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jeff k Nov 8, 2013 05:08 PM
Airport extreme, express disconnecting
I have extreme/ express for my laptop in the living room. Usually works good, but lately it's been disconnecting from the internet sporadically. Any ideas? thanks.

Sorry, don't have much specifics to give. just frustrating.
ghporter Nov 8, 2013 10:07 PM
First off, is it an Extreme (a base station), or an Express (a mini-base station with limited features), or are you talking about using an Express in the living room to extend an Extreme somewhere else? It makes a difference.

What kind of Internet connection do you have? Does it automatically reconnect, or do you have to manually reconnect?
jeff k Nov 8, 2013 11:43 PM
Yes G, Extreme is base, the in living room Express. DSL Verizon - plugs into the Main Base extreme from Office. It may reconnect automatically when it's ready. But the question why was it going down today in the living room, that's frustrating,
ghporter Nov 9, 2013 10:00 PM
There are a couple of issues that could be going on here. One is that the Express might be having problems due to interfering WiFi signals (or WiFi-band signals) between it and the Extreme. Is the Express disconnecting from the Extreme, or is the DSL itself dropping?

Is the Express enclosed, where it may get hot? Is the Extreme subject to poor cooling conditions? In AirPort Utility, do the Express and Extreme still show up, even when the connection is down?

DSL is impaired by things like water in buried telephone lines, maintenance on the intermediate hardware (the DSLAM and subsidiary distribution boxes and pedestals), so if the phone lines are being messed with your DSL line could be momentarily disconnected by a technician. Even fiber-based distribution depends on copper for a "DSL" connection (which is managed directly by a DSLAM). My home DSL is really solid, since it goes over fairly new copper (roughly 12 - 15 years old, practically brand new when you're talking about copper lines), but sometimes I see it go down for no apparent reason, and come back up just as mysteriously. These events happen in short clusters and are quite rare, which implies to me that somebody is working on the copper.
jeff k Nov 11, 2013 02:14 PM
G, the dsl in the main room is fine.

Hard for me to poinpoint those other issues. The conditions for the express seem to be normal and ok.

Again, just in living room where express computer is, that one goes offline then comes back, don't know why, very annoying.
ghporter Nov 13, 2013 08:21 AM
I'd look at power and cooling to start. Maybe there's an unstable power line in the room, or the little box gets too hot where it is and that upsets it. One thing you could do that can't hurt and may help is to reload the firmware for the device through Airport Utility. It is, after all, just a small computer and maybe it's had some data leak that screws it up from time to time.
jeff k Nov 13, 2013 01:48 PM
thanks G, but software update should take care on all that draining stuff now, no?
ghporter Nov 13, 2013 04:32 PM
Airport updates are not part of the typical software update on your Mac. You can set your Airport devices to remind you when there is new firmware for them (it can be annoying because their alert is to make that nice green light turn amber, as if you're not connected), and then you run the updates via Airport Utility.
jeff k Nov 13, 2013 08:51 PM
thanks G, where do you set that you want an alert?

Light turning amber will not make me think I need an update though.

Do I do this on both desktop and the laptop?
ghporter Nov 17, 2013 08:02 AM
User AirPort Utility to set the alerts from your desktop. It configures the device itself to issue the alert. If you have a non-green light on any AirPort device, you pretty much need to check it to see why it isn't green, so you'd just go into AirPort Utility to check it, and it will tell you.

To set up firmware update checks, go to the AirPort Utility menu (the app's name on the top bar) and select Preferences. There are 2 check boxes for when to check for updates, one for when you open the app, and another for regularly scheduled checks - I have mine set to check weekly. The iOS version of AirPort Utility doesn't seem to give you that option, but it DOES let you check for whether a device's firmware is up to date, via the "Version" entry for each device.

The current firmware version for both my Extreme and Express is 7.6.4. They're an Extreme with dual band (2.4 and 5GHz) WiFi, and a similar-generation Express. Yours may be different depending on which hardware you have.
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