Posts Tagged ‘WIFI’

Apple iPad Wi-Fi Fixes Summary

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Apple
Tags: , , , , , ,


And why you will might be better off if you do.

“Not since Moses has there been so much excitement over a tablet”

The Magic
Apple amazed the tech work with selling an estimated 500,000 Wi-Fi only iPads in the first week of sales in the USA only.   Considering 300-350,000 of these were purchased sight unseen (or touched) as they were pre-ordered, it is pretty amazing.

Australia and the rest of the world can pre-order 10 May and receive their units the end of May.

Then they will need to decide if they will get a Wi-Fi only model or a combined Wi-Fi / 3G combined models, the only difference being the extra cost of the 3G device and of course the running cost of 3G data plans in Australia.

Steve Jobs

Apple Guru and co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs described the device as ‘magic’ (many times in his recent unveiling). Many now agree with the feel of an iPhone but 4 times larger there is a comfortable feel about the device. Using it, the screen almost seems 3D, due to the video card built into the device.

Some like the iPad considering it unique to computing others do not see the point of it.

In my case I wanted a device (Apple or PC), that I could listen to audio books, read books and pdfs, and listen to media especially videos (podcasts and movies) and of course games whilst being mobile on public transport, airports or even at work not wanting to be in violation of internal internet issues.  The iPhone is great but bigger in this case is definitely better.

So for some the iPad is just a device 3-4 times bigger than an iPhone or an iPod Touch. As the iPad doesn’t make std. phone calls even with 3 . However, you can Skype and make phone calls Wi-Fi or 3G aspects

Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi/3G

This begins the drama of it all. Yes you can choose between 16,32, 04 64GB storage, but why would I not spend  an extra $100-150 and get the 3G model and have both.  I believe for 2 reasons. Cost and Battery Life.  The estimated prices are below in AUD.

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only $570 $680 $800
Wi-Fi / 3G $720 $830 $945

Updated 20 May – wow I was pretty close on my predictions I added 6% over US (non taxed) pricing above
below is with 10% GST from the apple store

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only 629 $759 $879
Wi-Fi / 3G $799 $928 $1049

with GST

To date my understanding is the 3G model will NOT allow users to make std.  phone calls on it.
Knowing now expensive and out of control data costs can be on an iPhone. I would be loath to let my child grown or otherwise have 3G, unless it is pay as you go.

Both Telstra and Optus have announced they will have a data plan for the new iPad 3G whether it will be a plan with a contract or pay as you go we do not know yet,  but is assumed it will be more expensive than the cheapest plans available today, as all other carriers like Virgin, Three, Vodafone and others have made the data plans for mobile broadband (3G) competitive. The catch on the new iPad is it will require a special new sim card so you cannot use your existing one from your other carriers you do today (not too easily). Make way for new technology and a new choice.

Do it yourself Wi-Fi/3G

A mere 2 years ago a wonderful new device hit Australia. Looking like a regular USB memory stick,  it houses a regular 3G sim card from your standard mobile carrier or has no sim card but allows customers to get 3G for their phone or laptop as long as you have a pc/laptop  to plug the USB device into. Great for the office and has some mobility but not very handy otherwise.  These USB 3G Broadband Modems  are available from all the carriers so data plans are very competitive.  Most of these 3G modems are locked to a single carrier preventing you from changing plans or carriers very easily, but work very well, but are NOT 100% portable again as you need a PC to connect the unit to power it, and run its software.

Newish Products & Technology

New on the market are a couple of devices that offer all the benefits of 3G USB sticks but none of the drama (e.g. no pc required after initial set-up).  There are 2 main versions of this and they both act a bit differently.  They both offer you a Wi-Fi  hotspot , have 5 hours of rechargeable battery life and get bandwidth from  the commoditised 3G broadband market.

Option 1 – Virgin Locked Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed-

About the size of a large USB stick or small box of matches, and available from Dick Smith, and others , here in Australia,  the Virgin mobile Wi-Fi modem , allows you to share the device with 3 devices at the same time and even has a Micro SD slot in case you want to add some memory to the device as well to use as a memory stick.  The upside it is it is small and battery operated lasting up to 5 hours. Data Plans from virgin are competitive.

