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Apple Ipad Intermittent WiFi Connectivy


We are experiencing problems with Apple Ipads on a large scale network that we install and maintain, the Ipads seem to join the network with no problems (bit slower than laptops etc) but will then disconnect for no apparent reason at random intervals. 

We have ran laptops on the same AP's and in the same area and no similar probems occurred, we are using IOS Cisco 1041's and 1042's, we have seen one of the Ipads's sitting quite happily on a 1042 2,4ghz radio and then it disconnected and went to the 5ghz radio.  We are getting similar disconnects on the single radio 1041.

From 'googling' I have seen a lot of posts for all WiFi vendors Ipads are connecting to not just Cisco, any suggestions would be appreciated



Hall of Fame Community Legend

Are you using WLC?

What authentication/authorization are you using?

Have you tried experimenting if you allow the Apple iDevice to use only the 802.11b/g radios instead?

Have you tried with OPEN authentication with the Apple iDevice?


Hi Leo,

We are using OPEN authentication and I dont think theses sites are on WLC's but will get a definitive answer on Monday.  We cant access the client devices as we are providing a wireless service that the customer buys time on so the clients can be all over and anyone that walks into our coverage sites.

I will take an Ipad to one of the problem sites and make sthe changes you suggest, I will also check if we get this problem at sites that dont have 802.11a /n deployed.

I will update you when I have checked what you have asked.


If they are lightweight APs, also consider lengthening the idle timeout.  It's on the general controller settings page.


They are IOS AP's and have now confirmed the authentication is OPEN, No WLC.

I can't limit the Apple devices as we have no contact with the clients unless there is a problem such as now and if we limit the radio set the customer who owns the sites where we have deployed will not be happy.

Hall of Fame Community Legend

Cool!  Just to test the signal situation, can you get the clients to use 802.11 b/g? 



Sorry for the delay in a response we have not reviisted the site until this week, the sites have been installed at -70dBm Signal Strength , 20-25dB SNR the service is purely an internet connection, no VoWlan or other bells and whistles.

The apple devices predominantly I-Pads are requiring a log-in again after a few minutes, we can't follow your advice about limiting them to b/g as we dont know how to do that on an Ipad any pointers welcome?

I'm just a bit concerned that we are making the sites too 'hot' and its the number of AP's that are available which is causing the problem...feel free to educate me if that doesnt make any sense as I view all of this forum and the input as a learning experience?

We dont have a similar problem with windows devices or android tablets?

Any solutions or advice would be very welcome?

Many Thanks


You mention that the authentication is OPEN and then you mention that the iPads have to login after a few minutes?  SO what do you mean login again?  Then have to join the SSID again?  YOu need to make sure the switch and AP configs are good.  The iPad might be roaming to another AP that might be putting them in the wrong vlan.

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The service has a landing page  that requires the users to enter a username and password to allow access to the service, if there was a vlan issue wouldn't the windows and android devices have the same issue?


You need to look at the service your using and see if the mac address of the iPad is being removed after a certain time frame.  When the iPad goes to sleep, it might cause the service your using to delete the entry and thus making the iPad user login again.

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We will look at that you dont happen to know if the Ipad has a default 'sleep' mode timing do you?


I think it's like 5 minutes, but not sure. I know that I haven't seen any settings to be able to change that.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

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If it is 5 minutes that could well be our problem as we seem to be losing Apple Devices at around the 5 minute session period unless they have something streaming etc.


Hi , 
Remember that when working with more than one access point and with both radios 
at the same time the 2.4ghz and the 5ghz radio, AP selection, radio selection or
roaming is a client based decision.
What we need to make sure for the wireless clients to select the correct 
AP or radio is the following:
On the 2.4 ghz radio make sure that you use the 3 non overlapping channels 
1-6-11 leaving the units with the same channel the further apart if you have
more then 3 access points.
Then on the 5GHZ radio I will change it from least congested channel 
to an static one to avoid the AP changing the radio constantly and making
the wireless clients have to disconnect and reconnect while the radio changes channel.
I will then disable aironet extensions, set the data rates to best range on both radios. 
Also I have seen on some MAC forums that they advice that the AP is either configured 
with no encryption or with WPA version 2 + AES only.
Also once the access points have been deployed on site we need to make sure that the 
overlapping of the coverage cell of each AP does not overlap more than 15% between them.
PS: If you want to use the N option the access point needs to be configured with 
no encryption or just WPA version 2 with AES since this is the only encryption that
supports the N data rates.

Hope it helps.

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