Option to disable built-in WiFi, when Sonos is used as a single device.

  • 7 September 2012
  • 76 replies
  • 6572 views

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There are certain users, who don't utilize multi-zone capabilities, since they've picked up just a single Sonos player - be it Connect or Play - for one-room music experience. Naturally, those users don't need to keep the built-in WiFi in always ON state. Please, consider adding an option to disable WiFi, when it is not required. This will reduce power consumption, interference with other wifi sources, and keep the environment clean and free of extra EMR.

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76 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Yea google of disable Sonos wifi will give you the answer as top result.
Hello,
It's now possible to desactivate wfi if all devices are RJ45 connected ?
Thank's

Google for the instructions. Sonos don't officially support disabling the radio.
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Hello,
It's now possible to desactivate wfi if all devices are RJ45 connected ?
Thank's
Yes, a waste of everyone's time. At last something we can agree on.
Finally an intelligent response, actually Ratty's response was intended to be useful too but I'm well aware that Sonos can operate on wi-fi instead of SonosNet and that even when using SonosNet it can be managed by knowing the RF channel it uses and what the nearest AP uses and changing channels as necassary to minimize interference when things are mostly stationary. My OP was just me asking operational questions regarding Sonos and my belief that if the devices can be wired they should and if they are wired there is no reason why the radios should be left on since it should provide no real operational benefit and accually pollute the RF spectrum which others interpreted as network chatter which is something entirely different but some choose to chatter up the forums without thinking or knowing facts. Again I don't need a hand setting up Sonos or configuring STP on my Cisco switches to accomodate Sonos, I have all the docs needed from the various network manufacturers I use to deal with the bridging created by multiple Sonos devices wired to a network. I also have the http command to turn off the radios and I could also open wireshark to see how they broadcast across my network but isn't anything I wanted answers to. I think I'd be better asking questions on a professional forum and ask other system integration experts what the fat and skinny is when using Sonos on enterprise class networks and have to deal with customers who buy these things and wonder why their networks crash. I think too many here are in denial or are just famialr with their own installation on a simple single AP network and aren't concerned about optimizing wi-fi and their network as long as they got Sonos working. Anyway this discussion has yielded no useful information and was basically a waste of my time. Take care!
Userlevel 7
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Quite the heated discussion going on here. Just a note VAX, I know it's not always brought up but Sonos players can be set not to use SonosNet and instead operate on the home WiFi as a standard wireless device. The dedicated Sonos wifi (SonosNet) isn't broadcasting and the player will connect right to the home wireless. To clarify too, SonosNet is the same sort of 802.11 b/g/n that other routers would use, just with some extra mesh networking built in.

The standard setup can get messy in a house where you've got 3 separate APs and each one is broadcasting a different SSID or on a different channel, but it can certainly be managed. Grouping rooms off of multiple networks and channels can have some syncing issues at times. In general, as your network gets more complicated it tends to be better to run on SonosNet.

In this setup, the players would function much like other wireless streamers and would be fighting for bandwidth along with everything else on the network. However, you wouldn't be getting any 2.4GHz interference from the players as they aren't broadcasting anymore, they're strictly receivers. This is the setup that's known as "Standard Setup" and is the basic direction that the Sonos app talks you through to begin with. The wired setup is a secondary setup for if the first has trouble.

Finally, if you ever have trouble with a setup and need a hand, our support team is ready and able to help. Feel free to give us a call on our support line if you need a consultation or just have some questions. We're happy to help.
One word: Paragraphs.

