iPad has Wi-Fi issues; Apple blames non-Apple routers

Since the iPad's "magical" launch, users have been complaining about issues with the device's Wi-Fi connection. If an iPad, for whatever reason, lost its connection to a known wireless network, sometimes, it would fail to re-connect automatically.

Apple, however, has posted a support page acknowledging the issue, shifting the blame to non-AirPort routers. It seems as though the problem only rears its ugly head with dual-band capable routers. Besides making sure that your router's firmware is up-to-date, here's what Apple suggests:

  • Assign a different Wi-Fi network names to identify each band
  • Ensure that both networks use the same type of wireless security (WEP, WPA, WPA2, and so on)
  • If this doesn't work, reset your iPad's network settings (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings)

Besides for the Wi-Fi issue, as we reported earlier this week, iPad owners are irritated by the device's USB charging shortcoming. Most Windows PCs, in addition to older Macs, do not have USB ports that can output enough power to charge the iPad. To charge via USB without the need for an electrical outlet, iPad owners must seek a third party USB hub that provides extra power, or, opt for a computer that can support high output USB charging.

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I fail to see what the problem is.
There is a problem.
Apple admits the problem ( one that doesn't exist in their own Routers, likely by design ).
They suggest a way around it.

And are flamed ?
It's not like they said it's no problem and won't do anything about it.. Wouldn't surprise me if they are working on a fix right now..

Ryoken said,
I fail to see what the problem is.
There is a problem.
Apple admits the problem ( one that doesn't exist in their own Routers, likely by design ).
They suggest a way around it.

And are flamed ?
It's not like they said it's no problem and won't do anything about it.. Wouldn't surprise me if they are working on a fix right now..


Except from my experiences so far, the problem does exist with their routers. It's not severe at all and can be remedied in all of 10 seconds, but Apple is being a little sneaky by not mentioning that their own simultaneous dual band routers (AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule) do suffer from this same problem.

Elliott said,

Except from my experiences so far, the problem does exist with their routers. It's not severe at all and can be remedied in all of 10 seconds, but Apple is being a little sneaky by not mentioning that their own simultaneous dual band routers (AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule) do suffer from this same problem.
Fair point, I was unaware the issue existed in their products also..

Then again I can't blame them, they are a business after all lol

Customer: My iPad is losing wireless connectivity periodically.
Apple: It's your router.
Customer: But all my other devices are not having this problem, only the iPad!
Apple: It's your router.
Customer: ಠ_ಠ

m-p{3} said,
Customer: My iPad is losing wireless connectivity periodically.
Apple: It's your router.
Customer: But all my other devices are not having this problem, only the iPad!
Apple: It's your router.
Customer: ಠ_ಠ

If only everyone else could use this excuse.

Customer: My car won't stop accelerating.
Toyota: It's your shoes.
Customer: But it doesn't do it in any other car.
Toyota: It's your shoes.
Customer: ...

This, and Apple's response, is why the Ipod Touch will be the last Apple product I buy, no thank you Apple, keep your half-assed excuses and lame recharging requirments, I'll just buy an HP Tablet if I want a functional tablet device.

Azies said,
This, and Apple's response, is why the Ipod Touch will be the last Apple product I buy, no thank you Apple, keep your half-assed excuses and lame recharging requirments, I'll just buy an HP Tablet if I want a functional tablet device.

Good luck recharging that HP tablet off of USB. Seriously, why the **** do people think the charging thing is such a big deal? If your system can't charge it by USB then PLUG IT IN TO THE WALL LIKE EVERY OTHER TABLET. I mean, holy crap people.

Edited by Elliott, Apr 8 2010, 5:54am :

Yes Apple your router is the best in the world. Cuz you know everyone in the world buys everything from you.

I'll just say that my Linksys WRT600N and my Thinkpad with the Intel 4965AGN card can diffrentiate between 5Ghz and 2.Ghz no problem. They have the same SSID but i made the encryption for 2.4Ghz network only WPA and WPA2 for the 5Ghz one (same password however). My laptop always connects to the WPA2 one as that's the one it has credentials for.

