Can't keep wifi connection active on home wifi network (Belkin), works fine elsewhere

Discussion in 'iPad Help' started by linnormlord, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    Hello all.

    I am writing to ask for help about a very specific wifi problem I am having. My iPad wifi seems to work fine on every network (that I have tried) other than my home network using a Belkin N+ router. At home, whenever I leave the iPad idle for a while (or don't use the wifi signal), the wifi connection seems to time out, such that I have to reset the wifi antenna to regain access. I usually do this by turning on and off aiplane mode, which resets the wifi and makes things work again. Resetting this way works, but it gets annoying when you have to do it 5-20 times a day. Over the holidays I visited two relative's homes and did not have this problem, and I also haven't noticed this problem on public wifi networks. When I lose the data stream on my home network, I still see "full bars" for the wifi signal.

    I have tried MANY settings on my router to try to fix the problem, but have run out of ideas. I am running the router and iPad with the latest firmware. My Windows 7 laptop has no problems with the router (but my Vizio TV can't even connect by wifi, perhaps related?). Since the iPad works fine with other networks, I am guessing the router is to blame somehow - either in my settings or some firmware/hardware on the router itself.

    I use WPA2 security on the network. I have tried WPA as well, but I do not consider WEP or no security to be acceptable solutions, so I haven't tried them. I have tried many other settings as well, but I am wondering if there's something I haven't thought of.

    I hope that give a pretty complete description of my problem. Please share any ideas and tell me if I left something out.
  2. BrennB
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    BrennB iPad Addict

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    seems that others with similar issues ended up replacing router and were happy campers. Usually they report that other laptops etc on the router were fine...but replacing fixed. Since you have success on other systems you know its not your ipad. Since you have a problem with the other gadget then I'd suspect a new router is in order. You can always take the new one back if it doesn't resolve your problem
  3. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    @BrennB: Yeah, I was afraid that would be the advice. The router is less than a year old , it wasn't cheap, and money is tight, so I may have to put up with it for now. In the mean time, I haven't given up hope that there might be a fix.

    Just as you said though, I know the iPad works fine with a Linksys and a D-Link router (at relatives' homes) so that would definitely be a fix.
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    I don't have a Belkin router but, on my Linksys, there's a 'keep alive' feature that enables me to set the time that the router will disconnect if there's no activity.

    I'm guessing that, on your Windows machine, there's some program or application running that is occasionally accessing the Internet, even if you're not using your PC.

    Of course, I realise that this is probably not the case because I'm guessing that you have your Windows PC and your iPad running at the same time, in which case the PC would keep the router 'alive'.

    Tim
    Scotland
  5. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    @Tim SPRACKLEN: That's a very interesting idea. I did a quick look in my router settings and unfortunately found nothing that sounds like a "keep alive" or "go to sleep" mode for the router. Also the iPad shows full signal bars at all times, and if the router was going to sleep, I would expect the wifi signal to drop out. It seems like both the router and the iPad stay active (and "connected") but the data stream between the two is interrupted and doesn't start up again until the antenna is reset. Good idea though.
  6. scott_R1
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    scott_R1 iPF Novice

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    Replacing an expensive router is not going to fix the issue because the problem is with the IPad. I think it is a software issue, and I hope Apple fesses up and addresses the problem.
  7. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    @scott_R1: I am beginning to doubt that there is anything presently wrong with my iPad, since it seems to work fine with every router except the one I own! When visiting relatives' homes with similar routers from Linksys and D-Link, I did not have the same problem. There is little doubt that before the present firmware, there were legitimate issues with the iPad's own wifi though.
  8. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    On my Linksys ADSL wireless router, the 'keep alive' function only affects the ADSL broadband link, not the wireless functionality. Nevertheless, your analysis seems to preclude this possibility in any case.

    If you have another wireless device in the house - your PC for example or a WiFi smartphone - can you connect to the Internet with this device when the iPad has been 'disconnected'? This test more-or-less identifies where the 'issue' lays. If the PC can connect but the iPad can't then clearly it points to the iPad. If neither the PC nor the iPad can connect, then it points to the router.

    Good Luck and let us know how you get on.

    Tim
    Scotland
  9. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    @Tim SPRACKLEN: I have a Windows 7 laptop that is connected to the same router all day long and never has any problems, even when the iPad does. I still don't think the problem is the iPad by itself, since the iPad works fine on other routers. There must be something about how the iPad and the Belkin N+ work with each other that causes a problem. After searching a few forums, I found that others have also noticed no problems on some routers but similar problems on others. It must be certain router/iPad combinations that cause the problem - and maybe each router has a different issue. Maybe the next iPad firmware will address these last few issues.
  10. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    OK - this is definitely a weird problem. Sorry that I wasn't able to help. When I get problems like this I usually default to trying things at random and for no particular reason - i.e. like switching from an encrypted to a non-encrypted WiFi link - at least for a while - to see if that fixes the problem, or even changing the encryption algorithm.

    Eventually I give up and have a glass of wine and then the whole situation seems a lot less problematic....

    Tim
    Scotland
  11. col.bris
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    col.bris Administrator Staff Member

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    The simple fact there is no real standard for "N " routers much that most people think there is and many new devices including the iPad and other tablets, phones plus gaming machines sometimes do not connect or connect and drop off without warning. The other issue is the security set up again it can cause problems I have replaced my clients routers and my own whom had problems with a N 600 or N300 net gear and all works great. In most cases the older modems worked fine with computers but in saying that we also found a couple ASUS new models were intermittent on Belkin modems 1 year old.

