Get iPad to select specific wifi access point

Discussion in 'iPad Help' started by pauljsgreen, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. pauljsgreen
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    pauljsgreen iPF Noob

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    HI, i posted this in ios but i think it was the wrong forum. Apologies.

    I have extended my wifi network and have a main router and second access point. They have the same ssid and wPA key so the clients connection can roam seamlessly.

    I want my mobile devices to pick up on the strongest access point and lock its connection onto that.

    The objective is to connect to the strong access point upstairs when I am present up there.

    My android phone and laptop lock onto this access point no problem and there are utilities / apps on each device to confirm this showing the AP mac addresses, etc. Also, if needed, I can use a client app to manually switch the connected AP easily.

    However, my ipad2 seems to hang on to the downstairs AP with the weak signal and I have no way of telling or confirming this as I can't find any tools to show the connected AP, let alone have any control over the connected AP.

    Does anyone have any experience of this sort of setup?


    iOS 5. Ipad2. 64gb. Wifi. 3G



    Thanks
    Paul
  2. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Hi Paul. I have basically the exact same setup. I have an Apple Airport Extreme in the upstairs south end of our house and an Apple Time Capsule (basically an Airport Extreme with a hard drive) on the north end downstairs. I've given both the same SSID and passwords.

    Having said that, unfortunately the iPad auto-connects to the last network/AP it used if it's available, even if the signal is weaker than another one that it can access. If you want to use a different network or AP you have to manually change it. (Settings > Wi-Fi > Choose a network.)

    There are a couple of things you could do to test it out. One would be to change the SSID of one of the AP's. You could clearly see which the iPad is connected to that way.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  3. pauljsgreen
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    pauljsgreen iPF Noob

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    Thanks richsadams. That's interesting and is news to me that it hangs on to the available ssid regardless of signal strength (the android phone swaps to the strongest smoothly).

    I was aware of the separate ssid option but hoped I could avoid faffing around switching networks, although I should give that a go whilst I continue to investigate if a slicker option is available.


    Thanks again
    Paul
  4. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Yes, that's one of the few unfortunate habits of iOS...no idea why. I'm sure if you jailbreak there's a Cydia app for that. My MacBook Air switches automatically, but not my iPad (or iPhone). :(

    Changing the SSID name should be easy...no need to change anything but the name. After you've changed it go to your iPad, open Settings > Wi-Fi and ask to join the "new" network. It will ask you for the password (s/b the same as the old one)...enter it and it will connect. Then you can see the differences (if any) between the two. I use the Speedtest.net App...works very nicely.

    Since I use my iPad downstairs most of the time I leave it connected to that AP. Even when I'm upstairs it still works fine. I change it to the one upstairs if I'm going to download some files or something where I want to have the fastest connection, otherwise I leave it alone.

    Let us know how it goes!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  5. pauljsgreen
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    pauljsgreen iPF Noob

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    Thanks again. All done and does give me a better experience upstairs.

    I have no big preference over iOS or android but it's odd android handles this seamlessly and well, whereas iOS seems clumsy in this respect.

    Don't mean to go too off topic, but how do u find the MacBook air?


    Thanks
    Paul
  6. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    I have the 11" MacBook Air and it is nothing short of awesome. There isn't anything it can't handle and it handles everything very fast. Light as a feather too. I do some developing so I'm not only running OS X Lion, but Windows 7 Ultimate via Parallels 7 and it has been flawless. I was showing it to our neighbors tonight and I think they'll be heading to the Apple store tomorrow. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

    Glad things are working out okay and don't be a stranger!

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