I would like to connect to a specific AP in a mesh network of 12 APs. My Mac automatically connects to the AP with the highest signal strength, but this unit is misconfigured and can't connect to the internet.

Since every AP node in the mesh uses the same BSSID, I can only tell them apart by their hardware MAC address.

Is there a way to tell MacOS to connect to WiFi by MAC instead of by BSSID?

I've looked at the "networksetup" command and don't see how to do it.


1 Answer 1


Open up the Terminal application, and try the following:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport --associate=XXX --bssid=YYY

Where XXX is the SSID/network name and YYY the MAC address of the access point you want to connect to.

  • 3
    This answer applies to old versions of Mac OS X. The current version of the airport utility doesn't support that option.
    – CharlieATX
    Dec 3, 2017 at 22:10
  • @CharlieATX What version of macOS are you using? It looked like it worked for me on Sierra, but maybe I was mistaken.
    – Ryan
    Dec 3, 2017 at 22:12
  • I'm on 10.11.6. ./airport says both --associate and --bssid are unrecognized options.
    – CharlieATX
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:59

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