iPhone 5 Wi-Fi slow and unusable connection when using WPA,
by superfox247 - 10/7/12 4:00 AM
Like to share with you my findings and resolution with the iPhone 5 Wi-Fi slow and unusable connection when using WPA, WPA2. I work as Network engineer and also hold a Cisco CCNP and other security qualifications. Hopefully this might resolve and help some people out.
After experiencing unusable Wi-Fi on various networks with lots of network timeouts on my new IPhone 5 16GB Black I downloaded an app that allows you to ping from iPhone/iPad I used a paid app called Scany but there are lots of free apps that allow you to ping.
What I discovered testing with my own wireless N access point 802.11n:
From my iPhone 5 I ran a continuous ping of around 500 packets to my wireless N access point IP address.. Remember we are testing the Wi-Fi connection so don't add complications of pinging across the internet which could introduce issues and latency out of your control.
No Security - No Issues
WEP Security - No Issues
WPA with TKIP encryption - No Issues
WPA2 with TKIP encryption - No Issues
WPA with AES encryption - Approx. 70+% packet loss
WPA2 with AES encryption - Approx. 70+% packet loss
I used 2.4Ghz range and 5Ghz range. Same on both frequencies.
So the issue I suffered and I suspect most people are suffering is down to WPA2 or WPA with AES encryption. If you can change to TKIP. I would not recommend selecting Automatic encryption as it is most likely to select AES as it is preferred encryption standard.
Note WPA2 or WPA with TKIP encryption is very secure and should not really cause any real security concerns. AES is more secure though. The main difference you will notice though if you are using a wireless N Wi-Fi network is that TKIP will only allow data to pass at a theoretical speed of 54Mbits the same as a Wireless G network 802.11g
I suspect most people connect to various secured Wi-Fi networks during our daily lives you would have no way of knowing or altering the security used or encryption in use. Most Wi-Fi networks I would imagine are WPA2 or WPA with AES encryption as this is the most secure standard you are likely suffer this problem.
Don't turn wireless off and I certainly cannot recommend using WEP as it is easily compromised.
As there is no major stories in the media although growing along with the issue on this forum. I suspect the issue is limited to a small but substantial batch of iPhone 5's. They reckon they've sold 5 million+ so it might not be that many when you sell that many phones.
Tried two system restores one from a backup and the next one setting the iPhone as a virgin/new phone. Issue still present. Resetting just your network connections will have no effect either.
Phoned Apple Care first agent did not know about the issue, passed to supervisor who had only heard of one report of this but by the sound of it that seemed like another issue not connected to what I was reporting. They were not aware of it only being AES encryption as the issue. They only recommended dropping from WPA2 to WPA. Anyway I made an appointment with a Genius at my local Apple Store. (Milton Keynes, UK). They say they had not heard of the issue. I presented them with screenshots of the packet loss when using WPA/WPA2 with AES encryption and they were happy to exchange for a brand new phone as it was only 6 days old.
New phone has no issues with any encryption.
I have no idea if this issue is hardware or software. I have access to a IPhone 4 and IPhone 4s both running iOS6 neither of these suffer this problem. I would suggest getting your phone exchanged with apple sooner than later in case it does turn into a hardware issue.
Hope this helps some people.......