If you are new to iOS, getting online using Wi-Fi will help you get the most from your device. In some cases, it might offer you faster performance and save you money by using Wi-Fi for data, instead of relying on costly data costs from your wireless carrier. Here’s how to setup Wifi on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

How to setup Wi-Fi on iPhone or iPad

The first thing you’ll want to do is power on your device and ‘slide to unlock’. It would be beneficial to have your wireless network name and password handy.

  • Navigate to and open ‘Settings’.
  • At the top, select the Wi-Fi option.
  • If WiFi is set to ‘Off’, toggle the switch to ‘On
  • You should see all networks in range of your iOS device. You’d be amazed at the range where your iPhone or iPad can pick up a WiFi signal. This also means that it’s easy to select the incorrect network, especially if your neighbor shares the same router or cable service.
  • Select your WiFi network. If there is lock next to the account, you’ll need to enter your password. Note: Once you enter it once, your iPhone or iPad will remember it, so you’ll never have to enter it again.
  • Enter your password and tap on the ‘Join’ link at the top right.

connect to wifi

If all goes well, you’ll land back in the WiFi settings and you’ll see a checkmark next to your network.

WiFi connected

How to recover a lost WiFi password

If you forgot your WiFi password, you’ll want to reset your router to its default settings. Consult your routers manual and/or your cable provider. Typically, there is a reset button on your router. Insert a paper clip and press the button for 10 seconds. This should restore it to factory settings. You’ll need to set up a new password. To do so, you’ll need to login to your router from a computer that is connected via Ethernet. Most routers can be accessed by entering on your desktop browser. Your router manual will have information for any default login credentials. If you have an Apple Airport Extreme, setup is done using Airport Utility, available for Mac, PC and iOS. Create a password that is easy to remember, but refrain from using anything common, such as ‘password’ or 1234.

How to test your WiFi network

Now that’ve setup WiFi access on your device, you can easily test the speed of your connection. This is helpful for many reasons. It allows you to assess the quality of your router and your Internet service provider. To do so, we’ll download the free Speedtest.net application from the App Store.


Open the app and select ‘Begin Test’. Speedtest will measure two important speeds. Your download speed, this is the speed you download music, movies, webpages, emails and more. The second measure is your upload speed. If you are sending an email or data, you want a fast upload speed. Let’s be honest, we all want fast download and upload speeds, but download is by far the most important number. Typically your cable provider will offer higher speed downloads vs upload speed. For example, as a customer of Verizon FIOS, I have what they call a 50/20 program. That means in a perfect scenario, I’ll see 50 mpbs per second download and 20 mbps upload. Wired connections tend to be more consistent, so don’t be surprised if your iPhone or iPad lags behind your Mac or PC, provided they are connected to your router using a wired ethernet connection. Still, as you can see below, I was able to acheive 46.12 download and 20.61 Mbps upload on a 5th generation iPod touch. I can tell you that in the same household, I don’t see close to those numbers on a first generation iPad. Newer devices will in some cases outperform older gear.

WiFi speeds

Tip: Placement of your router can impact your WiFi range and your speeds. When testing, try a speed test while next to your router. If at all possible, move your router close the main floor of your home.

iOS has an option to notify you of an open network, should an existing known network not be available. To turn this option on, navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn ‘Ask to Join Networks’ to On.

How to delete or forget a network

We’ve talked about the advantages of Wi-Fi. There are some disadvantages, specifically when you are using networks that are not reliable. For example, Optimum is our local cable company. They offer several access points throughout Long Island. In my experience, my iPhone would connect, yet offer extremely slow and frustrating speeds. Pages in Safari wouldn’t open and it would have the appearance that you were offline. The trouble is that your iPhone will default to Wi-Fi and if the network is weak, your experience will be poor. If you have a Wi-Fi only device, you don’t have much of a choice. However, if you are using an iPhone, chances are pretty good that your cellular network can and will outpace your slow Wi-Fi connection. If you are experiencing slow or inconsistent connectivity like I had with Optimum, you can delete that connection.

1. Open Settings and tap on Wi-Fi.

2. Tap on the ‘i’ next to the network you would like to forget.

3. Tap on Forget This Network.

Forget WiFi network

4. You’ll see a message like the one above which reads, “Your iPhone will no longer join this Wi-Fi network.” Tap on Forget.

This doesn’t preclude you from joining the network at a later date. It simply prevents it from auto-connecting.

With the ever increasing cost of data, it’s advantageous to use WiFi where possible. Not only can it possibly save you money, it can help your device with GPS tracking. If you are new to iOS, follow the steps above to setup WiFi on your iPhone or iPad. Once it’s set, you’ll have instant access to the Internet from your iOS device.

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