There is a wifi in my home (run by landlord - I have no control), which is called "Default" and has no encryption enabled.

I can manually connect to the network from my two iPhones - but whenever an iPhone loses connection, it does not automatically connect again when in range.

What can cause the phone to not automatically connect to a know access point?

Both my computers connect and reconnect with no issues.

I have not seen this behavior with these phones with any other wifi access-points.

I have tried resetting the network settings to factory defaults on one phone, but it did not make a difference.

Both iPhones are up to date with latest iOS updates (5.1) and are not jailbroken or anything out of the ordinary.

3 Answers 3


It's a security feature.

iPhones don't connect to routers that have factory default SSIDs, such as default, linksys, dlink, etc... This protects from the following: as you traverse the world, you will certainly pass by locations that are not customized and therefore have a default SSID with no password. Your iPhone would connect to these networks without you knowing. This is fine and all, unless someone is fishing for people to connect to their network so that they can read the traffic.

Ultimately, connecting to an unknown network is risky.


Let me start this somewhat lengthy soft answer with a suggestion:

See if your landlord will allow you to extend his network by allowing you to add an Airport Express in your apartment. This may be the miracle solution you need to what is otherwise likely to be complex and quite possibly unsolvable problem otherwise.

I strongly suspect you're looking for a technical explanation to your problem. That answer is likely to be lengthy and beyond my expertise. It will also be largely theoretical because without some specific tests performed in your environment, the truth is unlikely to be known, only speculated upon.

The practical answer is that sometimes certain access points don't like certain wifi transceivers. Several years ago I had massive wifi problems with my the just-purchased MacBook Pro and a LinkSys wifi router that had been serving the house successfully for years—and still worked fine for all the other computers in the house, including my iMac G5 running the same version of the OS.

I applied numerous patches and tried various*tricks* on the Mac. I installed alternative firmwares onto the Linksys. All with no success.

We installed an Airport Extreme and all of my wifi woes went away. Instantly.

If you're looking for explanation, you'll have to look further. If you want a solution to the problem, see if you can install an AEX, enjoy full use of your device, and don't sweat the details.

  • Actually, you mention the existing network is unencrypted. You may be able to extend the network without the landlord's approval, so it depends on where you stand on the permission<>forgiveness continuum.
    – jaberg
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 15:28

I had this exact same issue. iPad and iPhone would not automatically connect to my home router. The problem turned out to be the SSID of the router - default. Once I changed it to something unique, both devices now automatically connect.

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