How to connect to a Smart Wi-Fi or Smart Router signal (and how to create a 2.4GHz network)

In some installation environments, a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Network may not be available by default, which is required for our devices. This article will outline possible solutions to connect our device to your network.

Wi-Fi is the most common network connectivity type that is used with our devices. However, office buildings and home environments are advancing their routers and network connectivities to the point where 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency bands are becoming more commonplace.

For businesses and office buildings: they will commonly offer both 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bands in the form of a "Guest Network" or alternate network for visitors/non-employees to connect to, which means that a 2.4GHz connection is normally available.

For home networks, however, they are commonly defaulting to the 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency band with no default offering of a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection.

Additionally: modern routers, such as the Google Nest, are opting to offer a "Smart Router" or "Smart Wi-Fi" solution, which consolidates the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency bands into one SSID. While this is a great simplification for devices to connect to, our devices can have difficulties in connecting to these Smart Wi-Fi signals.

Below are some options for you to consider if you are unable to connect to your current Wi-Fi network due to one of the restrictions above (Smart Router/Wi-Fi Network or no 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network available):

  1. Check to see if your Wi-Fi router is able to broadcast a separate 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signal
    In most cases, Wi-Fi routers are able to dual-broadcast both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. For most routers, this will be referred to as "dual-band" Wi-Fi.
  2. Check to see if your Wi-Fi router is able to create a "Guest Network"
    "Guest Networks" are similar to the above, where the router is able to broadcast a 2nd Wi-Fi signal for users to connect to. This is commonplace for office buildings that wish to provide 1 Wi-Fi signal for their employees to connect to and another Wi-Fi signal for visitors or non-employees to connect to.

    Guest networks commonly default to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency band, so creating a guest network should allow you to connect your Kaiterra devices to it. This is also the best solution for smart routers, such as the Google Nest, as they typically don't like to advertise against their Smart Router/Smart Wi-Fi technologies -- but they are capable of creating a Guest Network, which accomplishes the same thing.
  3. Workaround (for Smart Router scenarios): Mirroring the SSID via Mobile Hotspot
    Note: this is not a recommended solution as it is not guaranteed to work. However, if you do not have access to the router or your IT team cannot create a suitable Wi-Fi network, this is an option to try and connect to the existing Smart Wi-Fi signal.

    Generate a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signal using a smartphone or tablet (with cellular connectivity), making sure to set the SSID and Password to the same settings as your existing Smart Router Wi-Fi network.

    After connecting to your Mobile Hotspot and confirming the device has connected to the Kaiterra cloud, disable the Mobile Hotspot.

    The device will lose its connection to the hotspot network but will try and reconnect using the same credentials. This may cause the device to automatically connect to the existing Smart Router.
  4. [Sensedge Only] Add a Hidden Wi-Fi Network
    Similar to the above, the Sensedge may struggle to see a Smart Router/Wi-Fi signal, as it generates a list of all of the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks within its range. While you can try the same workaround as above, another potential solution is to connect to a Hidden Wi-Fi network.

    Under Settings --> Wi-Fi --> Additional Settings --> Add Network, there is an option to manually input the SSID/Password of a hidden network. Inputting the proper information for the SSID here will allow the Sensedge to search for this connection and it may attempt to connect to the smart Wi-Fi signal.
  5. Opt for an Ethernet connection
    If you cannot find a way to make your Wi-Fi network connection work, plugging directly into the network via Ethernet cable should connect online without issue. If you decide to connect via Ethernet cable, please make sure of the following:
    1. Make sure the Internet connection is using Automatic DHCP.
      If the router/network is using manual/static IP addresses, you will need to use either the Settings --> Ethernet --> Configure IP page (Sensedge) or the Kaiterra Enterprise Configuration Tool (Sensedge Mini / Kaiterra Square) to configure the IP address for the device.
    2. Make sure the network does not have any device restrictions that may boot the device offline.
      In rare, strict network scenarios, the network may have some policies or restrictions in place that prevent our devices from communicating to the Internet (and our cloud). Please check with IT to make sure none of these rules exist.
    3. Make sure our servers/ports can be communicated with.
      As outlined here, our devices must be able to communicate with a handful of servers and ports in order for the data to reach our Kaiterra cloud. Please make sure the servers listed in the document hyperlinked above are available on the network.

If you have any additional questions or continue to struggle with your network connectivity, make sure to get in touch -- our support team is always happy to help!