Once again going OFFLINE

So not even a few weeks since I dedicated 2.4GHz network for only my GF and computer I use with it, switching thru channels to get going again, once again in the Offline battle royale.

I am running out of channels to try–I can’t control what other devices my neighbors use, but GlowForge, you can surely come up with better wifi hardware that is not so sensitive to signal and interference from other devices! I feel like a $5 wifi transmitter/receiver in your boards is causing my multi-thousand dollar machine to be a brick.

Or is there a switch failing that affects the communication of my unit to the GFUI?

I hope you have a Quality& reliability engineering team reviewing the forums and tracking the number of reports of wifi issues! I’ll keep trying changing my wifi settings/channels, but getting really frustrated that after a year of no issues, my unit goes offline so consistently now.

My Glowforge is over a year old and is rock solid on connection. I suspect the problem is your router and not the GF. I don’t know your specific network setup, but from what I have seen, most users don’t protect their network equipment from power events, nor do they replace it on a regular basis. If your router is new and is protected from power events, you may want to check the signal strength at the GF. I use an app on my phone to check. I get signal strength of about -55 dB at the GF while using my phone. I have seen users with problems reporting -60 dB and lower, while those who report more - there was a thread a while ago on this - tend to report stable connection.


Also, if your unit is a combo modem/wireless, get a cheap stand alone wireless router. After I ponied up for what I thought was a quality combo unit, I had a lot of signal drops. 4 years after buying a $29 TP Link I’ve had zero drops.


Thanks–signal strength is quite good for my GF, but of course can be a factor. Months ago I didn’t have as good of signal strength on no issues with going offline… But just after I posted, it came on line again–at least long enough for the jobs I wanted to do. This happened a few weeks ago, too–I thought I posted (just saved as draft), but just after thinking I posted it, was on-line again & no issues again until today.

Thanks–might have to give that a try next! But at least “scolding” it seemed to do the trick today–came on line again & stayed on line long enough to let me do my work just after I submitted the post.

But still, I hope GF is looking into the robustness of their wifi hardware–for a device that only operates via the cloud, it shouldn’t be so sensitive

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If you are using a combination unit I strongly recommend a stand alone wireless router. I have the TP Link at the end of 100’ CAT5 out of the back of that combo modem and everything is good.

Random, no reason “interferance” was the error for the signal drops. The stand-alone cured it. I got that advice from a friend who’s job was “Senior cloud network manager” for Oracle, when I complained about my wireless signal integrity. Good Luck.


FWIW, no reason for the computer to also be on the 2.4ghz network, unless you just want it to be. The computer and Glowforge don’t have to be on the same networks for communication. Everything takes a round trip through the cloud.

I’d probably log into the router and check what kind of signal strength the Glowforge is actually seeing.

My experience is that it (GF) generally has a weaker signal than other devices that are in the immediate vicinity.


There are a lot of parts in a network connection besides the WiFi. The messages that go to and from the GF have to get to GF’s cloud service (which is hosted by Google, it appears). The messages will pass through many intermediate points on their way. A problem anywhere along the line can result in a “lost” connection.

I just did a TRACERT to APP.GLOWFORGE.COM and it took 24 hops to get there. A problem in any one of these intermediate routing points would block my access. I could have rock solid WiFI and still have a crappy link to GLOWFORGE.COM.

If your WiFi is good and your router is good, the problem is probably outside your house and has nothing to do with the GF. A trick you might be able to try to verify this is to hot-spot your cell phone and use that as the WiFI access point for the GF. Your cellphone company’s network will be completely separate from your ISP’s. If you set up your hotspot with the same SSID and encryption type and password and turn off your local WiFI when you turn on the phone’s WiFi, the GF won’t know the difference… If you still have intermittent offline problems on the phone’s WiFI, then I’d say there’s probably something wrong with your GF.

I haven’t opened my GF up, but I have to wonder if there’s a connector for wired network in there… I would much rather wire my GF than use WiFI, although I haven’t had issues with the WiFi like you have. I’m just old school. WiFi is for stuff that needs to move around, or things that it’d be hard to get a wire to.


Thanks–there have been other requests before regarding having an ethernet/hardwired connection for the GF (to our computer), but as of yet no idea of if it’s in the round file or an active suggestion box…

I’ll keep the idea of the hot spot high on my list (my Google Fi cell service has VPN encryption), and curious now to try a TRACERT myself!

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The TRACERT is very interesting–get from comcast in my city to Seattle, then at #7 some unnamed IPs and then #13 “request timed out” failures and results stopped at 21 with 13-21. (trace running while unit was centering–then offline–then back to centering–and second time i ran trace, my unit is still on line. Joys of the Cloud–after a trip to Amsterdam, seems to bounce around Mntn View, CA (Google) before the time out start on the trace…

I apologize for the delayed response, @bansai8creations, and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with this again. I appreciate you sharing your feedback and suggestions regarding Wi-Fi and your Glowforge, and I’ve passed those along to the team. We’re listening!

Unfortunately, network-specific Wi-Fi challenges can occur for a number of different reasons, and they can change over time, which makes them more difficult to troubleshoot.

There are some good suggestions in this thread, but it’s difficult to know which would be best for your particular network setup and environment. As @randy.cohen suggested, I’d be interested to see whether a hotspot works more reliably for your Glowforge connection. Could you try that out and let me know how it goes?

Additionally, 2.4GHz has a greater distance range for connectivity, but is prone to interference. Other devices using 2.4GHz, like cordless phones and microwaves, can cause interference and an unstable connection. If there are large or thick metal surfaces between the Glowforge and your router, this might also interfere with the signal. You can consult your router settings to check the performance and traffic on your 2.4GHz network, as well as the signal strength the Glowforge itself is showing (as @jbmanning5 mentioned).

Thanks Vee,
This is very sporadic issue, which does make troubleshooting difficult–or some “fixes” just coincidence. Oh, well.

Signal strength: my computer is right next to my GF, and strength is usually 3-4 of 5 bars (and GF shows the same). Better than with my old modem/router. But the first 6 months I had the unit I was able to run with only 1-2 bars & never had “offline” issue… My R/M is on my first floor, and studio is on second floor of 1920 construction. No cordless phone, and my microwave is closer to the modem/router than my GF, but I’m the only one in the house, and don’t use them at the same time.

I did get a set of the “boosters” that you plug into outlets before I changed R/M with lower strength–great idea until fine print that it doesn’t work if plugs are on different circuits. My whole house was rewired recently, and so have many separate circuits for each room/function, so that was a bust.

I was happily able to run w/out issue again for 4-5 days in a row after this posting again, but am glad to know next time I have some more options to try out still to address potential signal interference (though if it’s due to something the Navy is doing at the shipyard less than 2 miles away, little I can do about that!)

But it would still be great if GF could find a way to make the wifi “receiver” more robust!

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