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Very Unreliable Connectivity

  • 19 January 2023
  • 9 replies
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I have 3 Sonos products - Play 1, Move and Arc.  My wifi speed is 300+mbps, with Linksys mesh system.

When I launch the Sonos app on my iPhone it’s a lottery as to whether I get the “Unable to connect ...” or if I’m lucky, any permutation of one, two or all three of the above units.  I then waste time rebooting my router and switching off and on the respective units with varying degrees of success until eventually it works.

I’ve spent hours reading many topics here on this subject and like many other users I’m increasingly frustrated by having paid a small fortune for these units, (which are great when they work properly) the connectivity is very unreliable.  My wifi doesn’t have any problem in connecting with any of the several other wireless devices in my house so to my albeit technically simple mind this must be a Sonos problem.  Is there any proven solution and if not, why not since it’s been an issue for several years?

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Best answer by buzz 19 January 2023, 19:43

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As a test, wire the PLAY:1 to your LINKSYS base unit.

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Thanks Buzz, I’ll try that.  I guess your thinking is that ethernet connection may be stronger and eliminate any possible interference(s).  The only downside is that the Play 1 is currently in the kitchen whereas the Linksys base unit is in study as needs to be directly connected to the router, which is connected to the Virgin Media fibre optic cable where it comes into the house.

If that works, I guess the workaround would be to buy another Play 1 for the kitchen!

WiFi mesh networks have a habit of changing channels on the fly -- possibly using different channels on each mesh point. SONOS does not tolerate this very well.

When one or more players are wired to the network, SONOS switches to a private mesh, SonosNet. SonosNet ignores WiFi and WiFi ignores SonosNet, but they operate in the same radio space. Set your 2.4GHz segment for 20MHz channel 1, 6, or 11 and use different channels for SONOS and WiFi. MOVE will always use WiFi.

If the wired experiment works well, you can proceed with adding music to the kitchen or use a BOOST for the wired connection.

Another (not so) enjoyable thing about some mesh networks is that they split their individual “pucks” into separate subnets, using the same SSID and password,  something that’s an anathema to the way Sonos needs to intercommunicate. 

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Thanks again buzz, as a non-technical bozo I’ll need to read up on how to set the 2.4Ghz segment and separate the channels but all sounds promising.  I’m now optimistic.

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Thanks Bruce, I’ll check with Linksys as to whether they split into separate subnets in the hope that they are not one of those which do.

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buzz and Bruce,  The wired connection of Play 1 to Linksys base unit seems to be working well consistently even before I’ve worked on the channel separation.

Linksys don’t understand what “pucks” are - is there a different term which they may recognise?

Extenders? Not the ‘base’ of the system?

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Bruce, Linksys call them “nodes” and have confirmed that they don’t use subnets so no problem there.

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