Apple MacBook Sierra Wireless WIFI 5GHZ

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  • Updated 10 months ago
  • Not a Problem
MacBook running HighSierra in wireless 5Ghz very instable in access-points 3825, 3805, 3912 with controller C25 running v10.31.04 ou v10.31.04.

After a week of testes the best solution is: Disable 5Ghz and use the 2.4Ghz interface Only
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Valter Veiga

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Posted 1 year ago

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JP

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What kind of problems are you having- unable to connect, disconnect, no internet access ?
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Valter Veiga

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In the laptop the Wifi maintains connected but with no Internet. Clients have to disconnect and connect again
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Jeremy, Embassador

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WHAT!?  I beg to differ!  I have not had ANY issues with my MBP using High Sierra.  Well, none that I would contribute directly to some defect.  My entire environment is 3825 and 3935s.
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Valter Veiga

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Are you running v10.31.04 ou v10.31.04 ?
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Valter Veiga

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 v10.31.05
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Jeremy, Embassador

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Hmm, I have seen that in areas where 5 Ghz signal is not strong.  What are you getting for a RSS from the AP and the client perspective?  What are your power levels?  I have seen this also when the power level of the AP is at 24 dB or something.  The client can hear it but can't talk back 100% of the time.
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Valter Veiga

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This is a school with one access-point per room, the iMAC is on the table and the access-point in the ceiling.
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Valter Veiga

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The first indicator of problems, pings ....  In an Lab with and access-point 3825 with only this client. You see the diference between 2.4ghz and 5Ghz. 

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Scott Whall, Employee

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Valter - unless something changed on the Wireless network configuration on the MBP, we would need to see the AP trace log report to further determine if this is an issue with our APs.  Have you opened a Case with our Support Team?
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Sam, Employee

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He has - 01381969 
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Valter Veiga

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Yes I have open a case 01381969. The case has all the information and files.
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Scott Whall, Employee

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OK - I just took a brief look at the settings, and there are a few that should be changed.  Sam owns the case, and he will be sending out an update shortly.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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Can you post your AP advanced settings for 5 ghz radio?
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Valter Veiga

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I have been testing for a week, changing all settings and features, enabling , disabling, can you do Send me your working AP advanced 5 GHz radio settings ?
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Jeremy, Embassador

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Valter Veiga

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Why RTS/CTS Threshold 256 ?
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Scott Whall, Employee

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Recommendation is to use RTS/CTS of 2346.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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{previously linked article has been archived}
(Edited)
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Scott Whall, Employee

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Thanks for finding that Jeremy.  Since the date that this article was published, we have found that the 256 setting did not resolve the issues we were troubleshooting.  We have been working on removing all references to this setting since.  Also - this article was in response to specific Chromebook problems, and not intended for other client devices.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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What is the DTIM value?  If it's 5, set it to 2.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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Also, these settings are what I found to be best based on survey info in my area.  So, our MBR and RSS thresholds will be different fyi. 
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Valter Veiga

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Will try your settings this night. tomorow I will update.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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Also, let us know what Extreme GTAC suggests here in this post, so it can help others!  Thanks!
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Valter Veiga

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Jeremy, tested with similar settings... the same.

This is and Access-Point with only 1 Client.

When I disable the 5Ghz the client moves to 2.4Ghz. 



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Ostrovsky, Yury, Employee

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Just curious - is the Management Frame Protection is Enabled on WLAN ?
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Valter Veiga

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No, Management Frame Protection DIsable.
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Umut Aydin, Escalation Support Engineer

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Hi Valter,

disable 11k ( on all VSN please which is on the AP- not only on the affected VNS) and fast-transition if enabled.

Did you look on the client driver site if you make any updates ?!

If nothing helps please open a case in GTAC

Regards
Umut
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Valter Veiga

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Hello Umut,

At the moment, the best solution is to disable 5Ghz.

I will run a test with Sam "setup" and I Will give the feed back.


VVeiga


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Valter Veiga

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Jeremy, what is your controller version you are using ?

