ozsmacd - as I've written before, I've always been in the same boat as you (and the same country!). Connectivity fine, but real world performance woeful with things like Dropbox. 7.6.3 hasn't done anything for me, although I was hopeful.
I've just made a very interesting discovery though. If I go to a place in the house where I only have one or two bars of wifi, and Airport utility shows Good or Average connection, rather than Excellent, My Dropbox downloads actually proceed at a decent pace! In these places, Speedtest will show a max speed of maybe 4-8mps, rather than 18mbps when I have an Excellent connection. But this is totally reproducible. Perfect wifi connection = very slow or no download. A little worse connection and the download proceeds. How counter-intuitive is that? Of course, my iPad 3 screams in all situations.
ozsmacd and Stephen,
A few thoughts.
Stephen, have you eliminated the possibility that your phone is actually briefly jumping to 3G as a result of you wifi connectivity being low in those special places? I experienced something like that before. But then again counter-intuitive as it may seem, you could be right.
This week I reinstalled IOS 6.1 and did a lot of testing of this issue. After this I discovered that my wifi download rates are actually really fine on some podcast feeds, while others are excruciatingly slow.
It turns out that by chance I had done all my previous testing on a small set of podcasts (Roderick on the line, Radiolab and Too much information with Benjamin Walker) which all consistently download really slow on Wifi but fast on 3G.
Now I have discovered that other podcast download really fast on both WIFI and 3G, for instance "The Talkshow with John", "60 Minutes" and "You look nice today".
So the good thing from my perspective is that I now know that my iPhone5 CAN actually download podcasts fast over wifi.
However it is still a bit of a mystery why other feeds download really slow on wifi but fast on 3G. A network specialist I know suggested that this could have to do with conflicts between how some sending servers and some receiving servers negotiate package transfers. But that is like advanced rocket science to me, and won't pretend to understand it. Thought I would mention it though in case some clever people out there can make sense of it.
Great news if the Airport update solved your issues ozsmacd.
I belong to the third group - those with excellent speedtest results, but dismal upload and download rates in real-time use.
Nothing worked for me, until by chance the airport express in my bedroom was unplugged. It was extending my wi-if network, and had been working perfectly for several years. Yet somehow turning it off made my iPhone 5 play nicely with my wifi network.
As it was a slightly aged device, yesterday I decided to buy a new second generation Express. After carefully setting it up I was sad to discover it didn't cure my iPhone woes. Frustratingly, turning it off didn't solve the wifi problem in the way it did with the old Express.
So I went to bed saddened that my iPhone was still crippled at home, and also saddened that I had bought a new Express which only made things worse! I unplugged the new Express, and cried myself to sleep ...
But this morning the iPhone 5 wifi is back to acceptable speeds. I didn't know wifi signals could linger in the air like a bad smell, but it seems it took 8 hours for the iPhone to 'forget' the new express.
Quite why extending my network causes problems for the iPhone 5 is a mystery, and I must now decided if I will try to get a new phone from Apple - or go through the lengthy ritual of turning off the Express every time I need to do some major wifi uploading or downloading,
@dangoverts good points (and thanks for the kind and considered response, this thread is largely wonderful, rare these days!)
I have done testing with Cell Data disabled, also Bluetooth disabled, without any change in the outcome.
The testing I had completed was a repeat of the same podcasts, basically all of my Podcasts were downloading very slowly.
I do notice that from time to time a Podcast will download slowly, I'm going to check out the advanced feature in iCatcher (I also have downcast so might test that if it has the feature) that allows you to change the User Agent (basically forces the Safari 5.1.7 for Desktop, found under settings/connectivity & downloads/user agent).
I suspect my issue was an overlap of the slow podcast download & also some issues with WIFI with larger files, the odd thing is that my iPhone 4 with same iOS version and podcast didn't have the issue.......
