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Can An iPhone "Crash" My Wireless Network?


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#16 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 14:11

I should have also stated that I too have FiOS however, I turned off the wireless on the Actiontec Router and bought a more reliable Wireless router (Belkin).

Indeed, that little bit of information about also having FIOS helps tremendously. I was thinking to myself "thanks for sharing, but how is that relevant to me." :laugh:

Short answer is yes, there is known (by apple) issues that cause routers to crash, Facetime being the main culprit for this on the 4s, it seems to happen to quite a lot of users out there me included, and it supposed to be fixed in iOS 5.1 when they release it, till then there is nothing you can do to stop this from what I have been told and have read as the idevice sends the occasional rouge thing to router which causes the crash, so I am assuming it is something in the uPnP (although I could be wrong on this)

YEs it is. The deli i visit every day has a verizon fios router and i cannot use wifi in the area of his router at all. I cannot even use another access point. I wonder if its the router and not your iphone since it happens to me with a fios router also.

Okay thanks for the replies. I am leaning towards the fact that something happened with the iPhone itself recently that is causing it. Because as I shared, zero issues up until this past week. So history is telling me it is not the router if I did not have issues in the past. So I think some kind of App Update, or some kind of iOS Software Update, or something along those lines that is the culprit. Just to many Apple users in this thread alone saying they have issues with WiFi and their Apple devices. So I am going to try disabling some services on my iPhone and take it from there.

Thanks All. (Y)


#17 +BudMan

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 14:34

"so I am assuming it is something in the uPnP"

I would turn this off as first option on router - this in theory could be interacting with your router that could in theory cause it grief in malformed requests, etc. But shouldn't take the whole router down -- maybe causes upnp not to function.

Might be dhcp as well -- some sort of malformed request or something the router just doesn't like.. So you could try setting IP to static on devices vs dhcp. But this shouldn't crash the whole router - it should at worse crash the dhcp server on the router.

Next thing is I guess a bad dns query could cause the dns service on the router to crash the thing.. Point to different dns than your router. Again should only crash that services -- which maybe it is? What exactly happens when this happens? Can you not access the routers gui, can you not ping anything by IP.. What are the symptoms in detail vs it doesn't work ;)

I do find it hard to believe that device is crashing the AP -- having issue with using it, ok -- but crash the whole thing so nobody can use it.. This seems like buggy code on the router side. Even if sending messed up packets, shouldn't crash the router.. This would clearly be a FUN exploit... Crashing all the open AP ;) hehehe j/k

If you really want to get to the bottom of it -- I would say you should fire up wireless sniffing and take a look at exactly when the thing crashes on what packets were sent.

If anyone has any links to info about apple products crashing wireless routers I would be interested in links.

#18 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 14:50

I'm not sure if this would make a difference or not, but you could try to change the wireless channel. It could just be simple interference that's causing the network to stutter.

#19 Shadrack

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:41

Okay. Up until this past week when I started experiencing issues, I have...
2 iPads, 3 laptops (1 Macbook OS X 10.7.3, 1 Windows 7, 1 Windows XP), 2 iPhones, 1 iMac, 2 iPod Touches & 1 Printer, all connected via WiFi. That is 11 concurrent connections. If my math is correct, that is about 6 more things then you have. I have literally had this setup, or something very similar (in fact at one point more things connected via WiFi), for almost 4 years.
I also have 2 PS3's, my audio receiver, my TV, my Windows Based Gaming PC, my XBox 360, My Wii, 2 Printers, all connected via hard wire.

So Yes, Actiontec is not the best routers out there, but I really do not see how it is "crappy wireless" if it has not given me ZERO issues up until this point for literally the past 4 years. I can forward ports like any other routers. Set up DNS. Whatever the case may be. So yeah, really do not see how it is crappy. The best? Absolutely not. But 4 years it has been rock solid, so I hardly call that crappy.
But yeah, thanks for the constructive feedback.

I really do not see the need to install another router when this router has been perfectly fine for me all this time. I can do everything anyone else can do on other routers with it. I know this as prior to this I had other routers.

I really am trying to find out why in the past week it has been all of a sudden crapping out. If anyone can possibly provide a reason as to why it is happening, I appreciate it. Otherwise I already have the suggestion about adding another router. If the problem persists perhaps I will look into that, but I would rather fix the problem.

