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The iPad and Your Wireless Connection
It's no secret that there are a lot of types of wifi security out there - WPA, WEP, TKIP, and EAP to name a few - and sorting through all of them can be difficult at best. So let's say you've finally figured out all of the nonsensical things involved with setting up your connection, but now you want to connect your wonderful little iPad to it in order to surf the web and download the awesome apps that are available for it.
Unfortunately, there are a few things you need to know first.
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Supported Wireless Security Types
Now, compared to things like the Xbox 360 or the Nintendo 3DS, the iPad as a versatile device when it comes to connecting to the internet via wireless access points. It supports the two main security types (WPA and WEP), and assuming you're a home internet user, you won't need to deal with anything other than that. If, however, you're using something other than these two, know that you should actually have less of a problem connecting than anyone else. Great news, right?
If you're unsure whether you are using a WPA or WEP connection, you can find out by accessing your computer wireless settings, found on your Mac under the "System Preferences", or on windows in the "Control Panel."
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My Network is Supported, But I Still Can't Connect?
If you have the uncommon problem of being unable to connect despite using a supported wireless security type (and pretty much all of them are supported), then there are a few things you can try before abandoning all hope. First, unplug your router for a few minutes, and then plug it back in and attempt to reconnect. Sometimes routers encounter a software or firmware bug, and the easiest way to resolve it is usually a simple reboot.
If you still have no luck, read on.
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Update Your Router's Firmware
Often times it's not the iPad that's out of date or not supported - it's the little box with all the green lights that gives your internet.
If you Google your router's make and model you should be able to find the manufacturer's website quickly, and that will give you all the information you need on how to complete the simple process that is updating the drivers that run your internet. If you have trouble finding out how to do this, follow this template when Googling:
"update drivers for [insert name of router here]"
"update firmware for [insert name of router here]"
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Stop Using WEP Security
This one is unfortunate, because I know a lot of people out there really like the beauty and simplicity of WEP security (myself included) but alas, often times the iPad has some weird bug that makes you randomly disconnect when using it. The recommendation straight from Apple is that you just switch over to some form of WPA, which requires that you know a bit about your router. This does vary slightly depending on your particular make and model, but it should go something like this:
- Type your IP address into the bar at the top of an internet browser.
- Hit enter
- Go to the section labeled "Security" or "Security Type" (Could be something else, but shouldn't be too hard to find)
- Follow the on screen instructions
If you keep your wits about you and use your head, the chances that you'll run into issues are slim! If, however, something went wrong and you find yourself lost, you can always call your internet service provider and request help.
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Turn Off Wireless From Within the iPad
If you still find yourself at a loss, there's one more thing I recommend trying: Go into your iPad's settings, then into the iPad wifi security settings, and locate the On/Off switch for WiFi. Switch it off, wait a few moments, and then turn it back on. See if this resolves any issues.
If it doesn't, you're more or less out of luck, but it's recommended that you check to see if other devices can connect without issue. If you have an iPhone or other wireless device (Nintendo DS or other game consoles work for this), turn on the Wifi settings and see if you can connect that way. If not, then it's a problem on your router's end and you should call the customer support for the router. If you can connect on other devices, you should call customer support for the iPad.
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Apple Support, http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3304 (Information)
Apple Support, http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1398 (Information)
Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_security (Information)
Apple iPad Page, http://www.apple.com/ipad/ (Image)