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Ask Max: Troubleshooting A Mac Wireless Setup

Asked on 01/09/2009:

I am having trouble with a new wireless setup for Mac. I originally loaded wireless software on PC and it is working fine there. I used WPA security with Network and password. The Mac sees Network but will not take password. I am using DHCP and have the IP address and the Subset mask address. I have tried putting them in as a manual setup and also tried automatic IP. I'm using port 9 and b&g settings on router. Any ideas please!


WPA is the best security to use for your mixed Wireless network because it will often work identically for both Apple Computers and Windows PCs. There are some options in setting up the wireless router that may not work well with your Mac. One of the primary issues stems from "Speed Boosting" technology promoted by some routers. These feature will work well if you use the same manufacturer for a wireless router and a computers wireless network card. Matching card and router works with "Speed Boosting" because both understand each other, but that feature doesn't adhere to industry standards for wireless communication. With Mac computers, they have built-in wireless cards that expect standard wireless communication and the Airport card fails to understand the "Speed Boosting" communication from the router. Make sure that any boosting technology is turned off on your router.

It is also important that you have a modern version of the Mac OS to connect to the WPA network. Use Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher if you can. There are several WPA configuration options that may also be causing problems. On your router you will want to select Pre-Shared Key w/TKIP, or something similar, to connect your Mac via WPA/WPA2 Personal option.

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