 20 min, then the DHCP doesnt revalidates de IP... )



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: LC on Mar 29, '07 06:15:53PM

After an OS X system and/or airport client (framework/driver) update on my systems, I have found
that sometimes on the first startup after the update, it tries to join an airport wireless network,
tries to get my join password from the Keychain, asks to update the keychain, etc.
But I find that that executable called "airport" gets stuck. Therefore I am never able to join my home
network. So when this happens, I forcibly kill that "airport" process, using either Activity Monitor or using
a command-line kill. After that first run and kill, everything is fine.
This has happened from several OS X updates over the past couple of years. Hope that helps someone; Larry



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: LC on Mar 29, '07 06:25:54PM

I mean, when the "airport" process gets stuck, you see the
spinning beachball any time you point at the Airport pull-down
menu extra. Larry



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: marook on Feb 05, '07 01:40:40PM

One note to Intel Mac people:

Intel Mac's come with .11a radio's - and although they are not 'supported' by Apple, they are enabled and will be prefered over .11b/g

I've had a bunch of Intel Mac's thay would not connect to our Cisco AP's as long as the .11A radio is enabled.

So, what you might be caught in, is the Mac trying to connect to a .11A radio...

Hope it helps.

---
/Marook



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And the only solution is to disable .a on the router?
Authored by: hamarkus on Feb 05, '07 03:04:28PM

Or is there something else one can do if the scenario you describe is really happening?



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: haloici0us on Feb 05, '07 07:22:03PM

I've found that the "resetting the router" thing at a favourite coffee shop of mine, fixes my issue but then maybe one of the other portable computer users whose computer didn't obtain an IP as fast as mine, no longer have a connection.

I believe this is because some routers only have a set number of clients they will give an IP to. Some places I go, it's 5, others 10.

The coffee shop mentioned above, I will get an IP out of the blue if someone closes up their machine and packs up to leave.

However, I'm going to try this suggestion at this same coffee shop when I have this issue, since I don't want them to think it's my Mac that is the issue. Hehe.



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 06, '07 01:17:26AM

You could use istumbler which seems to force connections too.



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: Spongehead on Feb 06, '07 01:38:19AM

When i had difficulty connecting to my schools wireless network the IT tech had me put two different sets of numbers into my tcp/ip. He had me put these sets of numbers into the dns servers box:
129.15.1.120
129.15.1.121
not sure if this is what finally fixed it or if it was just dumb luck. Worth a try for anyone still having issues.



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A possible fix for a different type of wireless connection failures
Authored by: madsteer on Feb 06, '07 06:53:05AM

Well, I don't use open hotspots much, so I can't say I've experienced this much, but the problem I've had ever since 10.4.8 is not being able to connect to my own WAP at home.

I secure my WAP with:
1. MAC address restrictions
2. turn off (E)SSID broadcasting
3. WAP-Personal encryption

For some reason my MBP 17" gets into fits where it won't connet to it. I can recreate the problem by closing the lid and then immediately opening it back up (as if "opps I forgot I wanted to do one more thing"). if I close the lid and wait a few minutes, I can't (always) recreate the problem.

I don't even get a wireless connection. The the wireless icon at the top right, has all grey bars.

The workaround that seems to have fixed the problem is turning (E)SSID broadcasting back on. This is not my desired configuration, but it's less frustrating than dealing with this problem all the time.

I have a NetGear wireless border router, and my dad's having the same problem with a low end MacBook (white) and a Linksys wireless border router, so I don't think it's especially due to a particular model of WAP or Mac.

I'll try this solution, but I don't expect it to work. Slightly different problem.



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: n4ty on Feb 13, '07 04:36:18PM

Was this SSID broadcasting a tweak you did on the access point?
I'm having the same sort of problem at work: tough to get connected, and disconnects OFTEN. Very little throughput too.

The configuration is TTLS plus PAP.
MBP 17", the Core Duo model (not the Core Duo 2).



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A possible fix for Internet hotspot connection failures
Authored by: SRalling on Nov 23, '07 06:47:18AM

I am having exactly the same problem trying to connect my shiny new MacBook Pro 17" to the Cisco Access Point at one of my customers' sites.

The MBP connects to the WEP Encrypted AP (as can be witnessed by option-clicking the Airport icon and seeing connection info) but cannot obtain an IP address no matter how may times I click Renew DHCP Lease in Network Preferences.

Now, I know it is not a problem with the AP as my old laptop PC, my iPod Touch and my Nokia N95 ALL connect to it with no problems whatsoever.

What's more... my MBP connects to it without any problems IF I boot into Windows XP from my Boot Camp partition (so it's not a hardware problem).

My guess is that there is a bug somewhere in OSX (I'm running 10.5.1) that is preventing successful connection to the AP.

I noticed that someone suggested disabling 802.11a to get round the problem, but being a new 'switcher', I do not know how to do this yet!

You help and advice would be much appreciated as I am a bit disappointed that my lovely new machine will not work at my customer's site!

Cheers,

Steve



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