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View Full Version : iPhone connects to, but won't actually use a WiFi Hotspot




NATO
Aug 27, 2008, 06:17 PM
I've had this happen a couple of times now and I'm frustrated as to how to possibly fix it. Basically I will connect to a WiFi hotspot (there's one near my work, a 'The Cloud' hotspot, and another which was a BT Openzone hotspot. In both cases, the iPhone 3G connected to it just fine, but it won't actually use the connection! It kept using 3G even though the WiFi was connected (ie, the 3G symbol remained at the top of the screen, rather than the WiFi one, even though the WiFi settings confirmed that I was connected to the hotspot)

When I launched Safari, it didn't divert me to the usual WiFi landing page, it just kept using the 3G data as if WiFi wasn't there. If it helps, the IP address I was given when I connected to 'The Could' WiFi hotspot was 169.254.159.168 / Subnet Mask of 255.255.0.0 (In case this might actually be useful to someone).

My WiFi connection at home works just fine, so it's not a problem with ALL WiFi connections.

Could anyone suggest why this happens as it's a bit frustrating!



yagrax
Aug 27, 2008, 06:30 PM
I've had this happen a couple of times now and I'm frustrated as to how to possibly fix it. Basically I will connect to a WiFi hotspot (there's one near my work, a 'The Cloud' hotspot, and another which was a BT Openzone hotspot. In both cases, the iPhone 3G connected to it just fine, but it won't actually use the connection! It kept using 3G even though the WiFi was connected.

When I launched Safari, it didn't divert me to the usual WiFi landing page, it just kept using the 3G data as if WiFi wasn't there. If it helps, the IP address I was given when I connected to 'The Could' WiFi hotspot was 169.254.159.168 / Subnet Mask of 255.255.0.0 (In case this might actually be useful to someone).

My WiFi connection at home works just fine, so it's not a problem with ALL WiFi connections.

Could anyone suggest why this happens as it's a bit frustrating!




I kinda have the same problem at my home system and I think I know what's going on which may give you insight.

Bottom line is that there may be 2 network devices - one your phone can see, and one that's down beyond it's sight.


At my home system I have a DSL modem connected to the local phone company that provides my DSL connection. Then I have a wifi router connected to that which gives me WiFi in the house.

Sometimes, the DSL modem won't connect to the local phone company, but the WiFi router is "on" and sending WiFi signals out and to the iPhone appears that it's working just fine. But in Safari (email, etc) it just won't bring up any webpages.

This seems similar to your issue where the WiFi spot will connect, but the connection is not actually working. There may be a hidden network device that's down that your iPhone can't really "see".

skubish
Aug 27, 2008, 06:47 PM
I kinda have the same problem at my home system and I think I know what's going on which may give you insight.

Bottom line is that there may be 2 network devices - one your phone can see, and one that's down beyond it's sight.


At my home system I have a DSL modem connected to the local phone company that provides my DSL connection. Then I have a wifi router connected to that which gives me WiFi in the house.

Sometimes, the DSL modem won't connect to the local phone company, but the WiFi router is "on" and sending WiFi signals out and to the iPhone appears that it's working just fine. But in Safari (email, etc) it just won't bring up any webpages.

This seems similar to your issue where the WiFi spot will connect, but the connection is not actually working. There may be a hidden network device that's down that your iPhone can't really "see".
Yep I think this is it.

GoodFish
Nov 17, 2008, 01:26 AM
I had the very same problem with my new 8gig iphone 3G and it was driving me NUTS since a week. It would show the wifi signal on full strength, and regardless of whether i used DHCP or Static IP, it would either just not connect to the internet or it would occasionally get the connection and lose it within a few seconds. An interesting observation I made was that my laptop (a Macbook pro) would work with the router just fine.

I called Apple tech support and apart from coming up with the good idea that when I had to test safari i could switch to airport mode while testing wifi (thereby knowing that the web pages were loading not due to 3G but due to wifi only), they were not of much help. I even rolled back my version to the factory settings but no use.

After plenty playing around, I think I may have the answer! Its been working fine after I made this change. ANd the change is on the router - not on the phone.

