Iphone wifi drop out fix – DNS

Posted by Madbot on Jan 2, 2009 in Techno |

Madbot says:

Since getting the iphone I have been loving all the apps (free) available. But one thing kept bugging me. The wifi would cut out after some time or some app hopping. It’s easily fixed by reconnecting wifi on the iPhone but it was getting very annoying.

Interestingly it was happening to the wifi at home but not the more expensive wifi hubs at the office. It’s not an issue with ip conflict. The wifi remains connected but safari and other apps trying to connect to the net would come back with server timeouts. And wow, plenty of people complaining about the same problem..

Well I found a fix. It appears the phone has an issue with DNS. The phone was already configured to static ip so I know there are no issues with dhcp, with the router IP set as the dns on the iPhone wifi connection. Apparently that was the problem. A few forum posts suggested using an opendns server as DNS to solve this problem. I was skeptical but I was out of options on what I can change on the wifi router config. So I changed the iPhone wifi DNS to 208.67.222.222 which is an opendns server and viola! It worked.

It’s been running great for over a week now. If you have connection issues with wifi, I suggest you give this a go.

So the specific steps:

1. Connect to your wifi point (the one you’re having problems with) with your iPhone as per normal.
2. On the iPhone, Open Settings, Wi-Fi (it should already be connected to your wifi point)
3. Click on the > arrow next to your connected wifi point to see its settings. You may have DHCP or Static, unless you have some special network settings (which you then know what to do already), don’t worry and just go with what you already have set.
4. Click on DNS lower down the page and type in “208.67.222.222”. Save and exit.
5. Browse a few pages over wifi and check if the connection is stable. Good luck..!

Update (2010/10/14): readers Guy and Peter Vroom have kindly commented that if the above method does not fix the problem and you are using WPA2 for wifi encryption, try downgrading to use WPA. It may work for you.

Update (2011/6/14): readers Bec found an oldie but a goodie – check your router firmware for updates. An update will probably fix the problem. It did for Bec.

If you find this entry useful or can do with some additional info, leave me a comment.

You can also help me support this site by clicking on the Facebook “Like” or the Google “+1” button 🙂 Thanks..!

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115 Comments

Madbot
Aug 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Florian,

The iPhone firmware should be fine then. The suggestion on router firmware was because one previous comment that they had a situation where all other wifi devices worked fine with the router – except the iPhone. A quick router firmware upgrade solved it for the iPhone.

Good luck. 🙂


 
Florian
Aug 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

Just checked 5 more public networks and they all worked without a problem. I copied down some of the DNS information:

Starbucks:
IP: 192.168.5.29 (not that this matters)
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.168.5.1
DNS: 192.168.5.1 (i found it interesting that the router and dns were the same address)

McDonalds:
IP: 192.168.6.30
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Router: 192.168.6.1
DNS: 192.168.6.1, 64.134.255.2, 64.134.255.10 (router+dns are the same on one again hmmm)

My Cities free Wifi:
IP: 10.4.45.2
Subnet Mask: 255.255.0.0
Router: 10.4.0.1
DNS: 205.152.144.23, 205.152.37.23

There was a kids version of the cities wifi as well and that had basically the same settings just the IP it snatched was different. Forgot to write down the settings at the Apple Store.

My home router settings are as follows:
IP: 192.168.1.104
Subnet Mask: 255.255.248.0
Router: 192.168.1.1
DNS: Two IP addresses from my ISP. When the router is on without the modem plugged in the DNS, Default Gateway, Subnet Masks slots are empty of course. Only when the modem is attached does it fetch these settings.

I also see that the Subnet Mask for the router (255.255.248.0) and for the local network (255.255.255.0) are different. Don’t think thats really an issue, I think its more the DNS settings.

I have added my routers IP address to my DNS settings (like Starbucks + McDonalds have) in addition to the already listed DNS IPs and its still dropping out. When I remove my ISP’s DNS IPs and only leave the router IP I get no connection at all.

Any other ideas based off this additional research?


