In the Morning Copy office we all use Apple Macs. We’ve found our Macs to be mostly hassle-free bits of kit, but there is one problem that seems to pop up on a semi-regular basis: Apple WIFI drop outs.

Drop outs don’t happen every day but they do happen regularly enough to annoy; especially when so much of our work requires us to be online.

Last month we put our heads together and decided to get to the bottom of the WIFI drop outs. After a few hours of detective work we found a solution that worked for us. That’s right, no more Apple WIFI drop outs!

Very important!

Morning Copy is an Online Media agency that specialises in Copywriting and Email Marketing. We are not IT professionals!

We provide this tutorial to help people who experience the same issue with Airport WIFI.

Please read over this tutorial before you change any settings on your computer or router and refer your problem to a real techy if you think it is above your knowledge level.

The problem.

When a new Mac logged onto the local WIFI network it would kick off the other Macs on the network. Navigating to the Network System Preferences would give you a message like:

  • Airport has a self assigned IP address and may not be able to connect to the internet.
  • AirPort does not have an IP address and cannot connect to the Internet.
  • Another device on the network is using your computer’s IP address.

We realised that the new Mac was ‘stealing’ the IP address of the other Macs connected to the network. Our solution was to lock down the IP address so it couldn’t be stolen again!

The solution.

Quick temporary fix. Manually enter your IP address.

Open System Preferences and choose Network. Select your Airport network from the left hand menu and click the Advanced button in the bottom right.


Select TCP/IP from the top navigation menu, then select Using DHCP with manual address from the top drop down menu.

Find out what range of IP addresses (eg. – that your WIFI router uses, then enter your chosen IP address into the iPv4 Address field.

Click OK to return to the Network section and then click Apply to apply your changes.

We’ve listed this as a temporary fix because manually assigning the IP address could cause problems for the user when they try to log onto other WIFI networks.

Permanent fix. Assign an IP address for each computer on the network through your WIFI router.

Log into your WIFI router and assign a unique IP address to every computer on the network. This is a permanent fix because it means each user will not have to update their settings when they try to log onto other networks.

Note: You will need to find the MAC address of each computer before you can assign an IP address to it.

10 Responses to How to solve Apple WIFI IP address conflicts

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dillon Connelly, WiFi News. WiFi News said: Fix Apple WIFI IP address conflicts | Morning Copy [...]

  2. Steven Noble says:

    I have been unable to find any guides to assigning a unique IP address to every computer on the network. Do you know of any?

  3. Steven Noble says:

    Ah, cheers! No wonder I was getting nowhere logging into my Airport base station (TimeCapsule)…

  4. Gene Ledbetter says:

    Problem: You see the message “Another device on the network is using your computer’s IP address” and you can’t connect to the Internet. In my experience, this only happens when running Apple’s AirPort on a wireless network. The problem is eliminated by using AirPort Utility to change the “Connection Sharing:” option to “Share a public IP address”. Here’s how it’s done (using my wife’s new iMac and AirPort Extreme wireless router as an example):

    (1) Turn on your modem and your router first, and wait until they have talked to each other and your router has a steady green light.

    (2) Turn on your computer.

    (3) Click on your Applications folder.

    (4) Inside the Applications folder, click on the Utilities folder.

    (5) Inside the Utilities folder, click on the AirPort Utility icon.

    (6) One of the window panes at the left side of the AirPort Utility display should show your router with a green light.

    (If the light is not green, check your router. WARNING: Any time your router is working properly, but you don’t see it in one of the panes, you need to restart your computer and return to step 3, above.)

    (7) Double click on the pane that shows your router.

    (8) Click on the Internet icon.

    (9) “Internet Connection” should be highlighted (rather than “TCP/IP”, etc.).

    (10) Set “Connection Sharing:” to the “Share a public IP address” option. (“Connection Sharing:” should NOT be set to either of the other two options.)

    (11) Click on the “Update” button, and then click on the “Continue” button.

    (12) Close AirPort Utility and — most important — restart your computer.

    With any luck at all, AirPort will behave itself now, and you will be able to connect to the Internet.

    Gene Ledbetter

  5. zayna says:

    hi gene….

    i tried doing the search in the airport utility like you said… but the scan just doesnt show any name in the left panel… no matter how many times i restart my router and my macbook i just cant get any results in the left pane…. please help :(


  6. Tobba says:

    Thank you for this, I think it is the Airport that is giving trouble. However I get this message in AirportStudy after I change to public IP (hence I don’t know the DHCP addresses and don’t know how to find them):

    Correct the 2 problems below before updating this AirPort Wireless deveice:

    DHCP Beginning Address
    DHCP Ending Address

    And it says “The DHCP range you have entered conflicts with the WAN IP of your apple wi-fi base station” and gives me a beginning address of numbers.

    Help! My MacAir will not find the wireless…


    • Ez says:

      I am having the same problem. What you need to do to fix it is to select a different range for the DHCP

      So for instance if your existing range is 192.168.0.x then you need to change it to: starting address: and ending address: (or whatever)

      The problem ultimatly is that your existing router is dishing out DHCP ip addresses to the devices attached to it. One of those devices is the Airport Express. What you are trying to achieve is to have the Airport Express dish out it’s own set of ip addresses to all the devices attached to it over wireless. This is why you need to create a new range. What you are doing is creating a subset of devices sitting on the Airport. The Airport will look like a single device to your existing router.

      I hope this works for you.

      • Nathan says:

        to EZ: among the hundreds of comments and suggestions on the web to this problem, your’s was the one that worked.

        for others: I have a Zyxel modem and an Airport Extreme, and had to change the scope of IP on the Extreme (through Airport Utility on Leopard) from something like originally 10…. to 172… or so. (choice of three only, the third one looked like the same scope as my guest network).

        Note that the airport utility on my other Mac (10.5.8) did not seem to give me that item / choice.

        Anyway – thanks!

  7. DraskoRS says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you million times!
    I spent four hours on internet searching for an answer from different “experts” and your solution is as simple as it can be. And what is most important
    IT WORKS!!!!
    You said at beginning: “We are not IT professionals!” but for me you are more than professionals. Thanks a lot one more time!

    Best regards,

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