AirPort Express Funk

After almost three days of intermittent Internet I seem to finally be back up to full speed. Though maybe I shouldn’t rejoice just yet. It always seems to go down again when I rejoice.

My connection would literally go up and down every few minutes. One moment everything would be loading fine, the next I’d get nothing. I have a cable modem through Comcast and a home network with Apple’s AirPort Express that powers my desktop and my laptop. And going up and down like that throughout the day is a great way to get no work done. I actually took off on Tuesday afternoon for a bike ride and Wednesday to help a friend move. But today the problem had to be dealt with.

A friend of mine works at Comcast and was gracious enough to come over and test out my connection and see what was up. He checked everything he could think of to test the cable system, and everything seemed to be working fine. So he pointed the finger at my AirPort. I bypassed the AirPort and plugged my laptop directly into the modem and had success, so we found the culprit.

I tried unplugging and resetting the AirPort, but that only made the problem worse. I ended up calling AppleCare and the support technician had me check a few things on my computer and then shut down the computers, unplug the AirPort and unplug the cable modem. Then he had me power everything back up in reverse order and–tada–I now have Internet.

I keep waiting to see if the intermittent service returns, but for now I seem to be good. I don’t really understand what caused the problem, but I’m happy to be back in business.

I doubt this is really of interest to anyone, but I figure it’s a decent public service: If you’re having problems with a wireless network, try shutting everything down and unplugging it. If that fails, I suggest a wifi-enabled coffee shop.

3 thoughts on “AirPort Express Funk”

  1. A few other internet buddies of mine have been complaining about their connection via Comcast of late, so it might be something with their network.

    My modem has been quite odd lately. The last two nights, I’ve lost signal for a couple minutes at random, then it comes back. Then it was kaput all morning, so I called in. Now that I have someone coming out, it has come back on again. Hopefully they’ll get to the bottom of it. Heh, kind of one of those things you never realized you used so much until you lose it.

  2. Also many WAP (wireless access points) ship with buggy firmware that causes the device’s OS to partially or fully crash after a period of time. I had an old one that needed to be rebooted every time you wanted to get a DHCP lease. Most vendors have newer firmware that sometimes even gives the device additional functionality available on their websites. Folks who use certain Linksys WAPs can also get third party firmwares that give them the ability to do fancy VLANing and other cool stuff. There. More than you needed to know.

  3. hey all,
    thanks for posting the original rambling AND the follow ups…this has been driving me nuts, and i thought it was just that my kittens knocked my laptop off the table, cracking my trusty orinoco wifi card open (it still works though). now i realize, the culprit is most likely my linksys router, and/or the genie dismissed by the power-down-then-up cycle. i just recently switched to comcast, too…seems i’ve hit the trifecta.

    it does help knowing i’m not the only one, and that there is some hope without replacing my hardware outright.


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