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Strange networking problem

Sithinious

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I have a really strange problem and no clue as to what may be the cause or solution.

The background: I live in a small bungalow, really just four rooms and a conservatory. I have the main router in one room, provided by virgin media. It has one wireless network. Wired to that router is a TP-link unit which is plugged into a wall socket, the twin of which is plugged into a socket in another room providing a second wireless network. We have a couple of iPhones, 3 iPads, and several other devices which use these wireless networks with no problems, except for one of the ipads, the “problem child”.

A few months ago, the problem child iPad started having difficulty connecting to either wireless network. It outright refused to connect if a wireless network was chosen from the list of networks. I had to turn WiFi off, then turn it back on and wait for it to connect on its own. Over time, the problem got worse to the point where the iPad would only connect to a network if it was in the same room as the router or the TP-link extender. Then it started dropping the internet connection while connected in those rooms. It would show a full strength wireless connection, it would just randomly lose internet connectivity. Resetting the network settings on the iPad didn’t help. I assumed it was an antenna in the device going bad as a) the problem was gradually worsening and b) it was the only device having a problem. I took it to an Apple store but they were unable to figure out what the problem was but insisted that it wasn’t an antenna going bad.

Here it gets a bit weird… we were traveling and I took that iPad with me. Everywhere I went, it connected to whatever WiFi was available and worked flawlessly. Upon returning home, the iPad still had the same problems here as it had before.

I reset the virgin media router one day (yeah, I should have tried this sooner) and viola! The problem child iPad started working correctly on my home WiFi networks… for about 2 weeks. Then the cycle started over again. First it wouldn’t connect to a network if chosen, I had to turn WiFi off then on and wait for it to connect itself, then it would only connect in the same room as the WiFi source, then it would lose internet connection randomly while still showing a strong WiFi connection. No amount of router resetting would help this time around.

We recently traveled again, and yep, the iPad connects flawlessly to any WiFi network outside our home.

Anyone with any ideas about what could be the cause of this strange behavior?
 

twerppoet

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As Lanny and SciFan said, asking for a new router may help. It would not be the first time iPads and other Apple devices have had problems with specific routers. Especially older ones. Router manufactures rarely tested their devices with anything bug Windows, and Apple can't possible check their devices against all the routers out there. Not much of a problem recently, since iOS and iPadOS devices are so numerous a router manufacture would have to be crazy no to test with them.

Yes, they are all the same standard, but standards can have fuzzy or optional parts, and manufacturers can be lazy.

One thing you can try before replacing the router. Go ahead and forget your home network on the iPad. Do this by choosing the (i) icon next to the connection in Wifi settings, the Forget this Network. Again, power down your router like you have before. Leave it off for a minute or two. When it comes back up rejoin the network on the iPad.

You'll need to make sure sure you remember your wi-fi password before doing this.
 
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Sithinious

Sithinious

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I have tried the reset of network settings on the iPad, to no avail. I like the router replacement idea.

I think the thing I find most strange is the fact that the problem gradually got worse. Not once, but twice, and in the same order. First it wouldn’t connect if a network was chosen, I had to let the iPad find the connection itself. Then it moved on to absolutely not connecting in any room except where the the WiFi signal originated from. Finally, it would randomly drop the internet connection while still showing a strong WiFi connection.

thanks for the replies, they are appreciated.
 

twerppoet

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It’s important to both forget the network and reset the router at the same time. For some reason that escapes me both seem to remember whatever grudge they have against each other.

This has worked in the past when doing just one did not. Sometime it seems to be a permanent fix, other times it is temporary, as you’ve experienced before.

The new router is usually a more permanent fix.
 

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