Owners of iPad tablet PC device may encounter wireless connection problem where iPad may not automatically rejoin a known Wi-Fi network after restarting or waking from sleep. Normally, after connecting to a wireless access point (AP), a computer, and iPad, can reconnect and rejoin the WiFi network automatically as long as the AP still has same SSID, encryption method and security key.

Apple blames the issue on third-party Wi-Fi routers that are dual-based capable, and fulfills the following conditions:

  • Using the same network name for each network.
  • Using different security settings for each network.

Most iPad users reported that Wi-Fi connectivity (connection drops or cannot connect) error happens when there is weak signal, but are working properly on any other devices except iPad, and hence not related to symptom mentioned by Apple on article TS3304.

Anyway, the solution suggested by Apple is simple, but may not feasible, especially is the Wi-Fi router or gateway does not belong to iPad user, or he or she does not have technical know-how to make the change as specified below. The resolution requires end-user to change the SSID (service set identifier) of the Wi-Fi networks so that there is no Wi-Fis which have the same name, and to ensure that security type of the wireless network is the same across all Wi-Fis with same network name.

  • Create separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band. This can be done easily by appending one or more characters to the current network name.

    Example: Add a G to the 802.11b/g network name and an N to the 802.11n network name.

  • Ensure that both networks use the same security type (WEP, WPA, WPA2, and so on).
  • Update the Wi-Fi router firmware if it’s not up to date.

    If the issue persists, reset the iPad network settings using Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.