If you’re an iPhone 5 owner, there’s a decent chance you’ve run into some Wi-Fi connectivity issues. There a huge thread on the Apple forums about it, and it’s a pretty severe issue. People have literally taken an iPhone 4S and an iPhone 5, connected them to the same wireless network, and had five bars on the 4S while the iPhone 5 has just one (or even none) from the same location.
Apple hasn’t said anything about the issue so far, and it doesn’t look like an official fix is incoming any time soon. It’s not even clear if it’s a hardware or software issue; if it’s the former, there’s won’t be an official fix ever, short of a mass recall. Fortunately, Gizmodo has a way of circumventing this unfortunate oversight on Apple’s part.
Apparently, if you change the wireless encryption on your network back to the older WEP standard, instead of using newer WPA or WPA2 encryption, your iPhone 5’s Wi-Fi will work fine. Note: WEP encryption is inherently weaker than more modern encryption standards. It can be cracked extremely easily, and there’s a very good reason WPA has been adopted as the new standard.
If that doesn’t bug you, however, this will help your iPhone 5’s Wi-Fi work properly. We’d recommend against making this switch if you plan on using the network in question for sensitive uses like online banking, but it’s a viable option for people who just want to check Facebook from their iPhone 5 without slurping all their mobile data.
Of course, this doesn’t help you if you’re using other Wi-Fi networks out in public, which will almost all be WPA encrypted, and it certainly doesn’t excuse Apple not dealing with the problem in the first place, but it’s an option iPhone 5 users should be aware of. Give it a shot at your own risk.