And if the worst thing you have to do today is get paid $100 for telling someone to move their Sonos Boost away from their router, I can understand why you would be so upset. I can't wait to see your solution when someone decides to binge watch House of Cards in HD on the WiFi TV and New Direction starts dropping out on the Denon HEOS in the daughter's room. I'm sure they will be quite pleased about Denon's ability to "work with your network not against it" then. 😃
The RF interference of which I speak has nothing to do with broadcast beacons to discover players, etc which send out small bursts of data every 30 seconds or so but the RF carrier wave that carries those packets. With wi-fi these carrier waves radiate 24/7 unless Sonos does something different when operating on SonosNet but I would suspect the radios would have to be on at full power 24/7 to transmit data on demand. These carrier wave which usually operate on channels 1,6,11 for SonosNet are the same used for wi-fi so even if there are no clients on the network and you have a SonosNet and a wi-fi AP operating on the same channel they will interfere and how close they are determines how much they will interfere and then where in relation to those radios a client is. As far as being competent to install multi room streaming devices, well that's basically what Sonos is doing but their installers are the general untrained public and they shouldn't have to be able make network adjustment and definitely shouldn't have to tweak STP setting should they have equipment installed professionally that wasn't bought off the shelf from Best Buy. Again for most folks it shouldn't be a problem since most installations have just one low grade wi-fi router supplied by their ISP or one they buy from Best Buy but the homes I deal with all have at least 3 APs, usually Pakedge W7s, so when someone comes home with a Sonos it's not a piece of cake if it's put adjacent to an AP on the same channel. If they buy a couple and install on connected wall ports well that's an immediate call for help and again my 1st question will be "did you buy a Sonos". I would normally follow with, "throw it out" but I'm trying to be tolerant and accommodating. 🙂 Now since I don't want radios on radiating carrier waves 24/7 that don't need to be on when devices are wired since they will, regardless of what you guys say, interfere I just asked a few questions to learn more about this product. Well I guess there's always HEOS, they don't have any of these issues since they work with your network not against it. 🙂
I'll add to ratty's short but more than sufficient retort by saying if one is going to be in the business of installing multi-room networked streaming systems, I would think it a prerequisite to be competent in basic network configuration. At the very least they should be able to do consumer level adjustments like changing conflicting channels, reserving IP addresses, or configuring a few STP toggles. If one is not capable of doing this, they shouldn't be in the business of installing multi-room networked streaming systems.

And at the risk of restating the obvious, the bulk of the problems are IP conflicts. If my 99.9% number is used, I'd estimate 99.8% are conflicts, and .1% are STP. In fact, my personal theory is the "WiFi option" was probably put in place for the odd whackadoodle who is afraid of "all 'dem radio waves running through my body when I'm sleepin'", rather than any fear of STP configuration.
Userlevel 5
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I'm not a competent Sonos installer but I am able to read instructions. Set up is a piece of cake especially if you avoid overlaying what you think should happen.
there should be no duplicate IPs since simple systems are strictly DHCP

Many consumer routers don't persist lease IP info across a reboot. When things don't work the customer's first reaction is often to do a router reset. You can work out what happens next.

if the bulk is then an STP issue then that proves my point

Very few issues are STP related. Most owners don't multiply wire, and most simple network devices are STP-transparent anyway.

that says nothing about Sonos being on the same RF channels as the home's wi-fi.

At setup Sonos will scan and try to choose the clearest SonosNet channel. Sometimes that is the WiFi channel.

the RF radiation itself that interferes with any other radio operating on the same channels.