You see, I have an SMC Barricade router that supports both 11mbps (b) and 54mbps (g). I was running it in '11b + 54g mixed long range' mode on channel 6 with g nitro switched on. Now i dont know what g nitro is, but it sounded sexy, so when i bought the router i decided to leave it on. When I had these settings on, I could not connect..and made a n observation - it was giving me a weird looking IP adress 169.254.....something and a strange subnet mask of 255.255.0.0 whereas all my other devices use 255.255.255.0.

I decided to change the router settings. I turned g nbiitro off. ANd I changed it from 'mixed 11b + 54g' mode to 54mbps - g only. After I saved the settings, I went back to my iphone, and PRESTO!!!! I see that my subnet mask is now 255.255.255.0, and the IP address is what it should be...i have had no trouble yet, and its been working alright for at least 5 hours now..before it would not even go on for 5 minutes. Also, earlier, on the iphone wifi settings, the router and DNS fields used to be blank under DHCP mode. Now they show the IP address of the router and the DNS IP automatically.

So i think this works great. One tip - once you change the router settings , go back to your iphone, turn airplane mode on, go to wifi settings and click on 'Forget This Network'. It will blank out everything, then scan the environment and come up with your router SSID (name). When you enter your wifi WPA or WEP password, it will take about 60 seconds, then start working - originally it will show you the wrong subnet mask, and within 60 seconds it will correct itself and all fields including DNS and router will now be filled in. So be patient.

Hope this helped!

GoodFish
Nov 17, 2008, 02:41 AM
I had the very same problem with my new 8gig iphone 3G and it was driving me NUTS since a week. It would show the wifi signal on full strength, and regardless of whether i used DHCP or Static IP, it would either just not connect to the internet or it would occasionally get the connection and lose it within a few seconds. An interesting observation I made was that my laptop (a Macbook pro) would work with the router just fine.

I called Apple tech support and apart from coming up with the good idea that when I had to test safari i could switch to airport mode while testing wifi (thereby knowing that the web pages were loading not due to 3G but due to wifi only), they were not of much help. I even rolled back my version to the factory settings but no use.

After plenty playing around, I think I may have the answer! Its been working fine after I made this change. ANd the change is on the router - not on the phone.

You see, I have an SMC Barricade router that supports both 11mbps (b) and 54mbps (g). I was running it in '11b + 54g mixed long range' mode on channel 6 with g nitro switched on. Now i dont know what g nitro is, but it sounded sexy, so when i bought the router i decided to leave it on. When I had these settings on, I could not connect..and made a n observation - it was giving me a weird looking IP adress 169.254.....something and a strange subnet mask of 255.255.0.0 whereas all my other devices use 255.255.255.0.

I decided to change the router settings. I turned g nbiitro off. ANd I changed it from 'mixed 11b + 54g' mode to 54mbps - g only. After I saved the settings, I went back to my iphone, and PRESTO!!!! I see that my subnet mask is now 255.255.255.0, and the IP address is what it should be...i have had no trouble yet, and its been working alright for at least 5 hours now..before it would not even go on for 5 minutes. Also, earlier, on the iphone wifi settings, the router and DNS fields used to be blank under DHCP mode. Now they show the IP address of the router and the DNS IP automatically.

So i think this works great. One tip - once you change the router settings , go back to your iphone, turn airplane mode on, go to wifi settings and click on 'Forget This Network'. It will blank out everything, then scan the environment and come up with your router SSID (name). When you enter your wifi WPA or WEP password, it will take about 60 seconds, then start working - originally it will show you the wrong subnet mask, and within 60 seconds it will correct itself and all fields including DNS and router will now be filled in. So be patient.

Hope this helped!


One more thing..make sure that you dont set your router to work on only one channel (a lot of them like channel 6) . Instead choose 'Auto'.

Dr. Cabrera
Nov 17, 2008, 03:03 AM
169.254.159.168 is not a real IP adress, its more of a default address that your router gives you, You are indeed connected to the router, but you are not connected to the internet


Basically its not your phones fault its the router not giving you a proper IP address. The solution to this is


a) wait until you get a proper IP address from the router ( depends on how long the refresh is )

or

b) reset the router


I know that these options aren't great, but that is the only advice I can give you.


I was a computer Technician for over 5 years so I have some knowledge on this matter :D