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iPad suffers WiFi teething troubles

I've been keeping a close eye on Apple's support forum and other Apple related websites looking for indications of launch day teething troubles. Overall, the launch seems to have been smooth, but some owners of shiny new iPads do seem to be having problems with WiFi signal strength.

I've been keeping a close eye on Apple's support forum and other Apple related websites looking for indications of launch day teething troubles. Overall, the launch seems to have been smooth, but some owners of shiny new iPads do seem to be having problems with WiFi signal strength.

There's one such thread over on Apple's support forum that seems to be growing quite rapidly related to this issue. Here are some excerpts:

Posted: Apr 3, 2010 5:18 PM     Wifi reception seems weak with slow downloads. Getting one bar while my MBP getting a strong signal. I have an airport extreme base station (latest generation, firmware up to date). Anyone else having wifi issues?

Posted: Apr 3, 2010 7:38 PM My signal keeps fluctuating from strong to weak, while my MacBook and iPhone show a consistent signal at the same location.

Posted: Apr 3, 2010 9:17 PM I have also noticed very weak wifi signal in my 16GB iPad. Even when standing in front of the wlan router the signal fluctuates from strong to very weak. The router has very strong signals as every other computer here has full signal strength, even 20-30 meters from the router. So there is definitely a wifi signal issue here with the iPad.

Posted: Apr 3, 2010 9:59 PM Same here. Weak Wi-fi that constantly goes from three down to one bar  Hope this is a software issue and not crappy wifi antenna

Posted: Apr 4, 2010 12:31 AM Same here. Signal is weak, downloading anything is painfully slow and it will drop the signal and go offline every 5-10 minutes. Pretty annoying. Going to take it to a Borders tomorrow and make sure its not my Sprint Overdrive wifi thats the issue

One users has carried out speed tests and found the iPad's download performance to be disappointing:

Posted: Apr 4, 2010 2:09 AM Ok. I used speedtest.net app both on iPhone 3GS and the new iPad. I clearly see the difference.

iPad download speed is 1.83 megabits/sec whereas iPhone 3GS download speed is 14.77 megabits/sec

Upload speed seems comparable.

Also iPad uses 802.11 n and iphone 3GS uses 802.11 g. I do have N router

Some iPad owners have already had enough of the problem:

Posted: Apr 4, 2010 2:39 AM I have rebooted the ipad 3 times, doesnt help. My Macbook is running on the same wifi network just fine. Not spending $500 on something I cant even use. Its going back tomorrow.

Posted: Apr 4, 2010 7:05 AM I am returning mine soon. On phone with Apple support. Doing a complete restore from the web. will post the result

There's also a thread set up where users affected by this problem can give more information about the WiFi setup.

Apple has also published a knowledge base article on possible fixes for iPads not automatically rejoining WiFi networks, but this doesn't seem to cover the issues that users are having.

I expect that this WiFi issue is software related and will be fixed by an OS update. It's not easy being an early adopter.

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