For the past few weeks, my MacBook has been slow to hook up to my home wifi network. Every time I booted up or woke my Mac from sleep, there would be a short (about 20-30 second) delay before it would properly auto-connect. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I have lots of scheduled apps (backups, updates, IM, etc.) and they’d all report errors or fail when they couldn’t promptly find a network connection.
Turns out the problem was simply one of priority. The top network in my “preferred networks” list was one that doesn’t broadcast it’s SSID (network name). By simply moving all such networks to the bottom of the list, I connected instantly. I figure that during the time Airport appeared to be non-responsive, it was actually attempting to connect to this hidden wireless network.