Tag Archives: Wifi problem

MacBook Pro cannot see WiFi router – change wifi channel

Apple MacBook Pros stacked to show size comparison.  Neat, aren't they?
Apple MacBook Pros stacked to show size comparison. Neat, aren’t they?

I have more kit than you can shake a stick at – MacPro, iPad, iPod Touch, a couple of Sony tablets, an HP laptop, iMac – all of which have no problem connecting to my Wifi network (Zyxel router).  Add to that list any visitors’ equipment and you have a wide portfolio of machines that function seamlessly with the network.

So why on earth wouldn’t my early-2011 MacBook Pro always see the network?  It had no problem seeing the fifteen other networks in my building and the restaurant in the basement, and sometimes it would see my router, but 95% of the time it just wouldn’t appear in the network list.

I had hoped that upgrading the OS from Lion through Mountain Lion and Mavericks to Yosemite would sort it out, but sadly not.  System diagnostics showed everything hunky dory.

Searching t’internet produced the usual troubleshooting guides such as that at http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202068 but they were all generic and didn’t address the specific issue with the MacBook Pro.  Why the problem with that specific machine and no other?

Solution

The answer was, it turned out, simple.  Log on to the router as administrator and change the wifi channel.  This is often recommended for slow or dropping connections – it avoids interference between routers using the same channel.  It solved my problem, anyway.  The MacBook Pro sees the router 100% of the time (so far) and I face no problem with any of my other kit.

It doesn’t explain why that particular machine had a problem, mind.