Apple's iOS 6.0.1 still has Wi-Fi bugs

Apple's iOS 6.0.1 still has Wi-Fi bugs

Summary: For some Apple iPhone and iPad users, iOS 6.0.1's Wi-Fi is still busted. Yes, still.


The latest version of Apple's new operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch, iOS 6.0.1, is still giving some Apple device users Wi-Fi fits.

One Apple iOS update later, some iPhone, iPad, and iPod users are still having Wi-FI troubles.

You'd think by now, seven weeks after Apple released iOS 6, the technology giant would have fixed all this major mobile operating system's Wi-Fi networking problems. Wrong.

Customers are still reporting that Wi-Fi is completely inaccessible with a grayed out Wi-Fi option even after the recent 6.0.1 update. As before, this problem seems to strike Apple iPhone 4S users far more often than other users. Any Apple device running iOS 6.x may be vulnerable though.

Officially, Apple's suggestion is the usual 'reboot and pray' litany:

If you encounter this issue, try the following steps and attempt to enable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth after each one.
1. Verify that Airplane Mode is off.
2. Restart your iOS device
3. Update your iOS device
4. Reset Network Settings, by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
5. Restore your iOS device in iTunes.

And if that doesn't work? Contact Apple or your mobile carrier. Good luck with that.

There is still another Wi-Fi problem if you're using your iDevice on a closed network or automatically connect to a virtual private network (VPN). Brett Glass, founder of LARIAT.NET, a Laramie, WY-based ISP specializing in wireless broadband, reported: 

In iOS 6, Apple assumes that the only reason you would want to connect to Wi-Fi is to access the Internet, and that all hotspots authenticate users via a Web server. Both assumptions are wrong. When you connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot using Apple iOS 6, it starts a browser and assumes that if you need to log in, you will immediately do so via that browser.

Switch the context away from the browser (e.g. by pressing the "home button") before the device is able to contact Apple via the Internet, and the OS disconnects you from the Wi-Fi.

At our hotspots, users first connect to the Wi-Fi network and then activate a secure VPN connection that provides them with privacy (all of the Wi-Fi encryption schemes are easily broken) to "tunnel" out to the Internet. But they cannot do this on iOS 6. When they switch away from the browser and go to the "Settings" app to start the VPN, they find that they've been cut off from the Wi-Fi and cannot make a VPN connection.

Anyone who wants to connect to a private network (i.e. one that doesn't offer Internet access) and use a program other than the browser -- such as an SSH client -- also cannot do so. This makes iOS 6 useless to anyone who wants to run apps strictly on an internal network, including administrators configuring equipment.

This problem, Glass said, did not exist in iOS 5.x. "We have lots of users happily operating on iOS 5. We have tried to caution them not to upgrade."

For all that many users have upgraded to iOS 6.x, until Apple gets its Wi-Fi act together, Glass' advice is good for anyone who depends on Wi-Fi on their iPhone 4S or use their iDevices in any tightly secured Wi-Fi network.

Related Stories: 

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Tablets, Smartphones, Security, Networking, Mobility, Mobile OS, iPad, Wi-Fi

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  • I'm shocked!

    No I'm kidding. The original iPad 1 I tested had WiFi problems, as has every iOS device since. Perhaps some of the problems have been solved, but new ones seem to appear, like the one with iOS 6 creating huge phone bills for users due to cellular data being on when WiFi was apparently selected.

    If only Apple could use its huge profits to hire some software development people or afford some testing ;-). You can't solve every problem by using slogans and a marketing department.
    • Your absolutely right, Tony

      Absolutely no Apple iOS devices will ever be able to successfully use WiFi.
      • no problems

        I've had no problems with wifi on my iPad 3 or my 2nd gen iTouch.
    • Wait...

      So when I'm connected to the internet via Wifi on my iPhone I'm really not connected to the internet via Wifi on my iPhone? Despite the Wifi icon on the top bar and being able to access the internet at faster than 3G speeds? Man I knew the doc gave me some sweet drugs but I didn't know they were that awesome! LOL!

