Need to understand GL wifi

Having problems with connection. I need to understand how GL wifi works.

I see GL wifi as a router. It’s broadcasting an SSID. You connect to the GL like an access point.

So you select the GL under networks and then you connected to the GL.
Next you select a wifi connection point to put the PC on-line.

This is because the GL UI is a cloud app running in a browser. The app then controls the GL via the wifi connection.

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Seems like you understand it. Probably.

After you connect to the Glowforge’s wifi and use the pages it renders to tell the Glowforge about your wifi, it’ll drop the network it is making and connect to the internet through your real router. You reconnect your laptop to your real router too and then they only talk to each other through and never again directly until you want to connect up with a different SSID and/or password.



Thanks for the reply and clarification, WOW/OK

My PC has other ethernet (cabled) connection with other devices. I will need to bridge the wifi and ethernet too continue to talk with the other devices and be on-line, RIGHT?

See if this helps.


Hi Tom,
As has been described, the GF only uses its hosted wifi SSID during initial setup. Once you have informed the GF of your main wifi SSID it will stop hosting its own and will use your main wifi from there.

From this point on, all communication from any device to the GF goes through the cloud. There is no direct communication from the devices to the GF – it is all done through the back-end GF servers.

So regardless of how your devices are connected (wired / wireless) as long as they have a path to the Internet and your GF has a path to the Internet then things should work.


Like they say, first set up only. After that nothing special.

Actually for first set up, you want to explicitly not bridge. In fact, the device you use to set up the Glowforge the first time needs to be wifi only (disconnected from Ethernet). Otherwise, it’ll keep trying to go to the actual internet instead of talking directly to the Glowforge.



Thanks ever so much for the explanation. That knowledge should help me diagnosis my many GL problems.

Your comment “There is no direct communication from the devices to the GF – it is all done through the back-end GF servers.” Maybe semantics but in wanting to understand GF. I tell the app to do something and it’s past to the cloud to process, then the command is sent from the GF cloud to my GF via my wireless router, RIGHT?

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Hi Tom,
Your understanding is correct :slight_smile:

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DUDE, that really helps, thank you. I also wanted to say, you answered my binary question with a binary answer. YES or NO. So many people will not just say YES or NO to a question. They complicated the reply by going of in a tangent much like I’m doing now.

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Thanks everyone for the help.

@tomparker I see you have another topic open so we will continue to help there. If you have any other questions, please let us know in that topic or a new one.