    With security on a net gear modem routers/ routers, the recommended setting in *security options is wpa-ask+wpa2-psk.
    The router i recommend is netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
    And modem router. Netgear N300 WIRELESS ADSL +2 MODEM ROUTER
    The above give fast performance which suits gaming as well as general downloads.
    I do not recommend buying just any brand based on price as you will regret it in the long run. I totally understand there are other excellent brands available but understand where I am coming from is if it works all the time why rock the boat stay with what works.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  12. soppliger
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    soppliger iPF Noob

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    Same issue with Belkin N+ and iPad and possible fix

    Hi All,

    I've had the same ongoing issue with my iPad dropping wifi while connected to my Belkin N+. I have the opportunity to test scenario's because I have an N+ at my home and one I installed at my parents home. I was experiencing the same issue at both places. The symptoms are that the connection times out unless I am actively browsing or doing something else to use the network which keeps the connection alive. For example, if I leave Pandora running, my connection stays alive indefinitely. The connection drops after about 3-5 minutes of inactivity. The only way I've found to reactivate the connection is by turning wifi off in Settings and then turn it immediately back on.

    The issue seems directly related to the wifi security method. I had both routers set us to use WPA-2 with a passphrase (by the way, my 24" iMac has the same exact issue with dropping WPA-2 wifi connections). I changed the wifi back to WEP (128 bit) and haven't had an issue with dropping wifi since.

    I've played with all the Belkin settings related to multi media, etc. The bottom line seems to be an incompatibility between the Apple and Belkin implementation of WPA-2. Who's right? Well, I can tell you that I have 4 PC's between the two locations running Windows 7 and XP Pro that never had issues dropping wifi with the Belkin N+ set to WPA-2.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  13. Marcus.9907
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    Marcus.9907 iPF Noob

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    I've been having the same exact problem. I have to turn the wifi connection off then on whenever I wake my iPad up from sleep mode. This only happens like everyone else said, on my home network. I'm not very pc savvy but I have re-set my wireless router several times and messed with the settings and still nothing. I have checked other forums and some people say that it's the router and others say that it is deff the iPad... I'm gonna try switching out my router but if that doesn't work I deff won't be buying a new one lol. Ne suggestions tho? I'm always open for trying new things.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  14. Ipadeye
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    Ipadeye iPF Noob

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    Have you try change channels? 1-6 or 11?
  15. Ipadeye
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    Ipadeye iPF Noob

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    Strange as it may seem, some people think that using a 802.11n router will improve the performance of their network that has only 802.11b/g clients. It won't. 802.11n uses different technology, including MIMO, to achieve higher throughput.

    Using a 802.11g client with an 11n router will get you a maximum link rate of 54 Mbps and around 22 Mbps of actual, usable throughput. Only an 802.11n client has what it takes to get higher throughput from a draft 11n router.

    Using 802.11n won't improve your WLAN range, either. Take a look at the throughput vs. path loss (signal level) charts over here and note that they all tend to end at the same point. Draft 802.11n can provide higher throughput at a given location than 802.11b/g and in that way turn a borderline-usable location into a happy web-surfing spot. But it won't get you a signal in that hard-to-reach bedroom on the top floor any better than an 802.11g router will.

    Don't Connect Draft 11n and 11b/g clients to the same router
    An 802.11n router can also work with 802.11g and even 11b devices. But these much slower devices force the router to slow down to talk to them, which means a big throughput hit. Fortunately, the "legacy" mechanisms are pretty efficient and reduce throughput only when the slower devices are actively transmitting or receiving.
    Don't Replace When Upgrading to 802.11n, mixing 11n and "legacy" clients can reduce throughput by 50 to 80%. So if you are mixing old and new devices, you could be shooting yourself in the (throughput) foot. Either upgrade to all 11n clients, or use a separate 802.11g router to handle your "legacy" stuff.
  16. scott_R1
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    scott_R1 iPF Novice

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    When it comes to home wireless, whether B,G,N, doesn't really matter, the IPad sucks. I've learned don't ever turn the thing off because you may never get connected or stay connected. However; if I simply leave it on, all is well....go figure. How a strictly wireless device is having such trouble is beyond me. 3 laptops and 2 workstations have NO issues connecting wirelessly....ever. So many excuses but it does not fly with me at all. Maybe the next OS will fix it?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  17. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    I have tried many different channels. None of them helped. I even used a wifi channel scan to find channels with lower traffic. No dice.
  18. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    Not sure if this is helpful here. The iPad definitely supports 802.11n, and all my other wifi devices do too. I guess if you're using the iPad on a network that has older devices, your suggestion is "don't"? Haven't heard that one before.
  19. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    I think this helps explain the problem other users and I are seeing. The imprementation of the 802.11n or WPA specification in the router and the iPad may be slightly different, in which case the two don't work well together. This would explain why some routers play nice with the iPad and some don't. It would also suggest that the blame lays with Apple, since they should be the ones to put robust protocols in their devices guaranteed to work with most major manufacturers of routers. It also makes the case for any solution other than buying a new router pretty hopeless.

    Thanks for the tip!
  20. linnormlord
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    linnormlord iPF Novice

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    Together with the comment from col.bris, I think this goes a long way to explain what's wrong here. Perhaps it's the implementation of the WPA protocol that differs in some incompatible way. So who should provide a firmware fix? Apple or Belkin? I really don't like the idea of putting my whole network on WEP (every website I read on the topic puts a huge DANGER sign on WEP). Maybe I'll try it and let you know if it works.

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