D-Link Wireless Router + Macbook = Not working

My wireless airport extreme client on my Macbook Pro keeps dropping connection to my D-Link DGL and my ZyXEL P-334WT. I’m using WPA-PSK TKIP encryption on the wireless 802.11g protocol. Yes, I have tried two separate wireless routers to no avail! So I finally broke down and called Apple support today. I thought, “Might as well use the extended apple support I paid for.” Just my luck everybody and their mother are trying to upgrade to OS X Leopard. So I waited on hold listening to hip hold music for around 20 minutes until cheerfully greeted. After explaining my issue to the tier one tech supporty he said I might need a driver update and forwarded me on to a “wireless expert”-per say, Mike, in tier two.

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Here is roughly how the conversation goes:

Mike – How can I help you today?

Me – My wireless ain’t workin’.

Mike – OK, please explain.

Me – Well I’ve tried both D-Link DGL-4300 and ZyXEL P-334WT wireless routers, two separate manufacturers mind you, with my wife’s Macbook and my Macbook Pro using WPA-PSK encryption and about every so-often the wireless clients (Macs) disconnect. I then have to manually reconnect to my wireless router to regain an Internet connection.

Mike – Lets take a look and make sure you have all of the updates.

…I’ll skip the checking updates part. We confirmed I’m running the
latest and greatest Mac OS X 10.4.11…

Mike – You have all of the latest updates.

Me – It seems to me that when the WPA “ReAuthentication Timer” on my wireless router expires my Macbook Pro will not re-authenticate.

Mike – Let me do some research, can I put you on hold?

Me – Sure.

..3 minutes later…

Mike – Well it looks we have compatibility issues with other routers. How long is your WPA password?

Me – 16

Mike – Make it 13 and try again.

Me – 13? So no more, no less?

Mike – Yes exactly 13. If that does not work you will have to use WEP encryption.

Me – I don’t want to use WEP it’s insecure.

Mike – It should be pretty secure at 128-bit.

Me – No it is not secure! I can be cracked very easily, heck type “crack WEP encryption” in Google.

Mike – Ok well our airport clients [wireless network card in Macbook] don’t work well with other wireless routers besides our Apple Airport.

Me – There are standards in place most notably by WiFi Alliance that Apple should be following to avoid problems like this. Most if not all wireless router manufacturers follow these standards. Why is not Apple?

Mike Jobs – Sorry that’s just the way it is (in more words or less).

Me – That’s unacceptable and Apple is being proprietary [again] and to con everyone into buying an Airport wireless router instead of what they want is ridiculous.

Mike Jobs – Sorry that’s just the way it is (in more words or less) again.

Me – All I ask is that this be documented and sent to engineering.

Mike – I will create a case number and leave it open.

Nothing will probably come of this. But customers like myself can’t just give in, otherwise companies will walk all over them. I work hard to purchase the things I have and I want them to work properly damn-it!


a) Piss away your money on an Apple Airport.

b) Change your WPA password to be no-less and no-more than 13 characters. (didn’t work for me)

c) Switch to 128-bit WEP encryption. (Too insecure)

d) Disable all encryption and use MAC address filtering (even more insecure than “c”)

e) Change to WPA2 encryption. – * WORKED FOR ME! * Luckily my router
has an option to support WPA and WPA2 simultaneously. So I went with that because I have some legacy wireless clients that do not support WPA2.

If anyone wants to know the Apple Support case number is 88582115.
The related Apple support thread is here.

This entry was posted in Macintosh.

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