Roomba robot vacuums by iRobot are well-known for their ability to clean floors automatically. However, newer models offer much more remote monitoring and control thanks to their WiFi connectivity. But why do some Roomba’s struggle to connect to WiFi?
When Roomba struggles to connect to WiFi, the root cause is the Roomba or Wi-Fi router. A software glitch in either device could prevent them from connecting. Besides that, the same problem can also happen when there’s too much distance or signal interference between the router and Roomba. Lastly, incompatibility between both devices could prevent them from connecting.
Thankfully, Roomba WiFi connectivity issues are pretty straightforward to troubleshoot. This guide will help you understand the common problems preventing a solid WiFi connection and what you can do to resolve them.
Why Won’t My Roomba Connect To Wifi?
When troubleshooting WiFi connectivity issues with your Roomba, remember that the root cause has two possible sources. The problem could be with your Roomba, or it could be with your WiFi router.
Here are the most likely reasons your Roomba can’t connect to WiFi and what you can do to fix it:
What it is: Devices like your Roomba and your WiFi router both use onboard software (also known as ‘firmware’) to function correctly. The firmware contains programmed instructions for how the device should behave. It ensures all electronic components can work together smoothly.
In this case, the software onboard your Roomba and WiFi router should allow both devices to connect and communicate.
What’s happening: Any software is prone to suffering bugs or glitches. Unfortunately, that’s also true for your Roomba and WiFi router.
When a software glitch happens, the affected device will not work correctly or do what it’s supposed to.
Occasionally, manufacturers will release software updates that you must download for devices like your Roomba and WiFi router. These updates include fixes for previously-identified bugs, glitches, or other software errors.
How to resolve it: Sometimes, all it takes to clear a software glitch is to reset the device. So, start by turning both your Roomba and WiFi router off for a minute before turning them back on.
Then, check to ensure that you’ve downloaded and installed the latest software updates for both devices.
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Roomba Is Too Far From WiFi
What it is: Your Roomba can only connect to WiFi if it’s within your router’s range. That’s because the router is the source of the WiFi signal, and that signal has a limited range by default.
WiFi signals from a 2.4 GHz router can only travel a maximum of 150 feet when indoors. However, the signal from a 5.0 GHz router has a shorter range of approximately 50 feet.
Besides that, physical obstacles like walls, doors, and heavy furniture can further reduce the WiFi signal range coming from the router.
Whatever your WiFi router range might be, your Roomba must be within its coverage area to establish a connection.
What’s happening: When your Roomba fails to connect to a WiFi router, the device is likely too far away. As a result, the WiFi signal is too weak for the Roomba to connect to.
For example, some households place their routers high up in the attic or somewhere in a far corner of the building. That, combined with all the physical obstacles in the way, could put the Roomba well out of range and prevent it from connecting to WiFi.
How to resolve it: The solution to this problem is to move your WiFi router closer to your Roomba’s home base. That way, the Roomba will always be within range. In addition, that will enable you to connect your Roomba to WiFi and maintain a strong connection at all times.
Too Much WiFi Signal Interference
What it is: These days, an increasing number of our daily devices are connected to WiFi. That’s especially true in connected homes with plenty of smart devices, including those with a Roomba vacuum.
Firstly, that means many wireless devices are sending and receiving signals inside your home. Those signals can sometimes interfere, affecting each device’s ability to connect to WiFi.
Besides that, home appliances that operate on the same frequency as WiFi can also cause further WiFi signal interference. That includes microwaves, satellite dishes, refrigerators, and more.
Lastly, physical barriers or obstacles can also interfere with the WiFi signal and reduce its strength. Some materials interfere with WiFi signals more than others, like metal, concrete, marble, bricks, and water.
What’s happening: Your Roomba fails to connect to WiFi because there’s too much signal interference in your home.
For example, some households will have too many wireless devices concentrated in one part of the home.
A home office might have laptops, tablets, routers, and the Roomba home base all in one space. As a result, those devices could all interfere with one another and affect WiFi connectivity.
Besides that, the WiFi signal might be traveling through too many physical barriers to reach your Roomba. Common examples around the home include concrete walls and metal barriers.
How to resolve it: The most effective way to reduce WiFi signal interference is to spread your wireless devices out evenly. You should take your Roomba’s home base and place it away from other wireless devices and as close to your WiFi router as possible.
Your Roomba can receive a strong WiFi signal with minimal interference from other devices. That will allow the Roomba to connect to the WiFi and maintain that connection easily.
Router Has Compatibility Issues
What it is: Standard WiFi signals fall into two frequencies: 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Some routers are only compatible with one signal or the other. However, dual-frequency routers can also connect to devices using both.
Similarly, some Roomba models only work with either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz WiFi, though some are compatible.
You can refer to this official list to see which category your Roomba model falls into.
What’s happening: Your Roomba might fail to connect to WiFi if there’s a compatibility issue.
Remember: WiFi signals are either on the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency. So if your Roomba can’t connect, that means there’s a mismatch between the Roomba’s frequency and that of your household WiFi router.
Besides that, some specific router brands and models have compatibility issues with Roomba robot vacuums.
iRobot, Roomba’s manufacturer, maintains a list of routers with known compatibility issues.
How to resolve it: To solve this problem, first identify your Roomba’s WiFi frequency. You can do so by referring to the user manual.
Then, make sure that your WiFi frequency setting matches your Roomba. Many newer routers allow you to change the WiFi frequency from within their settings.
If you can’t change that frequency, you’ll need a router compatible with the Roomba.
The same is true if you have a router with known compatibility issues with Roomba robot vacuums. For those models, the only solution is to connect to a different router.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are 5 frequently asked questions about connecting your Roomba to WiFi:
What WiFi Does Roomba Use?
Some Roomba models only connect to 2.4 GHz frequency WiFi, while others use 5.0 GHz. However, some newer Roomba models are compatible with both WiFi frequencies. You can refer to the user manual that came with your Roomba to know more.
How Do You Reset A Roomba?
One way to resolve WiFi connectivity issues is to reset your Roomba. You can remove its battery for a few minutes before putting it back in. When fixing WiFi connectivity issues, it’s best to remove the battery for at least 10 minutes.
Does Roomba Work Better With WiFi?
Your Roomba robot vacuum will work perfectly fine without connecting to WiFi. However, you’ll be missing out on many additional Roomba features. For example, connecting it to WiFi allows you to remotely control the Roomba and edit its settings.
Can Roomba Use 5 Ghz WiFi?
Yes, some Roomba models are compatible with the 5 GHz WiFi frequency. That includes the Roomba i6, i7, i8, j7, s9, and Braava m6. In addition, these models have dual compatibility, so they can also connect to a 2.4 GHz WiFi signal.
Will A Roomba Work Without WiFi?
Yes, your Roomba will continue to work without WiFi. A WiFi connection allows you to remotely set and control the Roomba robot vacuum. However, even without it, your Roomba will explore your home and clean your floors automatically.