network

How to Connect your iPad to a Wi-Fi Network

According to Apple only a "very small number of iPad users have experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity", and that a patch is on the way, yet I see articles all over the web that indicate the problem is much wider spread.

Sure enough, the iPad I brought home just yesterday was also having problems connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that my other devices and computers have connected to for months without problems.

Turn off wireless security

The only reliable, guaranteed fix for connecting my ipad to my Linksys home wireless network was to disable security.

At first I was able to get my ipad to connect to my Linksys WRT120N Wi-Fi router without problems, but not when I tried it again after the iPad had been on stand-by. It recognized the wireless network and would appear to connect, but then would lose the IP address within a few seconds (instead giving me a bogus address of 169.254.108.158).

You can check your ipad's network settings by tapping Settings -- Wi-Fi and then tapping the blue arrow next to the Network you're connecting to. You will typically see an IP address that starts with 192.168 instead of 169.254, and most of the other network fields should have values (Subnet Mask, Router, DNS, etc).

I tried several things that I've listed below, but the only thing that really worked was to turn off wireless security for my Linksys router. It's not as big of a risk as you might think, because my wireless router signal hardly even makes it out to the edge of my small backyard.

Aircard 875u provides blazing fast connection speeds for your mobile laptop

I recently posted a write up about how I used my Motorola Razr as a bluetooth modem for my laptop, which let me surf the web on the way to work each morning. Well, sort of... it was extremely slow! Remember how slow 28.8k dialup modems used to be? This setup was even slower, and dropped the connection ever few minutes.

And to make matters worse, I discovered during the second week that Cingular doesn't actually allow their MediaNet plan to be used in this way. They officially require tethered internet traffic to use one of their "data plans", which costs $59.99 a month for unlimited internet usage.

Sierra Wireless AirCard 875u USB Data Card(AT&T)After insisting on a full refund from AT&T (after all, it was on the advice of their sales rep that I purchased the MediaNet plan in the first place), I upgraded to their unlimited data plan and bought a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875u (USB Data Card with broadband speeds).

I'm riding the bus home as I write this, using the Aircard to connect my laptop to the internet. It's smoking fast!

I performed a speed test using http://www.speedtest.net, and registered about 1.8 Mbps download speeds (it's rated at up to 3 Mbps). That's faster than my company's T1 LAN connection, and I don't have to worry anymore about trying to find a wifi hotspot. It's always connected, wherever there's cell phone coverage.

Aircard 875u Speed Test

How to set up your own home network

If you own two or more computers, you can connect them together on the same network and gain some immediate benefits.

With two or more computers on the same network, you'll be able to print to the same printer, which is the set up I have at home. My wife's laptop is downstairs in the kitchen desk, and the printer is upstairs next to my workstation. We can both use the same printer, which means we don't have to keep a printer in the kitchen - a big plus for saving precious desk space.

You'll also be able to copy files from one computer to another if they're connected on the same network, and can even share an Internet connection.

To set up a home network on Windows XP, you'll need to run the Network Setup Wizard on each computer. Click the Start button and then select Control Panel --> Network and Internet Connections --> Network Setup Wizard.

Choose one computer to be the main server, through which the other machines will connect to the Internet. The other computers will then connect to the Internet through this main server.

Run the Network Setup Wizard on the other computer(s), but select the option to connect to the Internet through the first computer.

Give each computer a unique name and description, so they can be identified on the network.

Use the same WORKGROUP name on all your computers - this is how Windows figures out that they need to all be on the same network.