'resolving host' problem on MacBook

Screen-Shot-2015-11-07-at-13.36.38.pngSo I've got this very weird problem at my place ... sometimes the wifi works just great but at other times it's a huge problem and I'm just getting DNS timeouts or very slow reply times (see screenshot)!

Any ideas what the reason for this could be!?

The router is a Fritzbox, my Macbook has Capitan (but the problem existed under Yosemite as well).

Thank you!
XeronimoAsked:
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strungCommented:
Have you checked to see if there is a firmware update for the Fritzbox?
Does anyone else have the same problem with the same router?
Do you have the same problem with a wired connection to the FB?
Have you tried manually setting your DNS in your MacBook's Network Prefs to Google's public DNS servers:
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
?
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rindiCommented:
How far away from the router are you when you get those issues? Are there obstructions between the router and the laptop? Are there other devices that could cause interference, like micro waves, neighboring routers etc?
1
strungCommented:
Rindi has a good point. You might download the freeware NetSpot (  http://www.netspotapp.com/netspotpro.html ) to see what your signal strength is and that of other nearby wifi networks. NetSpot will tell you what channels are being used by each network and if a nearby network is on the same channel as yours, you might try changing channels.

The best channels to use, assuming you are in the 2.4GHz band, are 1, 6 and 11 as they do not overlap.
1
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XeronimoAuthor Commented:
Hi strung,

> Have you checked to see if there is a firmware update for the Fritzbox?
Yes

> Does anyone else have the same problem with the same router?
I'm able to connect to the Internet via my iPhone while the Macbook has its DNS problems again ...

> Do you have the same problem with a wired connection to the FB?
No, only via wifi on the Macbook

> Have you tried manually setting your DNS in your MacBook's Network Prefs to Google's public DNS servers:
8.8.8.8,  8.8.4.4?
Yes, that doesn't help since the problem is already between the Macbook and the router/Fritzbox > no replies or huge lags
0
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
rindi:

> How far away from the router are you when you get those issues? Are there obstructions between the router and the laptop? Are there other devices that could cause interference, like micro waves, neighboring routers etc?

I'm currently pinging the router from the place I sit most often: the replies range from 1 ms to 30000ms to no reply at all ...

And it seems like my iPhone has a stable connection, unlike the Macbook. But the problem seems to be only, or mostly only, at my place. I worked at a certain place for 3 weeks and had no problems ...
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XeronimoAuthor Commented:
Here's what NetSpot gives me:

ss
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rindiCommented:
Then possibly you are too far away from the router, or there are walls or other obstructions between you and the router, or the antenna within the laptop is badly aligned.
1
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
rindi: but if I was too far away then shouldn't the ping be bad on a continuous basis? and why would the iPhone's wifi antennas be better than the Macbook's?
0
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
right now the connection is perfect, by the way, but that can change again in a minute ...
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strungCommented:
I assume your network is "BigBrother". Is that correct?

There are two other networks also on channel 1. You could try switching to channel 6, which seems clearer.

Do you have the same problem if you move closer to the router?
1
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
Yes, that's me.

I have to check if the problem is the same when I'm closer ... can't check right now since the problem does not show itself right now ...

I'll try switching to 6 though.
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rindiCommented:
The signal strength can very, even if you stay at the same location, so the connection can also vary.
0
serialbandCommented:
FYI.  There's another router on Channel 9 that has a stronger signal than the 2 that are on channel 1.  Channel 9 overlaps with both Channel 6 and 11.  It may help, but I don't think that will entirely solve your problem.


Get a router that does 5 GHz.  Get 802.11ac support if you have a Mac newer than ~3 years old.  Older Macs only support up to 802.11n.  802.11n does support 5 Ghz too.  The 5GHz band is much wider and supports more channels so that they don't overlap.  You'll get less interference.

The 2.4 GHz on the Macbook has become spotty with some access points ever since Apple started throttling wifi power to preserve battery life.  I also see that your signal is quite weak in the screen capture.  I've had to boost the power on the corporate wifi access points for the Macs to stay connected and split off the 2.4 GHz network to avoid letting any Macs get on the 2.4 GHz band.  The 2.4 GHz band is polluted with lots of Wifi (25-30 here) and gets frequent disconnections on Macs since at least Mavericks.  They've improved it, but they're still throttling to save battery power and the 2.4 GHz band seems much more susceptible to interference when they do that.  Microwave ovens also operate at 2.4 GHz.
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strungCommented:
Just looking at your screen shot, -73 is a pretty weak signal. I am two floors up from my router and still get -55.

With two other competing networks on the same channel, it is no wonder you are having problems.

With respect to the suggestion to switch to the 5 GHz network, that might not help if you are not close to the router. The 5Ghz signal does not travel as well as the 2.4GHz signal.

For instance, I have a dual band Apple Time Capsule and I get a signal to noise ratio of -55 on the 2.4 GHz channel, but only -68 on the 5 GHz channel.
0
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the comments!

- the Fritzbox is able to emit in 5Ghz, I'm gonna try that too then
- as for the -73: there's only one (small) room between me and the router (but thus two walls) and the number goes, of course, down when I get nearer to the router ... but what I find weird is that at times it goes, in the same spot, without problems and then at other times it loses the connection completely ...
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strungCommented:
There may be intermittent interference from other 2.4 MHz devices like microwave ovens or cordless telephones.
But -73 is way too poor for something so close. I wonder if the place it is situated in is causing the problem. If there is something large and metal in the way, like a refrigerator, that could be masking the signal. You could try moving the FB.

What level signal do you get in the same room?
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serialbandCommented:
I find that my 5 GHz equipment emits a stronger signal at the same distance, but that will depend entirely on your equipment.  5 GHz will attenuate more than 2.4 GHz, and through solid objects, but you will suffer less interference from other equipment that use the same frequency.  It really depends on the factors affecting you.  Is that partition wall a solid concrete structural element or is it a internal dividing wall made of gypsum or wood?  How close is the access point to you?
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XeronimoAuthor Commented:
strung: in the same room the level signal is -37

no refrigerator or microwave near by (at least not in my flat) ... there's a kitchen on the other side of the wall though I think ... but that's in the other direction?
0
XeronimoAuthor Commented:
serial: the two walls are concrete. the distance from where I sit to the router is about 10m
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strungCommented:
Sounds like there may be something in the middle room blocking the signal.
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XeronimoAuthor Commented:
there's only a bedroom though ...
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strungCommented:
Steel bookshelf maybe, or filing cabinet or wardrobe?
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serialbandCommented:
Concrete usually means reinforced concrete, and that has steel rebar.  Concrete also contains water and that will attenuate wifi signals.  You need something that can either generate a stronger signal or you need an additional access point.  10 meters is normally not that far for an access point, but you may want to move it closer because of the concrete wall.
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XeronimoAuthor Commented:
can't move it closer, have to use an extender then or something?
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strungCommented:
Can you move the location of the Fritzbox in the room it is in? Try sitting it on a window ledge.
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strungCommented:
Have a look at this article about what might be interfering with your signal:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/01/christmas-fairy-lights-ruining-wi-fi
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