Question

Can sonos work without a wifi router



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23 replies

As you have a Play:5 the simplest solution for getting it to play is to connect laptop headphone socket to the P:5 line in. You have to set up Autoplay on the P:5 first, while it is still connected to a network. The 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable supplied with the P:5 is suitable for this.

Incidentally, do you mean that the wifi is dodgy (which would be relevant) or that the internet connection is dodgy (which wound not be relevant for local content)

There is also a possibility to use an Ethernet connection between laptop and a Sonos speaker that potentially (I think) allows you to play a Sonos music library across a group of speakers, using something called Auto-IP. But the grouping aspect is a bit technical and I have never tried this myself.
Hi, I'm no geek but I'm getting married in France in august and I'd like to set up a few sonos around the main house. The wifi isn't great, will this be a problem? If so, can I connect one of them direct to the laptop and if so, what cable will I need. Cheers, Matt
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Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

You can add a mobile app controller without Internet connection like if you had friend come to location and want to add it to their phone. Friend would just need signal to be able to download on their phone or download to phone before get there if no cell service.
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I was going to buy a Playbar/Sub combo and 2 pair of Play:1 speakers for my getaway cabin (no Internet & no wifi & no router). Need a plan B now. Guess Sonos is not a truly wireless system after all.
Scott, 

the Sonos system would run with a simple router that servers as wireless access point even without internet. The risk you are running into is the firmware compatibility. As you go back home the Sonos controller on your devices would upgrade to the most current version and be out of sync with the Cabin players.

The controller app will eventually prompt you for upgrades. The only way to keep it in sync, i can think of,  would be a device that doesn't connect to the internet like a tablet you can leave at the cabin and use as a controller.
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

Hi All, just to confirm. Does the connection between the Sonos speakers & mobile app have to be setup while the router is connected to the net originally or can I move all to location without a net connection and power up? 

Thanks John
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

Hi Sean.  I have found that Sonos moves without difficulty between wifi networks.  I frequently do this for demos (I'm a small-time Sonos reseller).  I have also taken my system to a rented flat with no internet connection, and taken an old router with me, and just plugged in the router, attached a Bridge, powered up the speakers and connected my phone to the wifi and everything worked fine.  (As I had an Android phone everything ended up working on SonosNet anyway.)

Provided you have a router that's creating a wireless LAN and you know the network key it should work fine.  Obviously test it at home first.
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

Great advice and it works. I unplugged the data cable to my existing router. The Sonos played songs on my device (in this case a Samsung S6). HOWEVER, I would rather not disable my home system by taking the existing router on my camping trip. How can I use an old router to build a mobile system??
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Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

I even have an NAS at my vacation home to serve the music (actually I have internet now but didn't until this year).
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Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

@Sean, Chris nails it.  You create a complete network, first connected to the internet, get everything working including your music source on the network.

Then, you build the same network (router, wifi access point, music source) in the new location, that lacks internet access.

To make sure it works:  Build it all at home, then UNPLUG your internet from the router that you will use in the remote location.  
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Only thing you should do is set it all up with the router you want and get them all connected at home with internet connection (so they get all firmware updates properly).  Then unplug the router from your internet and take them all to your offline location.  You'll still be using the same wifi signal as at home - just internet music sources won't work.
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

Nathan, Do you have the details of the 'geeky workaround' to control a Sonos system with an android phone or an ipad using a wifi router that does NOT have an internet connection? I want to use my Sonos connect amp at a campground and control it with my Samsung S5 or an ipad. -Thanks
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

If you buy a wifi router you will have wifi. You won't have internet. And yes you can use a wifi router and use Sonos with it just not any online content.
Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).

I'm going to get WiFi in the future, but for now I don't have WiFi. Can I buy a WiFi router and use it to use my SONOS Play 5 & Sub even though I don't have WiFi? Or are you saying that I should seek out a non-WiFi router to use? Do they still sell such devices?
Hi Scott. If you are willing to drop that sort of money on a system, why not drop $30 more on a cheap router? It doesn't have to be connected to the internet to run Sonos. You will need to do the setup where you have internet (i.e. home) then just move it over. Plan A is fine. I have done this myself.
Sonos set up is very straightforward and Sonos Support is very good in the unlikely event of a problem.
I was going to buy a Playbar/Sub combo and 2 pair of Play:1 speakers for my getaway cabin (no Internet & no wifi & no router). Need a plan B now. Guess Sonos is not a truly wireless system after all.
Hhi Scott. No need for the controller. A free controller app on the laptop or on an iPhone iPad or Android device could be used to control the system. The controlling device just needs to join the wifi LAN created by the router. Then added to the Sonos system itself with just a few clicks.
Hi Scott. If you are willing to drop that sort of money on a system, why not drop $30 more on a cheap router? It doesn't have to be connected to the internet to run Sonos. You will need to do the setup where you have internet (i.e. home) then just move it over. Plan A is fine. I have done this myself.
Thanks. I did not understand those particular caveats. Not too much trouble I would hope.
I was going to buy a Playbar/Sub combo and 2 pair of Play:1 speakers for my getaway cabin (no Internet & no wifi & no router). Need a plan B now. Guess Sonos is not a truly wireless system after all.
I would use my laptop hopefully. I would also need a discontinued controller?
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I was going to buy a Playbar/Sub combo and 2 pair of Play:1 speakers for my getaway cabin (no Internet & no wifi & no router). Need a plan B now. Guess Sonos is not a truly wireless system after all.
You are good to go.  Get a router, set up the speakers once at your main home with the internet, then run them off the router at the cabin.  

What's your music source at the cabin?
Hi Scott. If you are willing to drop that sort of money on a system, why not drop $30 more on a cheap router? It doesn't have to be connected to the internet to run Sonos. You will need to do the setup where you have internet (i.e. home) then just move it over. Plan A is fine. I have done this myself.
I was going to buy a Playbar/Sub combo and 2 pair of Play:1 speakers for my getaway cabin (no Internet & no wifi & no router). Need a plan B now. Guess Sonos is not a truly wireless system after all.
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Another way to answer the OP question:  Yes, you can use a non-Wifi router.

You will need to wire one Sonos device into the router.  No need for wifi.

If you have more than one device, the one that is plugged into a router will create a wireless network (just used by other Sonos devices).  

Of course, if you don't have ANY wifi network or access point on your network, you won't be able to use mobile devices like a phone or tablet as a controller.  You will have to use your computer to control the Sonos system -- or perhaps find one of the discontinued dedicated Sonos controllers.  

(There is one geeky techie workaround involving android devices and setting up a temp wifi network to configure it and then switching it over to sonosnet but that's going off the deep end.)

In short, though:

1) You need a router.
2) It does not have to be a wifi router
3) If you don't have a wifi access point somewhere on your network, you will be limited in how you can control the sonos (hard wired computer will be required).
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you can hook a Sonos unit directly to a computer or laptop via Ethernet to play music from that computer.  Only a single Sonos unit.

Otherwise pretty much need a router.  I would assume with upcoming wifi connection ability you could use a MiFi device as a router.  Thing is that router is needed to give each Sonos device an IP address.
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oh and play 5 has a 3.5mm input jack to play directly on the Play:5