A number of iPad users have expressed their upset and frustration on the official Apple Discussions forum that they are having a number of connectivity issues with their device, with some struggling to tune into their wireless internet connection, and others reporting issues of WiFi signals being weak and even being dropped randomly during use. Some have more recently complained about issues when trying to advance past the WiFi authentication screen and one user complained about their wireless internet connection speed being slower for their iPad than for their iPod touch.

AppleInsider caught my eye today when they reported on these issues. What surprises is me is that one of the posts notes a problem connecting to Apple’s own router system, AirPort Extreme; Apple constantly advertise themselves as being a company which creates the hardware and the software themselves, suggesting that using Apple products is easier because the devices involved come from the same manufacturer. One topic on the Apple forum complains about weak reception to their wireless network, with another seven pages of similar complaints made. AppleInsider noted that complaints were based around routers of different manufacturers and companies, meaning that the problem cannot be traced down to an issue with a particular router version or type.

Some of the issues posted includes one owner saying that their signal is “fluctuating from strong to weak” and that even when they stand in front of their router, the signal still fluctuates. They said that the router has “very strong signals as every other computer has full signal strength, even 20-30 meters from the router”. Others have said that their “signal is weak”, that “downloading anything is painfully slow” and that “it will drop the signal and go offline every 5-10 minutes”.

“I have seen weak performance too while surfing the web” said powerguru, even though Apple has said that the iPad is the best internet experience you’ll have. mbell75, however, has been quite cool about the issue, saying that “just about any brand new device is going to have some issues.” Amazingly, powerguru said that they have used the speedtest.net application on both their iPhone 3GS and iPad running WiFI, and the iPad download speed is “1.83 megabits/sec”, while iPhone 3GS download speed is “14.77 megabits/sec.” This is quite a scary set of numbers –  to think the iPad is running so slowly, while a much smaller device running on the same wireless network has a much faster connectivity speed. I run at around 10 megabits per second, and having used 2 megabits per second in the past, I can relate to how frustrated this owner must be feeling.

D7, however, said that their 64GB iPad is running 16 megabits per second, while their iPhone “can’t get anywhere near that speed”, even though others are complaining and are upset that they cannot go and see those at the Apple Store because they are currently closed for Easter. Dr. JB, one user suffering problems, is hoping that it was just a “bad batch” and that “Apple will replace [their] iPad”. Without a shadow of a doubt, the most common problem reported is fluctuating strength in the WiFi signals

I certainly do hope that this is just a bad batch, because more and more people seem to be logging onto the forum to voice their issues. At the time of writing this, most of the posts and topics in the WiFi section on the Apple Discussions forum are addressing issues that people are having with their connectivity. Apple have made some suggestions which can be found over at their website, but I am in two minds whether or not I agree with mbell75 about the problems of a new device. Although I’m sure there will be problems with a brand new product on the market, Apple has had some practice with iPhone and iPod touch, and I didn’t expect to see so many problems arise in this forum over this issue. Despite this however, I think after reading some of the reviews on the internet, I’m quite happy to say I will buy an iPad to test out its usability, but I’m not sure about having another device to carry around. The reason I’d probably not go for the 3G version is because of the prices here in the United Kingdom. Anything to do with technology is much more expensive in the UK, whether that be internet connection prices or mobile phones and 3G wireless internet coverage contracts. Apple hasn’t released any information about any pricing for the iPad or the connectivity yet, but I can only guess that it will be too expensive – and in any case, if I’m desparate to log onto the internet out of a WiFi area (and let’s face it, how many places nowadays do not have WiFi within reach), I’ve always got my unlimited internet usage for my iPhone.

What do you think? Have you had connectivity issues with your Apple devices? Do you own an iPad? What do you think about it? Have you had any fluctuating signals or connectivity problems? Or, is your iPad working fine? Are you wanting to buy an iPad, and would you consider the 3G version? Let us know, in a comment.

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