iPad: Control Wi-Fi Connections

Wi-Fi is typically the fastest wireless network that you can use to surf the web and send e-mail on the iPad. You use the Wi-Fi setting to determine which Wi-Fi networks are available to you and which one to exploit based on its signal.

Tap Wi-Fi so that the setting is on and all Wi-Fi networks in range display, as shown in the figure. (Alternatively, you can reach this screen by tapping General→Network→Wi-Fi.)

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Tap the Wi-Fi switch to Off whenever you don’t have access to a network and don’t want to drain the battery.

A signal-strength indicator can help you choose the network to connect to if more than one is listed; tap the appropriate Wi-Fi network when you reach a decision. If a network is password-protected, you see a Lock icon.

You can also turn the Ask to Join Networks setting on or off. Networks that the iPad are already familiar with are joined automatically, regardless of which one you choose. If the Ask feature is off and no known networks are available, you have to manually select a new network.

If the Ask feature is on, you’re asked before joining a new network. Either way, you see a list with the same Wi-Fi networks in range.

If you used a particular network automatically in the past but you no longer want your iPad to join it, tap the > symbol next to the network in question (within Wi-Fi settings) and then tap Forget This Network. The iPad develops a quick case of selective amnesia.

In some instances, you have to supply other technical information about a network you hope to connect to. You encounter a bunch of nasty-sounding terms: DHCP, BootP, Static IP Address, Subnet Mask, Router, DNS, Search Domains, Client ID, HTTP Proxy, and Renew Lease.

Chances are good that none of this info is on the tip of your tongue — but if you do have to fill in or adjust these settings, a network administrator or techie friend can probably help you.

Sometimes, you may want to connect to a network that’s closed and not shown on the Wi-Fi list. If that’s the case, tap Other and use the keyboard to enter the network name. Then tap to choose the type of security setting the network is using (if any). Your choices are WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Enterprise, and WPA2 Enterprise.

If no Wi-Fi network is available, you have to rely on 4G, 3G or a slower cellular connection if you have a capable model. If you don’t or you’re out of reach of a cellular network, you can’t rocket into cyberspace until you regain access to a network.

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