iMac won't connect to WiFi


Zarnium

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I recently moved into a new house that I share with multiple other people, and which has WiFi supplied by the landlord. My Windows laptop always has a strong signal with a fast connection, but my iMac (running 10.9.5) almost never does, even though it never had any problems at my old residence. It will say that I'm connected with maximum signal strength, but whenever I try to load a web page it will say that it cannot be reached, as though the internet were not connected at all. The WiFi will occasionally work for brief spurts, but this will never last for long, and it will usually not connect at all. I've tried numerous things; I've unplugged the router to reset it, I've turned the computer off and unplugged it for awhile before turning it on again, I've deleted the WiFi information and then added it again, I've ran a diagnostic... nothing has worked so far. I have no idea why my laptop connects perfectly fine but my iMac doesn't, nor do I know why it says it has a strong signal but won't actually load anything. I haven't fiddled with the router yet since it's not mine, but I can probably do so if someone can give me a lead.
 
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Hi,

How many devices and computers are using this network?
 

Zarnium

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I have no idea, because I haven't even seen some of my roommates yet, let alone know how many devices they are using. I could probably find out if I needed to.

That said, there's something I probably should have mentioned but it slipped my mind: my room is in the basement. I temporarily moved my iMac to the common room with the router in it to test if going closer would help, and it seems to be working perfectly. Of course, I'd really rather have it in my room, so this isn't a permanent solution. I'm really not sure why only my iMac isn't connecting properly in the basement, though, when my much cheaper laptop connects just fine. Is it possible that my iMac just has a weaker ability to pick up WiFi signals through thick basement walls or something? It is five years old by now, while my laptop is newer.

Anyway, I'll keep monitoring it in its current location for the next few days to make sure this isn't a fluke. Maybe I could persuade the landlord to buy a stronger router if you think that would help (I have no idea how old it is), and barring that, maybe I can just buy a really long ethernet cable and trail it to my room...

Edit: Actually, scratch that. I connected to the router with an ethernet cable and it gave me an IP address, but my iMac can't load anything. Then I tried connecting it directly to the ethernet cable from the wall, and that one wouldn't even give me an IP address. Come to think of it, in my old dorm room it wouldn't connect to the ethernet connection either, but I just assumed that the outlet on the wall was broken. Maybe my iMac is just busted? It's like it will only connect via WiFi to a router that's right next to it, and I never noticed before because I was never not next to a router or a strong University signal.
 
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Zarnium

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I tried using this WiFi range extender to see if I could boost the WiFi signal into my room, but still no dice. I tested it with my iMac in the same room with router, and it connected to the extender just fine. I then put my iMac in my room and put the extender just outside near the stairwell, and the extender will connect to the router and my iMac will connect to the extender, but it won't load any web pages! Do I need a more powerful extender or something? Is the signal not actually reaching the extender properly, just like it's not reaching my iMac? I can access the configuration page on the extender just fine, so it must be a problem with the extender's link to the router. I can also connect to it with ethernet just fine, so my iMac's ethernet connection does work, which confuses me even more because I've never been able to get it to connect via ethernet to the router. I was also not able to get the extender to work as an "access point" with the extender connected to the router with an ethernet cable. Is the router booting off only some of my devices and not others, or something? I'm at my wit's end. I can still try convincing my landlord to buy a stronger router, but I don't want to make him spend money unless I'm sure that will solve the problem.

I've tried all of this with my laptop too (which has always connected to the router perfectly well from the basement), and it's not connecting to the extender from the basement, either. So at least the problems with the extender aren't isolated to just my iMac.

And still, every one of these devices is saying it's connected and is receiving an IP address on every configuration I've tried. I have no clue why it's not actually working when all of the devices claim they're receiving an adequate signal.
 
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Zarnium

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Good news! I used MyPublicWifi to set my laptop up as an extender, and it works like a charm. Now I can return the other extender and don't even need to buy another one.
 

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