Do Friendship Lamps need Wi-Fi? What kind?

Functionality Apr 08, 2020

Friendship Lamps and Friendship Frames connect to each other through Wi-Fi. The two different Wi-Fi frequencies that most routers have are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. So, first, what's the difference?

The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies are range and bandwidth.

5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance, while 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but not quite as fast.

Higher bandwidth means that files will download and upload faster, and high-bandwidth applications such as streaming video will perform much smoother and faster.

In most cases, the higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the shorter its range. The biggest reason for this is that higher frequency signals can't penetrate solid objects like walls and floors as well as lower frequency signals. Thus, the 2.4 GHz has a farther range than the 5 GHz frequency.

That also means that if you have your router on a different floor than your device, a lower frequency would connect better. I keep my router in the basement, so many of our devices connect to our 2.4GHz network instead.

Friendship Lamps connect and communicate over a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal.

They benefit from the longer range of 2.4GHz, and since they aren't data intensive, they don't need the speed that 5GHz uses. The data that they send is very short and simple.

"But I have 5GHz! Does that mean it won't work?"

Don't count yourself out yet. Most (if not all) routers can display both 2.4GHz and 5GHz! Sometimes though, the 2.4GHz is a hidden or guest network. That means you might have it running and not even know it. If you don't have it enabled, or don't know, contact your internet service provider and they can help.

If you truly don't have a router capable of using 2.4GHz, or just don't want to enable it, there's an even easier solution.

Each lamp comes with a quick connect bridge that plugs into your home router. Setting up with the bridge is easy and the bridge knows to connect through the 2.4 GHz signal. Once your lamp is online, you can move your lamp anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi signal, but the bridge stays connected to your router.

You can learn more about the bridge over here.

"So how do I connect it to the internet?"

Getting setup is simple. You have two options: Use the Filimin Bridge that I mentioned before. You just click it in and let it boot up and 🎉ta-da! It works. If you buy your Friendship Lamps as a set of two, then they're auto-magically connected to each other.

If you don't want to use the bridge, there's the Online Setup that doesn't need it. You will need a 2.4 GHz network to setup, but It's easy to do on the Filimin Manager.

Either way, once you're online, you can use the Filimin Manager to create an account and change the settings for all the lamps in your group! If you do the online setup, you're already on the Manager, but if you use the bridge, you'll need to head over and create an account. This is totally optional though.

University / Workplace Wi-Fi

Friendship Lamps are designed  for home networks, so there are often some additional hoops to jump through in order to get them connected in a public Wi-Fi setting.

Sometimes there are additional firewalls, security measures and Wi-Fi sign-ons (called captive portals). This can make your Friendship Lamp unable to get through to the internet.

More good news! Most of the time you can still connect. An IT person for your network can "white-list" your lamp using its MAC address, which is just the Device ID on the bottom of your lamp. Some schools even offer a way to register devices yourself on their website, also using the MAC address.

SAMPLE ID from a Filimin. This is the MAC address!

Some gaming systems can also have trouble with networks like this, and they connect the exact same way. If you know already how to connect one of these devices to your environment, the same solution will probably work for your lamp. That also means that the IT guys have probably done this hundreds of times.

In some cases, it may not be possible to connect your lamp to your university network. That's ok, 'cause we have a few workarounds.

You could try setting the lamp up using a bridge, using your own router, connecting to a guest network, or connecting your Filimin to a Wi-Fi hotspot instead. If you go with the hotspot, you'll want to know how much data they use. (Spoiler; not very much.)

Melody Winger

I am Filimin's Marketing lead who loves to bake and draw. I have the most precious puppy named Cheddar 🐶 and the cutest kitten named 'Nilla 🐱.

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