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Some iPads showing weak, inconsistent Wi-Fi connections

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon April 5, 2010

Apple acknowledges at least one problem

Some iPad users are suffering serious problems with their Wi-Fi connections, talk on Apple's support forums reveals. A number of tablets are said to be experiencing weak connections in spots where other devices, including Macs and iPods, have no trouble whatsoever. Transfer speeds can fall to a fraction of their normal levels. Connections may in fact degrade within a matter of minutes, potentially dropping entirely.

The problem could be related to an issue Apple has already acknowledged, in which an iPad won't automatically join a Wi-Fi hotspot after waking or rebooting. That conflict has been traced back to dual-band Wi-Fi routers in which both networks use the same name, or have different security settings. The solution involves renaming one of the networks, and/or setting both of them to use the same security protocol, such as WPA2. Apple also insists that iPad owners should ensure their router firmware is up-to-date, and reset their iPad's network settings if all else fails.

by MacNN Staff



  1. AlenShapiro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not to worry...

    Apple will just release a patch that will present a fuller signal bar, using a metric that does not correlate to throughput, and most of the problems will vanish. Worked for battery indicators and iPhone WiFi.

    ...problem solved!

    (ps, tongue-in-cheek, well somewhat)

  1. aross99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Slow WiFi Connection....

    I also noticed that my iPad seems to connect to my Airport Extreme (802.11b ver 1 in b/g/n compatibility mode) at only 39Mb/s. I can see the connection speed from the Airport setup utility.

    Not really noticeable when surfing, but it does seems odd, when my iPhone shows 54Mb, and my MPB shows 130Mb.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is this similar to the problem between iPhones and certain routers, particularly Netgear models? It's not exactly a solution to upgrade the router firmware if you don't own the router! I don't think you local coffee house would be impressed!

  1. Mrjinglesusa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've experienced this problem as well...

    When waking from sleep, my wireless connection sometimes only attains 1 bar, whereas before sleeping I consistently had full bars (iPad is used in same room as Wireless-N router). Renewing the lease seems to help sometimes.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WiFi access testing

    WiFi issues and overheating seemed to be the perennial problems with Apple gadgets. The iPad uses too little power to overheat, but that fashionable metal case can't be good for WiFi signals.

    MacNN should try an experiment. Pick a couple of dozen typical locations from coffee shops to office spaces, mark a random spot on a table, and place in that space as many Apple gadgets as can easily be transported about, taking care to include the latest MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and iPod touch and (of course) the iPad. Pay no attention to the signal bars, since as AlenShapiro notes, they can lie. Simply seem how many WiFi signals can be picked up from that location. Then create a table and tabulate the results for all to see.

  1. panjandrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mine has extremely poor reception

    Mine has extremely poor reception. I have a (new) Airport Extreme, and in our living room where laptops get a full signal (and I really do mean full: my wife's MacBook Pro, which also has a metal body, gets an absolutely perfect 300Mbps connection in that location), my iPod gets a very poor signal which is so bad that it even cuts completely out sometimes. I had to walk the iPad into the same room as my router to get a movie rental to download, otherwise it kept failing during the download. I did a bit of "walking around the house and property" tests, and if I were to pick a number out of my posterior, I would guess that my iPad gets a connection around 20-25% as strong as it should be. That really isn't a good sign. Hopefully something is just wrong with some of our iPads and they can replace or repair them, because if the entire product line has WiFi reception this poor I think it is going to spell trouble.

  1. Sukoshi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mine has very good reception

    I have a new airport extreme, and in the furthest reaches of the house, one floor down from the extreme, where the macbook pro chokes, I get full bars and good speed on the iPad.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should just replace the iPads

    that are having problems, otherwise it's going to turn into a world-class fiasco for the pundits and bloggers and a field day for the iHaters.

    Of course, Apple is going to have to acknowledge that there is a problem before they can patch it.

  1. facebook_Frank

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2012


    Fix iPad wifi issues

    I was very happy when I got my hands on the new iPad. I didn't notice this at first, but when I took the tablet into my backyard, and my iPhone was able to pick up my router signal without a hassle; the iPad didn't pick up the network at all. This became a nightmare for me. After looking for a solution to this issue for quite some of time, I was just about to give up, and RMA the iPad. Finally I landed on a review of a case from Pong Research . They produce these really interesting cases that have an antenna in between layers of the back cover, which redirects and boost the wifi signals into/from the antenna built-in the iPad. It solved my range issue. It also comes with an improved version of the Apple Smart Cover, which allows you to fold it and stand on 5 different useful positions, and still maintain the sleep/wake function.

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