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I have a strange issue with my WiFi. I am losing internet (it seems connected, but seems not responding) over & over again after a while. And if I try to change the location in network settings, it restores the internet.

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The WiFi is working fine because when I lose internet on Mac, it still works on my phone.

  • WiFi ≠ Internet. We need to determine where the issue is and your phone isn't reliable because it has two path ways to the internet - cellular and WiFi. Disable cellular to see if WiFi still works. See this post: apple.stackexchange.com/a/195367/119271 on how to diagnose. – Allan Feb 10 at 18:28
  • @Allan I have got about 5-10 our of 30 MacBook Pros and Airs doing this same thing at the University I work at, cycling the internet off and on, or changing locations resolves the issue, I am assuming it's a DHCP / routing issue as the Wi-Fi signal doesn't drop. – unknowndomain Feb 10 at 21:34
  • If it's DHCP, @unknowndomain, you can confirm the DHCP info with ipconfig getpacket enX where X is the identifier of your adapter. (note it's not ifconfig) Unless you have a very short lease, I don't see how that could be happening with DHCP. I'll bet it's DNS. After you check out DHCP, test DNS with host apple.com or if you need more detail dig apple.com) – Allan Feb 10 at 21:46
  • When you switch locations, you disconnect and reconnect again asking for a new DHCP lease, which refreshes everything. – Allan Feb 10 at 21:48
  • Will do next time I see it. – unknowndomain Feb 10 at 21:48
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I'd suspect that you have a problem with your home router. Connect to its administrative console and have a look at its logs.

There could also be a problem with your internet service provider.

You see, your home router is your actual "route" to the Internet. Any traffic that you want to send out over the Internet first goes to your home router which, through the magic of (mumble, mumble) actually sends the traffic out and returns the response back to you.

What your Mac is saying, then, is that it is able to detect that the router doesn't seem to be doing that consistently. Even though you remain connected to your WiFi network (which eliminates any problems with your Mac ...), traffic destined for the Internet isn't consistently being delivered for some "upstream" reason.

If you happen to be curious about how it all works, console commands like traceroute can actually show you exactly how a packet "bounces" from one server to another to another within the Internet as it magically gets to where it needs to go ... sometimes taking a different path each time.

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