Slow wifi on iPhone/iPod and other small portable devices

The other night I was watching YouTube videos with my wife on her iPod Touch. It was only loading video for a little bit and then stopping. I had noticed this before, but was only prompted to investigate once I listened to her bemoan her dire straits of not watching a video about the Phoenix Lights.

Google being the gift that it is, I was quickly able to find the problem and the appropriate solution. I read this great article by Randy on SupremeTechs and found the solution required changing the fragmentation and CTS/RTS settings on my wireless router. Reading the comments I soon learned these settings are not available on the Airport Extreme. Being the tinkerer that I am, I let loose a fury of tinkering such as has not been seen in this world, and after a few resets seem to have discovered a comparable solution for those of us who use Apple’s wireless router.

You just change your multicast rate from the default 2Mbps to the higher 5.5Mbps or 11Mbps. This may shorten the range of your wifi signal, but it has not had any noticeable difference on mine. Here’s a short screencast showing you how to change this setting yourself.

This change in my advanced settings has resolved the problem and we can now stream YouTube to our iPhone and Touch. I’ve also noticed faster browsing in general on these devices and even on our iMac and MacBook Pro. It is my assumption this will also prove to be a suitable fix for any issues you may experience with the iPad, though I’ve not been able to try one on my home network as of yet.

Thanks for reading and please take a moment to let me know if this worked for you, or if you know a better way to solve the problem.

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