iPad Users: Good Luck With Those Wi-Fi Problems

If you're one of the many iPad users having trouble maintaining a Wi-Fi connection, we have good news and bad news for you.

If your iPad is having trouble connecting to the Internet due to Wi-Fi issues, we have good news and bad news.

The good news is that Apple has acknowledged the problem and offered a list of possible solutions, and Apple's forumgoers have chimed in with their own fixes. The bad news is you have to troubleshoot from a long list of potential problems to figure out what's really wrong.

In other words, don't expect an easy patch that'll make all the iPad's Wi-Fi troubles go away.

Let's start with the one workaround Apple is offering. The company notes that "under certain conditions," the iPad doesn't automatically reconnect to Wi-Fi after waking from sleep mode. The solution applies only to multi-band routers, and requires users to create separate Wi-Fi profiles for each band.

Apple forum member "batzgam" found a weirder solution to the no-Wi-Fi-after-sleep problem: Set the iPad's brightness above minimum. "I don't know if this is a bug, or an undocumented power-saving feature for low-power night reading, but I'm happy with my iPad again," batzgam wrote. Other users found success with the same fix.

Apple's other tips are more general, such as "move closer to the Wi-Fi router or hotspot," or "check for any sources of potential interference," such as microwave ovens. My advice? Go to a coffee shop or library that you know has free, public Wi-Fi (think of it as a chance to show off your new, not totally functional slab of hardware). If the iPad connects, it's a router problem. If not, it's an iPad problem.

At least one iPad owner claims that problems with weak or intermittent signals went away after exchanging the iPad at the Apple store. I doubt Apple will encourage people to do this, but it's worth keeping in mind after exhausting all these other options.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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