An issue that has been popping up in the recent weeks and months is the Roomba not connecting to WiFi. This is a common problem that can be solved by doing a few simple troubleshooting steps. Read on to learn how to restore Roomba to WiFi connectivity.
iRobot is one of the leading home appliance manufacturers right now. Their products are not just affordable but also very efficient. The Roomba is one of the most popular products they have in their line-up, and it is considered as an innovation in the home cleaning industry. Most people would think that the product is already perfect, but there are still some issues that some users may encounter.
When your Roomba won’t connect to WiFi, you’ll need to adjust the strength of your router’s signal. Outdated routers may not send a powerful-enough signal through multiple floors or walls. But if you’re getting a strong WiFi signal and the Roomba is still not connecting to WiFi, try rebooting both the robot and the router.
If your Roomba isn’t connecting to WiFi, then that can be caused by many factors. We’ve put together a troubleshooting guide below so you can get your robot vacuum up and running again.
Roomba Not Connecting To WiFi – Troubleshoot And Diagnosis
The iRobot is a connected device that connects to the internet. Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can access your Roomba from anywhere by using their smartphone app, which means you can control cleaning schedules, receive live updates about your roomba’s status, or activate cleaning with the push of a button.
If you are having issues with connecting your Roomba to the internet, this is probably your first time going through the process. To ensure a successful connection, it’s a good idea to understand what you’re trying to connect to and why.
WiFi can connect many devices in the home, from smartphones and computers to smart TVs and refrigerators — why shouldn’t your robot vacuum cleaner be able to connect too?
1. WiFi Router is Out Of Range
Different materials can weaken WiFi signals.
Even though the signal from your router may extend to a few rooms, you’ll likely find it rather spotty in those areas. That’s due to the density of materials in the house, most notably concrete. When concrete is involved, it’s best to stick with wired broadband internet if you want a reliable connection.
The distance between the router and Roomba affects the strength of your WiFi signal.
The longer the signal has to travel, the more interference there will be.
As distance increases, so do the chances of a weak WiFi signal.
WiFi signals travel faster in open spaces (like a living room with no obstructions) than they do in enclosed, crowded areas (like a kitchen where your refrigerator and microwave are).
In areas with a lot of obstructions (like large appliances), your WiFi signal can suffer or even drop to zero. Also, the type of metal you have in your home (especially if it’s aluminum or another metal that the WiFi uses for transmission) can interfere with reception.
Yes, a Wi-Fi router can have a 5Ghz network. And yes, speed and bandwidth are both important. But with that 5Ghz network, you have a much smaller range than 2.4GhZ. And that loss in range affects your network — especially when trying to stream video or working with a Roomba.
To ensure that your Roomba understands your home’s layout and can vacuum it quickly, place the Home Base as centrally as possible in your home.
Don’t be afraid to move it around a bit to find the sweet spot — you’ll know when you’ve found it when your Roomba zips around without hesitation or re-charging.
To ensure great connectivity, place your Roomba Home Base in the same room where your WiFi router is.
It should be close enough to connect to the router, but not too close that it interferes with other electronic devices around it.
An ideal distance would be two to three feet from the router.
Additionally, if your router is on the upper floor of your house, place the Home Base directly below it.
WiFi extenders and signal boosters can be used to boost connectivity, as well.
If you have a long, thin apartment, there are mesh Wi-Fi systems that will help.
Don’t hide your router in a cabinet or behind a TV. Putting it in the open will increase signal strength and make it easier for everyone to connect.
The home base is the most important part of the Roomba, so it’s crucial to place it in a spot where it will have WiFi access. If the home base cannot get a stable WiFi connection, the Roomba won’t run properly — so choose a place where your WiFi router, as well as all mobile devices on your home network, can access the Internet without any restrictions.
2. Network Issues
When your internet connection is slow and unreliable, it can be hard to use WiFi-connected devices. A router might be the culprit for this issue, as they get old after years of use and need to be restarted from time to time.
internet connections tend to become slower over time, and they can be disrupted by weather conditions or even physical damage. The most common reason why a Wi-Fi signal may not be reaching your unit is that your router needs to be reset. This simple process can often fix any interference issues you might have.
There may be time, when you’ll have to reset your router. It’s not an ideal solution, but it can solve many issues without having to call your ISP or buying a new router.
