What happens if the dreaded “the cloud cannot talk to Roomba” or “can’t connect to Wi-Fi network” situation occurs?
It’s frustrating to have a Roomba not connecting to WiFi. Yes, there are the CLEAN buttons to start and stop the Roomba, but that’s not why you pay a little more for the wireless capability and other smart features.
There’s a disadvantage when you don’t have an internet connection or cloud connection. You can’t control your Roomba vacuum through voice and app control from your smartphone, Alexa, or Google Home.
How to connect Roomba to Wi-Fi? The iRobot Home app is the only way that you can connect your Roomba to the internet.
There are two main places where your Roomba Wi-Fi connectivity problem may occur. One is a possible problem with your Wi-Fi network, and the other will be an issue with your Roomba’s firmware or internal Wi-Fi receiver.
Let’s go through these issues one by one and explore solutions for these issues.
Let’s take a look at the common potential causes and reasons for why your Roomba isn’t connecting to WiFi. Further down below the general things to look at first, I’ll also cover any known issues of individual series and models.
7 Potential Causes and Solutions
1. Check your Wi-Fi network
Wi-Fi drops are a common occurrence – even in homes with a relatively strong and fast network.
Before checking your Roomba unit, test the connection on other devices to the Wi-Fi, and see if all of them are connecting to the internet. If none of them are, that means your Wi-Fi network has an issue.
If you’re not receiving an internet connection on any of your devices, you’ll need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and see if there’re any broadband data issues. For your phone not on Wi-Fi, double-check it’s connected to your mobile carrier and there’s no service or data bandwidth issues.
Troubleshoot corrupt Wi-Fi settings by resetting the router and doing a quick password update on the router’s system. Then try connecting your devices (including the Roomba) to the network again.
2. Ensure Your Device Is Switched On
Some Roombas have really vague signs that it’s switched on, unlike other devices that emit flashing lights or a big green power logo on it.
Check that your Roomba unit is fully charged, the home base is connected to a wall socket, and that your Roomba is switched on.
3. Get Your Home Base Close To The Wi-Fi Router
It could be the Roomba and Home Base are in an area without poor Wi-Fi signals due to not having sufficient Wi-Fi coverage.
Put the Roomba’s Home Base or Clean Base Unit closer to the Wi-Fi router and see if you get a successful connection. That reduces the distance that’s required for the Wi-Fi signal to travel to it.
This simple fix significantly increases the connection strength and solves any connection drop issues that might occur. It’s especially useful to test in cases where your Roomba initially connects to the internet, but ends up losing that connection soon after.
If you have a multi-story home, here’s a little tip – place your base dock unit and your router about 2 ft away from each other on the top level of your home. This is because Wi-Fi signals travel more easily from high to low ground.
You’ll also want to put the router in a central location, so your Roomba gets full coverage throughout your home and a strong connection to the internet via the router being close by.
4. Check That Your Wi-Fi Network Isn’t Overcrowded
As with any other internet-connected device, bandwidth is always a factor in considering a home’s internet speed and strength of the connection. As a general rule of thumb, any home with more than 10 devices connected to the internet at the same time will start to notice bandwidth issues.
That’s especially true if these devices are running data-heavy activities such as video streaming, video calling or internet gaming.
To troubleshoot this issue, start by logging into the router settings and looking through all the devices that are currently connected to your Wi-Fi network. By going through your internet settings on a computer, go down the list of devices and manually deactivate (kick off) those that aren’t in use anymore.
Freeing up the bandwidth on your Wi-Fi network gives more bandwidth space for your Roomba. There’s less competition with other devices to get a strong connection to the Wi-Fi.
5. Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
When it comes to troubleshooting digital devices and tech issues – it seems nothing may ever beat the effectiveness of “turning it off and on again”. When all else fails and your devices just don’t seem to be cooperating with you, try this method on the wireless router and the Roomba.
To reboot your Wi-Fi router, consult the user manual for your individual router as different manufacturers may have different methods.
In order to fully shut down your Roomba, turn it over on its head, unscrew the battery compartment then carefully take out the battery. Leave the battery out of the unit for about 5 minutes, then carefully reinsert the battery, screw in the compartment, and secure the unit.
Once it’s back on, hold the DOCK and SPOT physical buttons on your robot and it should prompt your iRobot Home app, asking to join the Wi-Fi network your app is connected to.
You can also factory reset your Roomba because some setting may have gotten corrupted. A factory reset would reset the Roomba to its original factory settings when you first bought the Roomba.
6. Incompatible Wi-Fi Routers
According to iRobot, these routers are known to have compatibility issues with Roomba robots:
- Cisco RE1000
- D-Link DIR-300
- Logitech LAN-W300N/RSB
- Microsoft MN-700
- Motorola SBG6580
- Sagemcom F@st 5260
- Time Warner Arris DG869A
- Western Digital My Net AC1300-J2F
- ZTE ZXHN F670
iRobot offers some potential solutions to try if you have one of these routers.
7. Ports are Blocked by Firewall
If you have a firewall, you’ll need to open ports on your router, because it’s possible they’re being blocked. That results in Roomba not being able to connect to the cloud.
Roomba uses these ports: 8080, 443, 8883, and 123.
Common Known Issues By Model
Roomba 614, 670, 671, 675, 690
First, if you have the 614, you won’t have Wi-Fi connectivity unfortunately.
For the others, the 600 series Roombas are older models and might be prone to drops in Wi-Fi connection. This is inevitable, but try and follow the steps above to reduce the drop rates. See what works best for your Roomba. Remember to only use 2.4GHz signals on your network as Roombas do not recognize 5GHz signals from internet routers.
Roomba e5, 805, 890, 960, 980, 985
These mid-tier Roombas don’t have any known issues in common and are rather reliable when it comes to Wi-Fi connection.
Roomba i3, i3+, i4, i6, i7, i7+, i8+, s9, s9+
Being the latest models of Roomba from iRobot, the internal Wi-Fi receivers have been refined and designed well. You will rarely face issues with Wi-Fi connection from these models.
There’s also a great video here of some tips to resolve internet connection issues.
Inaccessible Fields and Features
If Roomba can’t connect to the cloud, many features will be unavailable according to iRobot:
- New Job: start, pause, resume, end cleaning.
- Cleaning Preferences: Power Boost, cleaning passes, Edge Clean.
- History: Lifetime performance log, mission information, Clean Map™ Reports
- Locate Robot
- Settings: rename robot, check robot software version, check the date of the most recent software update, Wi-Fi settings, select robot language, bin full behavior, Reduced Power Standby Mode, reset the robot.
- Robot Diagnostics: error indication, bin full.
- Reset Robot
Contact iRobot Customer Service
If nothing works and if your unit is still under warranty, contact iRobot customer care as soon as possible. They’ll guide you through the troubleshooting process or might even replace your unit with a new one.
Your Roomba’s performance is only as good as the internet network it is reliant on. Always check your Wi-Fi network first before running any diagnostics on your Roomba unit. The router is usually the culprit for connectivity problems in electronic devices.