Routers and Compatibility

  • 10 April 2018
  • 6 replies
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The question has been asked about which router is best for Sonos. For the record the link below lists KNOWN network products that are incompatible or have a work-around with Sonos. The list is by no means conclusive because manufacturers change their hardware all the time. However, I suspect that by-enlarge the majority of networking gear is compatible with Sonos.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/42/kw/routers/session/L3RpbWUvMTUyMzM2MTk0MS9zaWQvZlUlN0VEVG5WRVFYYzV5Zlk3cjJGVE5HREZ0MExkOGdyNTZKRUZKaXhXZ0djRzdkWXYwRG5jaHVtVTEwMTBpVXFMYl9CUllmQ1ZJcG5icWYxUF9GUWFjYXJEbHI3enZzU0VqWEI4TzAlN0VDYlhBbEJGVVhkRiU3RXBMc0hRJTIxJTIx

That said there are some basics regarding routers. This speaks mainly to Wi-Fi (wireless); as a wired connection is what is_wired via Ethernet. I’ll only skim the surface as this subject could get very long and drawn-out given all the variables to consider. For the record I use a dedicated Sonos Boost component with my setup.

If your router does not operate pass 802.11 g Wi-Fi standard; I’d suggest an upgrade to one that offers 802.11 n which will be backward compatible to all legacy bands 802.11 a/b/g.

If your router only operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency I’d suggest an upgrade to one that offers 2.4 GHz and 5Ghz. Doing so will eliminate congestion by placing short range products on the faster 5Ghz frequency and allows for Sonos DD5.1 setups to send a faster signal between a Playbar/Playbase, Sub and Surrounds. For the record those types of routers are called Dual Band. There are routers that are Tri-Band offering 2.4Ghz x 1 and 5Ghz x 2 for even more flexibility to lessen congestion.

Most routers today come pre-configured with a Firewall that regulates incoming traffic from the ISP as the first layer of protection to prevent attacks to your network. If your router does not have a firewall it’s highly recommended to upgrade to one that does. This type of firewall which is hardware based is not to be confused with a software based firewall found in an anti-virus software loaded on a PC. Nor does the firewall in a router present any conflicts to the software based firewall on your PC.

Routers also come preconfigured with Ports that are open and closed. Ports are the doors that allow your devices to communicate with the outside world. For the most part routers out-of -the box are safe. However, if you are able to tweak your router (provided you have the skills) here are a few vulnerabilities that you can correct:

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Port is by default open. This allows devices to communicate with the outside world. If UPnP were not open the user would have to physically configure a port (open it) to allow communication. Unfortunately UPnP can be exploited. UPnP on a router should not be confused with UPnP wherein one plugs a USB device into the USB port on their PC and it’s magically recognized and functions. UPnP should be disabled on a router if possible. I have it disabled on my router and Sonos functions just fine as does all of my IoT devices_Internet of Things_(such as smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home).

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). This a service that allows the less technical to setup devices on their Wi-Fi network without entering SSID and Passwords by just using a PIN. Both devices; the router and client, must support the feature. However, just as easy as it is for the user it can be just as easy for a malicious attack to be launched against your network via WPS. I have WPS disabled.

There are many other settings that can be tuned off or modified within a router. The two I mentioned are the most accessible requiring the least amount of knowledge. This is not to press the manic button as most routers (as I mentioned earlier) are secure enough right out of the box. If you have the skills and your router allows you tweak it_then all the better. FYI, Apple routers allow very little to no tweaking.

Last comment on compatibility…
Some use Wi-Fi and ISP provided hardware interchangeably. You should not. A question was posed in the community as follows:

"I have Google WiFi and like others I have issues. How does Google WiFi not make the "Isn't compatible with Sonus" list?" (no correction for spelling).

My response to the OP was…When you say Google Wi-Fi are you speaking of their Google Mesh product or Google as your ISP...there is a difference. On the former your ISP could be AT&T for example and you chose to use Google Mesh hardware. On the latter Google Fiber is your ISP and you have a choice to use the Wi-Fi signal generated by the combo modem/router provided by Google Fiber or you can opt (as I did) to turn off the Wi-Fi signal in the Google equipment and use the router of your choice. I have no problems using my own router and I also use a Boost.

The point is that in either scenario the proper equipment configuration is critical to get Sonos; or any product, to operate correctly and efficiently on your network. I hope this helps some to have a better understanding of Networking/Compatibility not just with Sonos but all products.

Cheers!

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6 replies

Doing so will eliminate congestion by placing short range products on the faster 5Ghz frequency and allows for Sonos DD5.1 setups to send a faster signal between a Playbar/Playbase, Sub and Surrounds.

This sounds rather counter-intuitive. If anything, shifting router traffic to the 5GHz band should make things marginally worse for PLAYBAR/PLAYBASE to talk to their satellites. In most cases it probably won't make a difference though, and the benefit of moving traffic off 2.4GHz could well be net positive overall.
Userlevel 7
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[quote=ratty]
In most cases it probably won't make a difference though, and the benefit of moving traffic off 2.4GHz could well be net positive overall.


That was my intent and maybe my wording didn't clearly convey the message. IMO Sonos as a HT product is a minority to those using Sonos as whole-house setup operating in the 2.4GHz range. Keeping the 2.4Ghz frequency less congested would IMO have a overall positive affect. I think the benefits of a less congested 2.4Ghz frequency outweigh the potentiality of negative impact on the 5Ghz frequency. One caveat is that not every device will operate in the 5Ghz range so it wouldn't be a wholesale move from the 2.4Ghz to 5Ghz. If you will allow...It's a case of the lessor of two evils :8

Cheers!
My point was simply that 'placing short range products on the faster 5Ghz frequency ... allows for Sonos DD5.1 setups to send a faster signal' has no basis in fact.
Userlevel 7
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I see how my statement was misinterpreted...

Doing so will eliminate congestion by placing short range products on the faster 5Ghz frequency and allows for Sonos DD5.1 setups to send a faster signal between a Playbar/Playbase, Sub and Surrounds

The statement wasn't meant to suggest that merely placing devices on 5GHz would in turn speed communication between a Playbar/Playbase, Sub and Surrounds. That would be ludicrous. What was intended (and regrettably not clearly explained) was that moving devices from 2.4 Ghz lessens congestion on the frequency and by-the-way (or FYI) that is the frequency (5Ghz) used by the Playbar/Playbase, Sub and Surrounds for faster communication between them in a HT setup.

In fact you might find the info in the link interesting...:)
https://en.community.sonos.com/setting-up-sonos-228990/how-wifi-5ghz-work-on-sonos-6794546

Cheers!
In fact you might find the info in the link interesting...:)
https://en.community.sonos.com/setting-up-sonos-228990/how-wifi-5ghz-work-on-sonos-6794546

Err... I contributed to that thread.
Userlevel 7
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In fact you might find the info in the link interesting...:)
https://en.community.sonos.com/setting-up-sonos-228990/how-wifi-5ghz-work-on-sonos-6794546

Err... I contributed to that thread.


Exactly 🆒 LOL