A number of users have reported an issue in which Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) repeatedly drops WiFi (AirPort) connections when connected to a variety of wireless routers. Typical fixes for this issue (including switching to or from IPv6, resetting router settings, etc.) have proven largely ineffective.
We have, however, identified a few less-traditional fixes that have provided respite from the persistent drops for many users.
Fixes for Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6.x) Drops WiFi
Set up pings. This fix involves setting your Mac up to repeatedly ping your router, which may keep the connection active. Follow these steps
- Open System Preferences (available from the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen), then navigate to Network > AirPort > Advanced… > TCP/IP and find your router’s address.
- Launch the Terminal application (click the Spotlight [magnifying glass] icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and type “Terminal”)
- Type the following at the Terminal prompt: ping 192.168.1.1 — replace 192.168.1.1 with your router’s IP address from step 1.
- Press return, and leave the Terminal open. This will produce a constant ping that may keep your connection active.
Apply the latest firmware. Make sure that both your router and your Mac are using the latest available firmware. Check your router manufacturer’s website for any updates.
In particular, several users have noted that the recently released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.9 resolves this issue.
Change 802.11 specs on the router. Try changing your router’s wireless spec mode from B, G and N to G only or vice versa. For AirPort routers, this can be accomplished with the AirPort Admin Utility. For other routers, this can usually be accomplished by accessing the router’s configuration page — open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1.
Change or turn off wireless security You may want to try toggling the settings on your wireless router, switching from WPA to WEP or vice versa, or, as a last resort, turning wireless security off altogether. For AirPort routers, this can be accomplished with the AirPort Admin Utility. For other routers, this can usually be accomplished by accessing the router’s configuration page — open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1.
Change to static IP assignment. Open a browser and enter the address 192.168.1.1 to open your router’s configuration page. Locate the IP assignment setting, and change it to static from dynamic.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.