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This is incredibly frustrating; I have a new airport extreme and its been working fine for about a month but now it has stopped working. my two MacBooks and dell Inspiron tower cannot connect to the Internet. The weird thing is that my iPhone can. On the MacBooks, the network settings say 'wifi has the self assigned ip address 169.xxx.xxx.xxx and will not be able to connect to the Internet.' why can my iPhone connect but not the computers?

  • Have you done the basics? Restart the Airport Extreme, and turn off the wireless on all computers - then restart it. This sort of 'semi functional wireless' is a problem I've seen, usually fixed by a restart of all affected devices. – EvilChookie Nov 25 '11 at 0:08
  • Yes, I did the basics, and they didn't help. Now all of a sudden (after waiting about an hour without doing anything) it works again. Though the problem is solved, I would like to know the reason behind it for next time. – eric.mitchell Nov 25 '11 at 3:37
  • Is your DHCP service in your MacBook running properly? Or, config your MacBook to use DHCP with manual IP. – kukoo Nov 25 '11 at 3:57
  • I'm not sure if it is, but I tried using a manually assigned IP but that didn't work- Network Preferences told me that my computer was connected correctly but I couldn't access the internet. – eric.mitchell Nov 25 '11 at 4:01
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    Can you please add details concerning the Wi-Fi configuration for the Airport Extreme, the iPhone and one of the MacBooks? – nohillside Nov 25 '11 at 6:55
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Two avenues can solve this problem:

  1. Find and disable whatever firewall is intercepting the DHCP return traffic since your Mac needs to see what IP address the route is assigning it. When it doesn't get a response, eventually the DHCP request times out and your OS self-assignes an IP in 169 land.
  2. Inspect the network traffic or the router logs to see if and why the Mac DHCP broadcast packet is being ignored. The router could be out of IP addresses, not allowing that MAC address or just an odd network condition is preventing the router from seeing the OS X request for a DHCP address.
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    The second one turned out to be the problem. Our number of connections was limited, and talking to our ISP fixed the problem. – eric.mitchell Oct 14 '12 at 22:22
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In my case the problem was that the router/DHCP server, wouldn't provide me with a DHCP offer, (I still don't know why, since I don't have access to the router). don't only solution I found was to change the MAC address (media access control address) on my Mac, following these steps:

sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Resources/airport -z
sudo ifconfig en0 ether 60:3b:c9:8e:ae:ba
networksetup -detectnewhardware

you can replace the Address with something random but paire using:

openssl rand -hex 6 | sed 's/\(..\)/\1:/g; s/./0/2; s/.$//'

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