Connect Sonos To Hotel WiFi

Connect Sonos To Hotel WiFi

August 28, 2020 Travel Tech Blog Travel WiFi Blog 0

If you are like me, you’ve gone all in the Sonos ecosystem. Sonos has made whole home sound easier than ever with it’s internet connected speakers. My entire house is covered with Sonos speakers, including the deck, workout room, kitchen and even the garage (I’m a car nut).

However, one place Sonos doesn’t work so well is with travel. While they’ve recently introduced the Bluetooth compatible Move, it’s fairly pricey and as we’ve seen on our Reddit channel, r/TravelRouter, lots of people are interested in taking their existing Sonos on the go. The fact that you can get a great Sonos speaker from Ikea for $100 also gives us a reason to consider options when compared to buying a $400 move.

While we are planning to talk most about hotels, lets also not forget that RVers, tailgaters and many others also want to bring their Sonos along. Airbnbs are an extremely compelling reason to travel with your Sonos speaker as well.

Challenges Connecting A Sonos To Hotel WiFi

There are a number of challenges you face trying to connect your existing Sonos speaker to the hotel WiFi. First, most hotels WiFi networks have what is known as a captive portal. Second, Sonos does not provide an easy way to switch a Sonos speaker to a different WiFi network. So every hotel, Airbnb or RV park you visit you’ll need to completely reconfigure the Sonos speaker.

What is a Captive Portal?

Captive Portals are the popups you get that prompt you to login or provide additional information prior to using the Hotel, AirBnb or other locations WiFi. Captive portal are extremely common at hotels, as most regular business travelers know. In fact very few hotels allow you to use their WiFi without accepting terms and conditions, entering a room number and name or an additional password.

Reconfiguring Your Sonos Speaker

Assuming you can get past the captive portal, or in the case where your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t have one, the next challenge is you’ll need to reconfigure your Sonos speaker for the WiFi network.

Here are the instructions to do so if you do it in the way Sonos recommends.

These steps apply when your Sonos system is in a wireless setup and you have changed your WiFi password, WiFi network name, or have replaced your router.

If you have more than one Sonos product in your system, this process will require you to temporarily connect a Sonos speaker to your router with an Ethernet cable.

1. Open the Sonos app and wait while it searches for your Sonos system.

2. When you see the message “Unable to connect to Sonos,” tap Learn More.

3. Tap Changed router or WiFi settings?

4. Follow the instructions to connect Sonos to the WiFi network.

This is definitely not a series of steps you’ll want to take with each new hotel or Airbnb. You’ll also likely need to bring an ethernet cable with you OR factory reset the Sonos to do it in the event you have any trouble.

Solution – Travel Router

The other solution is to buy a travel router and bring it with you. A travel router will allow you to create your own WiFi network at any hotel, Airbnb or RV park. You connect the travel router to the hotels WiFi network and use your phone to complete the captive portal. From that point forward every device connected to the router you brought with you will be on the hotel’s internet, but it will be using your own network.

The advantage is that you won’t need to reconfigure your Sonos speaker. And if you don’t have a dedicated Sonos just for travel, if you use the same network name and password as your WiFi network at home you won’t even need to reconfigure the Sonos speaker when you travel.

In addition to the ability to take your Sonos with you, a travel router will let you use your laptop, phone and other devices, including travel streaming sticks like a Roku in the hotel without needing to reconfigure them for each hotel, Airbnb or RV park.

Plus, travel routers are generally $30-75 dollars. So even with the price of an additional Sonos speaker, which isn’t even required, it’s still half of the price of buying a Sonos Move just for travel.

It’s also worth noting that the Move will only work via Bluetooth when away from home, you’ll still need a Travel Router or to reconfigure the device for the hotel WiFi to use over WiFi. That means keeping your device close to the speaker and not being able to control it from multiple devices.

Picking The Right Travel Router

If you travel regularly and are not highly technical, we’d recommend ensuring you find a travel router with an easy to use interface. Some travel routers have a highly technical interface and/or require technical experience to configure. So be sure to research the interface and ease of use before picking the best travel router.

Of course, here at Go Connect our travel router is designed specifically to be easy to use and for travel. A combination no other product can say.