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Why Won't my WIFI Based Grill or Appliance Connect to my Home Network?

Have you recently purchased a new sous vide circulator, pellet grill, or steam oven that is supposed to be able to use your WIFI network? Are you having issues with it connecting to your home network? This issue has increased and will continue to do so over the next couple years and unless you are a little "Tech Savvy" you may not know how to get these new devices to work right. The first thing we need to understand is the "Why" this happens, the the next issue is the "What we can do to fix it".





Why does this happen?

Even though the device you just bought is brand new and has some of the latest technology available, these devices are using only the 2.4 ghz WIFI band for their operation. Even though 5 ghz is the newer and "faster" WIFI band, it has a relatively short coverage area than the slower and older 2.4 ghz band. Also, since it costs more to have both of the two different receivers in these appliances, and the fact that most people still have the 2.4 ghz systems, it is really easy to understand why they only use that radio band.


Now there are a lot of newer routers and "Mesh" type WIFI systems that try and combined the two different bands and for some reason they do not give the option for finding the bands separately. So usually what ends up happening is your new device cannot find the 2.4 ghz band as it is masked by the router so you are unable to connect to your home WIFI network. Now some of these routers will allow you to go into the "Set-up" section of your system and re-name the bands to separate them, but some of them do not. I know that the Google Mesh system is one of the bigger culprits out there, but there are many others.


How do I get my device to connect?

So now that we identified the problem, how do we fix it? The good thing is there are a couple different ways to go about fixing this issue. Below are a couple options to get this fixed for you:


  • Edit the name of the Bands in your Router - Depending on which router or system you have, there should be instructions in the manual or online at the manufacturers website in how to do this. Here is one way to do it on a Google Mesh system - https://www.level-sense.com/blogs/wifi-enabled-sump-pump-alarms/connecting-2-4ghz-devices-to-google-mesh-and-google-fiber

  • Move Outside of the 5 ghz Coverage of your Network- This little trick seems to work when all others fail, or if you have no desire to mess with your router or wifi system. Since the 2.4 ghz band covers a much bigger area, you can move outside the 5 ghz coverage area. When you have your phone ready, take the device you are trying to connect and your phone outside of your house and walk until you notice your WIFI network drop under your WIFI settings on your phone. Slowly turn around and start to walk back towards your house and stop when your home network pops back up. You are now on your 2.4 ghz band only! You can then proceed to setup your new device. Now, this may not work on larger items such as a grill or larger appliances, but using that same method you can either discount some of the mesh nodes in the house, or move your router far enough away from the device to accomplice the same thing. https://youtu.be/niBzFrssxJo

Now, someday these little tricks may not be required as the manufacturers will either make it easier to connect to both bands or they will include both bands in the appliances, but for now these little fixes may help you avoid some frustration and hair pulling.

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