      In all seriousness I do have an iPhone 4S that I purchased 3 weeks ago that came preinstalledwith iOS 6. I had no issues with it at all... I then upgraded to iOS 6.0.1 OTA this past Saturday and for the first hour I could not connect to the internet via Wifi. After that hour I've been good to go ever since. Ironically enough I went to the Apple Support forums and there was several posts of people with issues - and the obligatory frothing at the mouth Apple fananical zealot fanboi saying Apple could do no wrong...
    • I had the problem with an iphone 5 64gb

      It was my first iphone even though I use a macbook pro and have an iPad. I was crushed when I got home and tried to download apps over 50mb on wifi. First I thought my wifi down. However my son with a 4s was on without a problem. Then I walked closer to the router and it showed up but worked intermittently. I then jumped on the internet and read a variety tips, tricks, etc. None of the easy suggestions would work, and I wasn't changing the settings on my router. Even if it would have worked, i knew there would be many routers I would encounter over the years and I didn't want to be locked out by a finicky device.

      The solution was pretty simple. I took it back within the 14 days and got another one. I now a 32gb iphone 5 that picks up routers well, including my one at home. I can go all around my house and have no problems with reception.

      If switching phones didn't work I would have went back to android. I like android but wanted a change. I have to say there are pros and cons of both devices. Now that it works it is enjoyable to use.
  • Not really an issue for me but ....

    When waking up the device, my iOS devices (i5 and iPad2) take longer to connect to my wifi than my Android devices.
    Or maybe just take longer to display the connection.
  • Returned on the29th day...

    The Company gave our I.T. dept. as much time as possible but all devices, (new and Company owned), have been returned for refund. They were quite useless. Much of our business is on a VPN and the new devices just " couldn't play well with others". Apparently there's been a few challenges with older, personally owned devices but nothing untoward. I find it amusing that some issues have been resolved by having the end user check to be sure the device wasn't in "airplane" mode. I'd rather not think that this "fix" wasn't apparent to the user having difficulty... There will now be a few more iPhone 5's and New iPads on the refurbished market soon. (Save one, It reportedly flew across the room into a cinder block partition. "On it's own". Yes, the employee has been given a week to chill and a referral to HR for counseling recommendations. They don't connect, however, they do fly quite well...)
    • No problem with WiFi, VPN..

      Work at a hospital with about 10k users. Login using Juniper VPN (Junos Pulse) is flawless. Mixed platforms, both desktop and WiFi devices, but my 6 iPhone running iOS 6 has not caused any problems. Actually the only problem once logged in, is the awful Windows based screens of our informatics/patient records, but don't get me started.
  • So let me put it this way

    If what Brett Glass, founder of LARIAT.NET, is true, then whoever designed that Wifi connection logic in Apple, plus whoever trying to defend Apple here in this comment section - please do the rest of the computer world a favor and fired yourself.

    What it means is basically if iOS6 6.0.1 couldn't see the internet and connect to Apple mothership, it assumed the connection is invalid and will be cut off. This basically mean 80% of my clients that used VPN or internal proxy that required authentication will not be compatible with iOS 6.0.1. If this doesn't show you how Apple incompetent at enterprise then nothing will.
    • A little info on the wifi

      @samic proofread your posts, your inability to command the English language makes you look like you post is some copy and paste story from a deadbeat that couldn't get a job at Apple.

      As far as the rest of the bashing about the wifi problems here is a little information that may help some end users. If the wifi is totally unresponsive it MAY not be a software issue. I have a iPhone 4S that was replaced by Apple due to a bad wireless network interface card internal to the phone it's self. The wifi and Bluetooth both work off that NIC, and if it fails then those features in turn fail at a hardware level. This may explain why soft ware wipes from the carrier and restores do not work. I personally attribute my NIC failing due to my phone getting hot from being in a case that did not provide ventilation and some sun contact. Shortly there after my NIC failed.
      • Grammar?