It doesn't, unless there's a lot of traffic. In a fully wired system there'd be one STP packet per second on each blocked virtual tunnel, i.e. a tiny trickle.
Most Sonos systems aren't installed by competent installers and most of those installing these systems have no idea what RF interference is or what channels are used or what can be done to avoid it. Most Sonos installer wouldn't be able to make the connections as to why their network isn't working right and most of these installers don't join forums to discuss their problems, they simply don't know the forums exists. As far as 99% of the problems reported here are STP or duplicate IPs, well there should be no duplicate IPs since simple systems are strictly DHCP and if the bulk is then an STP issue then that proves my point and that says nothing about Sonos being on the same RF channels as the home's wi-fi. 99% of these systems are being bought by home owners who don't know what they are doing and there's nothing on the box or in the set up to warn them so if they bring a Sonos home and put in a Boost or something else next to their access point, both on channel 6, well that's a problem that most home owner won't figure out and isn't readily recognizable. If they plug in multiple device to the wired network and a broadcast storm crashes their network well then they might make that connection, but maybe not. When someone calls with network issues the 1st thing I ask them now a days is "did anyone buy a Sonos system" and then if the answer is yes we can work to fix it. These people don't join the forum to complain. Yes, setting up STP isn't that complicated, if you're doing the install yourself and you're familiar with setting up your L2/L3 switches but how often do people by these things for Christmas or birthdays and plugged them into an active wall port and oops, they goes the network. I guess we could config every port with proper STP settings to be pro-active but why. By pollution I don't mean chatty products that broadcast non stop but the RF radiation itself that interferes with any other radio operating on the same channels. IMHO it is a Sonos problem not mine and your problem is something else entirely. 🙂
I'm an AMX programmer/dealer so I know how to install a standard high end distributed system but the market has shifted and Sonos is perfectly capable of being deployed using multiple connect amps or just connects using high end amps. Sonos just makes it complicated when it doesn't have to be and even in simple systems that they were original designed for they're still notorious for destroying home's networks which is why they now have the wi-fi option but they still cause issues if the radiios are on and all devices are wired which they should be if there is no need to be portable and a wired connection is available. The notion that radios should be on regardless of being wired is ridiculous considering the polution in the 2.4ghz spectrum.

Nonsense. The "WiFi option" has been an undocumented feature for years, it is just unsupported because any competent installer should be able to implement STP correctly. And if "even in simple systems" Sonos was truly "notorious for destroying home's networks", you'd see a flood of these complaints here, instead of the few posts that 99.9% of the time end up being STP or duplicate IP problems.

As to "the notion that radios should be on regardless of being wired is ridiculous considering the pollution in the 2.4ghz spectrum", when wired the "pollution" put out by Sonos devices is barely a trickle. There is no "pollution" at all. Your problem is your own, not Sonos'.
I'm an AMX programmer/dealer so I know how to install a standard high end distributed system but the market has shifted and Sonos is perfectly capable of being deployed using multiple connect amps or just connects using high end amps. Sonos just makes it complicated when it doesn't have to be and even in simple systems that they were original designed for they're still notorious for destroying home's networks which is why they now have the wi-fi option but they still cause issues if the radiios are on and all devices are wired which they should be if there is no need to be portable and a wired connection is available. The notion that radios should be on regardless of being wired is ridiculous considering the polution in the 2.4ghz spectrum.
VAV,

You would probably be more comfortable with a RUSSOUND, URC, C4, or similar system and a couple Bluetooth, AudioEngine, or WiSa speakers for Patios.
A few questions since finding real info is such a PITA. 1st I've found the config setups for the Cisco switches and router I tend to use and while it's again a PITA to have to worry about this crap and setting up the STP per port since you know patch cables never move but in the ideal world Sono's radio's should be turned off for any thing that isn't meant to be portable. My configs would be most amps or connects with decent 3rd party amps driving in wall speakers through out. I would prefer not using Sonos but the market seems to force AV guys and integrators down this path. I hate the idea I having anything in 2.4ghz spectrum other than my wi-fi gear and I don't what to worry about Sonos mucking things up so I want radios off unless I'm using wireless speakers for use on Patios or similar installs where fixed in place speaker aren't practical or ideal. So for those I'd use the houes wi-fi and everything else would be wired so here's a few questions:

1, If wired and radios turned off would STP still be an issue on L2/L3 switches. I wouldn't think so since the wireless causes the bridge but.. ?
2, When using speakers on wi-fi (not SonosNet) are they simply clients or will they act like APs and try to create a mesh and cause those STP issues?
3, If wired and radios off and/or using a couple speaker on wi-fi (not SonosNet) will they discover each other or do they need SonosNet for the initial setup?
4, How much broadcasting do these devices do, are the so chatty they should be on their own subnet, maybe just their own switch?

