Can someone test WiFi reception: iPad 3G+WiFi vs iPad WiFi

GeeYouEye

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 9, 2001
1,652
6
State of Denial
Can someone do a comparison of WiFi signal strengths between a Wifi-only and 3G-enabled iPad? Does the plastic 3G window help with the WiFi reception?

Thanks in advance.
 

HXGuy

macrumors 68000
Mar 25, 2010
1,679
0
I will test it but not sure how. Is there an app that will show you the reception? I already did a wifi speed test and they were pretty much identical.
 
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GeeYouEye

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 9, 2001
1,652
6
State of Denial
^HXGuy: Great, got a link to the results?

As for how to do it, just walk around with the WiFi iPad, preferably right on the edge of its wifi range (so the WiFi indicator shows only 1 bar). Then repeat that walk with the 3G, and see if at any point the you get 0 or 2 (or 3!) bars instead. I don't think there are any apps that do signal levels and SNR like there are on the Mac, but I could be wrong.
 
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AVonGauss

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2006
269
38
Boynton Beach, FL
That's two separate issues, one where there are WiFi connectivity issues and I would expect the 3G model to have the same issues since there has been no new firmware update. The other issue, which I believe the OP is referencing is where the iPad WiFi signal is weak and the additional plastic in the 3G model may help.
 
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Jeremyao

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2009
4
0
You can use the Airport Utility on a Mac to view the "Rate" of the connection, if you have an Apple wireless network. I'm on my third 64GB Wifi iPad and all of them have had weak signal strength and inconsistent wifi Rates while using wireless N 5Ghz on my Airport Extreme. The Rate will never go above 72 on my iPad while my MBP and other N devices easily get 300 but, I believe this is a hardware limitation of the low power wifi chip used in all iPad's. Someone with both iPad's Wifi and 3G please provide some comparison of Wifi Rates on wireless-N 5Ghz.
 
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iRabbit

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2007
438
33
From what i've read, I'm starting to think it's the 64gig units that are a problem. Hubby has 32 gig wifi... He's had zero problems. Sitting next to him with the 3G 64 gig I have a weaker signal, and the signal isn't steady.

Nothing scientific, but I was surprised to run into an issue since it's all been flawless with my husbands for the last two weeks.
 
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JZ Wire

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2003
248
1
Miami, FL
Ive been testing my 3G iPad today after weeks of hearing reports of bad wifi strength. To be honest, I find that the signal is on par with my iphone.
The signal was strong throughout the house. I then went a few feet outside and both the ipad and iphone had a weak signal. Btw, i have a 32GB ipad.
 
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imacdaddy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2006
661
0
From what i've read, I'm starting to think it's the 64gig units that are a problem. Hubby has 32 gig wifi... He's had zero problems. Sitting next to him with the 3G 64 gig I have a weaker signal, and the signal isn't steady.

Nothing scientific, but I was surprised to run into an issue since it's all been flawless with my husbands for the last two weeks.
Both my wife and I have the 64GB iPad and both have weak wifi signal vs our iPhones in the next room. iPhones got full signal vs iPad only 1 bar. I've got the AEBS 802.11N 5GHz configured so ALL devices are on 5GHz band not the 2GHz.

I too want to know if the plastic top of the iPad 3G+wifi makes a difference on reception.
 
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Payton3485

macrumors member
May 1, 2010
61
0
I received my 3G/wifi iPad and I have had zero problems with wifi reception. I have full bars showing for wifi throughout my house and the signal mirrors my iPhone/iPod touch. I am very happy that I am not experiencing any of the issues that some here have spoken about. I have not lost connection and was not asked to re-enter my network's password again either. It's been a very pleasant experience thus far.
 
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orangerock

macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2009
147
2
My wife has had wi-fi drop 4 times since receiving her ipad 3G yesterday. I don't know that one day is long enough time to say it has an issue, but was wondering if more people are seeing this. Should the ipad ever lose a solid reliable wi-fi signal? My Fall '09 iMac was purchased last December and I have never had a random signal drop.
 
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Bigrahizzle

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2010
108
0
Signals drop from time to time, Mine droped earlier but I'm assuming it was the lousy router here
 
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jroug

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2008
52
0
Has anyone done this yet? I'd have thought the tech sites wouldve been all over this - seems like a no-brainer. I have a wifi ipad sitting in the box in hopes of finding out if the 3g version has the same wifi issues the plain ol wifi version has. As the original poster mentioned, the plastic element of the case might improve reception.

Bueller?
 
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tbullock

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2008
8
0
Same issues with 3G

I got a 3G on Friday and definitely noticed that the WiFi is weak. It's weaker than my iPhone, and weak enough that I searched for others having issues. I use an Apple Airport Extreme with the 5GHz band, and it occasionally drops the connection when I'm about 40 feet away. When it doesn't drop, it seems to go from strong to weak to strong again repeatedly. I have my AE set to the lowest signal strength though, so I'm hoping that turning it up will help. Both iPad versions have the WiFi antenna right behind the Apple logo on the back (I think), so there should be no difference in WiFi reception between them.
 
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Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,894
31
Northern Virginia
I will test it but not sure how. Is there an app that will show you the reception? I already did a wifi speed test and they were pretty much identical.
SpeedtestX HD

Here are the results off my iPad 3G

The first pic is showing lower speeds in the recent tests section of the screen capture using a neighbors "borrowed" wifi signal - while the main screen is showing my speed test result on my wifi. Sure would be nice to have the name of the network next to the wifi symbol. It was only when I went to turn off wifi and start the 3G that I noticed I was not on the right network. The second is using 3G.
 

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tripjammer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2010
581
0
I got a Ipad 64gb Wifi+3G model. The wifi is rock solid in my crib! I got a brand new Airport Extreme.
 
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tigres

macrumors 601
Aug 31, 2007
4,095
1,047
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
Took the iPad 16g wifi model to Philly this week on a conference. Wifi on it sucked- period. Could not locate the free wifi in the room that my MBA and iPhone picked up. Logged in with my T-mobile hotspot account (which it found) and noticed it dropping connections every 10 min or so- forcing me to log in again.

After trying everything, just used the MBA and iPhone.

Left it in the bag for the rest of the trip. this unit is useless if it can't get a signal. BTW, this is a replacement unit, the first had hardware freezing on video streaming (hard reset only fixed it).

I'm perplexed why so many have great experiences they share and our 2nd unit appears abysmal at best. The excitement of using this on traveling was a huge letdown to me.

I'm taking it back.
 
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jeffp

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2008
30
0
I have a 64g wifi iPad that has been performing well on my wifi network. It seems every bit as good as my iPhone 3GS.
 
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cjbryce

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2008
469
144
London
This was on a reasonably strong Vodafone UK 3G connection (despite what it might say - WiFi was switched off)

Download speed: 3562.36 Kbps (3.48 Mbps / 445.30 KB/s) Total test time: 22.996 Seconds

 
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