My english may be lacking, Apologise in advance

I'm not sure if the question is best suitable here or maybe in other StackExchange site, like Server Fault or Network Engineering. So, if you think the question's place is somewhere else - please tell me.

I have noticed strange behaviour in my home network recently, the internet connection disappeared for few second (up-to few minutes) and then returned like nothing happens.

When checking the packets in the network (with Wireshark), I'v noticed that the problem is that the packets never arrived to the router - so I pinged the router, and indeed, he didn't respond (req timeout).

First, do anybody have a theory why would the router stop receiving packets and answers connections for short periods of times (It's a brand-new TP-Link Archer C9)? I checked the light-indicators on the router and everything seemed fine...

Second, the more Mac-oriented question, when this behaviour happens, the WiFi indicator still indicate (full strength) connection to the network, and with option-click on the WiFi indicator I see that he says that he is connected to the router, but the internet is unreachable. How does it make sense that the computer thinks he connected to the router while he doesn't receives packets or answer pings?

1 Answer 1


I am experiencing the same problem. The issue is the router. There are a number of reasons why the router would do this....memory of the router is too small, too many connections for it to handle, to just poor quality components.

The way you can verify that it is the router is by

  1. Pinging the router (which you did and it failed)
  2. Pinging another device on your network
  3. Test connectivity from another device

As for as your WiFi indicator, having full bars has nothing to do whether it has network connectivity (getting an IP address and being able to browse). The "bars" indicate signal strength and signal quality, which both relate to the physical radio connection, not the network connection.

If you are familiar with the OSI model, it is layer 1 and 2 that your "bars" are reporting back. Layer 3 is where your connectivity comes into play. Think of it like how your (wired) Ethernet adapter determines whether you have 100MB or 1GB connectivity

enter image description here

What's the solution?

Get a good router; or better yet, build it yourself. I am finding that the consumer grade stuff is getting worse and worse every year so I decided to make a change.

I recently built a pfSense router on some old Dell hardware and installed an Intel PCIe AC Wireless card and with all my testing, I have yet to have the problem reoccur.

There's even a good YouTube video on this: pfSense: How to Turn an Old PC into an Epic Router

  • I think its not the router fault... It happened again and I was near my iMac (24" 2009, 10.8.5) and had normal connection. I pinged the router from both computers (iMac and MBPr 15" mid 2014, 10.10.5). those are the results: MBPr - 55 packets transmitted, 9 packets received, 83.6% packet loss round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 1.420/19.079/74.765/24.679 ms iMac - 56 packets transmitted, 56 packets received, 0.0% packet loss round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 0.285/0.748/5.655/0.670 ms mid the pinging I turned off the BT on my MBPr (which is always turned off on the iMac)
    – Sean
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:01
  • Remember, "wireless router" is a misnomer. It's actually three things in one - a router, a wireless access point, and a switch. When you ping the "router" you are actually pinging the WAP (if you are on wifi). The best way to test would be to see if you can ping outside your router...say to If it fails...it's your router.
    – Allan
    Apr 28, 2016 at 14:05
  • It happened again, and I followed your interactions and pinged outside my router ( both from my MBPr and iMac - the iMac nailed it, while the MBPr had 100% packet loss. I turned off the bluetooth around ICMP req #30, and in #34 I already could reach the outside address just fine from my MBPr. I heard about this kind of problem in outdated versions of Mavericks and Yosemite, but I'm on 10.10.5 - the most updated version - any thoughts?
    – Sean
    Apr 30, 2016 at 10:13
  • Two things...upgrade to El Capitan and try your MBPr on another network if you can. My issue was just like yours until I used a friends hotspot - then it never dropped.
    – Allan
    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:10

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