If your internet isn’t running smoothly, don’t panic: reboot your router.
If the internet gets too slow or cuts out completely, rebooting your router can often solve the problem. To speed up sluggish connections, eliminate any unnecessary background programs and restart your computer.
Sometimes, your internet signal might become weak just because there is a problem in your area. A quick fix to this problem is to simply turn off and on the router by using its power button.
Unplug the power cord from the back of your modem and plug it back in after 30 seconds. Restarting your modem is a good way to test whether the issue is with your network or with a specific device nearby.
Resetting the router is a quick way to fix the most common WiFi connection issues on a Roomba. If you are still having issues, try reconnecting your Roomba to your WiFi through the iRobot app.
3. Overcrowded WiFi Network
To avoid any issues, make sure your WiFi speed is fast enough to stream anything.
Roombas need large amounts of data per second to function properly. If you’re in an area with a slow or poor connection, you might notice your Roomba taking forever to connect, or dropping its connection altogether.
With low bandwidth, your devices won’t fully connect to the internet.
In simple terms, bandwidth is the measure of data transmitted over a period of time.
“Why is my internet slow?”
There are a lot of potential solutions to this problem: First, your ISP may be throttling your connection speeds. Secondly, there may be too many devices within your home connected to the internet.
Throttling is the act of slowing down your data. If your bandwidth is reduced, it’s basically the same as being throttled (you probably won’t even be able to access important websites like Google, Facebook or Slack). Reducing your bandwidth will make things like streaming or downloading files on your ISP’s network slower than expected.
In case you didn’t know, your WiFi plan has a set monthly data limit. You can reach this data limit in only a few hours online. Once you hit the cap, your internet connection will slow down or stop working altogether until the next month. (Maybe you’ve experienced this before).
Unplugging smart devices is more important than you think.
While they’re not actively being used, they still use data. This can result in unnecessary data costs and an overall slower internet connection.
The best way to avoid this issue is by simply unplugging all of your devices when they’re not in use.
Navigate your router settings and remove individual devices, or entire networks, that you don’t recognize. This will take a few minutes, but it is important for your safety.
You can also change your WiFi password, which will reset all of the devices that have been connected to your old network.
IMPORTANT: A WiFi password change will delete your whole network, and you will have to connect the devices again.
If you’re reaching your monthly data allowance, one option is to upgrade your internet plan or switch to a fiber-optic network.
4. Device is OFF
Before you start to panic because your Roomba isn’t connecting to your WiFi, it’s important to check that both the robot and its Home Base are ready to work.
Is the Home Base plugged in? Check.
Does the Wi-Fi light on the Home Base indicate that you are connected to your home network? Double check.
First, make sure that the Home Base is ready to go. The Home Base serves as a charging station for your Roomba and also allows it to connect to your router. It’s easy to overlook but there’s a WiFi indicator light on top of the base that lets you know when it’s ready.
When the Home Base is unplugged, plug it back in from the socket. If the indicator light does not flash, the Roomba unit may have been knocked off its Home Base. Place it back on the Home Base and press clean.
To connect a Roomba robot to the WiFi, hold the “Dock” and “Spot Clean” buttons together. Next, turn it on, connect to its network, and then try reconnecting once again.
5. Battery is Low
Roomba keeps itself charged once it reaches its Home Base.
But it wouldn’t if the power cord isn’t plugged in. Or if the unit isn’t properly placed into the Home Base unit.
A flashing red light tells you that your vacuum is low on battery. A solid red light means that the battery is dead, but you should be able to fix this by changing the battery. Solid green means your vacuum is fully charged. And a pulsing amber color indicates that it’s charging.
Recharging your Roomba is easy when you remember to plug the Home Base cord in before the battery dies. Otherwise, it can seem like a major problem, but all you need to do is let the unit charge for several minutes before trying to reconnect it to your WiFi network.
If it still isn’t working, then the battery might be broken. You will have to replace it soon.
6. Improper WiFi Network Setup
Connecting your Roomba to your WiFi network through the iRobot app is really simple. With simple instructions, no technical expertise is required — and there’s nothing for you to download or install.
There are a number of reasons why your Roomba WiFi won’t connect. You may be running too many apps or devices on your network, slowing the connection down. The base may not be plugged in properly, or the unit may not be placed in the base correctly.