Also, just so people understand, apparently if I do go ahead and make the supplied modem from Verizon into a modem, I lose all my On Demand capabilities and also any ability to connect to Verizon's servers for my DVR, etc. This router also is the cable connection itself. It is what it is, so making it a modem, not an option. So again, I prefer to try and troubleshoot the issue itself.


I've had wireless routers start acting up on me in 3-4 years time. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if the router wasn't working as well today as it did when it was brand new. Some routers have the "reset" button on the back with special instructions on how to REALLY reset the router. Like Linksys routers you hold reset for 30 seconds, unplug for 30 seconds, plug back in for 30 seconds (all while holding reset), and release the reset. This completely resets the software which I've found works in most cases of routers acting up.

That being said, all WiFi sends signals over the air at the same frequency. It is possible that Apple products may interact with WiFi in such a way that the signals coming from other devices can't compete and then drop off the network (I'm just guessing).

Changing the channel is a good idea. Are you surrounded by a bunch of other APs from neighbors?

Again, as someone who has been through several wireless routers at home all my problems went away with a DD-WRT setup.

#20 shockz

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:43

I've noticed whenever my brother comes home with his Mac every few months, the network craps out and the router needs rebooted. The router never needs rebooting until the Mac comes home lol.

#21 LaP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:44

I am going to tell you something very funny that is happening to me right now and has been happening to me. My iMac is connected to my modem/router wirelessly and so is my laptop and my Apple TV. For some strange reason, I cannot use my iMac, Apple TV and iPhone on the internet at the same time!!!!!!

If I have my iMac "on" and connected and I turn on my Apple TV, the iMac disconnects from the internet. Same thing if I try to connect my iPhone to the wireless, my iMac or Apple TV gets disconnected or my iPhone won't connect at all. I can't explain it. It is super weird. If anyone has an explanation for this, please fell free to let me know!!!


They are all set to use the same static IP adress ?

#22 2xSilverKnight

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:48

Another reason why I don't like Apple products and never bought one. I just won an iPod touch once ....

My father has a problem at work with his iPhone, nobody can connect to the network with their own iPhones ... but all other devices are fine (Android), including the iPad they use to monitor the machinery when they have to step away from the control center.

#23 LaP

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:52

I personally never had any problem connecting to a network using my ipod. On my personal wifi home network, at the job on the train or hotels.

#24 winrez

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 17:55

Also, just so people understand, apparently if I do go ahead and make the supplied modem from Verizon into a modem, I lose all my On Demand capabilities and also any ability to connect to Verizon's servers for my DVR, etc. This router also is the cable connection itself. It is what it is, so making it a modem, not an option. So again, I prefer to try and troubleshoot the issue itself.



Might be a pain but maybe a reset on the iPad as maybe a background app is causing the crash or check if there were any updates to any apps over the last 4 weeks.

#25 2xSilverKnight

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 18:02

I personally never had any problem connecting to a network using my ipod. On my personal wifi home network, at the job on the train or hotels.


Are you using IOS 5 ?

#26 UndergroundWire

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 18:03

Indeed, that little bit of information about also having FIOS helps tremendously. I was thinking to myself "thanks for sharing, but how is that relevant to me." :laugh:


I need to keep the Actiontec router for the programming guide for the FiOS DVR boxes but I definitely needed a better Wireless Router (802.11n).

I have shared your story with some of my friends, it seems that people that have a high simultaneous throughput wireless router have no issues with their Apple devices. The ones that have cheap or outdated performance routers do suffer from what you describe.

I would recommend you get the Belkin F9K1103 N750 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router (around $100). Disable the wireless on the FiOS router and connect all your wireless devices to this new router. Again, I have never had an issues with this router when having a mix of devices simultaneously connected (Windows, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome).

#27 +BudMan

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 18:56

I came across this when looking for issues with macs and wireless routers.

http://serverfault.c...wireless-router

One guy mentions a syn flood that the mac does when getting on that could cause a router crash. Also saw a thread there about macs not checking if IP in use when dhcp, or that reuses its old lease without verification.. I just breezed over it really - a dupe IP should not crash the whole network.. Could cause a problem with the other device, etc. But other wireless devices should be fine.

Which is why we really need some details of what actually happens. And really needs to be repeatable to be able to find the root cause - or need to be sniffing the network when the issue happens.

Seems people are blaming it on ipv6 on the mac causing issues with dns on the router - Ok turn off ipv6 on the mac could be one thing to try. Setting static IP on the mac could be another if dhcp related. Saw some people say it could be related to using WEP?

