Thoughts on iPad Performance by SSID

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I apologize for how obscure this sounds, but I am trying to think of anything I may be missing in my analysis of a particular issue.

We have a pretty basic Network Policy. Three SSIDs.

1. Guest - Rate limited by user policy, only available after 3:00, etc.

2. Authenticated users - All users joining this SSID are forced to a captive portal on our iBoss content filter and use AD credentials to log in.

3.  DistrictDevices - For iPads, Chromebooks, etc.  Any device that we have as part of carts or labs and don't want to require login we have set up MAC authentication using NPS.  We simply use the MAC address as username and password for any devices we permit on this network.  Works fine.

So in one particular classroom we have about 20 iPad minis.  They are all allowed to join DistrictDevices.  The teacher in this room has done some excellent troubleshooting with me and is consistently seeing spotty network performance from a handful of these iPads.  They time out when trying to access particular online reading program... they use a website called Kahoot to do online quiz games and these few often fail to allow students to answer questions.  The rest function just fine.  All of these iPads have great numbers in terms of signal strength, no interference, all steering to 5ghz.  I see nothing in the logs that pops out.

So just as a test he tried joining one of the troublesome iPads to the Authenticated users SSID and is reporting that he is having no trouble when connected.

The only difference between the two is that they; 1. Are on different VLANs,  2. The DistrictDevices SSID is attached to a user profile that is set up for MAC authentication.   They both use the same rate limit/QOS policy.

Again... most of the iPads have no issues.  It's just these handful that have issues.  But I'm perplexed as to how simply switching SSIDs would make the problems go away.

Any thoughts on how to troubleshoot this further?

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Tony Andrews

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Posted 2 years ago

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Roberto Casula, Champ

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Do the two SSIDs differ in terms of:

SSID Broadcast Band
Access security (e.g. Open vs. WPA2-Enterprise)
Data rate selection
WMA/UAPSD/Voice Enterprise Settings
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Tony Andrews

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Hi Robert...

No difference other than the things I mentioned in the original post.  It would make more sense if either all of the iPads performed well or all performed poorly, but the fact that performance is (consistently) mixed is what is baffling.   20 iPads.  7 have issues, 13 work just fine. 

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John Fabry

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Try turning the WiFi off and back on at the iPad. If that works check drivers and possibly for grins re-image one or two.  Really looks like a client side problem.