        If you're going to trash someone else's grammar you'd better be sure yours is flawless. Hint: it isn't.
    • Your Fired

      Totally false. Not sure who this Brett guy is...but, I am at using Wifi now with websense blocking all connections to Apple, and it is working fine. Your Fired!
    • MY grandmother heard on some queue that someone's grandmother said

      Been designing lots of wifi networks over the years, with both hotspot and (various) VPN technologies used to connect users. What this man says is utter nonsense!

      I also happen to use a number of iDevices on my own networks -- both, to test how they behave and for my very own usage.

      In this case, "you do not hold it right". If you immediately stop the Settings application when you click on the wifi network you chose, then by all means you yourself stopped the connection. You need to wait for the "connected" mark to appear next to the wifi network name and only then navigate away or start your VPN connection. Before that, you have no connectivity, no IP address assigned etc.
    • Satisfy the iOS seeking behavior

      The iOS device will easily connect to Wi-Fi networks that are not in any way connected to the Internet, provided that a webserver on the private network emulates the file and directory path on that the iOS device is hard-wired to seek. If it sees the same path and file on the private wireless network, it assumes it is connected to the Internet and will not expose the annoying iOS "Log In" browser. This hack is well known. Kindle devices operate similarly.
      Yortis Kavortis
    • iOS 6.0 WiFi Sanity Check

      Could it be possible that a direct Internet connection to Apple be required to join a WiFi network?

      I have an iPhone 4S with iOS 6.0 and regularly use it via WiFi with no issues.
      - I do have issues with poor battery performance since upgrading from iOS 5.1 to 6.0.
      - approx. 30% of what the battery life used to be.
      - That makes me apprehensive to make any further iOS updates.

      I did a test:
      - Made my iPhone "forget" the current WiFi network.
      - Disabled WiFi on my iPhone.
      - Disconnected my WiFi router from the Internet uplink and made a standalone network.
      - router is: Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH running DD-WRT v24-sp2
      - Enabled WiFi on the iPhone.
      - Joined the standalone WiFi network.
      - Verified http connectivity to open webpage and authenticated webpage on my local network.
      - Verified SSH connectivity on my local network.

      - iPhone 4S w/ iOS 6.0 will connect to an isolated network and does not require communication with Apple to do it.
      - no special network path required.
      - poor grammar is allowed. :)
  • Any Issues with WiFi Printing on a LAN with No WAN?

    I wonder; If iOS 6.0 is having an WiFi issue when using VPN then has anyone had issues with just connecting to a local WiFi (LAN) for WiFi printing (No Internet; WAN). Is that also a problem? Last time I printed with that scenario was back at iOS 5 (which worked).
    • Do a Simple WiFi Print Test When This Occurs.

      I did a simple test to satisfy my curiosity; with WAN disconnected, I made a print test from 'Notes' thru WiFi to a LAN connected printer which all worked fine.

      This article was my first read seeing this type of iOS issue and have not seen much related detail or analysis. It may be just related to VPN and/or the command [Khirsa] about hardware (NIC) malfunction or a bad app could be involved. Has anyone checked these relationships?

      iTouch 4G, iOS 6.0; Printer app = PrintMagic; WiFi = 802.11n
  • WiFi problems continue even after installing iOS 6.01

    I have an effective residential Linksys (latest version) WiFi system with boosters. My iPhones 4S phones always connected flawlesly before installing iOS 6. Since then they keep cutting in and out from the WiFi system on a regular basis, sometimes every few minutes. Installing iOS 6.01 did not make any difference. It is very disappointing that Apple appears to be unable to fix this annoying and costly malfunction.
    • cant connect to wi-fi

      same here dutch
      Daniel Chamale
  • iOS 6.0.1 wifi shuts off!

    I just updated to iOS 6.0.1 for my iPhone 4 and when my phone goes into hibernation for like more than 3 mins I'm no longer connected to the wifi only to the 3G network. I have to keep going into wifi and manually connect to my wifi and keep putting in the password too it. It's getting annoying.