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Why Are All My Smart Devices Offline? 3 Causes & Fixes

Why Are All My Smart Devices Offline

It’s probably a safe bet that you’re reading this on a smart device like a phone or tablet.

It’s also probably a reasonable assumption that you have a smart device that’s not working as it should.

Smart devices are a convenient part of our everyday lives now, but they’re also prone to falling offline for various reasons. 

If your smart device is offline, it may be due to low upload speeds, poor signal, the router needs rebooting, or you’re on the wrong network. To resolve these issues, perform a speed test to determine upload speed, relocate your router, power cycle your router, or switch networks.

This article will cover the most common reasons why smart devices fall offline and how to fix them.

If you’re having issues with your smart device and want to know how to resolve them, then keep reading below!

1. You Have Low Upload Speed

Internet download speeds are typically faster than upload speeds. That’s how internet providers operate.

And it makes sense – most of what we use the internet for is downloading.

Things like Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Disney+ all rely on good download speeds. 

Upload speed is how many megabits your devices are sending to a server or device through the internet. 

If you’re having issues with video conferencing on your smartphone, for example, it may be because your upload speed is too slow.

A small bandwidth (volume of data used for downloading and uploading) can contribute to low upload and download speeds.

How To Fix

First, you have to determine if low upload speed is even the issue. You can use a free internet speed test to find out your upload and download speeds.

However, certain devices require different upload speeds to work correctly. 

I’d also like to note that you may not have the same signal strength in different parts of your home.

Therefore, it’s best to check throughout your house to get accurate measurements of upload strength. 

Reading tip: Do Router Antennas Make a Difference? The Surprising Truth

2. You Have a Poor Signal

Poor Wi-Fi signal is another culprit for why smart devices fall offline.

A poor signal is what happens when your device isn’t able to connect well to the router for whatever reason.

A smart device’s signal is called its received signal strength indicator (RSSI). 

The RSSI is a quantification of how well your device picks up the signal from your router. There may be several reasons behind your poor signal. 

Objects within your home may be blocking your smart device from receiving the router signal. It could also be a matter of your router’s location. 

How To Fix

Find out if you’re dealing with a poor signal. Look out for fluctuating or low signal strength regardless of where you are in your home. 

You may also have a poor signal if your internet is sluggish while on WiFi and your Bluetooth devices have problems connecting. 

There are two ways you can resolve your lousy signal:

  • Move the router.
  • Move things that are blocking your router’s signal. 

A router has a specific range in which your smart devices work the best.

Putting your router in a centralized location in your home can distribute the signal more evenly. 

Objects in your home may be emitting radio signals that mess with the coherency of your device and router signals. 

Things like baby monitors, wireless cameras, and microwaves may be what’s messing with your signal. 

If you’re able to remove these objects, you may experience stronger WiFi if you remove these items. 

3. You May Need To Reboot Your Router

Reboot Your Router

A universal truth of the world is that you can solve most problems with computers by turning them off and on

What I’m saying may sound like hyperbole, but it’s very true.

Rebooting a computer allows it to regroup itself and get a fresh start on what it needs to do. 

Your router, although you may not realize it, is still a computer too.

Like many computers, its CPU might be overheating, or there’s a kernel panic (KP) that’s keeping things from running correctly. 

Simple crashes (memory eating bugs) and conflicting IP addresses can cause issues within a router too.

Conflicting IP addresses happen when the private and public IP addresses of your router manages to get confused. 

The confusion occurs when two of your devices have the same IP address, or the router’s public IP address is outdated.

Either way, shutting a router off for a bit and cutting it back on can solve these kinds of issues. Well, at least temporarily.

How To Fix

Implementing a reboot is as simple as unplugging your router and plugging it back in.

You may have heard that you need to wait at least 10 seconds before plugging it back in again. The reason for this is so that the capacitor drains.

A capacitor is a tiny battery. It can hold a charge enough to keep memory chips running for a few seconds. 

Once the battery completely drains, the memory clears, and the router’s settings become reset.

The reset will take care of whatever may have crashed your router as well. 

Every problem with your router may not need the 10-second wait to resolve itself.

However, it won’t hurt to wait a few seconds to ensure your router is working the way it should. 

BONUS: You Might Be on the Wrong Network

Trying to connect to the wrong network is a common mistake. 

If you’ve got the WiFi on your smart device enabled, but you can’t watch YouTube, then you may be inadvertently trying to connect to someone else’s wireless internet. 

Your home WiFi or Hotspot isn’t the only source of internet your device can see.

Technically, you can attempt to connect to any source of WiFi your device can pick up.

The problem is that (unless it’s public) you need a security key to use it. 

Sometimes, the problem may be that you have access to two or more networks. But one is faster than the other. 

Knowing how to switch between WiFi sources can be a great help regardless of which situation you’re in. 

You might also want to know: Should Smart Devices Be on a Separate Network? The Truth

How To Fix

The way to change between wireless networks varies between devices, but the basics work something like this: 

  1. Go to your settings.
  2. Find something that says either “Networks” or “WiFi.”
  3. Select networks or WiFi.
  4. Scroll until you see your home’s WiFi name or Hotspot.

For a more specific guide, here’s how to switch networks for Android devices. These are instructions for how to change networks on a laptop.

Some smart devices give you the option of searching for the networks or WiFi option if it’s too difficult to find. 

It may also help if you change your WiFi or Hotspot name to something you can easily recognize. 

Other people may see it if they’re trying to connect their devices to the internet. But it only needs to make sense to you. 

In Conclusion

There are various reasons why your smart device may be offline. 

Some of the more common ones include low upload speed, poor signal, the router needs rebooting, or you’re on the wrong network. Diagnosing these issues is pretty simple. 

If you have low upload speeds, you need to run an internet speed test to check.

If you’ve got a poor signal, check for electrically interfering objects near your router or move the router itself. 

You can also reboot your router, which takes about 10 seconds. If you’re on the wrong network, go to your network settings and find your WiFi signal.

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