Why is my new Apple Mac Mini struggling to connect to Wi-Fi?

Why is my new Apple Mac Mini struggling to connect to Wi-Fi?

I recently bought a new Mac Mini. The 2023 edition, like the following devices, has Wi-Fi 6E, which should mean it has a better connection to the internet, especially if you are very close to a new Wi-Fi router:

  • MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023) or MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023)
  • Mac mini (2023)
  • Mac Studio (2023)
  • Mac Pro (2023)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation) or iPad Pro 12.9 inch (6th generation)

The presence of Wi-Fi 6E, though, turned out to be our problem. Until recently, all Wi-Fi routers had two bands: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. 2.4Ghz is slightly slower but has a longer range. 5Ghz is faster but has a shorter range. I know the recommendation is to have them use the same SSID, but I always found that worked poorly, so I renamed the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, appending a 5 to the end of the faster one.

The new router and the new Mac Mini arrived around the same time, so we didn’t notice that the new router was the root (ahem), of our problems. Because the new router had Wi-Fi 6E, it came with the 6E SSID set to the same as the 5Ghz SSID. e.g.:

  • 2.4Ghz: Internet
  • 5Ghz: Internet5
  • 6E: Internet5

Having 5Ghz and 6E using the same SSID, but the 2.4Ghz using a different SSID was confusing only devices with 6E capabilities.

Fixing the issue

To fix this you have two options: Rename all bands to the same thing (“internet”) in the example above, or rename the 6E band to “Internet6” or something similar. As Mac Minis are stationary, I went with the latter – that way it can stay on the faster network and it will never be far from the router that it’s in the next room from.

So, if you have sudden-onset Wi-Fi issues, and if you have a Wi-Fi 6E capable router, perhaps your SSIDs need changing.

Like many creative people on þe internet, I have a Patreon account. If you would like to support my creative writing (on https://shortbooks.online) or my blogging efforts, please take a look at my Patreon page.

Become a Patron!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.