I have the same problem, with an infuriating twist.
I live in a long, thin Tudor house. To get coverage, I have three wifi access points.
Even if I manually set the iPad to the strongest one and don't move, it will swap to one of the other ones within a few minutes. Then it will decide the signal is no good and switch to 3G and use up my data allowance when there is no need.
The three routers are on different channels, well spaced apart (2, 6, and 13). There is no other wifi signal in range. It's a pesky nuisance and about time Apple issued a fix. The age of this thread shows how long the problem has been known about.
If you haven't tried this already, I would suggest using this article to change the settings on your wireless router to the settings recommended by Apple to work with iOS devices:
i think you assume that people are idiots.... When you have 3 access points which Ihave using different channels and security and my Ipad is fine and my wifes does exactly what keith jillings says then you know Apple have a real problem ... And Yes I have reloaded my wifes IPAD, so one can only assume that Apple have a non fixable hardware problem .
So why can,t they be honest....... Oh I forgot there is a company called Samsung around that is eating their cake
Yes, I've looked at all the knowledgebase (ha!) articles. They really need to change the name of that site.
The SSIDs on my three WAPs are the name of the house, with -N and -S on the northern and southern ones. I've reset the whole pesky batch of parameters several times, doing all that KB article says and more. Bluntly, that article is what in the UK is called "Janet and John" (I think the US equivalent is Dick and Jane, but I didn't go to school there). It doesn't address the problem, just shows that someone at Apple once thought about it.
The real problem is that there's something in the Apple software in the iPad and iPhone that tells it every 15 seconds or so to go and look to see what WiFi networks are around, even if it's got a "full bars" signal. I know it does that, because in the WiFi tab the little whirling daisy appears alongside "Choose a Network" every 10 to 15 seconds.
Why does it do that? If I have a solid connection, full strength, why waste processor capacity and battery looking again? Why then switch at random to another SSID just "because it is there"? If there were a way to turn off "Network search" without disabling WiFi, that would do it. Of course, there isn't one. Or if there is, nobody told the person who writes the Apple Knowledgebase Articles. I was rather hoping that someone in here had the problem, and had found a real solution. It seems I'm to be disappointed.
My prehistoric laptop has WiFi built in, and I can tell that to connect to WiFi X and stay there- and it does! Microsoft can do it. I suspect Samsung can. I wonder why Apple can't.
I've dealt with this issue for a year and a half, first with my iPad2, now with my iPad4.
I recently discovered a clue that may indicate the source of the problem. When it fails to get a good connection (it indicates it has a WiFi connection to my access point, but I can't get to the internet through that connection) I will go into Settings, WiFi, then into the details of the currently active connection. There it will show my DHCP assigned address....but the Router address and the DNS address are incorrect!! They'll say 192.168.1.251 for both, when they both SHOULD be 192.168.1.1. I select the "Renew Lease" option, it requests a renewed IP address and, voila, the Router and DNS are now correctly set to 192.168.1.1 and everything works fine.
This may work fine for hours or days...but eventually, I won't be able to connect again and I will repeat the steps above to get reconnected.
There are NO problems with my router, as I have at least TEN WiFi devices from other vendors currently on this network (three Android phones, XBox 360, two Android tablets, a Samsung DVD player, an HP laptop, a Toshiba laptop and a Lenovo laptop) and NONE of them EVER have an issue with the connect....only my two iPads have ever had a problem.
I think this points to a bug in Apple's implementation of the DHCP client in iOS. I wish they'd fix it...it's incredibly frustrating.
It shouldn't be a customers' problem but Apple's. It is clear that this issue can't be solved by reconfiguration or software update. Looks like a hardware issue that only can be solved by replacing devices. I wonder why Apple ignores the problem with Samsung at its back. Anyone tried to return device and get a refund?
So, I went and bought an Airport Extreme. Figured that it can't hurt to try Apple's own wifi router to see if it corrected the "iPad drops wifi signal" problem.
Nope. My iPad2 that always worked well continues to work well. My other iPad2 that always drops the connection continues to drop the connection.
Sending the Airport back to Amazon.
Just adding one more post to this epic thread. Using the "Occam's Razor" method of technical problem solving: some Apple devices have a fundamental problem with maintaining a wi-fi connection.
All the twists and turns of messing about with configuration options on routers and switching between WPA and WEP and b and g and n and channels and turning wi-fi on and off fifteen times while standing on your head in a bath of beans are just masking the real problem: Apple has an issue with wi-fi on some devices that they can't or won't fix.
I have an iPad 2 using a BT Homehub wi-fi network which is up-to-date, apparently correctly configured for all of the other devices that use it and otherwise trouble-free. Changing various the settings on either the iPad or the router sometimes makes a temporary difference but eventually the iPad will start dropping connection again, usually while it's trying to stream video. It is possibly the single most irritating and intractible technical problem I have come across in 20 years of working with computers and networks and Apple's insistence on masking most of the inner workings of its devices from us, the great unwashed, means only they can fix it.
This post won't help if you have a similar problem. Only Apple can fix it and they either can't or won't. If you can be bothered with the palaver of a trip to see a "Genius", try returning your device to Apple. Although there's no guarantee you won't end up with another device that does exactly the same thing.
Or, as others have suggested, try a Samsung instead.
Registered just to add yet another story to this thread. I have an ipad2, husband also has one issued by work. We don't use a whole pile of wifi... I don't have a smartphone, he has an iphone. I idiotically updated the IOS on the ipad2 and started having wifi problems that day. I can only pick up wifi less than 5 ft from the AP. It's a strong AP. previously I have been able to pick this up in the park across the street. But now, not even as far as the sofa will do it. I have to be standing at the AP. husbands was fine, worked all over the house, no problem.
Husband doesn't control when he gets updates, work ipad. Three weeks after mine, his was updated. Exact same issues appeared with his.
We have reset the AP, reset my ipad etc. No difference.
The ipad2 is effectively a very expensive brick. First and last apple product I'll be purchasing.
On a positive note, updating the software to our Belkin router (model F5D8633-4) has solved the problem I have had with my iPad2 losing the wifi connection with our home network. I had tried other solutions in the past, including changing the router settings to a different channel. None of them worked. The router is 2 or 3 years old.
i also updated the iPad software which may also have helped.
I have been receiving the posts from this issue for months now, and I just want to repost what fixed the issue for me, since it may help some of you:
My son's iPad 2 was having constant connectivity issues with our Netgear N 300 router. After reading a bit here, I looked at the settings and noticed that Qos was defaulted at off, but I also disabled WMM (wi-fi multimedia) settings. It seems to have solved the connectivity issues, but will I lose some network/multimedia capabilities?
Ever since that day I have not had one dropped connection on my son's iPad 2 or my younger son's iPad 1. Also, my home network, including my home entertainment system and home theater, have not lost any capabilities.