Frequent wifi-no internet problems with iOS devices at home

This has been a long-running problem that I had long since given up on, but has flared up again recently so I was hoping someone might have information to help.

For the longest time, my family has had issues with their iOS devices losing internet connectivity, even though their connection to our wifi is still strong. It never happens on my Mac, or any of our internet-connected devices (Echos, Ring, Apple TV, Rokus, etc.). Only the iPhones and iPads. It even didn’t happen on any of my Android phones (until I finally switched over about three years ago).

For years we had the Google Wifi 3-puck mesh system, and thinking that it might possibly be a Google vs. Apple thing, I replaced the Google wifi with an Orbi RBR50 router mesh system (with 2 RBS50 satellites). No difference. About once a week, or even more frequently, you will just get stuck with no connectivity, even though the wifi is still connected.

The fix? Generally turning wifi off, waiting a second or two, and then turning wifi back on will get things connected and running again. My kids basically just turn off wifi on their devices and stay connected via LTE (because our LTE connection is pretty good and we have unlimited data).

I, of course, can get frustrated by this, and want to fix it. Doesn’t seem to be any reason for it to happen, but it does.

The only possible idea/clue I have, is that in one my previous failed fix attempts, I thought I saw something about iOS devices having trouble with mesh systems that broadcast a single SSID (even though in reality the mesh system shuttles devices back and forth between the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands). I think I have read that iOS devices sometimes don’t always handle this switching back and forth between bands very well. But, at one point I split the SSIDs into two separate ones, and it seemed like I still had trouble even only being connected to the 5GHz-only SSID.

Anyone on here ever heard of anything like this? Am I the only one that experiences this at home? Another problem is this is that classic dilemma where Orbi… will say it’s an Apple thing and Apple will say to call Orbi (Netgear)…

Would love to hear ideas/suggestions/known issues…

What modem do you have and have you replaced that? My ISP provided modem was randomly failing to give out IP addresses (it only had to give out one fixed IP to an Eero, but that was too much like hard work). So my internet randomly dropped out for a little bit until it regained the oomph to do something. Replaced the router and voilà, no problems.

I have Frontier Fiber Optic service (formerly Verizon - Frontier bought them in my area). So, I don’t really have a traditional modem per se. There is what’s called an “Optical Network Terminal” on the side of the house where the fiber optic is bundled into the ethernet that comes into the house. I have the ethernet plugged straight into the Orbi router.

Frontier (the ISP) does provides its own router. I wonder if I would have better luck with that (although I don’t know how well it would cover my 2-story house like the Orbi mesh does).

I was having trouble keeping my new M1 MacBook Air on the internet. Finally noticed that my old Arris cable modem had fallen off Comcast Xfinity’s supported list. Popped in a new Motorola Docsis 3.1 cable modem and was pleased at the significant improvement that made.

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I’ve noticed this and believe I’ve traced it to one of the Eero’s on my mesh network that appears to be failing. I’ve bounced that Eero a few times, but any iOS device that attaches to it has intermittent network outages. I plan to reset set the Eero and then re-introduce it to the network to see if that fixes the problem.

Fwiw, I have Verizon Fios, but coax running from the optical network box to a combination modem/wireless router they gave me. I turned off the wireless router function when I got my Eero setup — but I run the Ethernet from Verizon’s modem/router to the Eero (following the Eero setup instructions). So I think it’s still serving it’s function as a modem, just not as a router. Not sure if that could help you.

I would start with the router device that runs the DHCP server.

Also for your home network switch off “Private Address” in the network settings (press the (i) button next to your connected wifi). This sometimes confuses older routers/DHCP servers if the same device gets a new Mac Address when the old “lease” is still running. You can do this per network, so it doesn’t infringe your privacy if you do it for your own trusted network.