It is not often that you face WiFi issues on the iPhone. Apple designed the smartphone to latch onto an available network pretty good. But there are always exceptions and when you get caught into that zone, it kind of sucks.
It's not hard to boost the Wi-fi signal reception/strength on the iPhone when it feels like things are slowing down. A poor WiFi reception on the iPhone can make websites load forever, prevent app downloads/updates from happening at all, lead to crappy music/video streaming and more.
So how to boost the Wi-fi strength without going techie? Here are some things you can try:
Restarting a router is one of the first things you ought to try. As simplistic and silly as it sounds, restarting a router/Wi-fi modem clears a few clogs within the system. Restarting a router after letting it be switched-off for about a minute can actually work wonders if you have been facing intermittent WiFi issues.
While you are at it, you might also want to restart Wi-fi on your iPhone. You just have to turn off the toggle, wait for a minute and then switch it on.
Have got a case on your iPhone. That could be interfering with the WiFi reception. No case is designed to block the Wi-fi – at least, not consciously. Since most cases are TPU, plastic or silicone rubber, they have no effect on the reception but if you're using a case that goes a bit beyond these materials, it might cause an issue.
The easiest thing to do, in this case (no pun intended), would be to remove the case-cover off your iPhone and test the WiFi reception. Of course, this needs to happen over a period of time to really figure out if it's the case that's causing the poor Wi-fi reception.
Setup DNS Manually on iPhone/iPad
Setting up a manual DNS in iPhone's WiFi preferences is know to create a massive difference. Sometimes, it's not about the Wi-fi reception at all. Technically, by altering the DNS setting, we're not boosting the WiFi reception. We're only going through some other DNS to fetch data from the internet.
To change the DNS on your iPhone or iPad:
Find DNS IP addresses that you can use. Here's a couple of them:
- Google – 184.108.40.206; 220.127.116.11
- OpenDNS – 18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124
- Open Settings → Wi-fi
- Tap on the ‘i' icon to the right of connected WiFi network's name
- Scroll down and tap on DNS
- Enter any of the given DNS addresses as is.
- Restart Wi-fi on iPhone.
Usually, DNS is set automatically and that's the optimal thing. But sometimes, the automatically-selected DNS doesn't work. In that case, using a public DNS like that of OpenDNS or Google works good.
Interference from Neighboring Signals – Change the Channel
One of the biggest issues in a neighborhood with lots of WiFi networks is interference. It's hard to exactly quantify or measure the impact of neighboring WiFi signals but your iPhone's Wi-fi latching technology works this way: it pings for the strongest signal and catches on to it.
But there are the so-called “spill-overs” of other similarly-strong signals into the channel you are connected to. This means your iPhone's WiFi might constantly wobble between the other signals trying to see if that's the network you are trying to work on.
The strong 2.4 GHz signal that most routers operate on a lot of channels. If you are in the US, you can pick a channel between 1, 6 and 11 or if you're outside, pick from 1, 5, 9 and 13. There are softwares that detect Wi-fi signals from your neighborhood and tell you what channel these are on. You can then configure your WiFi to stream through another channel.
Obviously, this gets a little more techie than most other solutions but if you're facing serious Wi-fi issues on your iPhone and suspect that it could be strong signals from the neighborhood, this is something you must absolutely try.
You can begin by moving the router/modem about your house to find a suitable spot where it doesn't get interfered with the neighboring signals. Then, start changing the channels and testing the impact.
Get a New Router
Although the possibility of your router being the source of all WiFi troubles on your iPhone is very less, it does happen. A new router can fix this.
Routers usually don't go berserk. In the off-chance that they do, it's hard to figure out if it's the router that's causing the poor signal issue. One efficient way of finding it out is to use a spare router (or borrow one) and test it for a couple of days. If WiFi strength is good and stable on the iPhone using the alternative router, you can say that your router has got problems.
Oh, this one's as an afterthought. There are no Wi-fi-addressing updates in iOS 7.x but it's best practice to upgrade to the latest firmware.