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Joshua Puusep

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Hi Valter, we are running 10.31.05 and do not see any issues on MacBooks running Sierra.  Have you looked at spectrum analysis for channel utilization and or interference events?  Are all other devices functioning as expected on 5Ghz?
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Joshua Puusep

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worth noting i have tested with Mac Book Pro's on sierra and Macbook Air's on High sierra,  but no regular Macbooks.
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Valter Veiga

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Yes, i'm running  10.31.05, I'm doing the test off hours, with only one client connected to the AP. Yes, the only clients having problems are macs. Last Year with version V9.xx.xx we had a similar problem with Macs, but at version 9.21.17 all problems were fixed. And I have maintain that version until now. This year I have add new AP2935 and AP3912 and upgrade to V10.
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Peter Chang

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I've been monitoring this thread closely. We are a heavy Mac school, about 2000 Macs all managed with JAMF Pro. We have just over 900 end clients on Sierra, and we too haven't seen or heard of any problems, (that I am aware of) Our students from Grade 6-12 are 1:1 and own a Mac.

We are currently running:
  • 10.41.01.0080 on our controllers, V2110
  • but most of our 3935 APs are still on 10.31.04.0009. 
  • We too have an AP in every classroom only because of the way the school has been constructed in Dubai.
While we aren't using the same APs that you have in your setup, here are a few questions that come to mind, as I too had similar symptoms when we did our Extreme Wireless deployment last year:
  • Out of curiosity, how are your channels mapped for your classrooms? auto/manual?
  • Have you used Apple's airport command inside terminal, to see neighboring APs and what channel they are on and their signal strength? I believe the command is: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport /usr/sbin/airport -s
  • Based on the output above ensure you don't have close neighboring APs on the same channel. We have seen instability when APs are on the same channel and are close together, aka co-channel interference. Symptoms with this would be slow internet or get booted off WiFi
  • Your AP settings seem to be similar to ours. But as a reference, this is how ours is:

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Valter Veiga

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Hello Peter,

Manual channels, at this point. No, I don't use Apple, I don't know the commands. The configuration is similar, but about the other settings  11k and others ?                                  You have problems when two access points are using the same channel in near classroom ?   
 
VVeiga
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Peter Chang

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Yes, ensure that if you have two APs close to each other, that they aren't on the same channel. So for example if you if you have two classrooms back to back, ensure that they aren't both on channel 36, but maybe 36 and 44.  I've seen symptoms like you mentioned where the Macbook would be associated to wireless, but no internet.

Have you seen this article for channel planning?
https://gtacknowledge.extremenetworks.com/articles/How_To/How-to-create-a-5GHz-WiFi-Channel-Plan/?l=...

As for the Apple commands, the one I mentioned will give some good output based on where the Macbook client is sitting. This command will show what AP the Macbook is associated to and information like signal strength: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport /usr/sbin/airport -I
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Valter Veiga

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Hello Peter,  With your settings , I have the same

Have you test with ping an iMac on 5Ghz in your infrastructure ?

.



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JP

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That is really strange.  Normally, you would expect the opposite, where 2.4 would experience the latency vs 5.  The AP's are showing as connected at 1gb on your wired switch ports ?  

What channel width are you using on radio 1 ?  Someone else suggested it, but I would certainly look at doing some sort of spectrum analysis if you are on site to see if you have multiple AP's on the same channel in a particular area.  If you have an iphone, you can get the airport utility from the app store and it would give you quick look.  
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JP

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Also, maybe I am looking at the screen captures wrong, but it looks like you are pinging the mac device  from a windows client.  What do the ping times look like when you run a ping from the mac out to 8.8.8.8 for example ?  Or from the mac back to the windows host ?
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Valter Veiga

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I Have all radio 5 disable in the school, the only one that is Up is that access-point.

I'm doing this test remotly, so the ping are done from a virtual server in the same VLan, the wireless console is run in a management VLan.

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Valter Veiga

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Yes, i'm pinging the mac from a windows cliente connected to the network. I don't have access to the Macs. Why is the ping so diferente from 2,4Ghz to 5Ghz?
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JP

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I don't know why the times would be different, unless the mac is prioritizing things differently .

Maybe one of the other folks with a large mac deployment can run a similar ping test: Windows -> mac and then Mac -> windows.  I can try it, but it might take me a day or 2 to get my hands on a macbook for testing.  