Option 2- Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed, /BYO USB  3g Modem stick.

A bit more complicated but just as exciting, The other option is the new NetComm 3GT1WN 3G wireless N, travel Router. Priced the same as the virgin device it does things slightly differently. In this case you will need to buy (or you might have one) a usb 3G modem. So the idea is it is still battery operated but you need to plug in your USB memory stick into it (rather than a pc alone). The advantage is it has a LAN port so you can connect it hard wired to a device if needed. It is also 802.11 N offering connection speeds up to 150mbs between it and your device.

Security

Both devices offer the security STD.  WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security so you don’t have someone else suck your bandwidth.  Pocket-sized it is a better unit but you have a bit more work to do setting it up with the USB modem.

Why do it Yourself?
So an obvious question is if it costs $150 more for the 3G iPad unit why spend $150 on one of the devices above.  For me it was blindingly obvious, with the additional device I can use it as a travel router on anything that takes Wi-Fi  as well as the iPad, my phone, laptop, or share it with a friend,. if you choose.  Also the cost of the data will likely be cheaper this way than a dedicated plan form one of the big carriers.  Yes it might be possible to set-up an ad-hoc network from the iPad, but I think that gets messy. For me the idea of having a small device that can do it all is battery powered is a great idea and using both was a breeze.

Additional Considerations

3g Broadband Plans– Regardless of what 3G plan you get or from which carrier, there is one that best suits your needs. But remember the more data you buy the longer it is before it expired. I made the mistake of buying cheaper data plans $15 or $20, not using it then having it expire on me. Another option is to spend around $150 for a plan that only expires after 12 months.  If you are not sure how much bandwidth you will need you can also buy a cheap amount at first and explore from there.

Using your phone as a Wi-Fi router- I would be remiss if I did not mention this option. There are many many phones even very cheap ones that will act as a wi-fi router per above. However most have their limitations.

The iPhone as a Wi-Fi router (via tethering)
Steve Jobs has said publicly you will not be able to tether the iPhone to the iPad as obvious as it seems. Hackers figured it out almost immediately and on a hacked or jail-broken phone you have an app called  ‘My-Wi’ another called ‘PDANET’ that apparently works very well. I prefer not to jailbreak my iPhone, but this is a good option as well.  I would rather jailbreak my phone than buy the 3G iPad based on information to date.

Updated 20 May 2010- rumours are out that the iPhone 4.0 will allow tethering form the iphone and to the iPad.
We will see next month hopefully

Mi-FI


All the geek rage in the USA and in limited runs here in Australia is the Mi-FI  unit currently only available form Internode in South Australia. Costing between 350-400 it does nothing different than the virgin unit, and is made by Novatel.

Final Thoughts

Wifi, MiFi, or MyWi, the decision is yours. My guess is once Apple realize the black market (mywi) or MiFi alternatives are costing them sales, they will work to allow tethering to the iPad . Perhaps a feature they will have on the new iPhone 4.0 in June

Updated 20 May 2010-

Looks like telstra is now allowing roll over of data usage for the iPad and no locked in contracts. This is a show stopper/maker making in my opinion, the iPad 3G using Telstra data as the best device. I cannot now see why the majorit of folks would use the travel router/modem model. THe except ion is for folks that want to use it for multiple devices (ipad, laptop or iPhone if using a different 3G carrier)

I have a Wi-Fi only iPad and am using the virgin model. I live outside the Melbourne CBD (mornington peninsula) , at home the 3G signal in the middle of nowhere is good and I get fast Wi-Fi to the iPad. But in the car (driving or standing still) I lose signal a lot of the time (90%)  My guess is that the technology for getting the 3G signal sending it via wi-fi to the iPad, and the iPad using that signal there is a dropout.  The obvious answer is there is no coverage here. Per the virgin 3g coveraeg map here it shows 100% coverage by a wide area. With 3G there I believe  is an arrangement that carriers will share each others signal towers in dropout areas. However I am not sure if this same principal works with the huwei/virgin/wifi device, but it is unusable where I am.

I am off to CeBIT in Sydney next week so will try it out there.


