I've been elevated to a Senior Tech at Apple Care and he's stumped too. I can't get into the Mac App Store, seemingly regardless of what network I'm on. All other internet apps seem to function, but when I open the App Store, it says that it cannot connect because I don't have an active internet connection. We did a packet capture and sent it to the engineers, but their only theory was that somehow my hotel wifi connection is blocking my network MAC address from being sent to the Apple Servers.

Does anyone have any idea how you would set up a network to do that? To block a user's MAC address from being sent to a server? And why would they want to do that?

  • Please add the exact url you are unable to get to. The app store is at apple.com/au/osx/apps/app-store.html - are you able to get to other parts of the apple.com site? – Paul Jan 31 '13 at 4:14
  • @paul I guess the OP means the app store, an application in OS X. // Can you try and see if it works on another user account perhaps? – slhck Jan 31 '13 at 7:50
  • Are you running the hamachi VPN client user194169? – Paul Jan 31 '13 at 8:00
  • We've tried another user account. The senior tech asked about all my additional apps and couldn't find anything that should be blocking access. It's really a conundrum. And @Paul it's not an App that you get to via a web address. More like the iTunes store that runs within the app itself. Also, I have the tunnelblick VPN client but I'm not currently using it. – A-ron Jan 31 '13 at 16:44
  • You mention hotel internet connection - most hotels I know have access points that replace internet pages with their own. Can you check for that? – bdecaf Mar 14 '14 at 12:27

A network administrator may control access to external websites on their network for many different reasons.

I am unsure why your MAC address would need to be sent to the Apple Servers for verification and if that were the case, perhaps you would receive a different error message.

You mention that you cannot access the App Store regardless of what network you are on, so I am unsure how the theory of the hotel blocking data being sent came to be.

It is possible an application on your Mac is interfering with establishing a connection between your computer and the App Store server.

Without any more information, I fear I cannot provide any troubleshooting steps but I hope I answered some of your questions.

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  • I'm not sure why the MAC address would need to be sent, either. But the senior tech told me that that is what they use for verification within the App Store. So the theory is that for some reason, my MAC address is not getting from my computer to the App Store server. But as I said, every other app that accesses the net seems to work just fine. – A-ron Jan 31 '13 at 16:52

As it turned out, it was a security certificate issue. I can't exactly remember if it was an com.apple certificate or a Verisign certificate, but a couple of them had the little blue plus on their icons in Keychain Access. Correcting the trust settings according to the Apple engineer's settings fixed the problem. Who knew?!

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Firstly, If your statement "No matter what network I am on" is accurate, then your internet service is irrelevent.

The issue appears to be specific to your computer.

Backup anything you want to keep safe, you most likely won't lose anything, but if you feel that something can not be replaced, copy it somewhere safe before you follow these suggestions.

Turning off Firewall and Antivirus programs will leave your computer un-protected while they are off. Once you find the problem turn them back ON to protect your computer.

The simple steps to try are:

1) The settings for your app may be corrupted, try un-installing the program and re-installing it. If you are asked by your computer to allow access for something, chances are it is required by your firewall software, say yes (ALWAYS read the notice carefully to see what it is asking).

Some programs will ask if you want to remove your personal/user settings. Say NO if asked. If the issue is not corrected, remove it again, say YES and re-install.

2) Turn OFF your firewall, and try to log in

3) Turn OFF Windows Firewall, try to log in

4) Turn off your anti-virus, try to log in (Your anti virus MAY scan all internet traffic to help protect you, stop this behavior for now).

5) Your HOSTS file may be re-routing the network traffic internally. If you installed something like Spybot Search and Destroy, try removing the immunization and see what happens.

This is just a starting list. With out more information, I can not be more specific.

If you find your solution, Please reply with what it took to fix this issue so others may also fix theirs.

Thank you


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  • 1
    The OP owns a Mac. Your suggestions are all for Windows. – slhck Jan 31 '13 at 7:52

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