I really could not find a lot of info on this - my googlefu is normally pretty good. But its hard know if some of these threads that are years old are still viable reasons. And again without DETAILS of what exactly is happening its hard to say what could be the cause/fix for the issue. Its difficult to weed out the FUD from actual useful info -- I really did not see any threads with detailed information on what was going on.. Just noise like this thread where they state network crashes or have to reboot router without any details of the exact symptoms they see.. Did mac not get an IP, did it? Can it ping the router, can it ping IPs on the internet - so maybe just dns related? Does it shows its connected or does the wireless network disappear? What is the network WEP, WPA/WPA2, Open, etc.. Really need details to find out what the isssue is.

I would love to have some apple devices to play with - just have never found them cost effective devices ;) Now my sister-in-laws house is full of mac and iphones - and she has never reported such issues, and she has a older wrt54g that I put dd-wrt on. And then another netgear as a AP.

I am her network/computer support and have never seen an issue at her house when the router crashes, etc.

So lets have some details!!! What exactly happens! Are we sure all the wireless devices are effected or just the mac, or one other -- is wireless gone or is it just dns problem.. I know for example I have set her dhcp to hand out opendns vs pointing to the router for dns. Never have been a fan of most soho routers dns forwarding features. They tend to get overloaded quite easy and cause issues with the router - normally see this when p2p is doing dns for every connection for example. Easier to just use some more stable dns directly vs letting a devices with normally very limited resources handle such a important aspect of browsing the internet like dns.

Another thing is I know for sure UPnP is disabled on her router -- so as suggested already, maybe this is why she is not having issues?

#28 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 00:12

You actually got me thinking BudMan. It very may not be the entire Network that crashes, although I thought it was, and somehow it just happens to be kicking other connections off.
Here are the details as exact as possible.

Event 1
I walk in the house. I have a Macbook Pro in my bag. It is always powered down. I also have my iPhone. Usually it is just scanning for WiFi connections, and auto-connects as soon as it hits the range of my Wireless.
Within 10 seconds of me walking in two times since Monday, my wife says "Can you come here?, I lost the wireless connection on my (work) laptop (windows XP) and I also got kicked out of VPN as a result."
So she loses her connection to VPN, and it seems as if the whole Wireless connection goes down for her. But perhaps it is just her VPN?
That happened twice.

Event 2
The other night I was on my Powerbook just surfing Neowin. Went to go to another thread, says I do not have a connection to the internet. Go to other sites, try connecting to my PC real quick, all no go.
I switch to the Alternate Wireless Network I have set up in the upstairs of my house, connect right away, hop off it, connect to my normal wireless network downstairs, connect right away. It was like my main Wireless just stopped working and did not work again until I left it and reconnected.

Since this has all gone down, I have reset my router and everything seems to be A Okay.
I also happen to have one of these on loan from work. In case anyone has any suggestions on what I can do with it. But I am hesitant to use it, as I do not want to use it and like it.
And honestly if I can resolve this issue or it does not happen again, i am pretty comfortable with my setup. I even know it is probably not ideal, so maybe one day I will post all of my equipment and hardware and ask for suggestions on the best way to set it up, but just gathering that intel is a project within itself. My wife works from home so also have a whole little sub network setup for her, somehow it is all working except for the iPhone incident, so I tend to like to let sleeping dogs lie.

#29 LaP

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:37

Are you using IOS 5 ?


Nope still on 4 lol i'm never an early upgrader or buyer. Will probably update soon tough.

#30 +BudMan

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:15

Some details -- is your phone dhcp or static. Try setting it as static - does that fix it?

Are you wep or wpa, wpa2

So event 2 -- details.. No internet, does that mean you could not ping your router by iP, your pc was not working.. Did it have an IP, did it say it was disconnected from the wireless?

So in event 2 you never reset anything -- just left and then reconnected.

How do you have this other wireless network setup - as AP or are you double natting through the same internet connection. Is it different SSID, is it different security, if an access point then dhcp would be still off your main router. Or if your double natting its going to be second wireless having its own dchp. What are the scopes. For all I know you got a double nat going on with same network ip range?

In event 2 did your phone just then connect? Other than a blip in your connection I don't see how your phone would be to blame for that? And since you did not have to reset the router - or did you? Then its not a crash. Did your wireless phone ring - did the wife turn on the microwave when you lost connection?