WiFi Broken in iOS 4.2?


I – like a ballooning number of other iOS 4.2 users – as evidenced by this Apple Discussion Thread, seem to be having major slowdowns with WiFi browsing/download speeds with the newest update.

This is eerily reminiscent of the original delay of the iOS 4.2 upgrade and the submission of the new OS Gold Master in early November.

In the typical Apple “unmonitored discussion board” approach, rumours, explanations and fixes abound. Some threads claim it’s the Safari browser at fault, claiming “…Perfect Browser (see app store) works 50 times faster and is at the speed I am used to seeing.” Other fixes claim resetting the “Network Settings” option coupled with a reboot of your router will rectify the problem.

I’ve personally tried that particular fix and while I seem to get a short-term increased WiFi speed pick up it doesn’t seem to stay “fixed”. A shame that I almost rely on switching over to my 3G network at home to get improved speeds when surfing the web and downloading. The challenge of course is with App Store updates being capped at 20 MB. Yes, I know – I can always update via iTunes directly but that seems so…2009.

The discussion thread started Nov 22nd and in the following 10 days has garnered 24 pages worth of responses, tips, ticks and “solutions” – laid out in a numbing 356 separate responses. Tackle at your own risk!

I firmly believe there is a problem, breadth of discussion board jabber not withstanding. And that’s all that matters with me. Perhaps the rumoured iOS 4.3 update (now pushed off until 2011?) may fix this issue?

If in the meantime, YOU find a solution, email me would you?

[Apple Discussion Board], [Macstories]


  • Chrome

    Still using IE6?

  • Albac

    You should change the title and references in this post to say 4.2.1 which is what you mean. Just saying “4.2” will cause obvious confusion…

  • iamlynda

    my wifi has been extremely slow at home, so bad that I often have to switch to 3G – I’m blaming Shaw though as I have not yet updated to 4.2.1

  • I haven’t had any more issues now with wifi speed than before I updated. Same issues with my piece of crap router and my ISP. No noticeable change. Maybe this is an iPhone 4 issue? I have the 3GS.

  • I updated to 4.2.1 on the iPad and iPhone 4 and haven’t had any problems. The iPhone 3G seems to have been crashing more than usual though.

  • It took me a little over 25 minutes to download a song on iTunes on my iPhone 4 last night…

  • Frankie

    I’ve noticed something interesting:
    On every major update, there is something major that works but not fast enough or good enough. Apple takes a little time to come up with a fix for it in the form of .1 update. Could apple really miss something as major as wi-fi in a major update? Or is it because of all the news of 4.2 being easy to jailbreak or unlock? Did Apple want to learn the exploits and fix them in a .x update? an update that fixes the wi-fi issue but removes the unlocks and jailbreaks for another 6 or so months? It’s a though to consider.

  • Hey guys, great post.. I actually wasn’t aware there were WiFi issues with 4.2 (i personally havent experienced any on my iPod Touch or iPad) but will definitely keep my eyes peeled for a solution and let you know.


  • Flaxx

    Ugh! This is obnoxious. They FINALLY fixed the WiFi issues that plagued iPhoneOS 3x — remember how Wifi would cut out (for split seconds, popping up a message briefly)… it was a bug that got even worse with BlackRa1n causing the broken WiFi drama. I always had Wifi turned off when I was on iPhoneOS 3.01. Since upgrading to iOS 4.01 (and now iOS 4.1), WiFi has been flawless… thanks for the heads up on iOS 4.2 though. Sounds like iOS 4.2 was a rush delivery.

  • Funny that this thread gets made today. My wife and I were just talking last night about slow wifi speeds. She was trying to download a couple apps, she mentioned it was a lot slower then was use to seeing, having upgrade her iPhone to 4.2.1 just 3 days ago

  • noisekiller

    I don’t have problems with WIFI but with 3G…I have a iPhone 4 with iOS 4.2.1, jailbroken and sometimes I have to deactivate 3G, reactivate and now I have internet! Weird!

