iPad keeps dropping wifi

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by timwinters, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My newest iPad, 5th generation, keeps dropping WiFi while streaming video. I'll be watching the local news or a movie and it'll stop. I'll look up and the little WiFi symbol will be gone, and I have to go into settings and reconnect. If it's just sitting around it doesn't do this; if I'm streaming music it doesn't do this; if I'm surfing the web, like now, it doesn't do this; only when streaming video; any video.

    Neither my older ipad (an air 2 that I use to stream video while on the treadmill, running 12.4.3) or either of my laptops have this issue. So I'm confident it is this iPad and not something to do with my WiFi.

    WiFi is a Motorola z3 running Android 9, Verizon, unlimited data. All systems and configurations are up to date.

    it's only been doing it for a couple of months and it started with an iOS update (don't recall which one). I keep waiting for a subsequent update to fix it but that's yet to happen, I just loaded 13.3 last night after ForeFlight gave the all clear and, nope, local morning news still stopped just now and I had to reconnect.

    ideas?

    not the end of the world but quite annoying.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  2. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    Tim, just break down and buy a Mac. Oh, wait....
     
  3. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I've had some similar trouble's with a 2 year old mini lately, AND now the old iPhone 6 won't maintain a GPS lock with Google Maps...
     
  4. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That happened to an old Android phone I had, maps gps sometimes worked, sometimes did not. My model was that it no longer had enough CPU/memory/something with the mulitply "upgraded" software. No hard evidence of course.
     
  5. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is pure speculation.

    My understanding is that modern WiFi is quite a bit different from the old 802.1a/b/g and maybe n. I believe it may simultaneously connect on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for a single logical connection and uses all sorts of complicated stuffs to increase the throughput.

    Maybe your router is not so good at the complicated stuff?

    You could perhaps turn off some of the complicated stuff on the router and see what happened? e.g. set it to b/g only.

    Check for router firmware updates? You may not want a firmware update to go wrong as it may never work again.
     
  6. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you using a non broadcast SSID? Back in day, that used to be the way it maximize security. Now, if you do that, your phones and iPads are beaconing your nonbroadcast SSID looking to see if the network is present, everywhere you go. It uses more battery, and gives one more way you advertise everywhere you go, if anyone is listening.

    But my advice is if you are using non broadcast SSID on your WiFi, you might try converting to a normal broadcast SSID and see if that is more stable.
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A friend had a similar problem with the latest iPhone and the iOS update before the latest one. This is probably another Apple quality issue.
     
  8. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thanks but no router, just my droid phone with the hotspot turned on.


    I'll see if I can find some info on how to check this...what you said is a bit over my head being the technotard that I am!
     
  9. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There's your problem.
    Buy a proper router.
     
  10. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    FWIR, IOS change their wifi handling of weaker signals, they simply drop them. Speculation is that it improves battery life, I guess the weaker signal requires a lot of retransmissions.
    Put the hotspot closer is my only recommendation.


    Tom
     
  11. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The phone is almost always in my pocket, or on the nightstand...within 5' of the iPad. Even when it's not, it has ample strength to cover the entire house. No other device has issues...even when across the house...including the other iPad.


    Huh? WTF do I need a router for? (The technotard asking). What does a router do that my hotspot doesn't?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  12. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Rebooting my devices has mysteriously fixed so many of my problems. Tried?
     
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  13. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Numerous times. All my devices get rebooted daily...when I remember!
     
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  14. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The same things. Only better and more reliably.
    Of course, that would mean a separate internet connection. Using your Android as a hot spot for streaming seems to me as though it would take a lot of your gigabit allotment.

    But maybe I'm wrong.
     
  15. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you have a non broadcast SSID, when you go into settings, to connect to WiFi, the network would not show up in the list of available networks, and you would have to enter the network name before entering the authentication type and password.

    A few months back, my iPad mini 2 went through a phase for a couple months of randomly dropping WiFi and going cellular. It eventually got over it, but I never figured out what was causing it. So far, my mini 5 is behaving itself.
     
  16. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I know when the NSA is poring over your data, you will see dropouts like this.
     
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  17. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm grandfathered on Verizon's true unlimited data plan which, unlike their current "unlimited data" plan, is never throttled. Last month I went thru 154.7gb. I'm in a semi-rural area, close to a tower, a good combination. I just checked and tonight I'm getting 50.7mbps down and 26.5 up. They hate me.



    oh, okay, that puts it in technotard language! My hotspot shows up fine on the iPad . When the iPad disconnects, I go into settings and there's the hotspot...I click on it and it reconnects.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  18. Pascal Forget

    Pascal Forget Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Which requency is your iPad connecting through? 5GHz might be Apple's preferred frequency. It is potentially faster than 2.4GHz, but it doesn't go across walls or structures very well and does not have the range of 2.4GHz.

