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Sat, Mar 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Losing Internet connectivity via Wi-Fi on an OS X system

On my MacBook Pro laptop running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6), I've been losing Internet connectivity periodically. Though it appears I still have Wi-Fi connectivity, when I attempt to access websites through a browser I find that I can't access sites at times, though a moment before I had no issues browsing the Web. Firefox will display a "Server not found" message. If I go to a Terminal window and try to ping any IP address, I see "request timeout" messages.

$ ping 8.8.8.8
PING 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8): 56 data bytes
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
^C
--- 8.8.8.8 ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100.0% packet loss
$

If I check the status of the WiFi connection using the airport command, I see that it is very noisy, though the signal stength is good, which I would expect, since the laptop is only a few feet from the wireless router.

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I
     agrCtlRSSI: -39
     agrExtRSSI: 0
    agrCtlNoise: -93
    agrExtNoise: 0
          state: running
        op mode: station 
     lastTxRate: 73
        maxRate: 72
lastAssocStatus: 0
    802.11 auth: open
      link auth: wpa2-psk
          BSSID: 94:44:52:4a:43:40
           SSID: Rain
            MCS: 7
        channel: 11
$

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Tue, Jul 12, 2016 10:54 pm

OS X Wireless Diagnostics Conflicting Country Codes

I have been experiencing issues with wireless network connectivity at one location recently while using my MacBook Pro laptop running OS X Yosemite (10.10.5). Until fairly recently, wireless network connectivity at the location was great, but recently I would find that SSH connections I made from the laptop to another MacBook Pro laptop were constantly being dropped requiring me to re-establish the connection. And when I would ping the other system, which I was accessing via the wireless network, I would see "request timeout" messages. I would also see "request timeout" messages when I pinged the router's address. A few minutes later I might be able to successfully ping both systems. Or I could go to System Preferences , then double-click on Network, and then click on "Turn Wi-Fi Off" and then, after WiFi connectivity was disabled, I could turn it back on and the Wi-Fi access would then work.

When I used the airport utility from a Terminal windowto check the noise level and signal strength for the WiFi connection, I saw the following:

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I
     agrCtlRSSI: -56
     agrExtRSSI: 0
    agrCtlNoise: -87
    agrExtNoise: 0
          state: running
        op mode: station 
     lastTxRate: 73
        maxRate: 72
lastAssocStatus: 0
    802.11 auth: open
      link auth: wpa2-psk
          BSSID: 94:44:52:4a:43:40
           SSID: Rain
            MCS: 7
        channel: 11

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Thu, Jul 02, 2015 11:01 pm

OS X Wireless Diagnostics

On a Mac OS X system, at the bottom of the display you see when you hold down the Option key while clicking on the icon for wireless networking, you will see "Open Wireless Diagnostics"; select that option to start the wireless networking diagnostics program provided by Apple. The utility can be used for troubleshooting Wi-Fi network problems and to generate a report of information related to wireless networking on the system, which may assist you with troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues on the system.

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Tue, May 05, 2015 10:32 pm

Checking WiFi status on Mac OS X

To check the status of a WiFi connection on a Mac OS X system, you can click on the wireless networking icon, which is a series of curved lines one beneath the other, at the top of the screen while holding down the Option key. You will then see the currently connected WiFi network with a check mark next to it and details regarding the wireless connection.

WiFi status

The following parameters will be displayed for the wireless connection currently in use:

For information on checking signal stength and other wireless parameters from the command line on an OS X system, see Checking WiFi signal strength from the command line on OS X.

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Tue, Apr 28, 2015 10:51 pm

Checking wifi signal strength from the command line on OS X

I took a friend to a VA hospital today. I took my MacBook Pro laptop with me and while I was there I used the wireless guest service at the facility. The performance of the wireless service was awful today as it was on a previous visit. To determine if the problem might be attributable to signal strength, I used the airport command, which is available on OS X systems. The utility is located in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/. Help information on the command is available using airport -h.

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -h
Supported arguments:
 -c[<arg>] --channel=[<arg>]    Set arbitrary channel on the card
 -z        --disassociate       Disassociate from any network
 -I        --getinfo            Print current wireless status, e.g. signal info, BSSID, port type etc.
 -s[<arg>] --scan=[<arg>]       Perform a wireless broadcast scan.
				   Will perform a directed scan if the optional <arg> is provided
 -x        --xml                Print info as XML
 -P        --psk                Create PSK from specified pass phrase and SSID.
				   The following additional arguments must be specified with this command:
                                  --password=<arg>  Specify a WPA password
                                  --ssid=<arg>      Specify SSID when creating a PSK
 -h        --help               Show this help

To view the status for a wireless connection, use airport -I or airport --getinfo.

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I
     agrCtlRSSI: -67
     agrExtRSSI: 0
    agrCtlNoise: -86
    agrExtNoise: 0
          state: running
        op mode: station 
     lastTxRate: 7
        maxRate: 144
lastAssocStatus: 0
    802.11 auth: open
      link auth: none
          BSSID: ec:44:76:81:e4:40
           SSID: VA Internet
            MCS: 0
        channel: 11

The signal strength for a connection is the value for agrCtlRSSI. "RSSI" stands for received signal strength indication. The higher the number, the stronger the wireless signal. The maximum value that may be reported will depend on the wireless devices being used. Cisco Systems wireless cards have a maximum value of 100 while Wi-Fi chipsets from Atheros will return a value from 0 to 128. For Apple OS X systems, the value will range from a high of 0 down to minus 100 (-100). The closer the number is to zero, the stronger the signal while the closer the number is to negative 100, the weaker the signal strength.

Since I only wanted to check the signal strength initially, I looked just for that value. The signal strength seemed to be ok for the waiting room I was in, though not terrific.

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I | grep agrCtlRSSI
     agrCtlRSSI: -74
$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I | grep agrCtlRSSI
     agrCtlRSSI: -68

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Tue, Feb 07, 2012 11:25 pm

Connecting to a Wireless Network with OS X

I've provided instructions here for connecting to a wireless network from a Mac OS X laptop.

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

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