Troubleshooting Common Wi-Fi Connection Problems on your iPhone or iPod touch

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

November 30, 2007

Tips to help you manage Wi-Fi connections with an iPhone or iPod Touch.

If you're having trouble getting online with your iPhone or iPod touch via a commercial Wi-Fi hotspot, such as the ones at Borders or Starbucks, Apple suggests renewing the hotspot's DHCP lease.

To do that, tap Settings > Wi-Fi Networks, then pick the network you are trying to connect to. In the DHCP panel, click the Renew Lease button.  

If your iPhone's Wi-Fi connection keeps reverting to EDGE--for instance, your iPhone looks like it is connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi, but goes to EDGE when you try to access a Web page--you may be experiencing a problem related to MAC address filtering.

This can happen when the wireless router is using MAC address filtering and the iPhone's MAC address hasn't been entered into the filter list, or if you've entered a WEP password incorrectly.

Here's what Apple suggests:

If MAC Address Filtering is enabled on the wireless router, make sure your iPhone's Wi-Fi address (in Settings > General > About) is entered into the router's filter. See the documentation that came with your wireless router for additional information.

If you experience this and use a WEP Password, on the iPhone tap Settings > Wi-Fi. Then tap More Info ( > ) next to the Wi-Fi network name and tap Forget this Network. Then try accessing the Wi-Fi network again. Alternatively, turn off WEP encryption on the wireless router, although keep in mind, this solution will create a greater vulnerability to hacks or unwanted users.

If you're experiencing a weak iPhone Wi-Fi signal, try turning Wi-Fi off on the device so that the iPhone can use EDGE instead (tap Settings > Wi-Fi and the set Wi-Fi to off).

If you are receiving the error message "Unable to Join Network Failure (error -3)" on the iPhone or iPod touch when attempting to connect to your Wi-Fi network, verify your Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID) and Security setting (WEP password, WEP hex or ASCII, WPA, or WPA2) for the device.

On the Wi-Fi Access Point/Router, you should verify if MAC address filtering is turned ON or OFF on the router, whether the security settings on the router match the iPhone or iPod touch (WEP password, WEP hex or ASCII, WPA, or WPA2), and try disabling (QoS) quality of service if that feature is turned ON for the router.

If you are still receiving the error message "Unable to Join Network Failure (error -3)" on the device when attempting to connect or join to your Wi-Fi network after trying the above suggestions, tap Settings > Wi-Fi > Other (under Choose a Network) and then enter the Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID) and select your Security setting and enter your password.

For more iPhone and iPod touch Wi-Fi troubleshooting, visit Apple's Help pages.

Originally published on .

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