Since the recent release of iOS 14, some iPhone and iPad users are seeing “Weak Security” messages appearing. This will appear on your Wi-Fi screen, similar to this…
So, what does it mean and what can you do about it?
What does this message mean?
First of all, it’s nothing to panic about. Your device is probably not leaking bank details and this won’t affect your speed or connectivity either.
With iOS 14, Apple has added this to warn users who are using older, and weaker Wi-Fi security methods.
What are these security methods?
The oldest method, from back in the 1990s, is named WEP (if you’re using an old Nintendo DS, for example, it won’t work on anything newer than this!), followed by WPA, WPA2 and, most recently, WPA3.
WPA2 includes two varieties – TKIP and AES. To confuse things further, you may also see mention of PSK too. The important thing to know is that if you’re on anything older than WPA2-AES then you’ll get this message.
Is this a problem with my device?
No. This method of data transmission is configured on your router. It seems odd to think that even relatively new routers from UK IPs are being sent out with such old methods configured, but the reason may hark back to what I said earlier about the Nintendo DS. The older the security method you have configured, the more likely it is that all your online devices will be supported – ISPs are looking to support as many products as possible, so using older security, such as WPA2-PSK, makes sense. To them.
Of course, now that Apple have made this change, they’re beginning to receive support calls about it. Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk are just 3 of the ISPs I checked, and all are seeing customers reporting this problem. For example, the Virgin Media Hub 3, released just 3 years ago will need correcting, despite the WPA2-AES standard being around since 2004. And, in some cases, it’s not just routers – Virgin Media’s Powerline Boosters are also affected.
How do I get rid of this message?
This will depend on your model of router. If it’s an ISP provided one, you’ll need to get in touch with them about it. If it’s not, you’ll need to turn to the instructions that came with your router, or to the manufacturer’s website. But, in a nutshell, you need to make sure you’re using either WPA2 along with AES, or WPA3 (most routers won’t support their latter option).
If you don’t like tinkering around with settings, then you’re not going to like what you have to do. Why do it then? As the explanation above suggests – this will improve the quality of your Wi-Fi security. In some cases, you may even increase your WiFi speed as well.
Here are instructions for correcting some of the most popular ISP routers…
In the case of the latest BT Smart Hub 2, you can’t correct for this, as it doesn’t give you a choice to use AES for WPA2. Equally, it appears that Vodafone routers don’t allow for an AES option either.
If you find instructions for your router, and it’s not listed above, then please let us know in the comments.