Lawn Gnome

A digital marketing blog by Daniel J. Donovan.











My name is Daniel J. Donovan. Welcome to my blog.
I write about digital marketing, technology, online strategy, communications and photography.


Apple iPad “Unable to join the network” on Verizon / Westell VersaLink Model 327W

April 4th, 2010 · 21 Comments · iPad, technology

Although my desktop, laptops, PlayStation 3, and even my iPod Touch connected to my home network just fine, my new iPad would not. It (stubbornly and somewhat unhelpfully) simply said “Unable to join the network ‘(My Network’s SSID)’”. The options for troubleshooting on the appliance-like iPad are very limited and did nothing for me in any case. I could find nothing on Apple’s site or elsewhere so I thought I’d share what I did and maybe save you some time and effort.

I should point out that I am in no way connected to Apple, Verizon or Westell. Furthermore, no representation is made about the accuracy of the information in this post or elsewhere on this site. I am merely reporting what worked for me so your mileage may vary.

Problem Description and Solution

Problem: Upon choosing Settings > Wi-Fi on your iPad, your wireless network appears in the list of available networks, but upon tapping Join, the error message “Unable to join the network ‘(Network Name)’” appears.

Note – Although the network name (or SSID) appears in the list of available networks, when you tap the blue arrow to look at the network details, everything is blank. The IP Address, Subnet Mask, Router, DNS — everything is totally blank.

Possible Solutions (in order of ease):

  1. Turn off your wireless modem/router/gateway, wait at least 10 seconds, turn it back on and — once the modem re-establishes a connection to the Internet — try Joining from your iPad again.
  2. Go to iPad Settings and select General and then Network Settings and Reset network settings. Try connecting again after your iPad restarts.
  3. Look for devices in your home that may be causing interference in the 2.4-gigahertz (GHz) radio frequency band. Common offenders are baby monitors and cordless phones. Try shutting them off and if the problem goes away, see if the device allows you to change channels. If your device lacks such an option, look for it in your wireless modem/router/gateway.
  4. I tried all of the steps listed above to no avail. I could only conclude that the problem was with the wireless gateway itself. Or my brand new iPad was defective. Not wanting to contemplate that, I decided to update the firmware on my Verizon-provided Westell VersaLink Model 327W (A90-327W15-06). This was the device that Verizon gave me when I signed up for DSL some years ago. If you have a Westell gateway/router, you can find out the exact model (A90-327W15-06,A99-327W15-00, B90-327W15-06, B99-327W15-00, D90-327W15-06, D99-327W15-00, C90-610015-06, E90-611015-06, etc.) by checking the label on the bottom of the device. This is Verizon’s page (updated/corrected in May, 2011 – thanks to modemwizard) for updating these devices. Follow the instructions there to upgrade your gateway’s firmware. Important note – you’ll have to reconfigure your network after taking this  step. After you finish, try again to join the network and if all goes well (as it did for me), your iPad will connect and you’re all set.

Update April 28, 2010 – I am getting a lot of traffic on this page so it seems many people are having similar issues. Help me improve it and help the community by using the comments area below to say what worked for you.  I will amend the article as appropriate.


Share this post:

  • Pingback: iPad Reactions — Daniel J. Donovan

  • ahrcvet

    EXCELLENT TIP!!! I had exactly the same problem – i.e Verizon DSL, an older modem of exactly the same model, and unable to connect with my new iPad even though my device could detect the network. I upgraded the modem firmware and the problem was immediately solved. I will say that I had some difficulty with the upgrade because my computer had no way to use the .upg file. A call to Verizon helped me to find where to insert the file in my modem settings. Thank you so much for posting this information!

  • http://www.danieljdonovan.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    Great! Glad to hear it worked out. Do you remember how they had you put the file?

  • http://twitter.com/simontew Simon Tew

    I had the same issue as 'ahrcvet'. However, rather than call Verizon you can simply hit your Westell router IP address from your browser and log in. If you have never done this before the IP address will mostly likely be 192.168.1.1 user name will be 'admin' and the password 'password'. At the this point you will probably be forced to change the username/password setting before proceeding. Now you are logged in to the Westell router, you can simply go to the update or upgrade tab where you will see the options for downloading update, searching for update or (and this is the one you need) update from hard drive / local file. Hit that choice and upload the upg.file from your hard drive. Done. 2mins and now my iPad is on my wireless network.

