I figured since the how to connect that 2.4gHz device on a dual 2.4/5gHz piece gets a large percentage of the daily traffic around here I’d post some tips and tricks for getting your smart plug, light, etc to work that are beyond that.
The biggest reason for failure to connect a smart plug or a light to your network is that you’re on 5gHz and these things generally only work with 2.4gHz, so check out our article on how to force your phone to connect to the 2.4.
Assuming that’s not the problem, here are the things I’ve run across.
Wireless Isolation, WiFi isolation, AP isolation, Client Isolation, Station Isolation, or just plain WiFi antisocial behavior, is a security precaution many routers use to prevent someone from snooping on you.
The actual mechanics of it are if 10 devices are connected to WiFi X, none of them can see anything except the gateway and the internet. Nobody can talk directly to each other.
Your smart device app usually works in the following way with WiFi devices – you start them blinking (usually long press on power, or turning the power on and off 3x,) and you’ll notice if you’re observant that there’s a new WiFi showing up usually called something like Smart98234.
Your phone/tablet/whatever connects to that, sends over the WiFi configuration information for your network, you and your Smart Plug/Bulb/Hose re-join your network, and then your phone attempts to discover the other device on the network.
If isolation is on it cannot. This is a setting in your router. You can disable it for the duration of setting up the device and then re-enable it if you want.
If you’re unable to do this, your best bet is to grab a cheap-o WRT54G or some such and set up a 2.4gHz only network with the same name as your fancy network, join your device there, disable that, turn your network back on, you should be good as all commands go to the cloud and not directly to the smart WiFi device.
WiFi network override
This is when you’re being steered or bumped to a new network. You’ll need to watch before your plug fails what WiFi you’re actually connected to. I’ve only seen this happen a couple of times in the many years I’ve been playing with smart accessories, but here’s what you need to look for:
When you’re connecting a device you should be on say Network X. When you’re connecting to a device you should be on that device’s faux control network (usually only long enough to send the configuration information.)
When you fail out, check the network you’re on. You should be on Network X again. If you’re on anything else your phone got steered to another network. This can happen if you’ve got a WiFi optimizer that chooses preferred WiFis, if your WiFi takes a couple of connection attempts (router needs new firmware, phone needs new firmware,) or if you’ve got another WiFi broadcasting with the same name and you’re flopping to it (range extenders, A/B setups, demons.)
Smart devices can smell just how much you need them to work right now. You must convince yourself it doesn’t matter. It’s just a $9 plug and cannot defeat you in the long run.
This is universally the number one issue it’s not. You’re almost never going to run into a situation with it being poor signal. That said, do the configuration in the same room as your router and you can rule this out for when you have to talk to someone with tech support.
Avoid if possible. They behave oddly on some routers.
No password networks
Almost all smart bulbs and outlets require a password protected network. This is because they’re essentially a little linux firmware with an open telnet port and can be used for great evil.
Your WiFi password has a space
I’ve got a phrase as my password. It includes spaces. More than once I’ve had poorly written software fail on it. So much so that I had to create a network exclusively without a space in the password.
Without screwing up your entire network, create a guest network on your WiFi and have a lame non-space password.
It feeds on frustration
Some smart plugs feed on frustration and will not work until you’re ready to destroy them. Be ready at the start.
You’re being steered to the 5gHz network
Google’s the biggest offender on this that I’m aware of with their WiFi products, but they, and several other manufacturers are making it nearly impossible to connect a 2.4gHz device using badly written apps.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
Google’s WiFi has been reported to kindly suggest to your phone to get the hell off of the 2.4gHz and get on the 5gHz even if you force it. In these cases the $10 router listed above can get you connected.
Your setup is too good
Mentioned above, you may be being forced to the 5 no matter what you do. In these cases you might just have to walk. You’ll probably want WiFi Analyzer and Speedtest.net. The first to tell when you’ve dropped to the 2.4gHz network and the second to pull a crapload of data while you’re walking from your router.
So walk away, run some speedtests, when you find where you drop to 2.4gHz mark it. Place your smart plug/light/frog somewhere between you and the router. Try and set it up from here and not get run over by oncoming traffic.
None of that works?
Post what you’re setting up, what you’re using to set it up, and what your router is. Posting “it simply doesn’t work,” and never dropping by to provide any information means you simply aren’t going to get it working.
