Too many on the WiFi?

So I have a temporary living situation that has 9 people living in my house. There usually only there’s only 2 to 3 devices on the network used at any given time as we severly limit screen time with the children. With addition people we found 9 or MORE devices on the network at any given time because people don’t turn off or disconnect their devices.

With the Glowforge does this slow down the data transfer? The Glowforge takes a long time to register now and then tried to calibrate and I’m pretty sure the many people on my network is the culprit

I’m generally a calm person but I get limited Glowforge time becuase of the living situation and I’m frustrated ti the point that I’m swear yelling to people to turn off the WiFi if they are not using their devices.


Nine people? (Bless your heart!) :grimacing:


Well it can, but it may not. So there’s a couple of bottlenecks that can arise that can cause you problems. One is noisy airspace, lots of chatty devices around the glowforge could make it hard for it to get enough clear signal bandwidth to do what it needs to do. Another is actual internet bandwidth, but assuming you have decent internet bandwidth, this seems like it shouldn’t be a problem. The biggest job the glowforge can handle at one time is 100Mb and it shouldn’t take that long on a modern internet connection to download that much data.

Also, if the issue is idle devices sitting on the network, it shouldn’t be that much of a problem since idle devices usually don’t consume much bandwidth and aren’t usually hogging up the airwaves. I’m at 26 devices at the moment and the Glowforge seems to be working fine.

My guess is that you’re more likely to have problems with Glowforge’s service uptime, the lighting in your room, the relative position of your router and its orientation relative to the glowforge and your neighbors noisy routers than with competition from your housemates, but it depends on a bunch of factors (mostly how good is the internet connection and how much internet are they consuming).

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Well maybe it might be the distance that’s affecting the upload time. The machine is on the edge of the WiFi range. Would that be it? Inwas able to print before so didn’t consider that

I moved my laptop inside but don’t think that will male a difference as the machine is in the garage. It’s cool out though. Maybe 5 degree Celsius

Yes when the distance increases the signal gets weaker and the data speed drops.

I think 5C is below the minimum working temperature for a Glowforge. I don’t think that would affect calibration though unless there is condensation.


I would suspect strength of signal first. As markwal said, if those devices are just idle then there is no good reason they should be causing you trouble.

Maybe those extra (5?) people will band together and buy you a set of 3 Google WiFi points for the holidays. I’m sure the network geeks here have a whole host of “better” solutions to blanket your neighborhood in wireless signal, but for something that is simple to use for a regular person I don’t think it can be beat.

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Hehe, they should be out by January but that’s a good idea. The unit will come indoors by then and then if I have problems hopefully they will be normal ones. I will continue to trouble shoot, it might be combination of distance and temperature

Google’s new wifi system allows you to prioritize traffic to particular devices on the Wifi. I think they intend it for items that are bandwidth-intense, such as streaming video or online gaming, but could be used to prioritize a GF over kids’ Kindles, for example.


I look into that when my family leaves. I don’t think I will need one since we don’t usually have so many devices on the network.

Figured out the issue though. Distance was a factor but the real issue was my laptop underwent a massive upgrade. When went onto the app through my tablet it worked when I was closer to the router. The laptop I prefer and once the upgrades were complete I was able to connect and print from it fine.

It sucked. Since I can’t move the machine i had to resign to turning it on and print from inside from the tablet and then go back outside to hit the button. Did that three times until I got the laptop back


One thing to mentally visualize about radio signals like Wifi is that they behave much like light sources.

If you think of a wifi router like a floor lamp, standing close is nice and bright. Take a step away, and it’s still fairly bright, but every step away the light drops exponentially (not linearly) less. The amount of lost light 10 steps away is more likely 100x less than measured 1 step away.

Newer multi-antenna routers do things like “beamforming”, which is analogous to taking a lightbulb and putting it into a flashlight to aim the signal, but you’ll still have that exponential drop-off at the outer edges.