We just installed the airport and when we turn on some of our Macbooks, they get the same IP as another device so we have to restart the Airport to get new IPs for the computers and for it to work on all of them again.

Restarting the airport once a day becomes annoying. Any way to get around this?

  • 1
    How are you assigning IP addresses? Manually, DHCP, some mix? – blm Jan 2 '16 at 18:31
  • @blm I'm not sure. Whatever the default is. – User Jan 2 '16 at 22:59

The fault when a computer asks for a DHCP address and then gets one lies with the other device not releasing that address when its lease expires or the router for handing out the lease improperly.

The number one cause of the router handing out wrong addresses is when you reboot the router.

To fix this - determine how long your lease is set using AirPort utility and change the range you are sending out addresses. For example - if you were sharing change things to start sharing from and up. Then once the lease time has passed after this restart - use a network scan tool to find all the devices that have not renewed and adopted 200+ addresses.

Those are your problem children so you can either hand them a static IP or fix their software.

Once you have that, you can return to the range of addresses you wish to lease out.

Or if you want to make a bigger change - switch the Airport to use 10.x or 172.x addressing and really break things for the non-compliant devices.

Note - each device needs to release and renew their address after you reboot, so power off WiFi or restart everything - don't forget about all the printers, internet connected appliance, home automation lights and switches, etc... They tend to be forgotten. If you don't have a network scan tool, look into using http://brew.sh to install nmap. It's powerful and well updated and runs on many versions of OS X.


The easiest way to fix this is set up DHCP reservations for your MacBooks. Set them a ways away from the other devices in your network that routinely conflict with your MacBooks.

i.e. If there is another device on your network that ends in x.x.x.100 then set your MacBooks to start at x.x.x.200, then x.x.x.201, etc.

How to set up reservations in an Airport: http://www.macinstruct.com/node/553

The newest airport utility is slight different but still essentially the same.

Typically a DHCP server will hand out IP addresses at the beginning or end of a range - I think the Airport does it from the beginning of the DHCP range, so I would set all my equipment towards the end of the range to help prevent this from happening.

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