I picked up an 802.11n Airport Express card for my Mac Pro last week. The installation went fine, but my Netgear router was only 802.11g. So I felt the need to get an Airport Express now that it’s been updated to “n”.
First I plugged the AE into my switch along with my networked printer, cable modem, and Tivo. My 1st gen MacBook showed me full bars and was very happy. My Mac Pro only showed 2 bars. They are side-by-side and about 20 feet from the AE. Strange. I plugged the AE into an extension cord and moved it closer to the Mac Pro. Still, after the AE completes its POST, I get full bars on the Mac Pro. As soon as I hop on the internet, it drops to 2 bars. It’s really weak and pages take forever to load. Sometimes not at all. The MacBook is still fine.
My wife being used to PC nightmares at work suggested that I reboot. “Heresy”, I said. “I shouldn’t have to do that. It should ‘just work’.”
From the Mac Pro, I turned Airport off and then on again. Full bars again. As soon as I hop on the internet, it drops. So what’s up?
Much to my lament, I rebooted. Bingo! It works. Full bars, all the time. So I moved the AE back to where I initially had it. (About 5 feet away next to the cable modem and switch. One less extension cord to deal with.) The AE completed its POST, gave me a green LED and I went back to the Mac Pro. 2 bars again! ERRRR!!!!!
I rebooted and got full bars again.
So tell me, why do I have to reboot the Mac Pro every time I unplug the AE to get full bars? My first generation MacBook works without a hitch. I even walked the laptop out to the end of the driveway and I still get full bars.
After a week of wireless I can tell you that the drop outs have nothing to do with the Airport Express being power-cycled. The Mac seems to drop the signal whenever it feels like it. Sometimes after I have woken it up. Sometimes while I’m in the middle of surfing. All the while, the MacBook has not experienced any problems.
Is this the “connection bug” that people have been complaining about and that 10.5.3 is supposed to fix? I hope so. One more week of this and I think I’ll be going back to my old Netgear WiFi router. I’ll take stability over speed any day.
This should have been the box mine came in.