I understand the ping times look bad, but am just wondering if they are related to the actual problem of being connected but no network access. With only 1 5ghz radio enabled, does this mac get into that state of connected but no network access?   
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Valter Veiga

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About 3 weeks ago, after I have upgraded to version V10, i started to recive complains about the wireless from 2 Mac users. The principal and a coordinator, two in about 600 devices.

I stated to test this 2 macbook pro and macbook air computers, with a simples test , Ping, to see if they were disconnected from the network. But what I see was big ping replays .... by mistake, I disable the 5Ghz Radio , WOOO I was suprisse with the ping replay in 2.4Ghz, it is wonderfull.

I run a lot of testes changing options, but the 5Ghz was always bad ping replays.

In the weekend I decide , disable 5Ghz to the all system. Monday morning I was on costumer site.

In the middle of the morning a run into the principal. He told me that the Wifi in that days was working perfect.

In this client, only two users complain about the wifi.

PS:  If we don't have complains it doesn't meen that everything is right


Valter

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Jeremy, Embassador

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Do you have ATPC turned on for the 5 ghz radio? 
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Valter Veiga

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ATPC OFF
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Peter Chang

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Do you have a ticket open with GTAC? If not, I highly recommend doing so, as they were great in resolving an issue similar to yours. 

Using airport utility inside terminal a Mac.
As mentioned here is what the output looks like from my Macbook Pro,  running Sierra, using the airport command inside Terminal. The "-s" flag will show APs and their associated SSIDs and their signal strength. The "-I" flag will show the SSID the Mac is connected to and it's signal strength. 



As you can see the output above shows that I'm connected to an AP at -54 signal strength. The closest neighboring AP which is the classroom beside our office is at -85 signal strength. That -85 sits below our threshold, where we have set it at -80 to disassociate. (This maybe different for you)

I had my colleague ping Google on an iMac connected to 5Ghz. Average ping times were about 7ms.

If you have access to the iMac, run those commands and see what output you get. You may have to physically go to the location and measure the signals where you are seeing this problem, and adjust your radios accordingly. That's what I had to do to tweak certain areas.
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Jeremy, Embassador

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What’s the signal to noise ratio? WiFi explorer for the Mac is also a good tool.
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Valter Veiga

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After hours of looking to the system and doing a lot of tests,

I have a clue, TxBF


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Valter Veiga

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The Windows Client doesn't have TxBF.

 the Access-Point doesn't have the TxBF option why is the Mac using the AC|TxBF ?



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Peter Chang

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At this point, this is out of my depth. Open a GTAC ticket if you haven't done so already.
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Valter Veiga

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Its is open.... and I'm updating  ....
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Peter Chang

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What authentication type are you using? 802.1x? wpa2? what are your radio power levels?
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Valter Veiga

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I have 802.1x for computers and wpa2 for iPads, the radio power in the 5Ghz is at maximum.

At this moment a diference that I notice is the TxBF. I will look into the trafic capture I have done digging to see the TxBF negociation.

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Peter Chang

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Ok. So two things that come to mind:
  1. On your 802.1x Privacy settings tab under WLAN Services, what Key Management Options do you have it set at. Just so you know, and I don't know why, but the Apple Macbook computers do not support Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC), but their iPads/iPhones do. Our Key Mangement Options are set to "Pre-Authentication"
  2. As mentioned before you will need to measure the signal from where this Mac is and look to see what the neighboring AP signal level is at. Because you have it set your radio levels to maximum power, you could be seeing interference from nearby APs. How far off is the next AP where this iMac sits?
Hope this helps.
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Chris Sherman

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I haven't seen any mention of mac os' other built-in wi-fi tools:  http://www.letstalk-tech.com/access-wifi-scanner-macos-sierra/  I use these a lot and the scanner has more info than the command-line scanner and it's easily sortable.  The Performance tool shows SNR with no need to install anything.  Also, the iphone/iPad AirPort Utility scanner won't show wi-fi by default.  It must be turned on under preferences.

I'm also curious how close the other APs are.  Macs excel at picking out a crummy signal so with the 5 ghz power at max(assuming the others are too) there's a good chance it's picking a loud but poor far-off signal.  We use 10 dbm on 5 ghz if it's meant for one medium-size room.  I'm still experimenting with 16-14 dbm in the dorms so 5 ghz will easily service a neighbor.  This is very general with a lot of exceptions.