Monday, July 30, 2012

Network refresher

So here's a little story of a technological mystery regarding a home network. As you may or may not have heard me blog before, I have a home network that is bridged to a Sonos wireless music system. Besides being able to play my entire music collection through this system, a part of which is connected to my stereo (great for parties), I also have a portable (ghetto blaster-sized) Sonos device that I can take around the property anywhere I want, to listen to my music. Better still, I can use either the Sonos software on my computer, my Sonos iPhone app, or my iPad app to control the playback of my music. This system was working flawlessly, then about a month ago, I went to use my iPhone to control my Sonos portable device out on my deck and it couldn't seem to connect to my device. Neither could my iPad.

I tried connecting with the Sonos software on my computer and everything was fine. So I assumed there was something wrong with the Sonos app loaded on my phone and my iPad. I tried updating the app but it didn't make any difference. No matter what I tried, it did not work. So I had to sit back and think for a moment. Like a good troubleshooter, I know that when something goes wrong, the cause is usually related to something that has been changed.

So I thought for a while, pondering what had changed. The only thing I could think of that got changed was my wireless setup. I had replaced my old wireless access point with a wireless router with better security. Then it dawned on me. My Sonos bridge and all the Sonos devices that were connected to it were on one network. The reason why my computer could communicate with these devices is because it was also on that same network. But thanks to my new wireless router, my iPhone and iPad were now on a different network. With the old wireless access point, everything was on the same network. If you're not sure what I mean, my main router that has everything connected to it except my phone and iPad has an IP address of My wireless router has an IP address of

My Sonos controller software expects to see the devices it is controlling on the same network. So the only solution was to make my wireless router the only router in my home network. Which put everything on the network. That solved the problem.

What is interesting about this particular situation, is that although it would be rare for a home to have two routers on the same home network, it's not impossible. If you happened to have a strictly wired router before, and you needed to add wireless capability to your network, you might not be savvy enough to know that all you need is a wireless access point and you might be tempted to buy a wireless router. In which case if you expected all of your devices to be able to communicate with each other, they won't necessarily.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh ya... is this the router I gave you a whle back? Guess I should have told you Jen was hard wired to the router because she was right next to it.