I purchased a 64GB WiFi-only iPad 3rd generation upon product launch. I previously had an iPad 2. I had been experiencing poor WiFi signal strength, connection drops, and low throughput since I got the device. It happened, usually at least once a day, in fits and starts. It would exhibit the problem for several minutes but would then be fine. My iPhone 4 and new Retina MacBook Pro do not have any issue with WiFi at the same physical locations as the iPad3, and I never had an issue with my iPad 2.
I tried the following:
- Reset router. It is on the latest firmware.
- Tried channel width of Auto, 20 MHz, and 40 MHz. It is currently set to 20 MHz.
- Tried both DHCP and static IP.
- Restored iOS firmware. It is on the latest version (5.1.1).
- “Forget this Network” in Network Settings.
- “Reset Network Settings.”
My network was set to 802.11n. I have not used b or g in years and was not willing to use mixed mode.
After discovering this thread and also reading that Apple had instructed stores to “capture” affected devices, I scheduled an appointment with a Genius and included the troubleshooting steps I noted above. I also had several screenshots of my router status showing weak and dropping signal strength and throughput to the iPad (dropping down to 1Mbps) compared to my other devices, which held their connections and maintained normal throughput. Anticipating that the Apple Store would replace my unit, I restored the iOS firmware prior to my visit.
Let me first say that I have owned Apple products since the IIGS and currently own six Apple devices. I had NEVER before gone into an Apple Store for service. I did once have a hard drive-based iPod Click Wheel replaced for a failed hard drive, but that was handled by mail.
Now to the point of my post. My Genius was kind of a jerk. I was friendly, explained all my troubleshooting (which I provided when I made the appointment online), and was not presumptuous. He admonished me for wiping the device because he could not collect diagnostics. In retrospect, it was a poor decision on my part to wipe it. In my defense, Apple provided no instruction not to do so. I offered to go home and restore the backup so the Genius could collect diagnostics. He declined that offer. I showed the Genius my screenshots of the router connections, and he responded, “Sometimes they lie.”
He did replace my iPad, but he made it seem as if he was doing me a huge favor. Given everything in total — the apparent prevalence of this issue, the fact that my model (WiFi-only) was the one reported to exhibit the problem, and Apple’s instruction to replace affected devices — the Genius should have given me the benefit of the doubt and not acted like a jerk.
Apple is known for its customer service. After my 25 years of owning Apple products, I very rarely had to use that service, but my recent experience left me soured. I know most Genii are probably friendly, and the times I have accompanied my friends who went in for service (none of whom ever made appointments), the staff was quite accommodating.
Was the new one any better? What was the factory origin of your first and last device (first two letters on Serial #)?
In my experience, I never came across a Genius (out of over ten I worked with in my 7 attempts to get a good one) who had ever even heard of this problem, though most were accommodating for a replacement.. If your second one doesnt work, look for a "DY" factory built model.. your odds might be better.
The first two characters of the serial number show which factory made the device. When you get one sent to you you don't have a choice of looking at the serial numbers like you would in the store.
Though I'm guessing there may be some good DLs and DMs, the DY units seem to have better screens and WiFi performance in my admittedly unscientific sample of my own experience and what I've seen on the forums.
Having same problem with 2 month old ipad 3 4g+wi-fi. Wife's IPAD never drops when we sit together on patio. Mine drops all the time. (Just dropped again!!) I have tried all the tricks suggested on forum to reset device, "forget network" etc... Nothing works. I really don't want to start playing with router settings. Why should I have to? My laptop, iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad 1... All work great. It's time to take this damned thing back to Apple store.
I stayed at the same Marriott hotel this week and the iPad kept dropping signal again. I had no problems at home on my wifi except the death grip.
So I took it straight back to Sam's Club and exchanged the white 32 gb iPad 3 manufactured at the DM factory for a black 64 gb wifi only one manufactured at the DF factory. It was the only one left so I think I got lucky.
I am using the new one via the hotels wifi, and it's night and day. I used speednet and compared the iPhone 4, my net book, and this new iPad and the speeds are all comparable. The death grip issue is noticeably better but still there.
Overall, I'm happy. I did try out the google tablet and liked it but without a back camera, it was unacceptable.
My recommendation for those that keep getting wifi drops on the iPad 3 and not on the iPhone or other devices using the same wifi network would be just to exchange it and not waste any more time.
Hi people, as I told you before I have a DM made New iPad too.
I run the AirPort Utility, changed the "MULTICAST RATE" of my Time Capsule 5GHz N BAND to "LOW" and now I had a HUGE difference on signal bar at far places from TC.
Before this change I was considering to buy an Access Point to include on my wireless network but I don't need anymore.
It's not a final solution of course, but if the problem is not related to iOS, it can minimize the problems for who can't take your devices to Apple Store Genius or whatever who is desperate about signal reception.
I also have extreme bad wifi connection. I tried almost everything adviced, but without success. I have no problems in my house with my IPod or Apple TV. But my IPad is horrible. Like playing online poker (Zynga), but it’s almost impossible! Just bought my IPad 2 weeks ago, but if I had known about the connection problems, I would have bought another tablet. Un-workable, complete disaster.What can I do?
DNS -- DNS translates discussions.apple.com for example to a number so that the computer knows where to find it. discussions.apple.com makes sense to us but it means nothing to a computer. If you are getting safari error messages that the server cannot be contacted or equivalent, you may have a dns problem. This is not apple's fault, but your router or ISP. You can fix this most easily by hardcoding DNS into the ipad. This is a permanent fix and will work almost whereever, though some universities require you to use their DNS to be an authorized user, but universities will have working DNS.
Sam, thanks for posting this. My newish lynksys network has been so slow on ipad2 for last few months after working great for previous 8 months. Constant messages saying server not contacted. Other computers etc were working fine. Anyway after figuring out the hardcoding thing all is speedy again today. Hoping it is a long term fix! Thanks again!