US universities block 'malfunctioning' iPads

Princeton has blocked two dozen iPads after they wreaked havoc with its Wi-Fi networks, while GWU says the Apple tablet isn't compatible with its authentication system.

iPad

Several US universities have blocked students from accessing campus networks using an iPad, blaming "malfunctions" and bandwidth overloads caused by the Apple tablet device.

Princeton University has denied access to one in five iPads on campus around two dozen in total - claiming the slates in question were responsible for "malfunctions that can affect the entire school's computer system".

Specifically, it said the iPads interfered with other devices on the network. The university's network engineers have since found the issue to lie with the iPhone OS 3.2 operating system, which is failing to refresh its DHCP lease successfully causing it to attempt to use the same IP address, which the router may then block or have already assigned to another wireless client.

George Washington University (GWU), meanwhile, said its authentication system wasn't supported by the iPad or the iPhone, for that matter and so users were unable to log on to the network in the first place. GWU is reportedly working on the problem, though doesn't expect it to be resolved any time soon.

Seton Hall University has drawn widespread attention for its pledge to equip all of its 2,100 students with an iPad, but the move has proved significantly more expensive than expected. The university has had to quadruple its bandwidth, and has passed on a $500-per semester "technology fee" to students.

Princeton's issues first came to light less than a week after the iPad went on sale earlier this month. University officials reported "high risk problems" and urged students to avoid trying to connect to the campus network using an iPad.

However, around four dozen students ignored the warning, and half of the iPads in question caused problems and were subsequently blocked.

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