How to Fix a Poor Wi-Fi Signal on Your iPad

Troubleshooting Your Wi-Fi Connection

A decade ago wireless networks were the providence of coffee shops and businesses, but with the emergence of broadband technology, wireless has invaded our homes. It's a great convenience that frees us from the chains of our ethernet cables when it works, and when it doesn't, it can be one more headache for us to deal with. Luckily, there are a few different ways to boost a weak Wi-Fi signal.

Before we start tinkering with the router trying to troubleshoot the Wi-Fi network, it is important to make sure the problem isn't with the iPad or laptop connecting to the network.

The best way to find out where the problem exists is to connect to the wireless network from two different devices from the same spot in your house.

So, if you have a laptop and an iPad, try connecting them from the same spot. If you only have problems with your iPad, you know it's probably not an issue with the router.  And don't worry, these issues are usually easy to fix on the iPad.  However, if both devices are getting poor or no signal, it is definitely an issue with the router.  

What if you can't connect at all?  If you don't have any Internet at all, follow these directions on getting connected.  

If the Wi-Fi problem is with the iPad...

The very first thing you will want to do is reboot the iPad.  You can reboot your iPad by holding the button at the top until the display changes to a screen reading "slide to power down".  Lift your finger from the Sleep/Wake button and follow the directions by sliding the button.

 After the iPad goes dark for a few seconds, you can hold down the button again to power it back up.  

This will usually solve Wi-Fi issues, but if it doesn't, you may need to reset the information the iPad stores about your network.   First, launch the iPad's settings app and tap Wi-Fi in the left-side menu to locate your Wi-Fi network.

 

Your network should be at the very top of the screen with a check mark next to it.  If this is not the case, you are not connected to the right Wi-Fi network, which could explain the problem you are having with the Wi-Fi.   Before connecting to your network, you may want to go through the following directions on forgetting a network, but instead of forgetting your network, you will want to forget the network your iPad was incorrectly connected to.  

To forget the network, tap the blue "i" with the circle around it just to the right of the network name.  This will take you to a screen that shows the Wi-Fi information. In order to forget a network, you will first need to join it.  So tap the Join button and type in your Wi-Fi password. Once connected, tap the "i" button again.  This time, touch the "Forget This Network" button at the top. 

Instead of connecting again immediately, you should reboot your iPad again.  This will ensure there is nothing held over in memory before connecting again.  When the iPad boots back up, go back into settings, choose your Wi-Fi network and type the password.

This should clear up the issue, but if it doesn't, the next option for the iPad is to do a full reset to factory default and restore to clear out any remaining issues.

 Don't worry, this isn't as bad as it sounds.  You should be able to backup your iPad and restore from that backup to come out the other side virtually the same.  However, before attempting this process, you should first go through some troubleshooting steps for your router to make sure the problem isn't actually there.  

First, reboot your router by either turning it off for a few seconds or unplugging it from the wall for a few seconds.  It can take up to five minutes for the router to reboot and connect again to the Internet.  Once it is finished, try connecting with your iPad.  

Hopefully, this solves the issue, but if it doesn't, try going through all of the troubleshooting steps for a weak signal on your router.

 If you go through those steps and still have problems, you can try resetting your iPad to factory default and restoring from a backup.

If the Wi-Fi problem is with the Router...

You can use an app to test your Internet speed and get a good idea how fast it is running.  If you are comparing it to a laptop, you should download Ookla's speedtest app for the iPad and test it against the website version located at http://www.speedtest.net/ .

If the speedtest shows a fast connection on your devices, it may simply be the individual website(s) you are trying to connect to that is having the problem.   Try connecting a popular website like Google to see if the performance issues persist.  

The next thing we want to do is to move closer to the router and see if the signal strength improves. Again, it's important to actually test the connection rather than relying on what your device is telling you about the signal strength.  If the connection is fast near the router but gets slow in the rooms you want to use the Internet, you may simply need to boost your signal strength.  Find out some ways you can boost your Wi-Fi's signal.  

If your connection speed is horrible when you are near your router, you should reboot the router by turning it off or unplugging it from the wall for several seconds.  It can take up to five minutes to fully reboot, so give it some time.  Once it is up and running again, check the connection speed to see if it has improved.  

If you have a strong signal strength and a slow Internet speed, you may need to contact your Internet provider.  The issue could be with the Internet coming into your house or apartment rather than with the router itself.  

If you have poor signal strength when you are near the router, you should follow these Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps.  You may want to skip first to changing the broadcast channel to see if that helps.  Sometimes, nearby Wi-Fi networks can interfere with your signal if everyone is using the same channel.  ​
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