New iPad Early Adopters Plagued by Serious Wi-Fi Flaw Issues

Well the problems are starting to show already. With Apple selling   500,000 units in the 1st week problems were bound to arise but I am not sure if anyone expected so many to be impacted (including <gulp> me).

The problems using wi-fi is starting to show up as a big problem. Unfortunately the only way to tell in this day and age, if there is a problem or not, is to see what the apple community is saying and then see if Apple issues a statement.

Both have now happened. Apple is being vague about the number of units impacted, it it is believed to be large.

What Happened ?

It is speculation at the moment, but it appears when the iPad was being tested they only used certain models of  Wi-Fi router to benchmark the Wi-Fi on the unit. Unfortunately technology has moved on and the iPad has a problem with new routers, including the Apple  own products , the airport extreme and Apple airport express.

How to Fix it ?

Unfortunately you might not be able to.  This also is proving a problem as the only 2 ways so far to fix it is to reset you network settings or do a complete factory reset (losing all data and apps everything). But this is not solving the problem, so expect a major update for the iPad (bug fix) shortly. Apple has also thrown up links themselves. Here and here . But for many users (this author included) nothing is working so far.

The Bad News

On the Apple support pages one solution unfortunately intended for the iPad 3G users (the iPad 3g is not out as yet) BTW . says, “If you continue to experience issues, consider turning off Wi-Fi and using the cellular data connection instead of Wi-Fi”. Oops Let’s hope it isn’t that bad

Update (did I discover the fix) ?

I think I solved this. If you go to the wi-fi connection you have  to (swipe it) it brings up a bunch of setting including http proxy. By default this is off. Change to ‘auto’ job done.
Let me know if this solves the problems folks. In my case this was after resetting the network settings and deleting and reconnecting the network, make sure you do that 1st, and you might need to restart the iPad I am told (I did not have to).
I noticed the Internet speeds were 50% better as well per speedtest software.

Any questions let me know

Update Part Deux

Just to be clear I think Apple could have done better here. But we are all early adopters, so we do need to suck it up and move on. Would  I be returning mine for a refund.. yeah right !

I am hearing that the fault is continuing for some users after this fixed the issue initially. I encourage folks to register bugs with apple, and keep an eye on the apple forums.

Another %$^% Update/ Fix that Work

I am adamant that 85% of the problems are DHCP issues. This is because the routers being used some old some new are too new to cause the problems they are.

I just tried changing the DHCP setting to Manual and this fixed my problems. I checked with a dozen others that this has also solved the problem now.

It has to be a DHCP issue

E: dugg.this at  gmail.com

Update 11 May 2010

Apple recently updated a support document detailing current solutions to Wi-Fi connectivity issues surrounding the iPad. There have been several distinct Wi-Fi issues reported on various discussion forums. The new support document lists a few possible workarounds, but also states that “Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update.”

The workarounds listed include:

  • Updating Wi-Fi router firmware
  • Using WPA or WPA2 wireless security
  • Adjusting screen brightness
  • Renewing IP address

Issues with the iPad Wi-Fi include weak signal, forgotten passwords, and more technical networking issues. According to Apple, only a “very small number” of iPad users are affected.

This story (from mac rumors) is here
http://www.macrumors.com/2010/05/11/ipad-wi-fi-issues-to-be-addressed-in-software-update/

Message was edited by: mr-internet


Now to ‘ Un-confusify’ it all.

Covertly arriving in July 2009, the new standard in Radio is now here in Australia along
with loads of hardware (radios) to choose from.

And believe me it is confusing.

oxx

The OXX Digital DAB+ Radio (Classic) offers the best value and list of quality features, and style.

To those in the know, (many UK ex-pats, audiophiles and geeks) this is a BIG deal.

Australia was an early tester of DAB radio but failed to agree the standard for
some time. By the time the standard was agreed the technology had moved on and Australia
opted for the newer better quality standard.

The bad news for some early adopters is that the old standard and new standard uses different radios  for the 12 months testing period. This means some folks in Australia outlaid as much as $2000 for hardware that is now useless as all of the old stations have been turned off.

For the smart ones that had never heard of DAB Radio or waited, the good news is there is plethora of new hardware landing all over Australia and a slew of new DAB+ radio stations waiting for you to tune in.

