Activating Wireless Security makes macbook unable to connect to WiFi

Hi everyone!

I have a Xiaomi mi AC2100 set up and running with Openwrt 19.07.4 r11208-ce6496d796.
I have been able to configure the WLAN correctly in 5GHz and 2.4GHz, except for one thing: my old Macbook Pro retina mid-2012 (broadcom card - 802.11n) cannot connect to the AP when authentication is enabled. Other devices work fine, including an old iPhone.

On the MBP, after entering the WiFi password, I get the error :

The Wi-Fi network XYZ could not be joined.
Try moving closer to the wireless router.

But I am right next to the router!

I have been able to isolate the issue to the authentication function.
Very simply: using the stock configuration with an open Openwrt SSID, the MBP is able to connect wirelessly. Just enabling wireless security (after forgetting the network in the MBP WiFi config) makes the device unable to connect. I tried various options, such as mixed WPA2/WPA3 PSK, SAE (CCMP) or simply WPA2 PSK (CCMP), but I always get the error no matter what.

Any idea what I should be looking at in order to solve this ?

A new Macbook :rofl:

I suspect software issues in old MacOS. Since everything else can connect

Exactly, right when they launch the M1 ! :slight_smile:

Joke aside, I was able to narrow down the issue to the 802.11w option. Disabling it completely with WPA2-PSK security allows the machine to connect.
Still no luck with mixed WPA2/WPA3 PSK.

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You could always try to upgrade the wifi module in the computer, to something newer, at least ac capable.

No guarantee it'll solve your 11w problem though, trial and error.

Thanks, yes I am thinking about it. It is roughly a 25€ upgrade, and pretty easy to do I might add. Also much recommended if I want to run Big Sur.
Although I might just upgrade the old machine and sell this one. :slight_smile:

But here, the issue is really about wireless security (and 802.11w), so unless the wireless module handles authentication in hardware, I would think it is more tied to the software.

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