An unstable Internet connection can affect many of your iPad's functions, causing slow browsing and stuck downloads. As with most wireless devices, the iPad is susceptible to network issues caused by both poor signal quality and misconfigured settings. However, the iPad has no Ethernet port to test with, which presents additional challenges, making it relatively difficult to prove whether the issue lies with your wireless connection or your Internet link itself.

Inspect Your Router

Begin troubleshooting your iPad's connection issue by ensuring that the issue doesn't lie with your router. If possible, test the connection using another device on the same Wi-Fi network. If that device also experiences connection issues, your router may be at fault. Most routers have a hard reset function, allowing you to eliminate some setup problems by returning them to their original factory configuration. In addition, you should check the connections between your router, modem and Internet line to ensure they are secure.

Watch Your Signal Path

A wireless signal path is the physical route taken by a Wi-Fi signal to travel from your router to your devices. If that signal path passes through areas of interference, the quality of the signal will be decreased, potentially causing devices to disconnect from the network. Common sources of interference include dense materials, such as steel and devices which emit electromagnetic radiation, such as microwaves. If possible, adjust your router's position to keep it clear of any interference sources.

IPad Troubleshooting

If your Internet connection itself seems okay, troubleshoot your iPad. To start, reset your device's Wi-Fi connection by opening the “Wi-Fi” tab of the “Settings” menu and turning the “Wi-Fi” toggle button off and on again. If this does not work, instruct your iPad to forget your network by tapping the “Information” button next to that network and then selecting “Forget This Network.” This will cause your iPad to see your Wi-Fi link as a brand-new network, helping to eliminate configuration problems.

Reset Network Settings

If your iPad is still disconnecting, try checking for software updates by going to “Settings,” “General” and then “Software Update.” However, if this doesn't work, you should use the Reset Network Settings tool. Reset Network Settings effectively performs a partial factory reset on your iPad, returning all network-related aspects of its software to default settings. To use this tool, go to “Settings | General | Reset | Reset Network Settings.” You will need to manually re-enter any previously saved networking configuration, such as favorited wireless networks.

Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to iPad devices running iOS 6 and 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.