As I don my flame-retardant hazmat suit, I say the following:

Apple has a point in that wireless anything that's run by people who don't know ISP from IP will always be flaky. And considering that that pretty much all antennas and receivers are made the same way, and by the same few manufacturers. It's not a stretch to say that there is some significant user error in many of these claims.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,
As I don my flame-retardant hazmat suit, I say the following:

Apple has a point in that wireless anything that's run by people who don't know ISP from IP will always be flaky. And considering that that pretty much all antennas and receivers are made the same way, and by the same few manufacturers. It's not a stretch to say that there is some significant user error in many of these claims.

That would be a fair assessment...except all of the other hundreds of thousands of devices that seem to work fine with most wireless routers

SkyyPunk said,
That would be a fair assessment...except all of the other hundreds of thousands of devices that seem to work fine with most wireless routers

And again, to be fair, this problem only exists with routers that have simultaneous dual band. There are very few of those on the market (hell, most people still use 802.11g routers, I imagine), so most people will never encounter this issue.

Edited by Elliott, Apr 8 2010, 5:17am :

This is purely Apple's fault. AP's advertise what encryption they're using along with their ESSID (plain text name of the WLAN) and BSSID (MAC address). The client needs to look for the BSSID that is broadcasting the ESSID that it wants with the same encryption type that it is set to use for the ESSID it is connecting to. The iPad's connection software is acting dumb and not checking if the BSSID has the same encryption type it wants, it's just seeing any BSSID with the ESSID it wants and then tries to connect.

pHuzi0n said,
This is purely Apple's fault. AP's advertise what encryption they're using along with their ESSID (plain text name of the WLAN) and BSSID (MAC address). The client needs to look for the BSSID that is broadcasting the ESSID that it wants with the same encryption type that it is set to use for the ESSID it is connecting to. The iPad's connection software is acting dumb and not checking if the BSSID has the same encryption type it wants, it's just seeing any BSSID with the ESSID it wants and then tries to connect.

Well if it's so simple, then I have no doubt that it'll be fixed. This is their first 802.11n device running on the iPhone OS. Apparently, they had a slight oversight involving two networks of the same name on different bands. It's something they already do properly in OS X, so I can't imagine a fix will be too hard to implement.

I have had wireless routers that were flaky before, but they were typically flaky across all connections. Sounds to me like Apple didn't test their device properly before releasing.

Even good wireless connections are a slave to interference and will go out occasionally. It is up to the device to be persistent about the connection. Sounds to me like the issue can somewhat be solved by better wifi drivers.

Being unable to connect (or remain reliably connected) to a dual-band router is Apple's problem. Dual-band routers and same-name networks are there just to make user experience better.

If the iPad WiFi software/hardware behaves like it should, there won't be a need to differentiate networks that are in different bands manually.

Seems to be pretty stupid. You can't control what kind of wireless access points (routers) other people or businesses will have. What makes this even more ridiculous is that many other wireless devices don't have this problem.

Neoauld said,
Hopefully the much better HP slates wont have this problem, apple products dont impress me at all

While i hope that other products will learn from this and the charging case, i think the HP slate is underpowered to run windows 7 with a GREAT user experience, unless it is highly tweaked now if it ran android, THAT would be great:)

morphen said,

While i hope that other products will learn from this and the charging case, i think the HP slate is underpowered to run windows 7 with a GREAT user experience, unless it is highly tweaked now if it ran android, THAT would be great:)

I agree, they should not went with Intel Atom, it's way too weak for Windows 7. If they want to save battery, they should have go with Intel CULV. Those are great with Windows 7 and lots of battery life.

They focus to much on the marketing and not enough on the actual device, there are clearly many other better devices but none have got 300,000 sales on the first day. To many sheep in the world.

Gaffney said,
They focus to much on the marketing and not enough on the actual device, there are clearly many other better devices but none have got 300,000 sales on the first day. To many sheep in the world.

