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I have a 2018 MBP that's connected to an Ethernet cable 99% of the time. This is my work machine, and I'm on it all the time. However, whenever I disconnect my MBP from Ethernet, and allow it to connect to WiFi, my entire home WiFi network will periodically disconnect.

Approximately every 15 minutes (it's actually almost exactly on the 15 minute mark), my home WiFi will lose its Internet connection. Looking at my WiFi diagnostics, it complains about DNS connectivity being an issue. I can restore the WiFi router's Internet connectivity by changing the DNS server in the router, but then 15 minutes later, it's down again.

Is there some kind of DNS server that could be running on my MBP interfering with my local network DNS? How would I even go about checking for that? Could there be some other kind of phenomenon going on?!

Edit: I'm using an AmpliFi Router HD mesh WiFi router with 1 base and 2 extenders. Firmware version 3.3.0.

I resolve this every 15 minutes by cycling back and forth between 1.1.1.1 and 8.8.8.8 as the DNS servers on my router.

Here's a screenshot of the error that I'm seeing from the router:

Also, here's my arp -a output, in case it helps

? (169.254.80.182) at f0:9f:c2:36:50:b6 on en0 [Ethernet]
? (169.254.85.113) at f0:9f:c2:36:55:71 on en0 [Ethernet]
amplifi.lan (192.168.134.1) at f2:9f:c2:36:1e:49 on en0 ifscope [ethernet]
philips-hue.lan (192.168.134.2) at 0:17:88:4f:4f:43 on en0 ifscope [ethernet]
home-mac.lan (192.168.134.5) at 78:7b:8a:c0:19:40 on en0 ifscope [ethernet]
wills-iphone.lan (192.168.134.218) at 40:4d:7f:95:e7:cf on en0 ifscope [ethernet]
? (224.0.0.251) at 1:0:5e:0:0:fb on en0 ifscope permanent [ethernet]
? (230.230.230.230) at 1:0:5e:66:e6:e6 on en0 ifscope permanent [ethernet]
? (239.255.255.250) at 1:0:5e:7f:ff:fa on en0 ifscope permanent [ethernet]
  • Why don't you try to remove the network and add it again? Does this happen on other networks too? Try allowing the MacBook Pro to connect to WiFi in Safe Boot and see what happens. If it continues, try the Hardware Diagnostic by rebooting and holding "D" on startup. Tell me how it goes and hope this helps! – Todd Apr 21 at 3:23
  • It would help to know your local Wifi AP's model, and how you connect to the internet. The DNS server to use is typically pushed to clients using DHCP from either the AP or your router, but could be something else. Also, what IP does your Macbook have, and is it configured to use DHCP on your Wifi, or some hard-coded config? What DNS servers are you putting into your router? What DNS do your other devices on your network use? What's the actual error you're seeing? A DNS server running on your MBP wouldn't hurt anything else, because it just response when asked, nothing should be asking it. – Alex Apr 21 at 4:04
  • @Todd, I appreciate the thought. Removing my wi-fi network, re-adding it, and working in Safe Boot has not seemed to solve the issue. I will try the Hardware Diagnostic next. – Will Gordon Apr 21 at 15:23
  • @Alex, thanks for the questions, I've updated my question with the additional information. I confirmed that my MBP is using DHCP, with the DNS configured to look at the router, same with all my other devices. It's only when my MBP is on wi-fi do I have these problems. – Will Gordon Apr 21 at 15:24
  • @WillGordon This probably won't help but have you tried reinstalling macOS (without losing data from macOS Recovery) or have you tried renewing your DCHP Lease under Network Preferences > Advanced > TCP/IP? – Todd Apr 24 at 17:27
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I've never used the AmpliFi system personally, however it does seem to be unreliable especially when compared to the UniFi product range. There seem to be a lot of people who've tried AmpliFi, had problems, then switched to UniFi and been very happy.

Also personally having used UniFi at four separate installations over several years I have never encountered any problems of any kind at all. UniFi just works perfectly and forever.

It does take a bit more effort to setup, but not that much. Certainly easier than troubleshooting the issue you're experiencing now, and it should then operate for the next decade without being touched.

UniFi uses a wired backhaul instead of a wireless one which frees up radio spectrum and reduces latency. It's also cheaper. Yay.

Without knowing the size or layout of your house, it's difficult to recommend which UniFi products you should go for. Generally though the short range ones are better if you're going with a "mesh" setup. In fact it's often recommended to configure them to operate at the lowest possible power level to prevent devices connecting to the wrong hotspot.

For about half of the installations I've done though, a single access point has been more than enough, so I'd start with just one.

UniFi lacks advanced features such as firewalls/etc. If you need that, get an EdgeRouter X. If you don't need it, you should be able to just plug the UniFi AP's into your cable modem.

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