9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2013 8:32 AM by Uzair 98
Jindokae Level 1 Level 1

Since updating to 5.1.1 on my iPad 3, I've been plagued with "Unable to Connect" (UtC) messages on my home wifi network.  I tried the "forget the connection" workaround but it always came back.


I fixed the problem permanently by allocating DHCP reservations for the iPad.  What I found out is that it was trying to request the same IP it last had time (via DHCP), and when it was sent a DHCPNACK from the router it just quit trying and flashed the  UtC message.  It was tryng to take an IP that it had at one time but was now assigned to another device.   It should have been able to get the next available IP but for some reason it didn't do that.  Looks like a bug to me.


If you keep gettng the "Unable to Connect" message for no apparent reason, try setting up a reserved IP address for your iPad that lies outside the range of addresses your router gives out automatically.  That should prevent any conflicts with other devices.

iPad, iOS 5.1.1
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8

    Thanks for posting. May help other users with the same problem.


     Cheers, Tom

  • Krin-Kran Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Jindokae,


    I've had the same problem and have been driving myself up the wall trying to resolve it. A few days ago, I unplugged my modem and wireless router when moving around some furniture. When I plugged them back in, my MacBook connected to the internet again with a simple restart, but my iPad and iPod are recognizing and joining the wireless network, but are not connecting when I try to connect through Safari, email etc. I get the message "Safair cannot open the page because it is not connected to the internet."


    I reset the network settings. I restarted both devices. I did the "forget this network" route. I even erased all content and settings on my iPhone- nothing worked. I reset the router- again, it didn't work. Tried Airplane mode- which has worked for some others on the forum, but unfortunately not for me.


    I'm not much of a computer person, so I'm hoping you can enlighten me on the steps involved in your solution. How do I go about setting up a reserved IP address for the iPad? Is this through the router?


    Thanks for your help!

  • dmrdsm Level 1 Level 1

    I have had problems for one week. Did everything Apple recommends and about everthing else I read. 


    Have been to the GB three times at the Apple Store.  Today, I have come home with a different IPAD, fully wiped out, and not backed up with any info from the Cloud.  So started from scratch  (two TV's, 2 phones, laptop, desktop, all work fine...and so did the IPAD since lauch)


    Still not working.  I have no idea of how to do what you say to do, but guess I'll have to figure it out and give a try.


    (This replacement IPAD, they swear is new, although when I look up the serial number it's a production week 5 where mine was a production week 10.  So I'm wonder if it is refurbished)


    I assume every router is different, so you're not able to give us anymore tips, but if you can, that would be great.  Thank you.

  • Jindokae Level 1 Level 1

    I have a Netgear router so these instructions will have to altered to fit your particular router.  Google will help with that.  The concepts apply to all routers. 


    The router defaults to a base address of and I'll base all addresses off that. 


    Also, I am at work (lunch break!) so I am doing this from memory and some of the tab names might be off a little, but if you look  for them they will be close.


    DHCP = Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.  It does many things but in this case it just loans out IP addresses to the devices in your house so you don't have to put static IP's on them.  It makes life easier - until it fouls up.


    MAC address = Media Access Control address.  This is the hardware address of your device.  It comes set from the factory and you don't usually set it.  It looks like this:  00-2A-3B-1A-2B-3C.


    On the router's admin page ( under the LAN configuration tab there is a section for DHCP.  It lets you enable DHCP (on by default) and specify a range of addresses to hand out to devices on your network.  Mine says to use a range from to  That makes 31 addresses available to things in my house, way more than I need but it doesn't hurt to have them.


    There is also a Connected Devices tab   You can look in there to see the MAC address, name, and IP of all the devices currently connected to the router.  It uses this information to make DHCP reservations.  Take a look at the connected devices to get familiar with them. 


    Back on the LAN tab there is a space under the DHCP section to add reservations for devices.  If you click the "Add" button it goes to another page where you can select any of the connected devices and specify what IP you want them to get.  It does not have to be the one it has now, or one in the range of loaner addresses, and it shouldn't be.  Pick a new one.


    What I did was to start at and assign each of my mobile devices an IP.  The first was, the next was, and so on.  Note that these addresses are well outside the range of DHCP addresses specified on the LAN tab.  ( 


    On the Netgear you  add one address at a time and then it take you back to the LAN page..  Hit apply.  The router reboots, knocking down all the existing connections, and when it comes back up and your iPad reconnects, it should show up in the Connected Devices tab with the IP you  assigned to it.


    Do this once for every device connected wirelessly and you are done. 


    As you do this you may see the number of connected devices changing.  Before I fixed the addresses I could only ever see 5 connected devices instead of the 7 there should have been because my two iPads were at war with my other devices and they kept knocking each other off the router.  Once I had given them all their own reserved IPs I could see all 7.


    This is not a static IP, BTW.  It is a loaner just like the others, but it is a reserved number that ensures that no two mobile devices will get into a conflict over a single IP address.

  • Krin-Kran Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks so much for taking the time to help me with this. I will give it a go, although, I'm afraid my router is a little outdated. I was looking into it and the last firmware available for it was posted in 2007- lol! Hopefully I can get some instructions on-line that pertain to this ancient model.


    Thanks again Jondokae!

  • Jindokae Level 1 Level 1

    You're welcome.  It was driving me crazy, too.  I hope this helps.


    BTW, it is the "Attached Devices" tab on my router, not the "Connected Devices" tab. 


    I have routers older than yours and in respect to DHCP reservations they all work the same way.  The configuration steps may be different but the concept is exactly the same.  This is not new technology, the standards for DHCP  have been stable for at least ten years. 


    Just Google it, you'll find it.

  • dmrdsm Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you for taking the time to provide more details.  Will have to find the time to try this out.


    You'd think the Genius Bar people and Apple would take the extra time to figure this out and post something other than the routine  stuff they have posted for the past two years.    I wonder how many people like myself they give a new iPad to when they didn't even need to.  I went back to the store within 3 hours to get my old one back, but they said they had already shipped it out. What a waste.  I was bummed.


    Appreciate your time.  Thank you.  

  • Jindokae Level 1 Level 1

    You're welcome.


    This is just one of many things that can foul up WiFi and it may not be the answer to your problem.  It solved mine, but you may have an entirely different problem.


    To be fair to the "Geniuses", they are gurus of the UI, the user interface.  They deal with the things users can do with (and to) their devices, not what the programmers are doing under the hood.  They are limited to using Apple retail products and that makes it very difficult to find things like this. 


    Apple makes it very difficult to get this type of information to their engineers.  It would realy help if you didn't have to be a registered Apple Developer just to report a bug.

  • Uzair 98 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Jindokae i bought a new ipad 3 it was on ios 5 i updated it to ios 7 but after the update i cant connect to my home wifi network but it connects with my friends wifi i didn't understand your this method can you please send me another simple and appropriate method.......Thanks..I am waiting for your reply