The Cloud Cannot Talk To Roomba

The whole point of getting yourself a Roomba is for it to clean the house on its own, without bothering you.

What happens if the vacuum cannot connect to the cloud? Does it still work?

The good news is that your smart vacuum can still clean the house, so you won’t have to worry about that while you figure out the connectivity issue.

What does the cloud cannot talk to Roomba mean?

If you see the message telling you that your Roomba cannot connect to the cloud, there’s no need to panic.

Your Roomba can still perform its basic function and clean around the house, but you stand to lose certain very convenient functions.

For instance, you won’t be able to schedule cleaning remotely, via your phone app.

Also, you’ll be unable to customize certain cleaning features and you won’t receive reports on how the Roomba’s doing via push notifications.

Bottom line, it’s still a smart vacuum and can go about its business on its own, only not as smart as it should. 

Such connectivity problems are almost always fixable, but you’ll have to figure out why your Roomba cannot connect to the cloud. 

What are the main causes of it?

Anytime you have a connectivity issue with any of your devices the first thing you need to check is Wi-Fi.

If it’s down, obviously your phone or, in this case, your vacuum won’t be able to connect to the cloud.

Make sure the Wi-Fi is working

The simplest way to check if your Wi-Fi is working is to try connecting another device.

Forget about the vacuum, and see if your phone or laptop connects to the Wi-Fi.

Make sure the data on your phone is turned off.

Check out the Wi-Fi connection to see that the phone is connected to your router, and see if it indicates a strong signal.

Go online to see that it’s working properly. 

So, if the Wi-Fi is up and running what’s the problem with the Roomba? Here are a few possibilities.

The Wi-Fi doesn’t cover the entire house

If you have a large house, it’s possible that your Roomba cannot connect to it if it’s’ too far from the router.

Just as you used your phone to test the Wi-Fi connection, you can also use it to see if the signal is strong enough to cover the whole house.

If your Roomba signaled connectivity issues while it was in a distant room, take your phone there and see how the Wi-Fi works.

If the signal is not strong enough to cover the whole house, it might be time to purchase another router.

A more modern one can do the trick.

Or talk to your Internet provider to see if they can help you with a newer router model.

A temporary fix to your connectivity problem is to move the vacuum’s home base closer to the router, where the signal is strong enough.

As long as its cleaning schedule is in an area where you have a pretty good signal you shouldn’t have any problems programming the vacuum remotely, but you should upgrade to a new router so you can send your Roomba to do its job wherever it’s needed.

If you own a Roomba in the 900 series, you can check the strength of the Wi-Fi signal by signing up for the Wi-Fi Coverage Beta program, which you can access through the app. 

Try a reboot

Many times all you need is to reboot your router to solve connectivity issues.

With a router that’s been on for months or years you can expect bugs and this can affect how it works. You can reboot the router and see if the problem with your Roomba persists. 

Another fix you could try is changing the settings on your router. If it’s on WPA3 move it to WPA2 and check if your vacuum connects to the Internet. 

If this doesn’t work, try rebooting both the router and the Roomba. As far as the vacuum is concerned, in order to shut it down completely you’ll have to turn it over and remove the battery. Take it out for at least 5 minutes, then reinsert it carefully and make sure to screw in the compartment.

To start it again, hold both the Dock and Spot buttons on your Roomba, which should prompt the app on your phone to ask you to join the Wi-Fi network. 

How do I reconnect my Roomba to WiFi using the Roomba app?

First of all, make sure you have the Wi-Fi working. Move the home base and the vacuum close to the router. Check that the Roomba’s battery is fully charged. 

In order to reconnect the vacuum to Wi-Fi, check that your Roomba app is up to date. Go to Menu, select About this App and check your current version. 

Check to see if your vacuum was set-up with another app on another device. Maybe your partner also got the app and this can create a problem. To fix this problem, simply click on the ‘Set up a second device’ prompt. 

If you’ve been playing with the Wi-Fi settings, update them on the iRobot Home App.

Go to Settings – Wi-Fi Settings – Change Robot Wi-Fi to do that. Enter the new password, if you changed it.

Also, make sure Bluetooth is on, as the iRobot uses this to connect to your phone whenever possible. Once the phone app locates the Roomba, just follow the indicated steps to complete Wi-Fi setup. 

Basically, it’s the same thing you did when you first bought the iRobot. You need to turn it on, and press the Home and Spot buttons for a couple of seconds. The Roomba will connect to the app automatically and then it will connect to Wi-Fi. 

Can Roombas connect to 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks?

Unfortunately, Roombas cannot connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. You’ll need to make sure your router is compatible if you want to avoid problems. Check that you have a 2.4GHz router or a combo 2.4/5GHz one. If your router is fairly new you probably won’t have a problem with that as modern models usually support both frequencies. 

Which Roomba models can connect to Wi-Fi?

Older Roomba models do not connect to Wi-Fi. They still do their job on their own, but you won’t be able to program them via the app or connect them to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Roomba models that do connect to Wi-Fi are:

  • Roomba 690
  • Roomba 890
  • Roomba 960
  • Roomba 980

If programming your vacuum or monitoring it via the app is not important to you, you can go with any model.

How do I update my Roomba vacuum?

Just like your computer, if it’s connected to Wi-Fi, your robot should update its software automatically. The Roomba needs to be on its home base for that. Note that it might take up to 24 hours for it to download a full software update, but once that’s done the actual installation shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. 

If your Roomba does not receive updates, make sure the home base is placed in an area with a strong Wi-Fi signal. Also, check if it is connected to the Internet. You can do this on the app, by accessing Settings, then Wi-Fi Settings. Any connectivity issues should appear under Robot Wi-Fi Details

Sometimes, the Roomba cannot access the Internet because of your firewall settings, so check those as well. If the ports are blocked, your Roomba won’t be able to access the Internet. Roomba uses the ports: 8080, 8883, 443 and 123, so make sure they are unblocked. 

How do I check to see that the Roomba app is up to date?

This is not such a big problem, as most apps only release new updates every six months or so. If there’s an update, the app will update automatically or you will receive a notification that an important update has been released. 

Also, you need to be careful with the updates. Sometimes, something goes wrong causing the vacuum to malfunction or take longer to do its job. If you’re experiencing problems with your Roomba after a software update, make sure to go online to see if other people are having issues with their vacuums. Early in 2021 the company was forced to roll back a software update that left Roombas stumbling around the house like they were drunk. 

What can a Roomba do if it’s not connected to the Internet?

No worries, it can still do its job. The only thing is that you’ll have to press a button instead of using the app.

If the floors could do with some cleaning, simply press the Clean button and go back to your work, while the vacuum goes about its business. If you only want to clean a specific area, press the Spot Clean button. 

When the job’s done, press the Home button and the Roomba will head straight to its home base.

Keep in mind that you need to start the cleaning program with the Roomba on its home base, just so it knows what you mean when you tell it to go home. 

If you don’t have the iRobot app or your vacuum doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, you can still let it do its job while you’re away. Instead of using the app to program it, you’ll have to press the Clean button before you leave home. In this case, it won’t go back to its home base, but you can order it to do so when you get back.