Solving Weak Wifi on Tablets and iPhones

iPhones and Tablets

What about solving weak wifi on portable devices like Tablets and iPhones? This can be a problem for those looking to browse or stream in homes where the wifi is unreliable and drops out in certain parts. What fixes are there to this problem?

Weak wifi on portable devices can be extremely annoying and lead to buffering when people are trying to watch videos and stream movies on tablets for example. Thankfully Powerline Adapter technology can offer an easy and effective solution to this problem in the home by extending your internet network to all parts of the home for reliable wireless streaming and browsing.

Through the use of Wireless Powerline Adapters, wifi deadzones and weak spots around the home can be eliminated and allow for high bandwidth internet use even at long distances from the router. When configured properly this can allow for buffer free movie and film streaming on portable devices like iPhones and Tablets. Let’s look at weak wifi and the available solutions in more detail below.

Fixing Weak Wifi on The Move

We need to separate the issue here into which situation you are having problems with the weak wifi. Are you having the problems when connecting to random access points on the move or in the home when connecting to your own router? Let’s deal with on-the-move connectivity problems first.

This can be more difficult and restricted, since when using public wifi access points, you don’t usually have any control over these wifi points, because they aren’t your own. You are usually restricted to trying to play around with the settings on your device to see if you can get a better connection.

Here are some of the more common suggested options for fixing weak wifi on your iPhone, which can also apply to tablets and other portable devices:

  • Reset the device – simple reset, turning off and on again
  • Reset Network Settings – usually under general settings on your devices.
  • Use custom DNS servers instead of your default ones – may deliver better bandwidth.
  • Do a full factory reset on your device.
  • Use a free iOS System Repair program to fix any issues with the operating system on your device. This may deliver a better signal
  • See this article for a good guide on how to do all these things

If none of these solutions are getting you anywhere, then there are some more exotic tricks you can try which require opening up your device and inserting a small piece of foil or other material to make the device perform better on wireless connections. See this video for one of several demonstrations online of how to do this.

These are done entirely at your own risk and we are not responsible for any damage to your device or voided warranties that may result from opening up your device and making these changes to it.

Results are also mixed – some people manage to get a better signal with these tricks, others don’t. It is very hit and miss but is an option to try if you don’t mind opening up devices and playing around with bits of foil and a pair of tweezers!

Fixing Weak Wifi in the Home

If you’re having problems with a weak wifi signal for tablets and iPhones in the home, you have more options open to you, since you can control and modify your own home network as well as your device to try and get a better reception.

Here are some of the more common and obvious solutions for weak wifi on small portable devices in the home:

  • Reset the router.
  • Reset your device.
  • Try the settings changes we mentioned above.
  • Move closer to the router.
  • Move the router to a more central location in the house if possible

If none of these tactics work then it may be a case of modifying your home network to deliver a better wifi signal throughout the house so you can get a better reception on your iPhone or tablet. There are home networking products which can help you do this. Let’s look in more detail at some products to solve this problem.

Wireless Powerline Adapters as a Solution

To solve this problem, a Wireless Powerline Adapter can be used to extend reliable connectivity to all parts of the home. Standard powerline adapters facilitate wired connections only; for smaller portable devices we need wireless connectivity.

In the case of iPhones and tablets, a wireless powerline adapter is needed because these devices almost always do not have an ethernet port and so rely solely on wireless connections to access the internet. This is an increasing trend even on some smaller end notebooks and laptops, which are also being made without ethernet ports at times.

We also recommend going for full wireless powerline adapter models as opposed to range extenders and wifi boosters, as the latter will not extend wireless coverage as strongly and reliably as a full wireless powerline adapter model. We will explain why below.

How a Powerline Adapter Works

A wireless powerline adapter works exactly as described above, except it also produces a cloned wireless access point at the receiving end as well as a wired connection, allowing for portable connectivity.

How a Wireless Powerline Adapter Works

Wireless Powerline Adapters are basically a slighty more advanced version of a standard powerline adapter. They consist of a pair of adapter plugs, one of which is plugged in and connected to the router, the other of which is plugged in at another suitable location in the home.

The two plugs then communicate through the house’s existing electrical wiring to produce a strong wired access point at the receiving end. A Wireless Powerline adapter also creates a cloned wireless access point too, which can be used to connect portable devices, and this is what we need for devices like iPhones and tablets.

It effectively creates a new “mini router” in whichever room you place the second plug, with a correspondingly strong wifi signal to allow for streaming and browsing even several rooms away from the router. Perfect for enjoying Netflix movies on the tablet in the bath!

Again we should emphasize that full wireless powerline adapter models are preferable to cheaper end wifi boosters and range extenders, which tend to merely “grab” and amplify the existing signal from the router. Powerline adapter models are more powerful in that they deliver a strong wired signal through to the second adapter, and then produce a new wireless access point from there.

TP Link TL-PA4220 Kit

The TP Link WPA-4220 Kit is their entry level wireless powerline adapter, with two ethernet ports plus a cloned wifi access point at the receiving end, allowing you to connect smallers devices like tablets and iPhones to this closer and stronger access point. Click here to view on Amazon. See our Wireless Powerline Adapter page for details and links to more advanced models with faster speeds, dual band wifi and passthrough plug sockets.


See also our pages on Tenda Products and Netgear Products for more wireless powerline adapters models if you prefer these brands.

These product are excellent home networking solutions to solve the problem of weak wifi for iPhone, tablet and other wireless portable device users in the home. They effectively provide you with a second wireless mini router in another room or floor of a building to make sure wireless coverage is strong and reliable in these areas.

From there it is a case of selecting the model you need depending on your other needs, such as number of ethernet ports for any wired devices you want to connect, passthrough or not if you are short on plug sockets and transfer speeds depending on bandwidth demands and number of devices connecting.

See our Product Comparison Table for a full breakdown of all the TP Link Models by features. The Wireless Powerline Adapter models are in the bottom half of the table.

How to Configure Your Wireless Powerline Adapter

Standard wired powerline adapters are brilliantly easy, no nonsense, plug and play devices and don’t usually require any configuration. Wireless Powerline Adapters do need a little configuration since we need to set up and connect to the new wireless access point we are creating, but the process is usually very easy and can sometimes be done with the press of a button.

We have embedded a video from TP Link which takes you through the process. If your router has a WPS “pair” button on the back, the process is easy and takes less than 1 minute; if not then a little more work is needed but isn’t very difficult.

Once set up you can simply connect your portable devices like tablets, iPhones and notebooks to this newly created wireless powerline adapter access point instead of your main router and you can now enjoy reliable wifi connectivity around the home for browsing and streaming.


Online gamer and general home networking enthusiast. I like to create articles to help people solve common home networking problems.

Recent Posts