Update your firmware
No kidding, WiFi router firmware update has been the issue on two large hair-pulling device issues I’ve run across in the past. If you can update your WiFi router’s firmware, probably no reason to not do it.
Powered by WPeMatico
If you use Google Chrome and an Android device, don’t forget you probably have the option to use any of the printers you have access to.
Many newer printers are cloud connected by default meaning you can associate a printer with your account on your computer that’s on the network, then hit the computer with a sledgehammer and still be able to print using the Android device.
Older printers probably require your computer sitting on with a Chrome service running in the background though. They’ll be listed as classic printers
If you’re on a computer that has a printer connected you want your Android to be able to get, type chrome://devices in the address bar, register the printer, run down two flights of stairs to get to the printer to see the connect message disappear right as you reach the printer. OK, maybe that was just me, just be somewhere near the printer and have someone press OK if it’s any distance.
From there on out in most web apps on Android you can choose share, choose print, then choose a printer. In gmail it’s just menu, print.
You can choose to print to a printer, print to a local PDF, or save whatever to your Google Drive in case you want to look at it later.
I continually hear of people sending a link to their email so when they can get to their desk they can print something, even though it’s 2019 and print should be dead, it’s not.
Probably more useful if you’re dealing with multiple floors between your computer, your meeting location, and your printer. Alternately useful if you’re in a multistory office building and routinely need to print out instructions and don’t want to remote desktop into your three monitor computer to print.
Powered by WPeMatico
I had an interesting experience with one of my original Google Home units where I would ask it what the news was, it would say “here’s the latest news….” and lock up for about a minute.
The second time I would ask it it would relent and work. This became a regular thing for the past month with the only weird issue being that first request for news in the morning.
It also wasn’t just the first request, it was the first request for news. I could stream other things, change house temperature, etc…
I dropped it from the network, joined again, same thing the next day. Solution finally ended up being to forget it from my home, reset it by holding the mute button down for something like 15 seconds (it’ll warn you you’re coming up on a reset,) and then setting it up again.
Sadly turning it off and on again wasn’t the answer.
My guess is during one of the software updates something failed, resetting it cleared the evil bit/data cache, rejoining brought it back into the fold.
Powered by WPeMatico
- Ghidra — software reverse-engineering tool, rival for IDAPro. Open source, released by NSA.
- Cybersecurity in the Public Interest (Bruce Schneier) — We need public-interest technologists in policy discussions. We need them on congressional staff, in federal agencies, at non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in academia, inside companies, and as part of the press. In our field, we need them to get involved in not only the Crypto Wars, but everywhere cybersecurity and policy touch each other: the vulnerability equities debate, election security, cryptocurrency policy, Internet of Things safety and security, big data, algorithmic fairness, adversarial machine learning, critical infrastructure, and national security.
- Kakoune — a code editor that implements vi’s “keystrokes as a text editing language” model. As it’s also a modal editor, it is somewhat similar to the Vim editor (after which Kakoune was originally inspired). In the words of a Hacker News commenter, it’s trying to ditch some of the historical ed/ex syntax and thought patterns that make vi weirdly inconsistent.
- Burnout Self Test — This tool can help you check yourself for burnout. It helps you look at the way you feel about your job and your experiences at work, so you can get a feel for whether you are at risk of burnout.
Powered by WPeMatico
Two men were arrested early Monday by Montreal police after a drone was detected hovering over the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.
The suspects, aged 38 and 42, were taken into custody at about 1 a.m. after jail guards detected the drone and alerted police.
A crime scene was erected at the wooded area where the men were arrested and detector dogs were deployed at the site. The suspects were in possession of a drone and a package containing at least one cell phone and a rechargeable battery.
Montreal police transferred the investigation to the Mascouche detachment of the Sûreté du Québec’s major crimes division because the evidence suggests the suspects were targeting a provincial installation administered by the Quebec public security ministry.
On Monday morning, the SQ was unable to determine if any contraband had been delivered to the jail. The grounds around the building were still being searched.
SQ spokesperson Daniel Thibodeau said that while drones are regularly seen hovering around provincial jails, it’s rare that the sightings lead to an arrest, and praised the speed and efficiency of Montreal police in the investigation.
The suspects were identified and released several hours after their arrest. The material found in their possession has been seized and will be analyzed.
The SQ was unable to say immediately what charges will be levelled against the pair. Federal regulations on drone use and the Criminal Code will be examined by investigators.
Powered by WPeMatico