Does Jailbreaking lead to better Wi-Fi? - Macenstein

Does Jailbreaking lead to better Wi-Fi?

So, does Jailbreaking improve Wi-Fi reception, or does the iPod touch just have a MUCH better Wi-Fi antennae than the iPhone? That is the question posed by faithful Macenstein reader Brian:

“I was visiting family last weekend and my wife’s cousin pulled out his jailbroken first gen iPod Touch to show me the apps he had installed. I had my 3G iphone with me and when we both went to connect to wireless we discovered a huge difference between the two devices.

As you can see in the photo his iPod found about 10 networks in the building (more are off-screen) while my iPhone only found 2.

What do you think?”

Hmm.. we think that sucks. As a proud owner of two iPhones, I always liked to think that I had the top of the line Apple handheld, with better than or at least equal parts. Perhaps the iPhone’s cellular gadgetry necessitated some rearranging of the Wi-Fi antennae internally in such a way that it is not as efficient as the touch. Or perhaps Jailbreaking the touch disables Apple’s “Suck Filter” that it puts on the Wi-Fi, and allows it to reach its true potential. I don’t happen to own a touch as of yet (although 2 are in the mail) so I will put the question out there to our other faithful readers. Anyone out there able to do a Wi-Fi comparison between a touch and an iPhone and answer Brian’s question?

11 Responses to “Does Jailbreaking lead to better Wi-Fi?”
  1. I’ve noticed that my first gen iPhone consistently has problems connecting to wireless networks that my MacBook Pro can access easily.

    I figured that a MBP probably had a much larger antenna to pick up signals, but now I’m really wondering if it’s something inherent to the design of the iPhone (like you suggested).

    Interesting stuff.

  2. Ben says:

    I got to confirm this. I’ve got a 1st Gen iPod Touch sitting next to my iPhone and I’ve got two extra networks showing up on the Touch….

  3. Matt C says:

    Woah, why have you got 2 touches in the mail? Aren’t you already a 2-iPhone household?

  4. Mike says:

    Wow. Im so glad someone else noticed this. However I do not believe that it has anything to do with jail breaking. My girlfriend and I were at my apt. the other day and we decided to see whose internet was faster (Between my iphone 3g or her ipod touch). Low and behold when we opened up the Wi-Fi list, hers had about 10 or so while mine only had 2. It seems that I will always only pick up two so I’m wondering if this is some kind of default setting. Again neither my iphone 3g or her ipod touch are jail broken or tampered with in anyway.
    Hope someone gets to the bottom of this.

  5. Richard says:

    same with me… LOL

  6. Michael says:

    I remember reading somewhere that the iPod/iPhone software automatically excludes very weak networks from the WiFi list, presumably because data transfer would be very unreliable if you tried to connect to one.

    Some users of the WiFinder app from the App Store report that it discovers many more networks than are shown in the normal WiFi list.

  7. I would hazard a guess that the iPhone’s cellphone circuitry is getting in the way more than a design of the aerial.

    The iPod Touch only has WiFi whereas the iPhone 3G has HSDPA mobile broadband, WiFi, and GPS as well as the TriBand cellular hardware competing for access.

  8. Michael G says:

    I tested for networks and found 4 on a normal, factory 3g iphone. Jailbroke it and found that no additional networks show up. Took a 1st gen ipod touch and did the same. It had similar effects. However, overall the touch picks up more networks (6).

    I believe the programming of the phone is set to throw out weaker signals due to the fact it has a secondary internet/network source (3g/edge). If the wireless network is weaker than these sources (therefore, slower) , it is set to throw them out.

    My 2 cents.

  9. Shervin says:

    no, i doesn’t, I though it did!
    but all you need to do go to General tap and then reset menu, tap on reset netwrok. then it will pick up all the WiFi networks around you.

  10. j_aroche says:

    It´s simple: the Touch has better wifi reception than the iPhone.

  11. Peter says:

    i think that the iphone has a filter for networks that aren’t reliable. the ipod touch probably doesn’t filter it out. or since apple tried to cram in as much technology in their 3G product, they made the antenna not reach farther distances. but still as fast as 802.11g.

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