How to Connect a Mac to WiFi

1 Credentials

In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

? Do you know your Wireless Network name (SSID) and Key?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers or gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, check the documentation that came with your device.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router / gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. By default, it will be in the upper right corner near the time and date.
    Wi-Fi symbols.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose Turn Wi-Fi on.
    macOS Wi-Fi menu with Wi-Fi On highlighted.
  3. The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.
    Wi-Fi menu with signal strength indicator highlighted.

  4. Select the Wireless Network Name (SSID) of the network you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi menu with networks highlighted.
  5. Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.
To help troubleshoot the problem we should check if other devices can connect to the wireless network.

If other wireless devices are connected to the network and functioning properly, chances are the router is OK. It's possible there is an environmental issue. Do you have a portable wireless device (Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop, etc.) that you can put in the same area to test and see if that device's wireless connection still functions as intended in that location?

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power

At this time, Apple has not indicated that there are any compatibility issues with specific models of networking equipment on the market. To ensure that your specific networking equipment and all settings will work properly with your Mac computer, please reach out to the manufacturer directly for further assistance.

Some wireless routers broadcast a dual-band wireless signal and provide both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. Your device may not see the 5GHz network, which is completely normal. Not all devices contain the antenna to communicate on the 5GHz band. Also, some routers broadcast guest networks that your device may not be able to connect to depending on your router's settings.

If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

Your router may need to be relocated to a more centralized location in order to provide better coverage for all your devices.

Good Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the center of a house will provide better coverage to reach all devices. Diagram.

Bad Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the corner of the house can cause some devices to not have a Wi-Fi signal. Diagram.

Since this appears to be a range issue that can be resolved by putting the router in closer proximity to the device's intended use area, we recommend moving the router to a more centralized location.
If the wireless signal is not reaching the device and moving the router or device in closer proximity is not possible or doesn't resolve the issue, the best option for wireless connectivity is to get a range extender.
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here
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