Sold by Apple != Purchased by Users

Edited by Ryster, Apr 8 2010, 8:16am :

TrOjAn. said,
I can't believe this can happen..? Dont they double check their devices?
No one does anymore, especially when you are trying to keep a mega tight leash on a new product.
But look up the issues with the Spring HTC Hero on release. Can't download MMS when connected to Wifi (even with mobile service available), built in "messaging" app locked CPU causing 100% load a severe battery drain (few, 4, hours of batter life), camera issue, etc.

It's like the eternal problem on macbooks wifi airport dropouts, they never fix that I have that issue with my macbook and my 2wire router and I have to connect by ethernet because airport disconnects every 2 minutes... that sucks!!!! and I won't buy an airport router!!! thinking seriously in going back to Toshiba,... Apple SUCKS!!!!!

What disappoints me most is Apple's belief that it matters who's to blame. All users want is an update that fixes the problem.

Although I agree with the fact that the ipad wifi issue probably has more to do with software glitches and therefore Apple should acknowledge that, I personally don´t see the point regarding the charging topic....seriously people prefer to charge their gadgets slowly and inconsistently (since you may have to restart or it goes to stand by) instead I see a big step for apple to provide a AC charger.

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...


ROTFLMAO

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...

iPad is a hot topic, and we report on what will generate discussion. Whats the problem?

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...

Damn! so right! Can't stand this stupid iPad (iTampon)

Don't worry guys, iPhone OS 4.0 is getting revealed tomorrow, so we will have news stories about that instead!

acnpt said,
Don't worry guys, iPhone OS 4.0 is getting revealed tomorrow, so we will have news stories about that instead!

Oh noes!

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...


it's just the way the news flow goes. We also heard that people were sick of windows 7 news around launch. It's not neowin, it's the way the tech world is evolving

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...


Funny. I heard on the radio that some of the people that bought the iPad are already taking it back. The tech guy on the show only mentioned 3 or 4 people including himself but I wonder if we'll be hearing more stories like that.

aristofeles said,
6 P.M. here and just the 3rd iPad story for the day?!!

There is hope... maybe one more week and this will stop...


Top story on CNN: iPad factory destroyed in earthquake, shortage likely

Edited by DClark, Apr 8 2010, 12:10am : spelling

acnpt said,
Don't worry guys, iPhone OS 4.0 is getting revealed tomorrow, so we will have news stories about that instead!

Yes, it is amazing how media attention Apple gets.

Edited by wubi21, Apr 9 2010, 4:15am :

satus said,
Connect or not is iPad issue not router issue. Router is just simply a service provider.

Except it is a service provider that has to adhere to a strict set of standards in order for devices to work with it. When standards aren't followed, we end up with issues like this, or worse... and we all know how good router manufacturers are at creating perfectly-standards-compliant devices....

Of course, I agree with you completely that this is an issue with the iPad not the routers.

Does Apple only test their devices on Apple products? I can't help but think that if they tested it on multiple platforms this is something that could have been taken care of before release. Or do you think they just say f**k it, let them pay for adapters to charge it later?

Also, not sure if anyone else has the issue but the Wi-Fi issues with the iPad I've always had with my iPod touch. Randomly loses connection and doesn't always connect back up.

Tarrant64 said,
Does Apple only test their devices on Apple products? I can't help but think that if they tested it on multiple platforms this is something that could have been taken care of before release. Or do you think they just say f**k it, let them pay for adapters to charge it later?

Except you don't have to pay for an adapter to charge it. A 10W wall charger comes with the iPad.

As for testing, I imagine they do. But really, this problem happens with an Apple router anyway. They're just trying to deflect right now, which is really sneaky and low.

Edited by Elliott, Apr 7 2010, 8:41pm :

Elliott said,

Except you don't have to pay for an adapter to charge it. A 10W wall charger comes with the iPad.

As for testing, I imagine they do. But really, this problem happens with an Apple router anyway. They're just trying to deflect right now, which is really sneaky and low.

Ah, my mistake. Still, stuck with a wall charger is pretty lame if you have the problem.

Tarrant64 said,

Ah, my mistake. Still, stuck with a wall charger is pretty lame if you have the problem.

