3G and wifi on

Discussion in 'iPad FAQ' started by Ipaddoc, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Ipaddoc
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    Ipaddoc iPF Noob

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    Hi to every body
    I am new to the iPad, i have the 3G and wi fi iPad and I want to know if there is a way so the iPad connects always to the wifi net if there is one available and connects to the 3G net if there is no wifi in the place, I am at the moment using the 3G off and turning it on if no wifi. Would the ipad recognize this situation automatically?
    Thanks
  2. Wakawaka
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    Wakawaka iPad Junkie

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    I hope so. I've been watching netflix on mine a lot..
  3. Davidmacpherson
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    Davidmacpherson iPF Novice

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    My understanding is the iPad defaults to a WiFi connection if one is available and only go 3G if it has to.

    Mine behaves like this in both my office and at home.

    David
  4. lprmcnit
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    lprmcnit iPF Novice

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    I haven't paid to subscribe to the data service on my iPad, so my only experience with this question is with an older iPhone 3g(upgraded to OS 4.0x).

    Say you are on a place with a configured wi-fi network, then leave the building. I found it does a pretty good job of switching to the 3G network.

    Say you do the reverse, move from a place where there is 3G only coverage to a place where there is wi-fi. It doesn't do quite as well.

    Say you are in a place with both configured wi-fi and with 3G coverage; it seems to default to wi-fi first, then it tries 3G. As noted below, this is a problem if you are on a corporate or secure wi-fi network with proxy requirements. If the wi-fi internet connection "chokes" (due to proxy)it doesn't seem to be quick about recovering and switching to the 3G network as a non-proxied alternative.

    One of the advantages of the 3G data network, if you are in a corporate or more secure environment is that you have a direct pipeline to the internet and don't have to worry about configuring any proxy settings. I always tell my users to leave wi-fi off when in our corporate environment so they won't have to mess with any proxy setup. It also saves on power etc.

    Again, sorry I don't have any direct experience with the iPad itself in this arena, but perhaps this info on the 3G iPhone will help a bit.
  5. Ipaddoc
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    Ipaddoc iPF Noob

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    Guys I though it was an easy answer, I hope the iPad switch modes alone otherwise I will keep 3G off cause it will spend my gigs ver soon
    Thanks
  6. kc2ped
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    kc2ped iPad Fan

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    That is the way the iPad is designed to work. The down side of it is that if I am just barely hanging onto a wifi hotspot I don't have enough connection to do anything with it but I still have too much of a connection for it to hand off to 3G. I got my iPad before AT&T discontinued the all you can eat plans so keep my wifi turned off unless I am somewhere where I know there is a strong wifi signal. That also saves battery.
  7. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    There never seems to be any easy answers in life. Sometimes getting the answer you seek leaves you with more questions. That's life.

    Anyway....

    Yes, according to books, the iPad will try Wi-Fi first and foremost ever when the 3G is turned on. If it is unable to find any Wi-Fi signals, it will try the 3G as a secondary plan.

    But remember, you are supposed to notice the signal icon on the top left cornder of the screen, watch out for the Wi-Fi or the 3G icon. If you notice the icon, you'll know which ones you're on. If you know you got back into a Wi-Fi hotspot but notice the 3G icon still on, you can always turn off the 3G and wait for the Wi-Fi to turn up a list of access you wish to join.

    By the way, I would recomment you turn off 3G anyway, not only for your peace of mind, but also to help you save battery power. Ever when using Wi-Fi, your 3G is stiffing out for any signals and need to be in connect with 3G, as a stand-by in case you stepped out of Wi-Fi range and 3G takes over.

    Hope it helped a little more?
  8. rsava
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    rsava iPad Fan

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    I leave my 3G and WiFi on all the time. Mine switches back and forth easily. I never notice a "no internet connection" time.

    I have not noticed a significant battery drain at all. I may have to charge and extra time per week (3 - 4 versus 2 - 3) depending on my game play.

    Losing about 52 charge cycles a year over the life of the ipad is worth never having to wish I had an internet connection.
  9. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    So, the iPad do switch back from 3G to Wi-Fi once it gets within a hotspot? Then that's great.
  10. MattIM
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    MattIM Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The iPad is designed to set it and forget it...

    ...but sometimes the iPad has difficulty turning off 3G and going to wifi. This happened to me last month. I never watch streaming video on 3G--it is too slow, pixalates too much and uses a lot of Mb. I got home and without looking at the upper left corner of the iPad, I launched the ABC Player app and started watching No Ordinary Family.

    About 15 minutes into the show, the screen starts to slow and the little circular download wheel starts rotating and the picture quality starts deteriorating. I'm thinking 'odd'. So I get out of the program, and reset the iPad. To my woe, I noticed that I was on 3G. My iPad did not find my wifi signal--a rare occurrence. I go to download meter app and it confirms that I used in 15 minutes 190Mb of data. Fortunately I didn't have much of the month left of my subscription so no problem.

    Lesson learned. 1. Before launching an app that takes over your screen check to see what you are on. OR 2. Turn off 3G to remove any doubt.
  11. marry jane
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    marry jane iPF Noob

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    hi

    yes
  12. Major Eazy
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    Major Eazy iPF Novice

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    I've always thought about that part. All I can do is guess.

    I figure maybe that it is becuase if there are no Wf-Fi signals and the iPad use 3G to download whatever you want to download, when you do get into range of Wi-Fi signals, the iPad have to finish downloading on 3G so you can get the whole package. If it stopped on 3G and start on Wi-Fi, it may have a hard time trying to get the same packages of data. How do Wi-Fi start off what 3G left off? You would need to log-on to Wi-Fi first then tell iPad to fetch what's left of the downloading you were in the middle of.

    Bit like say, someone is using morse code over old fashion radio then suddenly someone steps forwards and says: "We'll take over with the messages, we have just invented the telephone." right slap bang in the middle of the communications.

    Maybe it makes senses for 3G to finish first, then you can close the app, then open it again, and it will now use Wi-Fi? Same way as you should let the guys with the morse code finish their communications first, then after that, you can use the telephone for any next communications?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

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