Why after all this time why is it so hard to find proper install setups that AV integrators would want to use like all wired connect or amps with maybe a few speakers on wi-fi and what this does or doesn't means to your network for a wired, wi-fi, wired or wi-fi or the SonosNet setups? Why are people still buying these things, bringing them home and screwing up their networks due to the lack of proper disclosure.
This computer sits in a difficult to wire location. It is connected through a wireless CONNECT. I don't have any issues.
Devices also need to bridge everything in order to support Android devices connected directly to SonosNet. This is a commonly used scenario.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
You guys need to design a better solution. I agree that there needs to be a "Supported" wifi off option. And why are you bridging traffic anyways between Ethernet and Wifi... Because you guys obviously suck at networking. You do not seem to play with other network switches with RSTP or STP... And given that homes are becoming smarter and more networked (meaning that they are more advanced) you guys seriously need to do a better job of not killing your client's home networks with your speakers. If you need to bridge traffic do it only for the SONOS MACs that are part of the home network. Do not bridge everything!

Sonos devices DO support STP, but not RSTP. If you have switches that use STP, you need to have "Classic STP" enabled, and use short path cost values. If you have "smart" switches but don't have STP enabled on them, then you should have the switches set to flood BPDU packets so that Sonos devices can pass their STP packets without interference by the switches.

And they need to bridge everything... because you could plug a non-Sonos device into the Ethernet port on a Sonos device that is wireless to the rest of the network. If they only bridged Sonos traffic, then you wouldn't be able to do that. It's not a commonly used scenario, but it is used.
Userlevel 2
The following may be of interest.

I've had to disable wifi connections on several of my sonos boxes to get the network stable.
Works a treat.

https://bsteiner.info/articles/disabling-sonos-wifi

Hi Everyone,
This is an interesting conversation, but I would like to add a little note.
The steps on this website aren't officially supported by Sonos and we wouldn't advise disabling the WiFi on a Sonos device.


You guys need to design a better solution. I agree that there needs to be a "Supported" wifi off option. And why are you bridging traffic anyways between Ethernet and Wifi... Because you guys obviously suck at networking. You do not seem to play with other network switches with RSTP or STP... And given that homes are becoming smarter and more networked (meaning that they are more advanced) you guys seriously need to do a better job of not killing your client's home networks with your speakers. If you need to bridge traffic do it only for the SONOS MACs that are part of the home network. Do not bridge everything!

This problem will only become more of an issue over time and obviously the current design does not cut it for smart homes. I have 5 play1s and a playbar now. I was tired of hearing my TV frame vibrating on certain sounds... The sounds is great. Your networking design needs improvement. Perhaps I should work there to help you guys redesign something better... 🙂
Userlevel 2
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Simply search "sonos turn off wifi" on google. Good tutorial by Benoit Steiner shows you how to turn off wifi.

I have 9 sonos connect and connect:amp all hard wired and wifi turned OFF. All rooms sync beautifully over ethernet and it has been much solid setup than relying on wifi-mesh network. If you have noisy wifi environment (I have multiple APs with 2.4GHz and 5GHz plus Guest Network at home), turning off wifi mesh network of Sonos also has additional benefit.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
The following may be of interest.

I've had to disable wifi connections on several of my sonos boxes to get the network stable.
Works a treat.

https://bsteiner.info/articles/disabling-sonos-wifi

Hi Everyone,
This is an interesting conversation, but I would like to add a little note.
The steps on this website aren't officially supported by Sonos and we wouldn't advise disabling the WiFi on a Sonos device.
Userlevel 4
Badge +3
The following may be of interest.

I've had to disable wifi connections on several of my sonos boxes to get the network stable.
Works a treat.

https://bsteiner.info/articles/disabling-sonos-wifi
Thank you Ratty for your advice. I did it.
but as "Azur - Sonos" a Sonos employee wrote before in this forum : "You are welcome to vote on this feature in this thread."
That's what I am doing and I would really appreciate that Sonos enabled and supported this as an option : wifi on/off. It would be great !
I agree, it should be possible to turn off Wifi if needed
Thanks

It's not officially supported but Google is your friend.