Apple are following the revised USB 2 specification. This is not a problem exclusive to the iPad.

Elliott said,

Except you don't have to pay for an adapter to charge it. A 10W wall charger comes with the iPad.

While most companies are going the universal charger route, Apple keeps getting more and more proprietary. They screwed the pooch with the iPad power cable if you ask me. Hope all the Apple fans like to carry around multiple chargers. I will stick with the one for my MP3 player, cell phone, camera, video camera, and my many other devices since they can and do use the same cable.

virtorio said,

Apple are following the revised USB 2 specification. This is not a problem exclusive to the iPad.

Its called backwards compatibility...and what other products are having this issue?

techbeck said,

Its called backwards compatibility...and what other products are having this issue?

Every external HDD enclosure that provides a Y-splitter USB cable for power. Same issue, that's why the HDD enclosures have two USB cables to plug-in.

It's unfortunate, but hopefully a temporary problem if Apple allows for WiFi syncing.

techbeck said,

While most companies are going the universal charger route, Apple keeps getting more and more proprietary. They screwed the pooch with the iPad power cable if you ask me. Hope all the Apple fans like to carry around multiple chargers. I will stick with the one for my MP3 player, cell phone, camera, video camera, and my many other devices since they can and do use the same cable.


Except the iPad charger is just a standard USB wall charger. It just happens to provide 10w.
So you can still carry one charger... it'll just be the iPad one, since it provides enough juice to power anything you mentioned.

At the same time, it sounds like you need to cut back on the number of devices you carry around. That must be one full backpack. I'd hate for it to get stolen...

Edited by cyberdrone2000, Apr 7 2010, 10:39pm :

owensd said,

Every external HDD enclosure that provides a Y-splitter USB cable for power. Same issue, that's why the HDD enclosures have two USB cables to plug-in.


odd, my Y-cable equipped USB hard drive enclosure runs fine on all of my systems - with only one of the plugs on the Y cable actually plugged in. i also have a standard cable (not Y) that also powers the drive fine. every system, every time, always works. (three different IBM ThinkPads, two Dell Inspirons, a Dell Dimension desktop, a Sony Viao laptop, and numerous 'Best Buy special' machines)

Madoshi said,

odd, my Y-cable equipped USB hard drive enclosure runs fine on all of my systems - with only one of the plugs on the Y cable actually plugged in. i also have a standard cable (not Y) that also powers the drive fine. every system, every time, always works. (three different IBM ThinkPads, two Dell Inspirons, a Dell Dimension desktop, a Sony Viao laptop, and numerous 'Best Buy special' machines)

Two possibilities. A) you're running those drives with diminished performance or B) those systems support the USB 2 charging spec. I'm gonna guess it's A. Trust me, Apple is not the first to require more power from a USB port, and they're not doing anything proprietary.

Elliott said,

Two possibilities. A) you're running those drives with diminished performance or B) those systems support the USB 2 charging spec. I'm gonna guess it's A. Trust me, Apple is not the first to require more power from a USB port, and they're not doing anything proprietary.

Or 2.5" HDDs only require the extra current on spinup, and as the USB port limits the current, this regulates how fast the HDD can spinup. Once at full speed there should be no performance degrdation.

Tim Dawg said,

Everyone else's fault but theirs

+over 9000

Can't be our fault that our product doesn't work with EXISTING residential technology. We can't be bothered with your hardware.

techbeck said,
Typical Apple really.

remember what Steve Jobs said a couple months back regarding iPad users and battery life...

haha - yeah right, a bug in the Ipad wifi is caused by non-apple routers. Funny how all non apple devices (and probably even all apple devices that aren't ipad's) work fine with these same routers.

I wonder how many "early adopters" are thinking about NOT buying apple next time?

Edited by dvb2000, Apr 8 2010, 6:12am :

dvb2000 said,

I wonder how many "early adopters" are thinking about NOT buying apple next time?

Probably not many. They love lapping it up and will continue no doubt.

hotdog963al said,
Typical first post on an Apple related news post really.

Only a post that a Apple lover can post...

Why not just admit it has problems and move on?