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I use an Airport Express to create a wireless network at home. Frequently (~2 times a week), all the computers using the network (eMac, Intel iMac, MacBook Air) can see the network as an option in the Airport/WiFi menu (one machine is running Panther, one Leopard, one Lion), but cannot connect, resulting in a Timeout error. I get the same problems when trying to connect my iPod Touch. The light on the Airport Express is still green when this happens. Rebooting the Airport Express fixes the problem.

What could be causing this, and is there any solution that doesn't involve climbing under the desk in my family room twice a week to unplug and replug the Airport Express?

  • You'll have to set up logging to capture things to know for sure (or set up a lan and use ethernet to peek in on it using AirPort Utility once it gets stuck again.) Have you tried changing the encryption or the DHCP least timeout times to be sure it's not something software? Sad to buy a new device if it's just configuration, but that might be the case... – bmike Sep 30 '11 at 19:05
  • Would I want to increase or decrease the DHCP lease timeouts to make this less likely? It's currently set for 4 hours. – Daniel Sep 30 '11 at 19:19
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    In a WLAN used primarily with the same computers all the time, a DHCP lease timeout of 4 hours isn't necessary. You can easily set this to 4 weeks. – nohillside Oct 2 '11 at 7:16
  • @patrix or bmike, do either of you want to post that as a solution? I upped my DHCP lease timeout from 4 hours to 4 days, and I haven't had any troubles in a week. – Daniel Oct 5 '11 at 2:11
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In a WLAN used primarily with the same computers all the time, a DHCP lease timeout of 4 hours isn't necessary. You can easily set this to 4 weeks.

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I have the same issues - sometimes it'll die by the end of the day. It used to be much more frequent, then I saw a comment about turning off DHCP on it totally, and just giving it a static IP. I picked the top IP in the range, and it'll never get used. If you wanted you got adjust your IP range in your DHCP server and pick an IP that's out of that range.

I've seen my uptime's jump up significantly. Still crashes, but much less often than it used to.

Mine is getting old though, after several years it's outlasted every NetGear, Belkin, etc device I've ever owned. Time to get a new one.

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