All that said, just happy to be able to use a better Podcast app that Apples one (I was forced into downloading via iTunes), I previously used Downcast, but have since re-discovered iCatcher that isn't as pretty but does support multiple downloads (3 at a time) and you can also configure it to update podcasts and also download concurrently.
dangoverts - I agree with your observation that some podcasts (using Apple's Podcasts app) download very quickly (over 1MB - Megabytes - per second) while others crawl (not even 1MB per minute). Don't know why this is. But I always revert to trying to download a 20 MB file from Dropbox for the ultimate test. Better throughput form a weaker signal does seem like some error in the TCP/IP driver stack. Maybe suffering from too many retries or something. But I'm a bit out of my depth here too.
rr hawks - maybe you're seeing the same thing as me. Unplugging the Express in your bedroom downgrades the wifi quality because you have to pick up a weaker signal. And then you get better throughput!
For pity's sake Apple, Tim Cook, Jonny Ive, SOMEONE!!!! Please read these and understand!!!
I have tried it all, reset, restore, network security, reboots etc everything!! My iphone 5 and my girlfriend's son's just will not connect!!!
The most annoying thing is all my home wifi is Airport kit and that is the biggest problem. Not having access to the wifi in the home with my iPhone 5 is going to caue me to have a huge data bill!! Even my non-tech-savvy girlfriend is saying she thinks mine and her son's iPhone 5 devices are rubbish as they both have the same problems. The ironic thing is, she has my old iphone 4s which works fine!!!!
Between the issues of the phone scratching easy cos it is aluminium and all the other things that seem to be causing problems, I am beginning to think that Mr Cook and Mr Ive have allowed a duff product out on the loose!!!!
They once launched a product with the slogan "It just works!", I wish they still made products like that!!!!
My phone was swapped at Genius bar las monday (02/10/2013). Now ... it works like it always should :
Speed test on my home network
with the faulty one : download up to 34 kb/s and upload up to 01 kb/s
with the new one : download up to 1000 kb/s and more. Upload up to 100 kb/s and more
It confirmed the issue was an hardware one.
I hope this phone will last working well for a long, long time
As this thread is long, I'll keep this brief...
Bought a new iPhone 5 over the holidays and have been unable to reliably connect to wifi at home. Sometimes I get an "Unable to join the network ______" message. Sometimes I join the network but am unable to transfer data (email deliveries, podcast downloads, Safari browsing, etc. get hung up and time out.) And occasionally I will get on a network for a short burst of time.
I have been to the Apple Store twice, but, as others have noted, the problem cannot be duplicated on their network (and the fact that my phone works on their network makes them - and me - question how much of the problem is a hardware one.) I have restored my phone twice. Updated all software and firmware. I even changed my home wireless from DSL to cable, hoping for a faster and more stable connection. The problem remains -- and workarounds like reducing the security of my wifi network or disabling phone features seems absurd.
The Apple Store offered to swap my phone for a "refurbished/reconditioned" phone, which seems ludicrous when my phone is, basically, a month old. I was warned that some of the replacement phones might have thicker glass than the one I currently have, and, of course, there's no guarantee that the replacement phone will be trouble-free.
How many people found the problem gone in their new phone, and has anyone else received a phone that seems lesser than the one they traded in?
Same problems as reported by sellout, but my iPhone 5 has been replaced once due to total failure of original unit, and mine is one of 4 in family that are recently upgraded and new. Other phones connect fine to home network with extender, mine goes in/out and only way to reliably stay on wi-fi is to be right next to router while connecting, but even then sometimes unable to join network when right beside router. iPads connect, Mac-mini connects, printer connects, RoKu connects, only my crappy new phone won't connect. Lucky I am on grandfathered unlimited data plan for now, but those are going away. 4G LTE as almost as fast as wireless anyway, so no problem there. Maddening that Apple can know there are all these problems but still act like nothing is wrong. Workarounds suggested are ridiculous.
I just spent all night fiddling with my wife's iPhone for the same issue. It will connect to WiFi after a reset for a minute or two, then no data unless I reset it yet again (on the phone by disabling, then enabling WiFi). It's so frequent that she's taken to only using the 4G network. She's on a 2G plan, so this is not a good option for the long run.
I had hoped to come here and find there is some fix available, but after 251 pages of this over nearly 6 months, there is no solution?
Is it time to ditch the iPhone? This one is a 4GS, just purchased less than a month ago, and has already sucked up many hours of my time along with a LOT of frustration. I want to fling the thing off a cliff.
Apple... are you listening?