Follow these steps first
Before you change your settings, follow these steps:
- Make sure your Wi–Fi router's firmware is up to date.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi devices support the settings this article recommends.
- If possible, back up your Wi-Fi router's settings.
- Forget or remove the Wi-Fi settings for your network from any devices that connect to your Wi-Fi router. This will prevent the devices from attempting to connect to your network with the old configuration. You'll need to reconnect these devices to your network when you have finished applying the new settings.
- Configure all Wi-Fi routers on the same network with the same settings. Otherwise, devices could have difficulty connecting to your network, or your network could become unreliable.
- If you're using a dual-band Wi-Fi router, configure both bands to have the same settings, unless otherwise noted below.
SSID or Wi-Fi network name
The SSID (service set identifier), or network name, identifies your Wi-Fi network to users and other Wi-Fi devices. It is case sensitive.
Set to: Any unique name
Choose a name that's unique to your network and isn't shared by other nearby networks or networks you're likely to encounter. If your router came with a default SSID, it's especially important that you change it to a different, unique name. Some common default SSID names to avoid are linksys, netgear, dlink, wireless, 2wire and default.
If your SSID isn't unique, Wi-Fi devices will have trouble identifying your network. This could cause them to fail to connect automatically to your network, or to connect to other networks that share the same SSID. It may also prevent Wi-Fi devices from using all routers in your network, or prevent them from using all available bands of a router.
Hidden networks don't broadcast their SSID over Wi-Fi. This option may be incorrectly referred to as a closed network, and the corresponding non-hidden state may be referred to as broadcast.
Set to: Disabled
Because hidden networks don't broadcast their SSID, devices may need more time to find them and connect to them. Hiding a network doesn't secure your Wi-Fi network, because the SSID can still be discovered in other ways. You should always enable security on your Wi-Fi router.
MAC address authentication or filtering
Restricts access to a Wi-Fi router to devices with specific MAC (Media Access Control) addresses.
Set to: Disabled
When enabled, this feature allows a user to configure a list of MAC addresses for the Wi-Fi router, and restrict access to devices with addresses that are on the list. Devices with MAC addresses not on the list will fail to associate with the Wi-Fi network. MAC addresses can be changed easily, so don't rely on them to prevent unauthorised access to the network.
iOS 8 and later uses a randomised MAC address when running Wi-Fi scans. The scans are conducted when a device isn't associated with a Wi-Fi network and its processor is asleep. A device’s processor goes to sleep shortly after the screen is turned off. Wi-Fi scans are run to determine whether a user can connect to a preferred Wi-Fi network. Enhanced Wi-Fi scans are run when a device uses Location Services for apps that use geofencing, such as location-based reminders, that determine whether the device is near a specific location.
The security setting controls the type of authentication and encryption used by your Wi-Fi router, which allows you to control access to the network and specify the level of privacy for data you send over the air.
Set to: WPA3 Personal (AES)
WPA3 Personal (AES) is currently the strongest form of security offered by Wi-Fi products. When enabling WPA2 or WPA3, make sure you select a strong password that can't be guessed by third parties.
If you have older Wi-Fi devices that don't support WPA2 Personal (AES), a good second choice is WPA/WPA2 Mode, also known as WPA Mixed Mode. This mode allows newer devices to use the stronger WPA2 AES encryption, while still allowing older devices to connect with older WPA TKIP-level encryption. If your Wi-Fi router doesn't support WPA/WPA2 Mode, WPA Personal (TKIP) mode is the next best choice.
For compatibility, reliability, performance and security reasons, WEP is not recommended. WEP is insecure and functionally obsolete. If you must choose between WEP and TKIP, choose TKIP.
Due to serious security weaknesses, the WEP and WPA TKIP encryption methods are deprecated and strongly discouraged. Use these modes only if necessary to support legacy Wi-Fi devices that don't support WPA2 AES and can't be upgraded to support WPA2 AES. Devices using these deprecated encryption methods can't take full advantage of the performance and other features of 802.11n and 802.11ac. As a result, the Wi-Fi Alliance has directed the Wi-Fi industry to phase out WEP and WPA TKIP.
If your security is set to None or unsecured mode, you're using no authentication or encryption. Anyone can join your Wi-Fi network, use your Internet connection, access any shared resources on your network and read any traffic you send over the network. Using an unsecured network is not recommended.
2.4 GHz radio mode
This setting controls which versions of the 802.11n/ac standard the network uses for wireless communication on the 2.4 GHz band.
Set to: Auto or 802.11n/ac
Routers that support 802.11 should be configured for 802.11n/ac for maximum speed and compatibility. Different Wi-Fi routers support different radio modes, so the setting varies depending on the router. In general, enable support for all modes. Devices can then automatically select the fastest commonly supported mode to communicate. Choosing a subset of the available modes prevents some devices from connecting. For example, 802.11ac devices can't connect to a Wi-Fi router in 802.11n-only mode. Also, choosing a subset of the available modes may cause interference with nearby legacy networks, and nearby legacy devices may interfere with your network.
5 GHz radio mode
This setting controls which versions of the 802.11a/b/g/n standard the network uses for wireless communication on the 5 GHz band. Newer standards support faster transfer rates, and older standards provide compatibility with older devices and additional range.
