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We have a small office network with DSL and a Netgear WNR-2000 wireless router acting as a DHCP server. There are nine devices connected to the router, wirelessly and wired. Whenever a Mac computer tries to connect, it's unsuccessful until we restart the router. Each of the possible devices that can connect to the network is listed in a table to assign certain IP addresses to certain MAC addresses. I am running WPA-PSK security.

I can view the router status and see that the Mac's MAC address is visible to the router, but with a 169.* IP address, even though I'm assigning its MAC address to an IP address within my subnet. All non-Mac devices attached to the network connect properly, and can access the network properly even AFTER the Mac has not successfully connected. The network includes Windows devices, Roku boxes, printers and internet ready TVs. This to me, would point to a DHCP issue with how Mac communicates with my network.

One interesting thing to note is that if a Mac connects and is prevented from sleeping, it will stay connected indefinitely; reissuing the security cert from the router works fine. I'm not sure if that's supposed to sever & re-establish a connection with the updated credentials or not, but I do stay connected. If the Mac sleeps and is awakened while the security cert is still valid, it connects fine. If the security certificate expires while the Mac is asleep, we need to restart the router.

Restarting the router will ALWAYS assigns the proper IP addresses to the Mac equipment.

I have heard anecdotally that Mac doesn't play well with 802.11n; I have not tested any other Wireless protocols.

There's a couple issues here: First, I found this on Stack, Mac laptop crashing wireless router, but it's not rally applicable since the router isn't crashing. But, it does give some clues about Mac's accessing the network. I did change my encryption from WEP to WPA-PSK, but after about a week, we're still experiencing the issue. I'm not really sure if there's anything else useful in that question.

Second, I'm considering getting a 802.11c router and hooking it up to the wireless N router. the 802.11c router would handle all the Mac traffic, and would be set up as a Mac-only subnet. Everything else would remain as is. However, I'm not sure if this is doable on a technology level...do I need a bridge or is this some way to do this with regular consumer gear?

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closed as off topic by Brent Pabst, Tom O'Connor, Greg Askew, mdpc, kce Dec 18 '12 at 22:53

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Like I said...anecdotally. –  dwwilson66 Dec 18 '12 at 15:03
To confirm: When you say Wireless C do you in fact mean 802.11c? –  Brent Pabst Dec 18 '12 at 15:06
Yes...sorry...forgot I was talking to tech folks. :) –  dwwilson66 Dec 18 '12 at 15:10
Be sure to double check issues on the DHCP communication. You can paste here the negotiation using tool like Wireshark. You can check if another DHCP server is present on the network. Troubleshoot starting from router and firewall logs. –  fab23 Dec 18 '12 at 15:14
I'd suggest to run Apple Software Update, and update the firmware of your WiFi device. I've seen some Apple laptops be a bit finicky on WiFi before. –  Bigbio2002 Dec 18 '12 at 16:25
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