Bizarre MBP WiFi connection problem

For the past week I’ve been having connectivity issues multiple times a day with M3 MBP on WiFi. 3-4 times a day my Mac decides it doesn’t have an internet connection even though it’s connected to WiFi.

  • Don’t think it’s the router - no other device in the house loses an internet connection my MBP does
  • DHCP Lease - I.E. the IP address of my Mac being assigned to something else. This morning it happened twice in one hour since DHCP leases are never that short
  • Reboot my MBP - I have twice in the past few days
  • Location - I’ve had happen in my office and in the kitchen. Neither is more 20ft from the router

What am I missing?

Ugh. Since I last made notes, I’ve rebooted the router and I’ve run a Cat6 cable down the stairs to the router.

Nonetheless, I had another outage issue, that lasted 30 seconds.

Is it too early for Gin and Tonic?

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Check for interference on your wifi, e.g. another wifi network using the same channels as your network.

Or a microwave oven, a notorious source of wifi interference. Did a family member heat up a cup of coffee when you experienced the problem? Another possibility would be a USB 3.0-connected device such as a portable HDD or SSD connected to your MBP.

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This app can be helpful for this kind of problem.

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@shandy wow every knob, dial and switch under the sun. Cool. I could spend weeks lost inside this maze.

@Arthur Thanks USB devices connected - at my desk a OWC Thunderbolt dock and from it my monitor. However, I’ve had this problem away from desk as well.

@jec0047 Thanks - just to muddy issues further, I hardwired my computer this morning with an ethernet cable and then had another outage in the early afternoon.

Running zoom all day to facilitate a workshop was a good way of surfacing this strange strange issue.

I hardwired my computer this morning with an ethernet cable

This may seem obvious but did you also disable the wireless network in Settings?


You don’t need to do that do you? I have my wireless and my wired network connected. Have so for years. No problems.

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@jec0047 There is a funky priority setting buried in System Settings → Network → “…” → Set Service Order. I checked it yesterday before posting.

Also at lunch I checked my download speed and I was getting 900Mbs and I don’t get that over WiFi.

@RunningBoris - true but Jim is correct never trust the defaults are set correctly especially when everything is blowing up.

The tech note on “Set Service Order” says:

If you have multiple active connections, your computer tries the one at the top of the list first, then tries the others in descending order.

So it is possible, albeit unlikely, that your Mac could be accessing the wifi network. You can eliminate that possibility by turning the wifi off. It certainly couldn’t hurt.


What kind of router do you have?

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If you want to determine what the problems is yes, turn of one and see if the problem persists. If so you know where to look.

Also you can set the priority what network connection a Mac should use first. If you have ethernet for internet connection it should be prioritized.


Modem Bell Home 3000

@MacExpert My MBP is on wireless 99% of the time. I dragged an ethernet cable around the house on Monday to see if a wired connection would fix. No such luck. The problem is definitely happens on wireless, it also happened once when wired. Since the cable is draped over two floors I can’t afford to leave it around the house for days on end.

What I was looking for was whether your gateway or router logs network events. Unfortunately documentation for that device seems pretty scarce. Also unfortunately, complaints of wifi drop-outs seem to be rather common with that device.

If you can locate a logging function on the gateway you might find something to point you in the right direction. Otherwise a tech support call/visit may be in your future.

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Logs - genius, of course there are logs. Why does my troubleshooting brain abandon me in my moment of need?

Another layer of the onion to take apart.

And this was the winner. The Bell Home 3000 has a log function in 17 days, I had:

  • 70+ Instances of “ppp0:TR69 creating new session with ACS”
  • 80+ Instances of “TR-069 connectivity to remote server has been closed”

This has won me an upgraded connection to 1.5Gbps and a new modem a GigaHub.

Thanks for the help. Sometimes I forgot that things like this modem are computers.


SO, this has won you a “new upgraded connection…”

  1. As your ISP recognized the error and this was their solution?
  2. You upgraded to solve the issue?

How about 0.5 – Bell (the ISP) has no idea what the problem is. So they’re dispatching a new modem in an attempt to avoid dealing with the problem. As to the upgrade, I honestly can’t figure how I will even notice the difference.

If the new modem is better - I win. If not I will hit the log files again.

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When I saw the pppo:TR69, that’s clearly on their side,
SO, yes replace the modem (so they can successfully run TR-069 stuff), and when You said “you won an
upgraded connection…” I thought that they had maxed you out as compensation for their errors

this happened to me with a similar incident, and my speed was upgraded at no charge and I wondered if it was an industry thing?

Now we confirmed that its the WiFi connection on your Mac do the following:

System Settings > WiFi > Select the SSID you have trouble with> Details> Forget this network.

Next reconnect to the SSID you want to connect to.

Alternatively you can also dig into the Keychain, search for “Airport” then delete any keys that are related to your troublesome WiFi SSID

Hope this helps.