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Linksys WRT54G V1.1, WPA, and Airport Extreme Incompatibility

December 20, 2006

There were times when I was not able to connect my PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro to certain WPA-enabled Wireless Access Point. I would guess that there’s some kind incompatibility of the WPA implementation between the Access Point and Airport Extreme driver.

The equipments:

  • Linksys WRT54G V1.1 with firmware version 4.30.5, WPA-TKIP enabled
  • 15″ PowerBook G4 1.67GHz, Radeon Mobility 9700, 1440×960, Mac OS X 10.4.8 with all the latest updates (12.19.2006)
  • 15″ MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.0GHz, Radeon X1600, Mac OS X 10.4.8 with all the latest updates (12.19.2006)
  • 15″ MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.0GHz, Radeon X1600, Boot Camp 1.1.2 beta, Windows XP with SP2

Both the PowerBook G4 and the MacBook Pro (Mac OS X 10.4.8) were unable to connect to the Wireless Access Point when WPA is enabled. Both Macs could connect Wireless Access Point without any problems when the wireless encryption was turned off.

I booted up Windows XP on the MacBook Pro, and had no problems connecting to Wireless Access Point with or without the wireless encryption.

I didn’t have the problem when connecting to Linksys WRT54G V3 or higher.


MacBook Pro and DLink DWL-514 Incompatibility


MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo @

Macbook Core 2 Duo @

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jordan permalink
    February 7, 2007 1:17 pm

    I have the same issue with my MB and WRT54g… did you find a fix? I’m peve’d because that was the only configuration I could get my other stuff to all work on.

    If you have the early revisions Linksys WRT54G you might be out of luck. I had success with later revisions of WRT54G after I updated the firmware to the latest.
    — the v

  2. todd permalink
    September 9, 2007 9:31 am

    I’m having a similar problem. Am using Netgear WPN824 with latest firmware (v 2.0.15_1.0.11) and can successfully run WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK on my WinXP and Vista machines. But the same setup on my Macbook (2.1GHz core duo – Airport Extreme v1.1.9.3) doesn’t allow me to browse the web externally. Even more strange, i can browse the web servers on the LAN side (192.168.1.x) but can’t browse on the WAN side. When i turn off all encryption and security on the access point, Macbook browsing works fine (note: doesn’t matter what modulation i’m using, b or g have exactly the same results). The only security level that works on the AP and lets me browse externally is 64bit WEP but i am getting lots of receive packet errors on the Aircard interface. When operating clear without security (WEP, WPA or WPA2) i get zero receive errors. When using any of these 3 security options, then i get roughly the same receive error rate.

    I’m really stumped on this. I can connect no problem with my WindowsMobile PDAs using WPA-TKIP but i can’t get this Macbook to do it!

    I have been having problems with MIMO routers. First thing you’d want to do is to turn off all the “extra” features such as range booster, speed booster and MIMO if possible. If nothing else works, unfortunately it is easier to get another router.

    Try setting the encryption to WPA2-PSK only, and see if it works with the Macs.

    Once again, I’d personally get rid off all the MIMO routers, and the early pre-N routers. They are nothing but troubles.

  3. todd permalink
    September 9, 2007 9:39 am

    Also, i’m running OS X 10.4.10

  4. Your Average Joe permalink
    February 3, 2008 9:00 am

    I have the problem with WRT54GL 1.1 access point at work and at home I have a pair of WRT54G 3.1 routers with the same DDWRT firmware 2.4 beta RC 6.2 and basically the same settings. My older MacBook FA254LL/A 802.11a/b/g works fine!

    My New Core2 Duo FB061LL/B 802.11 a/b/g/n is NOT working!

    How disappointing that a newer notebook has WIFI compatibility issues! I am glad i stumbled across this page, I was on the phone with Apple tech support for 90 minutes yesterday. 😦

    It has something to do with WPA implementations. I’d first try updating the firmware to the latest, and then play with the wireless settings. Lots of older wireless access points are not necessarily compliant with 802.11n wireless.

  5. February 17, 2008 8:10 am

    If you are using a Linksys WRT54G router, be sure to download and install the latest version of the firmware. To be able to download the firmware you can connect directly to your modem using your PPeO login info provided by your Internet service provider. (in the download section, select your specific router model number. it is written under your router. Mine is WRT54G v.5)

    To install that firmware update, you should connect your Mac to the back of the router using an Ethernet cable (major bug: I wasn’t even able to access the control panel of the router using air port ????? ) Select the administration Tab / Firmware upgrade. Select the “.bin” file that you downloaded from the linksys website and press “Upgrade”. Disconnect the Ethernet cable between your computer and the router, select your wireless network as you usually do and it should work fine. Probably even better than before.

    It totally solves the problem for me.

    Hope it can solve many peoples problem, especially the non power user that probably want to kill somebody right now !@#$%?&*()

  6. barry permalink
    June 28, 2008 7:49 pm

    I’ve got a G4 and a macbook pro. My wireless router is a wgt624. I was using WEP, but moved to WPA for better security.

    The g4 has no few issues and no errors with the wireless (WEP or WPA). Occationally after I bring it out of sleep it doesn’t connect to wireless. A quick off/on of the airport and its going again.

    the macbook pro doesn’t work on wireless. It connects fine, but is very slow, even with a very strong signal. when I look at “network utility” I notice a large number of packet errors. The macbook pro has also had trouble connecting to other “open” wireless networks.

    Turn-off the “Super-G” features. Upgrade the router firmware to the latest.
    Change the transmission rate to default or auto.

    hope this help.

  7. barry permalink
    June 29, 2008 9:14 am

    super G features are turned off. I just tested and it the encryption that is screwed up on the macbook pro. If I turn off encryption on the router then the macbook, the g4 and my Dell d600 all work. Turn on encryption of any kind and the g4 and Dell continue to work, the macbook pro just generates packet errors.

    I see LOTS OF THIS STUFF on the Internet. Is APPLE planning on FIXING THIS?

    Is it possible to turn on WPA2 on this wireless router? Try that option.
    One way to troubleshoot is to rest the wireless router to its factory default, then apply the WPA, WPA2 or both if possible.

    Look for any wireless options for “short preamble”

    Please let us know how it goes.

  8. Bro permalink
    August 7, 2008 5:37 pm

    Hardly apple’s problem, mate. Sounds like Linksys’s fuckup to me.

    • PC Pimp permalink
      November 16, 2009 10:03 am

      Hardly Apple’s problem huh? Is that why nobody on here is bitchin about Windows or Linux? Linksys is made by Cisco in case you forgot. Maybe if Crapple got their shit together you wouldn’t run into issues like this. Geeze. How sickening this trendy, hipster Mac movement makes me.

  9. PeerlesS permalink
    August 11, 2008 12:26 pm

    Hi people, I had the issue with “invalid password” on WPA/WPA2.
    Fixed it with changing the auth method on my router (Linksys WRT54GL – WRT v24 SP1) in “Wireless -> Advanced Settings” from Shared Key to Auto

  10. November 3, 2008 1:48 am

    I’m having the exact same problem as todd !
    My Macbook Pro cannot browse externally when
    using WPA2, even though it browses my LAN fine
    and default route is set properly. traceroute toward the outside world shows most hops as unreachable, although there are a couple of successful hops. Very strange. Note I’m using a different router: Juniper Networks – Netscreen NS5-GT

  11. Oliver permalink
    December 11, 2009 1:54 pm

    try changing wpa passphrase to 13 letters. worked for me!

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