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View Full Version : Ipad WI-FI........ how well?




Strom1
Mar 5, 2011, 08:04 AM
How well do they pick up a WI-FI signal. For example: most of the McDonalds in my area now offer free WI-FI. Is the Ipad capable of receiving this signal from outside McDonalds?



MacDawg
Mar 5, 2011, 08:08 AM
That depends more on the strength of McDonalds signal than the ability of the iPad to pick it up. The iPad functions well with WiFi, just as well as any other device. Most of these "free" public places do not broadcast very far and are intended for use inside the establishment, and not for outside.

ovrlrd
Mar 5, 2011, 08:11 AM
Too many factors to say if you could pick it up or not. It's one of those things where you would have to test it, but depending on the distance even if you can connect then it might be really slow.

Also I am pretty sure the free Wi-Fi you are talking about has limits (maybe a time limit, or it might kick you off at random times, etc).

Why don't you just have your own Wi-Fi AP where you live? I thought that was pretty normal these days unless someone completely lives off their phone for internet.

Strom1
Mar 5, 2011, 08:18 AM
Too many factors to say if you could pick it up or not. It's one of those things where you would have to test it, but depending on the distance even if you can connect then it might be really slow.

Also I am pretty sure the free Wi-Fi you are talking about has limits (maybe a time limit, or it might kick you off at random times, etc).

Why don't you just have your own Wi-Fi AP where you live? I thought that was pretty normal these days unless someone completely lives off their phone for internet.


I have WI-FI in my home. It's primarily when I am the road.

MacDawg
Mar 5, 2011, 08:21 AM
I have WI-FI in my home. It's primarily when I am the road.

We might better understand what you are really wanting to know if you explained a little more. Is there a reason you are asking if it will pick up outside versus inside?

ScottNWDW
Mar 5, 2011, 08:23 AM
I've used my iPad at McDonald's before and it really depends on each individual restaurant. The McDonald's in my neighborhood, and the one I frequent the most, has a very strong signal throughout the restaurant, even the parking area, while the one near where I work, you pretty much have to sit in a specific area to even get a signal, and that signal is not that strong.

I never have a problem at a stand alone Starbucks, but the Starbucks in the mall, although they say there is free wifi, have not been able to connect. The mall even advertises free wifi in the food court, but have been unable to get a signal on either my laptop, iPad or iPhone in wifi mode unless I am near the Apple Store which is no where near the food court.

deeddawg
Mar 5, 2011, 08:29 AM
As alluded to before, the answer has far more to do with where you park relative to the building, where within the building the AP is located, and how the AP is configured.

Generally speaking, places offering free wifi aren't doing it as a community outreach measure, but want you to come inside and buy something then hang around and probably buy something else.

So... is it capable of doing so? Yes. How well will it work? Depends on too many things independent of the ipad for a meaningful answer to be possible.

Simple thing is just go inside, enjoy a cup of coffee or a soft drink or something, and have no worries.

Strom1
Mar 5, 2011, 08:32 AM
We might better understand what you are really wanting to know if you explained a little more. Is there a reason you are asking if it will pick up outside versus inside?


Nothing specific. I just need quick access to the internet on the road occasionally. Not having to go into their facility would be easier and faster..........That is all.

MacDawg
Mar 5, 2011, 08:34 AM
Nothing specific. I just need quick access to the internet on the road occasionally. Not having to go into their facility would be easier and faster..........That is all.

In that case it will definitely be hit and miss based on the McDonalds or other establishment... what equipment they use, where it is located, etc. It will have nothing to do with the iPad. It works well with WiFi when the signal is present.

ProfSusan
Mar 5, 2011, 08:36 AM
Most nice hotels have free WiFi in the lobby and it's a nice signal in a civil environment.
FOrget the McDonald's unless you are driving a lot in the country side.

MacDawg
Mar 5, 2011, 08:38 AM
Most nice hotels have free WiFi in the lobby and it's a nice signal in a civil environment.
FOrget the McDonald's unless you are driving a lot in the country side.

Forget Marriotts... they make you pay... dearly

deeddawg
Mar 5, 2011, 09:30 AM
Forget Marriotts... they make you pay... dearly

Guess it depends on which ones, I was in a Marriott several days last week. Wifi was free and fast, both in room and in the lobby.

thekb
Mar 5, 2011, 02:31 PM
In that case it will definitely be hit and miss based on the McDonalds or other establishment... what equipment they use, where it is located, etc. It will have nothing to do with the iPad. It works well with WiFi when the signal is present.


I am not sure I agree with this. Sure the strength of the signal matters ... a lot ... but not all wifi antennas are created equally so I totally get the OP's question.

Sitting in my house, I can connect to wifi using my imac, macbook or ipod touch. My macbook receives 7 or 8 neighborhood wifi signals. My imac receives 3 or 4 neighborhood signals. My ipod touch receives one ... mine ... and not all the time. I don't understand why the imac antenna is so weak and wish the ipod touch's was a lot stronger.

I am planning to get my first ipad next week and I am also interested in the relative strength of the ipad wifi antenna. I sure hope it is at least as strong as the ipod touch and here's hoping for something more like the imac.

pdqgp
Mar 5, 2011, 03:31 PM
How well do they pick up a WI-FI signal. For example: most of the McDonalds in my area now offer free WI-FI. Is the Ipad capable of receiving this signal from outside McDonalds?

Yes and no. Depends on the location and with many being franchised it will depend on how each has implemented wireless. I've been at some that I just need to pull up and park at and some that required me to go inside.

I can pick up my home wifi a number of houses away. I often do as when its cold and raining I'll drive my son to his bus stop and check email from there.