    On the other hand, the 2.4GHz frequency might be subject to interference from other devices running on the same frequency nearby, such as garage openers and traditional home wireless phones.
     
  19. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The hotspot is 2.4GHz, no garage door opener...no wireless phones. I do have a set of wireless Advent speakers but they are seldom on.

    can't think of any other potential interference sources.
     
  20. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well it is a router, as in has the function of a router, as well as a bunch of other stuff. I should have more accurately said Wireless Access Point, which is often though inside a home router or indeed a smartphone.

    Unfortunately it may not be possible to adjust the WiFi settings as I have suggested on this device, but maybe there's an app for that?
     
  21. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Do you have auto connect on?


    Tom
     
  22. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On my (old) windows laptops I always turn off the power saving on the WiFi interface since I have often seen disconnection problems unless it is disabled.
     
  23. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes

    one thing I've always wondered. WTH does the "renew lease" do?
    90EDBCA2-82D6-423A-9B0B-F4BC46B4CFA3.png
    NVM...I just looked it up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  24. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    My iPad Air 2 does this. Drives me insane. I haven’t been able to figure it out. It will just randomly decide it isn’t connected to the internet even when I have a strong signal shown on the icon. It tells me there is no internet connection and futzes around a while then all is fine. None of my other devices do this. But I know the internet isn’t dropping out because everything else is up.

    I’ve googled it to death and can find no solution. There sure are others that have this problem. My WiFi is Apple too so no excuse for them not keeping themselves connected to each other.
     
  25. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And now it seems to have healed itself. Hasn't done it for three or four days. Why? I have no I.d.

    no iPad update,
    no phone update.

    that I'm aware of anyway...I have updates set to manual.
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe there was RF interference of some sort.
     
  27. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am not an expert on this and I don't really understand it in full however there is an attack known as a deauthentication attack which can be used as part of a process to break into a WiFi network.

    Possibly this was the cause of the disconnections?

    Brief but unsatisfying to me discussion here -
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_deauthentication_attack

    Better here -
    https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/20219/preventing-deauthentication-attacks/64440
    "you need to make sure you are using WPA2. If you are using a pre-shared key (a passphrase), make sure the passphrase is very long and strong. If it is not already, change it immediately! If you are not using WPA2, fix that immediately!"

    More recent iOS has many WiFi changes which may explain the symptoms.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202628
     
  28. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    admittedly, I'm a technotard but I don't think either theory is plausible.

    RF interference: most of the time when this happened, the phone and iPad were laying next to each other on the nightstand. I tend to stream news video all night...or BBC audio...white noise.

    Attack: My house is in the middle of 200 acres...closest neighbor is almost a mile away. I doubt anyone is trying to screw with me out here.

    But thanks for the ideas! The main thing is that it's working again!! I streamed CBS news all night last night without interruption. When having issues, it wouldn't stay connected for over 20 to 30 minutes. And what's weird is that it would stay connected all night streaming audio (like BBCnews), only video created the issue.

    I guess it's always possible that Verizon was screwing with me since I have unlimited data...kicking me off after a set time. But it only did it on one iPad. Not the other iPad or either laptop.
     
  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    There have been a number of known problems with iOS and WiFi drops.

    Sadly Apple’s “fix” for all of them is a reload of the OS.
     
  30. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So don't use Apple's fix.

    There was a wifi issue with OS/X where Apple claimed not to have a fix - but there are several fixes online that do work great - they recreate the wifi profile. I had to do the fix when wifi crapped out in the middle of a trip to Barcelona. Been fine ever since.
     
  31. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't like that at all, although I am not an RF engineer.

    In my view putting either a transmitter or a receiver next to any electronic device is asking for trouble. So is putting a transmitter next to a receiver.

    Try a few feet apart.

    Power density varies with the square of the distance so when going from say 2mm to 10m (metric calculations easier) the power changes by a factor of 25,000,000. This is a BIG ask for the receiver. It's like strapping a running jet engine to your head and wondering why you can't hear your wife! :)

    Maybe our resident RF engineer could chip in:)
     
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    The 802.11 standard doesn’t allow the two devices to clobber each other. They’re generally both receiving at the same time.
     
  33. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The phone is sending (WiFi hotspot), the iPad is receiving.

    regardless, the problem fixed itself with the last iOS update. No more issues.
     
  34. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    well....that was easy. ;)
     
  35. denverpilot

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    That’s what I’m saying. 802.11 doesn’t work that way at the RF level. It’s not a full duplex protocol. Not really, anyway. But it is two-way. Back and forth. Back and forth. All the time.

    Glad Apple fixed their stuff. :)