  • Pingback: Westell router problem - Apple iPad Forum

  • http://twitter.com/nathancarter5 Nathan Carter

    I had this exact same problem, but option 2 worked for me so far. If it becomes flaky again in the future, I'm glad to hear that people have so much success with option 4, and have even posted clarifying tips. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/wrossman William Rossman

    Thank you so much for your assistance with this. After three calls to Verizon and one to Apple I was not able to get this resolved. Your posting did the trick. I had to use the upgrade process from within the web interface mentioned by Simon Tew. The directions on the Verizon pages talk about a .exe file that did not exist for my Router. I love you Man! ;-)

  • http://www.danieljdonovan.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    Back at you, William! :) Glad it worked out.

  • pmaggiano

    Thanks for the great information. Unfortunately my model number is a BellSouth/ATT model number for the Westel device, D90-327W30-06 and BellSouth is saying that the most current driver is dated 2007. Any suggestions or ideas on how to get the softward updated?

  • JesseinPDX

    I'm glad I found this blog – I just have gotten an IPAD and I am encountering this problem. Sees the SSID of the network but can't connect with or without WEP enabled in the wireless/DSL router. Here's my dilemma — I got this modem secondhand to replace a broken DSL modem, and I'm not a Verizon customer. So I don't know how to get access to the firmware update (the link below wants a login and I haven't been able to find another path). Any ideas?

  • left3rd

    Daniel — this was exactly the problem. I updated the firmware on the modem, and was able to set up a WPA network right away. No hesitation at all in connecting. The biggest hurdle was finding the upgrade for my Verizon-issued modem. Verizon recently sold it's internet service to Frontier, and things are still in disarray.

    However, I found a link for my model that my Mac could upload to the modem at: http://download.verizon.net/cp

    You may find other versions of the file here:
    http://my.verizon.com/central/

    Hopefully this will help someone else with the same problem.

  • ModemWizard

    Thanks to Daniel for writing this blog entry and providing some much needed orientation.

    This is the link to the firmware upgrade for the Westell VersaLink Model 327W as of May 10, 2011:
    http://my.verizon.com/central/
    or you can try
    verizon.net/versalinkupdate

    I upgraded the firmware and my iPad was immediately able to connect to the network. I hope this helps more people.

  • http://www.danieljdonovan.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    @ModemWizard:disqus Thanks for the update!

  • andrew liles

    ahhh, carp.  I have the same issue.  What did you find?  Would I be crazy to use the verizon .upg upgrade to upgrade mine although its bellsouth?  i am assuming so, and too skeerd to try.

  • Lundegard86

    The firmware file is now a dot rel dot upg ( .rel.upg) file and I'm having trouble running it.  Any help

  • Lundegard86

    Simon Tew … your input worked perfectly!  Thanks!

  • http://daniel-j-donovan.myopenid.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    I stopped using my Westell router about a year ago so I cannot offer any insights, I am afraid. Sorry.

  • http://daniel-j-donovan.myopenid.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    Glad it worked out.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABRRUO54X5SMV4OUYOSH3EFNG4 karen

    I had the same problem with my Ipad2 and my westell router (A90-327W15-06). I had already tried options 1 through 3 and it didnt work, which is why a did a search and found this blog.  Option 4 worked. And this probably explains why I had spotty internet service in the past- the device needed to be updated.  Thanks for providing good information, now I can enjoy my new toy.

  • http://www.danieljdonovan.com/ Daniel J. Donovan

    Great! Glad it worked out.

  • sandra dee

    had the same issue w/ my versalink westell 327w gateway (a90-327w15-06) – 1st trip to apple store -> replaced iphone 5 – 2nd trip to apple store -> tech was incompetent – 1. stated I needed to stop using wep – 2. stated needed to configure iphone as new and not use restore – 3. stated I needed to buy a new updated router – read your posting -> problem solved – also was able to configure wpa2 security – thanx so much for the post – hats off to you!