  • Noahattic

    that’s exactly what i thought. after iphone 4 released, apple seemed to screw up almost every updates. i just don’t think that’s coincidence that something used to work perfectly all of the sudden fucked up after the update. apple knows they cannot fix the jailbreaks for current model since it’s a hardware exploit, but they are trying to stop the user-land jailbreak of making a untethered jb

    it’s the same strategy to apple product line. apple never releases a perfect product. they always leave some shortcoming on purpose to be fixed by the next generations.

  • Flaxx

    I get that the odd times too. I think that’s Rogers, not the iPhone because that happened to me on iOS 3.01/4.01/4.1 on my 3GS. Very rarely though.

  • Eason_1108

    yes! exactly! i use to update app right on my iPhone, but after 4.2.1, the wifi speed is so slow that i don’t want to dl on iphone

  • Apple_fanboy

    cand someone help me? i have a iPad running IOS 4.2.1 jaibreaken and my safari wont lauch i tried to reset network setting and it didnt work. Anyone else have a issuse like this?

  • I have no issues at home with my Airport but at school I can’t connect reliably to the SFU-Secure network. I wonder if I should re-do the security certificate procedure. It still connects to the open SFU network fine but then I need to punch in a password all the time.

  • Riffic

    No problems for me. All ok.

  • Riffic

    No problems for me. All ok.

  • Riffic

    I don’t have any problems with mine.

  • Frankie

    Noahattic you’re right. Now the exploit with jailbreaking or unlocking may be due to hardware design. But there are ways(even though very hard) to help Apple redesign/reform the OS to isolate or not use the gateways involved in the jailbreak exploit. this is not easy, but with Apple’s nearly infinit resources, it’s possible. I believe Apple is fishing for unlock/jailbreak releases with less than perfect updates to stop the freedom very quickly for many months if not forever. It did happen with the baseband as you know. if it was not for the brilliance of jailbreak/unlock hackers in backingup the old baseband and restoring it after the update, the unlock would be impossible.

  • Noahattic

    Exactly. This may delay the untethered jailbreak for 4.2.1 on iPhone 4. You know, if I have to use iPhone without jailbreak, I will give up iPhone and switch to the sexy Windows Phone 7. As the apple’s competitor, I don’t really think Microsoft would put as much effort against the jailbreak as apple does, plus windows phone 7 looks really really sexy.

  • T007

    Wifi on both my iphone 4 and ipad is unusably slow after the 4.2.1 upgrade. Both were fine before. All other wireless-n devices on my network still work fine so it’s not the router/network. Speedtest reports ping times of over 4 seconds, and download speeds so slow they register as “0.00”. It doesn’t actually fail outright, it’s just crazy slow.

    I suspect many people aren’t aware of this problem yet but infact have it. Their Wifi has slowed down, but it still crawls along (barely, in my case).

    Apple support forum threads on this topic are’s only a matter of time before the news sites report on it and Apple feels some real pressure to address the problem.

  • Frankie


    It does look good. But Microsoft hasn’t put is too much effort into windows mobile lately. I hope they continue to support this version unlike the precious ones. I kind of like the OS closed though. I just like to open it myself:-)
    Keeping the OS closed and limited will keep the products in line. Unlike the Android open platform where only the latest handful out of hundreds of phones are upgradable.
    Maybe Apple secretly wants us to jailbreak! Like the CPU makers and overclocking in computers. Hey, here is an idea! Let’s find a way to overclock the iPhone! It’s underclocked anyway!

  • Kaet

    I have no problem with wifi on my iPod touch 3rd gen, iPad and iPhone 4 all on iOS 4.2.1 but my 3G is almost unusable on the iPhone 4 since the update. It worked fine the day before.

    A co-worker has the same problem. We have tried all the fix tips we could find but nothing has helped. Apple tech support has been extremely unhelpful as have Rogers/Fido.