Is Intermittent WiFi on iOS 4.3.3 an Issue?

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Is Intermittent WiFi on iOS 4.3.3 an Issue?

Two things happened on the same day a couple of weeks ago: 1) I bought an iPad 2 and, 2) Apple released a firmware upgrade for iOS. Unfortunately, the latter all but enfeebled the former.

Like a good little Apple fangirl, I upgraded to iOS 4.3.3 on both my new iPad 2 and on my original iPad. Within a few hours I noticed a problem: the WiFi kept dropping its signal on both devices. Here’s how it seemed to go:

  1. I’m using the WiFi and it suddenly hesitates, ultimately grinding to a halt and up comes that dreaded “no connection” error. Now, mind you, as an added touch to drive the user completely insane, the signal indicator shows full strength. In my experience it doesn’t seem to matter what I’m doing, be it Safari surfing, checking feeds in Reeder, or watching Netflix. This WiFi problem does not discriminate.
  2. If the connection doesn’t drop mid-use, it reliably does so after sleeping. I’ll wake up the device and the wireless simply won’t connect (although it appears to be connected). Sometimes I can tell that it has connected while sleeping. For example, it will show the right number of unread emails indicated that syncing had taken place since I put it down for a nap.

While there are surely others, the only solution that worked for me was to shut down and restart the WiFi.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, try doing that a few times an hour. Seriously … it’s that bad.

Solutions?  Well, if you read any of the lengthy threads in the Apple support forums (and beyond), you’ll see that there are many.  Unfortunately most of them involve changing router settings. Sure, this may solve the problem at home, but I doubt that the barista at Starbucks will respond well to “hey, would you mind changing the router to b/g/n compatibility?”

Some of the many user-recommended, router-based solutions include:

  • Enable WiFi Multimedia (WMM)
  • Change the router to an n-only signal
  • Change the router to a g-only signal (I’m not kidding! Two opposing solutions have worked, apparently.)
  • Change the router settings to b/g/n compatibility
  • Buy a new router: some folks believe that the problem stems from an incompatibility between certain routers and iOS power save mode.

What’s Apple doing? Not much as far as I know. The rep I talked to said that this has yet to be acknowledged as an issue.

My semi-satisfactory provisional conclusion: After playing with my Netgear WNR2000’s settings, I discovered that b/g/n-mode has allowed both of my iPads to function as Internet devices again (neither N nor G-only signals seemed to work). As long as I stay *home* with my mobile device, everything’s fine! 😉

How about you?  Are your iOS 4.3.3 devices connecting consistently?

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