What is the difference between DAB+ and DAB

Simply the old DAB radio dates back to the 1980’s and remains virtually unchanged to this day. In 2003 better quality DAB+ Radio started to emerge offering quality twice as good or better.  The DAB system uses MP2 Audio Codecs and the DAB+ uses mainly the AAC format.

Now What?

Well this is the good news. Hardware (radio) suppliers have had a good 2 years to ramp up supplies, and distribution for the new radios. Additionally other technology has come into being in the radio world that creates the confusion, but the best opportunities as well for the consumer.  This includes IP (Internet Radio), Pod casting, Streaming, iPOD/iPhones , as well as the normal FM and new
DAB+ stations as well all becoming part of the crowed radio market at can offer  a different radio for every use as well as Mobile (car) Stereos.  The different radios other than the traditional am/fm are:

DAB+

– The new driving force for the convergence of technologies, offers CD quality sound via radiostations. As mentioned there new stations coming on line everyday offering high quality News, Music, Sports and more 24/7.  The screens on radios offer the music track names, artists, station information and more.

WIFI- IP (Internet Radio)

Amazing in its own right, this kicked off in the 1990’s and offersa choice of 11,000 plus stations from all around the world. Amazingly stations can be selected by country, genre and even sometimes (NOT ALWAYS) by individual stations down to its Internet URL.  It uses your own Internet connection (works only if you have WIFI or a wired Ethernet connection)

WIFI Streaming
Having your internet around the house means you can now stream from your PC to some radios, or via the wired Ethernet connection mentioned above.

iPod /iPhone- Adding your on iPod to a radio, is easy now with a docking station added to the top of
many radios.

Consumer Choice  –
The good news for the consumer is you longer have to go to specialist stores to find DAB+ radios, instead you can pop down to your favorite retailer and some (like Harvey Norman) have done a good job of stocking their stores but as of August 2009, training is not good and no one seems to know the difference in quality or features, and in the case of Harvey Norman even have DAB+ radios in 2 different departments (being they are different franchises in the store) but the selection makes them a good contender as the best. Also many DAB+ radios can be purchased online for a bit of a saving, I still prefer when possible to handle the merchandise, even if I purchase it online afterwards. Again to date online costs do not seem to be less than Harvey Norman, so bear that in mind.

Which brand of Radio? –
With as many as 50 radios on the market it can be a bit of a
minefield and the purpose of this article.

Misc
There a plethora of suppliers already from Bush, Sangaen, Grundig but the main ones are below.

Pure
When I was testing the old DAB radio standards. Pure were the only real quality players out
there and I am pleased to say they seem to be the leaders in offering choices in mostly DAB+ only radios here in Australia in every shape and size and around 20 models to choose from .  I find the
quality of their lower priced units (around $300) not good quality. Their better units (like the evoke 2-s ) are $600+ and again way overpriced I think for the marketplace). Unfortunately I believe they have missed the boat a bit and do not seem to be making the best of all the other technologies mentioned above.
Pros–  Good selection with over 20 radios to choose, from now easy to find and price points from $200.
Cons- Not a big fan of the styles they offer and low on features, overpriced at mid-high  end. Entry level models feel cheap.

Roberts Radios
An institution in Radios for 75 years globally makes outstanding radios in all shapes
and sizes  but again I feel are a bit overpriced in the marketplace.
Pros– good quality, high end radios
Cons– not kept with the times low on
features except the more expensive models, overpriced.

OXX Digital-
Based in Sydney they are  a Danish company not a name you would know
but I believe make the best DAB+ radio on the market, not  just on features  but  thebest value as well. Only the Roberts radio (at $500-800), offers the featuresof the OXX   –   http://oxxdigital.com, with DAB+/FM/Internet Radio (all  11,000) stations /streaming/and more.
Pros– great looking, perhaps in a league of their own, great value for money. Best feature is the favorite’s button that has UK BBC stations pre-programmed in the Internet Radio mode.
Cons– none to mention really, they have not truly launched with a bang yet, so not a huge selection to choose from but with these features who cares, you might find yourself getting more than
one.

More Technical info is available here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Audio_Broadcasting