1. mahuika88's Avatar
    I work on the network engineering team for a large university. Our wifi throughout campus uses two SSIDs, a secure SSID for registered users which uses EAS and WPA for authentication, and a guest SSID for anyone, with no authentication whatsoever.
    So we've received a few tickets from users saying that their iOS6 devices will default to the guest network (even though the last used network was the secure network, both networks have been connected to before). It will default whenever the device is rebooted, the user leaves and returns later, or when the wifi is disabled and reenabled. We were able to duplicate the issue on both an IPad and IPhone running iOS6. I saw in some forums that it may be caused simply by alphabetical order of the SSIDs (guest before secure), so we created a test SSID called Auth-Test which was configured identically to our secure SSID and got the same results. We then configured the Auth-Test SSID to be an open SSID and lo and behold it became the SSID the devices would default to.
    So while it does appear to use some alphabetizing but only after giving priority to an open network. I know the easy solution here would be to have each user remove the guest network from their device, but I'd like to know if anyone else has some experience with this or could possibly point out something I haven't tried.
    Thanks for your help!
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    10-17-2012 01:47 PM
  2. Rene Ritchie's Avatar
    Hmm. I'll ask around. Interesting problem to troubleshoot.
    10-17-2012 02:41 PM
  3. ilongbored's Avatar
    I couldn't replicate your problem. No matter the encryption or alphabetic order, my phone would always connect to the most recently used SSID. I tested with my iPhone 5 and iPad 2 both on iOS 6.

    One thing you should look into is what band your iOS devices are connecting to first, 2.4 or 5 GHz. Some wireless vendors will try to force clients to 5 GHz a couple times before allowing them to connect at 2.4. Perhaps the device keeps trying for 2.4, then fails and choses the second SSID. Might be worth a try to disable that feature on your network. Or try your test with a different wireless vendor.
    mahuika88 likes this.
    10-17-2012 11:19 PM
  4. Mark Annand's Avatar
    With a similar set up here, IOS6 does exactly that - and IOS5 does too. When a device has been set to connect to the WPA2 enterprise network, IOS devices have a tendency to default to the open network for visitors.

    In the 'Wifi' section of the 'Settings' dialogue on an iPad 2 running IOS, the device will list itself as connecting to the WPA2 network, but in the list of networks, the tick will be against the open one.

    Users see the 'wifi connection strength icon' looking healthy but no data passes. It's a *problem*.
    mahuika88 and Just_Me_D like this.
    10-19-2012 05:41 AM
  5. mahuika88's Avatar
    Good point, I'll definitely try it out with a different vendor ap, although both of our SSIDS are broadcast on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Looking in the log for our AP it shows the first attempt at association was always the open network, with no errors for the secured SSID whatsoever.
    10-19-2012 01:22 PM
  6. John Yester's Avatar
    This is kinda similar to my issue also.

    I have a station house with two Wifi networks in house. One is for staff usage, then other is for Apparatus network.

    Both are secure.

    Then in each Apparatus we have always on mobile hot spots, for when out on calls.

    They are also secure, but only one is setup per engine.

    So when we are out on a call and get back to the station the tablets are setup in windows to jump back on the home Wifi, which they do.

    I tried doing the same on my iPhone.

    I have all networks setup on my phone, but yet they will not switch. In windows, it's called preferred network when available. But if I leave the station and come back it will only connect the the last used. or may stronger signal? Which would not make sense since they all seem to be in the same signal range.

    I would be really interested to see how iPhone Wifi bundle works....
    10-19-2012 02:06 PM

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