We recently took the plunge and added a WiFi smart lock to our front door. The one we ended up with got decent-ish reviews, but a lot of people were complaining about WiFi connectivity issues. I figured “How bad can it be?” Turns out – pretty bad. I fought with the lock for much, much longer than I’d feel comfortable admitting. In the end, I turned to the manufacturer for support.
Here’s what I learned:
2.4 GHz Network Required
Thankfully I knew this going in – but worth mentioning for those who don’t have a lot of IoT devices. You must have a 2.4 GHz wireless network, or things will not work. (This may not be true for newer, fancier devices – but in my experience most IoT devices still like 2.4 GHz wireless).
No spaces in Wifi SSID
This one caught me off guard. I had a fancy bespoke wireless network name for my 2.4 GHz network and for a bit, things worked fine – but the lock would randomly disconnect and never reconnect. After looking into it, I found out that having spaces in your SSID is not a good idea. I ended up creating an entirely new guest network (two birds, one stone) for my IoT devices, this time with no spaces in the name.
No special characters in WiFi Password
Another one that took me by surprise. Random characters are better and harder to guess right? Apparently not. Some manufacturers can’t handle them in their WiFi passwords – also causing random disconnects. I ended up changing to a password that consisted entirely of letters and numbers.
Finally – make sure the batteries on the device are fully charged. I found out that in order to save itself, my lock would disconnect from WiFi when the batteries ran low. As soon as I changed them to new (brand-name) batteries, we were back in business.
This is less of a tip for connectivity and more of a tip for security. There was absolutely no reason for me to have the lock on my regular wireless network, as all connectivity and reporting are done through my phone app and the web. Moving the lock to a guest network (isolating it from my other devices) was just a smart move. Honestly, one I should’ve just done in the first place.
Hopefully, these tips help if anyone is facing similar issues!
Door Lock Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com