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Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?


Whether we’re talking about the most basic of robot vacuums or higher-end robot vacuums, they all come with a power button that you can manually press for them to start running. Other models are also equipped with a remote control that can be used to manually turn them on. With that said, robot vacuums can function and do their job of cleaning floors with or without wi-fi, granted limitation of some features and functionalities for the latter.

As robot vacuums are smart cleaning devices, it is recommended to connect them to a wi-fi network to be able to fully maximize and take advantage of their features, especially if they come with a smartphone app of their own like most iRobot Roomba models. By connecting your robot vacuum, like the iRobot Roomba S9+, to the wifi, you can control and program it to start cleaning even while you’re away and even integrate it to your Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Google Assistant for voice-command features.

Robot vacuums that can be or are connected to the wifi usually come with a more expensive price tag and additional costs, but that is to say, their functionalities are well worth the investment. Aside from linking them to a smart-home app for a more integrated smart network, advanced robot vacuums that require wifi and have a smartphone app of their own will allow the user to create a cleaning schedule, show the battery status, can do a carpet boost, suction power strength selection, and will send notifications on your smartphone when they are done.

If you’re looking for a robot vacuum at a lower cost or live in an area with poor wifi connection, there are still models that can operate and do a great job at cleaning even without wifi. After all, the first robot vacuum or older models did not require it when they were made. However, you will have to sacrifice a few features such as a smart navigation system and the function to control the device from your phone should you go for a robot vacuum without a wi-fi connection.

Do Robot Vacuums Need WiFi to Navigate?

Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?

All robot vacuums work through self-navigating may they be wi-fi connected or not. However, a robot vacuum that is linked to wi-fi can outperform the latter because it has a more advanced navigation system that will allow it to map a room and memorize the route to avoid obstacles. Additionally, in most cases where a robot vacuum can connect to the wi-fi, the smartphone app that comes with it allows the user to create virtual geo-fences on one’s phone to act as borders.

This helps the robot vacuum avoid a specific area and only access rooms in the house that are safe for vacuuming thus, creating a cleaning pattern. The Roomba Model S9+ has these functions and can even navigate its way back to the docking station.

Generally, a robot vacuum still has the upper hand over a regular vacuum cleaner when it comes to self-navigation because of the advanced technology used and the fact that little to no human intervention is needed.

Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Work Without Wi-Fi?

Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?

A robot vacuum can still work without wi-fi because the device will come with power and clean buttons you can press either on the remote or on the vacuum itself.

Even without wifi, they are still capable of cleaning multiple floors such as hardwood floors and tiles, sweeping dirt using brushes, and carrying all that was picked up inside the built-in bin. These smart devices don’t require wifi to perform their most basic duty: cleaning.

However, the difference lies in efficiency and quality. A robot vacuum that is connected to the wifi has certain features that will help in making a house cleaner. For one, the ability to adjust the suction power can only be done through the internet-enabled smartphone app. This function is useful for sucking up pet hair, picking up bugs, or dusting off a carpet. Whereas robot vacuums that work without wi-fi would be limited to simple floor types.

When it comes to navigation, a robot vacuum not connected to the wifi may not have geo-fences to guide the way, so it will automatically search for areas to clean on its own. However, there are physical boundary tapes that may help narrow the search and keep it safe from accidents, but it will not be as accurate as the self-navigation of robot vacuums that are wi-fi connected.

Which Robot Vacuums Do Not Need Wi-Fi Connection?

Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?

Not all robot vacuums require wi-fi to get the task done. So don’t be fooled by advertising since a simple entry-level robot vacuum is sometimes enough to clean your home, especially if your living area that needs to be cleaned doesn’t require much.

The ILIFE V8s Robot Vacuum Cleaner is a model that can work with or without wi-fi. While it is considered an advanced model, it can still work without wi-fi. At least it’s good to know that you have the option to connect it to get the full experience. 

A surprising robot vacuum we can add here is the Roomba. Without wi-fi, the Roomba 614 is one of the most basic and affordable models of the Roomba line that can maneuver itself without wifi. Largely due to advertising, most people think that all Roomba models require wi-fi to operate, but the Roomba 614 proves us wrong. Although it does not have a remote control to turn it on, it is impressive enough to clean high-pile carpets.

In a broader sense, all robot vacuums can run without wi-fi because it has buttons or remote control to turn them on. With that said, you can purchase any robot vacuum and be assured that said model can run without an active internet connection.

Final Note

Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?

Whether you’re living in a smart-home residence or an area with poor internet connectivity, robot vacuums may continue to clean with or without wifi. However, if you want to get the full experience of what these smart devices can do for you, then investing in robot vacuum models that can be linked to the wi-fi is worth it.

Of course, there are a lot more factors and preferences to consider before purchasing a robot vacuum model. With that, we’ve created an article on the best robot vacuums for you to browse to find out which one suits you the most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Robot Vacuums Need Wi-Fi?

Does a Shark Robot work without Wi-Fi?

In an article published by Vacuupedia, it is said that a Shark IQ can still work without wifi. However, like other robot vacuums, some features will not be accessible such as creating a schedule, voice control, clean modes, status monitoring, setting zones, and timers.

Why does an iRobot Roomba need Wi-Fi?

Although most iRobot Roombas require wi-fi for you to maximize their functions and features, not all vacuums require it. As stated earlier in the article, all models can work without it, but for models that are designed to be net-enabled, then it is recommended to link it.

When setting up an iRobot Roomba that is designed to be wifi operated, then one will need to have net connectivity in the area. To set this up, you must first download the iRobot app, add your model, enter your wifi password, and save the settings. After which, you can run your Roomba with or without wi-fi. The article on their website will give you a more detailed guide on how to set up your Roomba.

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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