 
Madbot
Aug 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Hi Florian,

Any IP address that starts with 192.168 are private addresses, meaning they are not available on the public Internet. So any address starting with 192.168 at Starbucks can only be accessed from within that Starbucks network.

It is common in a small private network (like Starbucks) to have the router also handle DNS. Most routers default to this config and there is usually no problem.

Regarding your home router settings:
– If you are running a normal home network, I suggest your subnet mask be 255.255.255.0.
– Your router automatically obtains its IP and DNS from the ISP. This is why only when the modem is attached, the settings are fetched. This is good and normal.

You mentioned you use mac address filtering and not encryption like WPA. May be an idea to test setup a WPA security (actually simpler than using mac address) and see if you still drop connection on the iPhone. If it works, it is very easy to add the WPA key onto your other devices (just type in the password when prompted the first time).

Failing that, as the iPhone wifi works fine elsewhere, it looks like the issue may be with your router. I would look up the manufacturer web site and see if they have a firmware upgrade for you to download and install. This is usually also a simple process.

Good luck. 🙂


 
DulanDS
Aug 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

HEY I SOLVED THIS PROBLEM….. WITH SIMPLE THING… i tired to do lost of things but lastly i got this… i was change my iphone wifi network settings DHCP to BootP….. & change DNS Ip to 208.67.222.222 THATS ALLLLL…………… thanks for all


 
sunny
Nov 9, 2011 at 7:37 am

Why that specific dns number dont know mch about it but i dont want any security risks


 
Madbot
Nov 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hi Sunny,

No particular reason except that it seems to work – maybe due to compatibility vs the DNS server on the router. The DNS servers are run by OpenDNS – a reputable DNS service provider that also provide anti-phishing services.

Hope this helps 🙂


 
vj
Jan 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

did not work !


 
Madbot
Jan 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hi VJ,

Sorry to hear you are not having much success. Let us know what you have tried and we may be able to assist.

Good luck! 🙂


 
Gary Lee
Apr 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Thank you so much. I got my 4GS 2 weeks ago and it was dropping on & off unlike my previous 3GS. After I entered the DNS like you mentioned, it has been pretty well behaved the last 2 days. Thank you so much…


 
stefan
Apr 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Had the same issue as others above: Stable Wifi-connection but loss of internet connection after two minutes. needed to reconnect every 2 minutes in order to use wifi internet… I have two iPhones 4. one has always worked flawlessly. I had this issue only with one device.

after changing automatic dhcp to static, typing in 208.67.222.222 as dns and filling in the other usual parameters it seemed to work. strangely it started to work only one day after I made the changes. probably a reboot after the dns-change would have done the trick. let’s hope it’s a permanent fix.

thanks. cheers


 
Glenda
Apr 21, 2012 at 6:17 am

Hey.. Thanks! This helped my iPhone which constantly kept dropping the wifi.. But the same thing has been happening with my brothers Android so would this possibly work?


 
Madbot
Apr 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Glenda,

It will not hurt to try it on the Android, and you can always change the settings back.

Give it a go 🙂


 
vaibhav
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm

hey change my dns server on My Iphone 4s 16gb let see, problem its disconnect after 15 minutes when Iphone is near to router not when far way it worked properly when far away but when near it disconnect having this problem for 7 month when i bought my Iphone hope this is the end.. let yu know whether it work or not. thanks for helps


 
Madbot
Nov 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

That sounds like you need a new router..! 🙂


 
Anonymous
Feb 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I know this post is old, but I just wanted to mention a great DNS. Google has a very fast and stable DNS network that works better than any ISP DNS I’ve used in the past. It’s similar to OpenDNS, but with Google’s widespread reach, theirs is much more advanced. The IPs are 8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4 and just put it in your DNS network setting just like that. I use those IPs on my computer’s adapter setting, both my iPhones, and my router. A bit overkill, yea, but just wanted to make sure no default DNSs get used.

If you are unsure about those IPs, just search Google for them to verify.


 

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