You should also make sure that you don’t run into any issues with your internet service provider or router, as they could compromise your Wi-Fi connection.
Touching the “Clean” button during the WiFi setup process will cause the Roomba to restart the configuration process.
Holding down the “Home” and “Spot Clean” buttons for longer than 10 seconds will reset the robot’s WiFi connection.
The WiFi setup is tricky if you’re not used to in-depth tech processes. But you shouldn’t lose heart! To make things easy for yourself, remember to have your WiFi name and password ready — as well as your Home Base and Roomba plugged in — before you begin.
To connect your Roomba to Wi-Fi, download the app from the App Store. Sign up or log in, and find the WiFi network you want to use. Then enter your password. Press and hold both Home and Spot Clean buttons.
A blue or green light will flash if it’s connected. Follow the instructions, and check the box when you hear a tone or see a flashing blue or green light.
7. Incompatible WiFi Range
WiFi routers can help improve your home’s WiFi signal and deliver a more stable wireless connection, but not all routers are made equal.
The WiFi frequency bands — 2.4GHz or 5GHz — can differ by model, which means that some routers have higher transmitting speeds than others.
You should always make sure your router’s WiFi frequency band matches the standard for your area. If you’re not sure what it is, consult the user manual.
5Ghz networks don’t offer the same range as the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz currently in use, which is why they’re not used by iRobot in its current lineup of robot vacuums. The company is reportedly working on a new line of smart vacuums that will support the next generation of connectivity, but for now, it’s sticking with the networks that are already available to customers.
So, here’s a tip for Roomba owners with weak WiFi signals. Use a better router, and make sure it’s compatible with 2.4Ghz WiFi signals. If you don’t have a good router, try to find one that can be paired with your existing one — there are plenty of options out there for dual-band routers.
8. Do A Factory Reset
If your internet connection isn’t the issue and there’s no program bug, then you probably have some sort of technical problem with your unit. It might be a physical problem with the device itself, an improper set-up of iOS and/or Android device, or something else that needs troubleshooting. When this happens to you, don’t panic. Your Roomba probably still has some fight left in it.
If you are having problems with your Roomba, one of the best ways to restore it back to its original state is to factory reset it.
To do so, you’ll have to go through the specific resetting process for each of your model.
Take note that resetting your unit will delete all data that has been recorded by it. This includes any cleaning schedules and home maps.
Factory resetting a Roomba vacuum is an easy way to fix problems such as inaccurate mapping, tapping, and repeating cleaning cycles.
For Roomba A and I Series: Press and hold Home, Spot Clean, and Clean buttons until the light ring turns white.
Series j requires that you remove the dust bin and then press and hold the Clean button for seven seconds. You should hear a double beep after the seven-second period. After this, click the Clean button one more time.
Press and hold the Home button, Spot Clean button, and Clean button for 20 seconds on a Roomba E series robot vacuum.
900 series: Hold the “Dock”, “Spot Clean” and “Clean” buttons until all buttons are lit up.
For Roomba Wi-Fi enabled 600 & 800 series: Hold down the “Dock” and “Spot Clean” buttons and simultaneously press “Clean.” After a beep tone, release all three buttons.
For Roomba combo: Look for the “Reset” button and press it for 10 seconds.
9. Update iRobot Home App
And while there are a ton of apps, plugins and hacks that can help your Roomba run more efficiently, the iRobot Home app is an essential tool for every Roomba owner. It lets you monitor your cleaning schedule, control your device remotely and troubleshoot any problems with ease.
The iRobot Home app is the connecting device between your Roomba unit and Wifi network. Therefore, if it’s running with errors, then your unit will get affected. An app can also slow down if it isn’t up to date. Because updates from the newest version might not be compatible with the previous one you have.
There are several ways to ensure your Roomba is always up-to-date. For example, you can subscribe to the iRobot Home app developer’s newsletter and get notifications about software updates.
When you receive an update notification, it’s a good idea to reboot your robot vacuum before installing it. This will free up memory and get rid of temporary files that may cause bugs or server errors.
One reason why your iRobot Roomba vacuum might not be connecting to WiFi is that you ran out of the range. This can happen if the device is in another room or an area of your home that isn’t within WiFi range.
However, there are other reasons why the vacuum might not connect to WiFi. For instance, it might not be set up properly, or you might need to reset your router or change your router’s settings.