iOS 8 and Yosemite Wi-Fi Problems: Root Causes and Fixes

If you’ve been experiencing sluggish Wi-Fi on your iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite devices, you’re not alone. Mario Ciabarra, CEO of Quantum Metric, has potentially pinpointed the culprit and devised a temporary fix to alleviate the frustration until Apple addresses the issue. Ciabarra shared his insights in a detailed Medium post titled “WiFried: iOS 8 WiFi Issue,” which is a must-read for those affected.

According to Ciabarra, the problem stems from Apple’s implementation of its Wireless Direct Link (AWDL), utilized for features like AirDrop, AirPlay, and gaming connections.

He suggests that the integration of Bonjour over AWDL, combined with the limitations of the Wi-Fi hardware, makes it challenging to achieve optimal performance. Ciabarra has not only identified the issue but also replicated the Wi-Fi performance problems, providing a method for others to do the same. The interference can even affect nearby devices when an iOS device activates, searching and advertising for other devices, which can degrade performance.

Ciabarra suggests a workaround for iOS users involves disabling AirDrop and AirPlay connections directly between devices.

This solution, however, is only applicable to jailbroken iOS devices, allowing users to toggle their device-to-device Wi-Fi and Apple Wireless Direct Link settings within the AirDrop options in the Control Center. It’s a temporary fix, and there’s hope that Apple will incorporate a similar solution in a future iOS 8 update for broader accessibility.

Similarly, Mac OS X Yosemite users can address their Wi-Fi issues with a simple Terminal command:

sudo ifconfig awdl0 down

This command disables AirDrop and AWDL, potentially improving Wi-Fi speed. To re-enable these features, the following command can be used:

sudo ifconfig awdl0 up

Ultimately, the resolution of these Wi-Fi issues will depend on Apple’s willingness to adjust the underlying mechanisms for AWDL and related services.


Jennifer is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the world of Apple news. With a deep love for all things Apple, Jennifer covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. Her insightful articles and engaging style make complex tech topics accessible to everyone. Jennifer’s expertise and genuine interest in Apple products shine through in every piece she writes, making her a valued member of the TUAW team.