Set to: Auto or 802.11n/ac
Routers that support 802.11n should be configured for 802.11n/ac mode for maximum speed and compatibility. Different Wi-Fi routers support different radio modes, so the setting varies depending on the router. In general, enable support for all modes. Devices can then automatically select the fastest commonly supported mode to communicate. Choosing a subset of the available modes prevents older devices from connecting. For example, 802.11ac devices can't connect to a Wi-Fi router in 802.11n-only mode. Also, choosing a subset of the available modes may cause interference with nearby legacy networks, and nearby legacy devices may interfere with your network.
This setting controls which channel your Wi-Fi router uses to communicate.
Set to: Auto
For best performance, choose Auto mode and let the Wi-Fi router select the best channel. If this mode isn't supported by your Wi-Fi router, choose a channel that's free from other Wi-Fi routers and other sources of interference. Read about possible sources of interference
2.4 GHz channel width
Channel width controls how large a 'pipe' 'is available to transfer data. However, larger channels are more subject to interference, and more likely to interfere with other devices. A 40 MHz channel is sometimes called a wide channel, and a 20 MHz channel is a narrow channel.
Set to: 20 MHz
Use 20 MHz channels in the 2.4 GHz band. Using 40 MHz channels in the 2.4 GHz band can cause performance and reliability issues with your network, especially in the presence of other Wi-Fi networks and other 2.4 GHz devices. A 40 MHz channel may also cause interference and issues with other devices that use this band, such as Bluetooth devices, cordless phones and neighbouring Wi-Fi networks. Routers that don't support 40 MHz channels in the 2.4 GHz band do support 20 MHz channels.
5 GHz channel width
Channel width controls how large a 'pipe' is available to transfer data. Larger channels are more susceptible to interference, and more likely to interfere with other devices. Interference is less of an issue in the 5 GHz band than in the 2.4 GHz band. A 40 MHz channel is sometimes called a wide channel, and a 20 MHz channel is a narrow channel.
For 802.11n access points, set the 5 GHz band to 20 MHz and 40 MHz.
For 802.11ac access points, set the 5 GHz band to 20 MHz, 40 MHz and 80 MHz.
For best performance and reliability, enable support for all channel widths. This allows devices to use the largest width they support, which results in optimum performance and compatibility. Not all client devices support 40 MHz channels, so don't enable 40 MHz-only mode. Devices that support only 20 MHz channels can't connect to a Wi-Fi router in 40 MHz-only mode. Similarly, don't enable 80 MHz-only mode, or only clients capable of 802.11ac will be able to connect. Routers that don't support 40 MHz or 80 MHz channels do support 20 MHz channels.
The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) assigns addresses that identify devices on your network. Once assigned, devices use these addresses to communicate with each other and with computers on the Internet. The functionality of a DHCP server can be thought of as similar to a phone company handing out phone numbers, which customers then use to call other people.
Set to: Enabled, if it's the only DHCP server on your network
There should only be one DHCP server on your network. This DHCP server may be built in to your cable modem, DSL modem or router. If more than one device has DHCP enabled, you are likely to see address conflicts and have issues accessing the Internet or other resources on your network.
Network address translation (NAT) translates between addresses on the Internet and those on a local network. The functionality of a NAT provider is like that of a worker in an office post room who takes a business address and an employee name on incoming letters and replaces them with the destination office number in a building. This allows people outside the business to send information to a specific person in the building.
Set to: Enabled, if it's the only router providing NAT services on your network
Generally, you should only enable NAT on the device that acts as a router for your network. This is usually your cable modem, your DSL modem or your standalone router, which may also act as your Wi-Fi router. Using NAT on more than one device is called double NAT, and that can cause issues with accessing Internet services, such as games, Voice Over IP (VoIP), Virtual Private Network (VPN) and communicating across the different levels of NAT on the local network.
WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) prioritises network traffic according to four access categories: voice, video, best effort and background.
Set to: Enabled
All 802.11n and 802.11ac access points should have WMM enabled in their default configuration. Disabling WMM can cause issues for the entire network, not just Apple products on the network.
Some countries or regions have regulations that affect wireless signal strength and the use of Wi-Fi channels. When you travel to other countries or regions, make sure that your devices have Location Services turned on so that you can connect to Wi-Fi networks in that country or region.
On your Mac:
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy.
- Click in the corner of the window, then enter your password.
- In the Privacy tab, select Location Services, then select Enable Location Services.
- Scroll to the bottom of the list of apps and services, then click the Details button next to System Services.
- In the Details dialogue, select Wi-Fi Networking.
On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch:
- Go to Settings > Privacy, then turn on Location Services.
- Scroll to the bottom of the list, tap System Services, then turn on Wi-Fi Networking.
Wireless operator Wi-Fi networks
Wireless operator Wi-Fi networks are networks configured by your operator and their partners. Your iPhone treats them as known networks and connects to them automatically. If you see 'Privacy Warning' under the name of your operator's network in Wi-Fi Settings, your mobile data identity may be exposed if a malicious hotspot impersonates your operator's Wi-Fi network.
To prevent automatic joining of your operator's Wi-Fi networks, tap Settings > Wi-Fi. Tap next to the network name and then turn off Auto-Join.