Not necessarily! There are two ways to set up your Friendship Lamp: Using a Filimin Bridge, or bridgeless App Setup. Using a Filimin Bridge requires that you have physical access to a personal router or modem (plugging your bridge into a computer, wall jack, or any device that is not a router or modem will not work). If you don't have a router of your own and get Wi-Fi some other way, you may still be able to connect your Friendship Lamp using our App Setup! Please note that you will still need access to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi to use your Friendship Lamp. For more information, please see Do I need Wi-Fi to use a Friendship Lamp?
This article has tips on how to connect your Friendship Lamp to shared Wi-Fi networks and mobile hotspots.
Connecting to shared Wi-Fi environments
You may be using a shared network if:
1. You use a Wi-Fi network meant to be used by multiple households and you don't have your own router
2. You're trying to connect your Friendship Lamp to a non-residential Wi-Fi network and don't have access to a router
In some cases, our regular App Setup is all you'll need to get set up. However, if you're trying to connect in any of the environments below, there may be an additional step to getting connected.
For some on-campus Wi-Fi networks, our App Setup is all you need to get connected. However, more and more universities are increasing the security on their campus networks to add an extra step to the connection process for your Friendship Lamp.
Check your school's online IT resources to find out if certain wireless devices need to be "registered" or "whitelisted" before they can connect to the network. Other devices that fall into this category may include wireless printers and gaming consoles. Your school may even provide a dedicated network for such devices. Many schools will have online device self-registration available. For more information, please see Whitelisting your Friendship Lamp.
Some retirement homes or care facilities provide residents with individual routers in the rooms, which allows easy setup with the Filimin Bridge. It's not unusual, though, to have a shared Wi-Fi environment. In most cases, our App Setup is all you'll have to complete to set up your Friendship Lamp. However, some care facilities will require you to whitelist your lamp to their network as well as complete the app setup. For more information, please see Whitelisting your Friendship Lamp.
Whether you're keeping in touch with a coworker across the office or bringing some color to your cafe, we'd love to help you get connected! If your business uses a personal router for its Wi-Fi (common for small businesses), you should be able to get connected just like you would at home. However, if the network you're trying to connect to is accessible by the public, or if it has additional security, you may need to contact your IT department or network administrator and request to have your Friendship Lamp whitelisted. For more information, please see Whitelisting your Friendship Lamp. Once your lamp is whitelisted to the network, you can use our App Setup to start connecting!
If you're living on base and you have your own router, you may be able to use your bridge to Connect with the Filimin Bridge. However, if your bridge isn't working as it should on base, or if you don't have your own router, App Setup is what you should try next. Still not getting online? Your network administrator may be able to whitelist your Friendship Lamp to allow it to connect (see Whitelisting your Friendship Lamp), or you can connect your lamp to a hotspot instead (see below).
Connecting to a mobile hotspot
No router? No problem! Friendship Lamps can connect to MiFi networks as well as hotspots created by smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Our lamps use very little data, so you shouldn't see a significant increase in your data usage bill (see Bandwidth and Data Usage for more).
Before the setup, make sure your hotspot is active, and have another wireless device ready that you can use to complete the App Setup. We're essentially treating the device with the hotspot as the "router", and the second device will be used to configure your Friendship Lamp with new Wi-Fi information. Once the setup is complete, your lamp should be able to go online normally any time the hotspot is active and within range, and will automatically reconnect unless the settings are changed or erased.
If you're switching to using a hotspot after failing to connect your Friendship Lamp to another nearby network, it can be helpful to wipe that network's information from your lamp before setting up to the hotspot. To wipe your lamp's Wi-Fi settings, unplug and replug your lamp from the wall 4 times in quick succession. On the last time, leave your lamp plugged in. The lamp will flash rainbow colors before returning to blinking green to indicate its settings have been updated.
Questions? We'd love to help! If you can't find what you're looking for in our knowledge base articles, don't hesitate to contact us!
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