(1st Gen) iPad Wi-Fi Connection Problems–FIXED! (Updated)

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  1. twirth5 says:

    You’re welcome! Be sure to also visit our Web site!

  2. Nick says:

    I also have an WRVS4400N. While my connection was reasonably solid using iOS 3.2.2, once I upgraded to 4.2.1 I had lots of connection drops just like you describe. Sometimes it seemed so bad that every 10 minutes I’d have to toggle airplane mode on/off to reconnect. I’ve tried most of the things you’ve mentioned here.

    I did eventually find two helpful settings that may be specific to the router.

    1) Setting Channel Bandwidth (Wireless|Advanced Settings) to 20 mHz rather than 20/40 mHz nearly doubled my throughput. Talk on the apple forums suggests that the 40 mHz signal causes interference that the iPad cannot deal with.

    2) Changing the Key Renewal (Wireless|Security Settings) to the maximum of 99999 made a significant difference in the number of connection drops.

    Since making those two changes about a week or so ago, I’ve only had to manually reconnect a hand full of times. So it’s not fixed, but much more tollerable.

    My theory is that the router is rotating its keys but the iPad isn’t listening. Once they’re out of sync, the connection must be reestablished to continue.

    • Terry Wirth says:

      After I discovered the Auto-Lock trick, I eventually disabled the WVRS4400N’s security altogether, hid the SSID and turned off SSID broadcasting because I was having WEP issues with other legacy devices. Not one of the combination of WEP/WPA settings that I tried was reliable for all of my devices. While I love the reliability of the router because it’s got a strong radio and I don’t have to re-boot it every couple of days, the security doesn’t work well for my situation.

      BTW, since then, I also put my cable modem, router and switches on battery backup units because they deliver clean power for router reliability and if the power goes out, we can still surf until the backup batteries run out. They draw very little current so the batteries should last for hours.

      After iOS 4.2.1., I re-activated the iPad auto-lock feature and it worked fine. However, by this point I had also turned off security at the router. Unfortunately, I started having weak connection problems once again so I did a little more research and bit the bullet–I changed the router from B/G/N – Mixed to B/G-Mixed. Since then I have not had a problem with the iPad or any other device. I haven’t had a chance to turn security back on and see what happens yet, but this setup works perfectly to this day:

      1. Security off, hidden SSID and SSID broadcasting off. In this scenario, somebody would have to know your SSID in order to find the device. You may want to change your SSID to something unique. See more rationale concerning security concerns below.
      2. Use Wireless N-only mode if don’t have any legacy devices. Fool with a couple of different wireless channels or choose “Auto.” I’m using channel 11.
      3. Try using Wireless B/G – Mixed mode. Basically, you’re using a slower transmission speed but most likely it’s still a heck of a lot faster than your Internet connection.

      I thought long and hard before doing the no security/SSID thing and came up with a couple of excuses:

      1. I live in a townhome community. There’s no wardriving going on here. There’s also a heck of a lot more low-hanging fruit out there with unsecured SSIDs in plain sight.
      2. If somebody wants my financial information bad enough, they can get it other ways and will probably end up getting it from some other source that I have no control over.
      3. What else could they possibly want besides the ability to plant trojans? My rounter has an excellent password, all my systems are locked down and maintained pretty well and are behind NAT and firewalls.

      It’s kind of depressing to think that our combination of devices could have such serious reliability issues. It’s like why should we bother to jump through hoops to get these things working rather than scream bloody murder about it?

      If so, who do we scream at? What would be the most effective screaming strategy?

      Your thoughts are welcome . . .

  3. wifi connection is OK.The connection is Piachilly and gets connected alright but with a sign of lock.
    My other computors are working and the wifi does not show the symbol locked.
    Can you help.
    Swami Sarvabhutananda

    • Terry Wirth says:


      It sounds like you need to:

      1) Enter the proper WEP/WPA security code. If this doesn’t work:
      2) Downgrade the WPA security a level at a time on the wireless router. If this doesn’t work:
      3) Try WEP security. If this doesn’t work:
      4) Turn off security. If it connects:
      5) Hide the SSID so that nobody can see your network. Keep in mind that anybody who is determined and has a sniffer can still find your network but the average Joe will not see it and can only log in if they know the SSID. As a precaution, you may want to change it to something a bit esoteric.

      Let me know how this works out for you.

      Best regards,

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