I found a fix for my iPad wireless woes.

Posted by in Hardware, News, Tech

I learned a little more about WIFI technology yesterday. First, I learned that 802.11n will not work with WEP security. Second, I learned that the iPad has issues with WEP on Cisco wireless access points. Third, I learned that DHCP, the service that hands out IP addresses, on Cisco wireless must be handed out from the wireless controller.

I did not know that 802.11n, the new wireless standard that defines high speed wireless protocols, doesn’t support WEP security. If you use WEP security on your router then you are not getting the best performance on your wireless network. What I had to do was reconfigure my wireless router to use WPA and a pre-shared key. WPA is a security method, pre-shared key (PSK) is the method the password is set. After configuring my wireless network correctly I was able to take full advantage of the speed that 802.11n will give me.

I have read where some iPad owners are having issues with WIFI. Well, I was too yesterday, and after a few hours of trial and error I found that the iPad is not supporting WEP security well. That, by the way, is how I found out about the speed and WEP issued I talked about before. What is happening is the iPad keeps asking for the wireless password, sometimes it will connect but after awhile it would disconnect itself and ask for the password again. After testing with other devices I decided to ditch WEP security and jump to WPA. Now I a getting constant connections on the iPad and my iPhone as well.

DHCP (don’t you just love the commuter industry and it’s Acronyms for things) is the service that hands out IP addresses so your computer can talk over the Internet. Once I figured out the security incapability issue I found that I was not getting an IP address. It turns out that Cisco wireless controllers have issues handing out IP addresses in time to the iPad when they are issued from a different device. What you will need to do is have the wireless controller hand out the IP addresses for the wireless devices. After changing this I was able to reliably get an IP address on my iPad.

So there were two issues that had to be solved and one learning experience. Hopefully this will help you with your iPad adventures, and hopefully Apple will have a fix soon so we can use our iPad in places we can’t reconfigure the wireless to work.

In have also just read over the Internets that the iPad is having trouble with wireless networks that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I would recommend that you turn off one of the frequencies, I turned off 5 GHz because I have devices that only support 2.4 GHz.

Bill Debevc
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