When Amazon launched their Fire TV, I bought one right away and over the years, the device has only improved. I recently upgraded to the latest Fire TV, which has more options and better quality video streaming than my original. I now use an Amazon Fire TV Cube, which is a handsfree Alexa powered device for Prime TV and Movies.
I wanted to revisit the Wifi Connection option I had with my first Fire TV. A while back, my Amazon Fire TV stopped connecting to my wifi network. My network did display in the “available networks,” but it displayed as “Not In Range.” This was weird because directly next to the Amazon Fire TV is an Apple TV, Chromecast, Connected Bluray Player and the TV has wifi as well. All other devices had full signal strength.
After power cycling the Amazon Fire TV, my router and modem only to have no luck, I gave up for the day. Two days later I attempted again and had the same error. With a fresh mind of the issue at hand, I remembered that I had run a software update on my ASUS RT-AC3200 Router. I figured that had to be it so I logged into the router and looked around. You can access most routers by typing it's IP address into a browser. You may have to enter a username and password. You can find the default login details for your router in it's manual.
The ASUS RT-AC3200 router that I use has a “Smart Connect” option. That resonated quickly with me as I thought to myself, what if the Amazon Fire TV is not smart enough for Smart Connect. Turns out I was right. I was unable to figure out what the Amazon Fire TV was trying to connect to but once I turned off Smart Connect and the router reset, I was connected.
The System settings in the Amazon Fire TV menu does not tell you much and looking at the devices connected to my router does not tell me much about the Fire TV either. Most devices connected to my network show their name, however, it appears the Fire TV does not and only displays a MAC ID address. Since I can not find out what the MAC ID address is of my Fire TV, I can only assume that the Fire TV was attempting to connect to a Wifi Channel it does not support or it was trying to connect to the 5GHz when it only supports 2.4Ghz. It's hard to say. Multiple times I tried to forget my network so I could attempt to reconnect. It was impossible to forget the network when it was displaying the “not in range” message. When I was able to get reconnected, I tried forgetting the network, switching Smart Connect back on, and then reconnecting to my network. For a brief moment, I thought I had fixed it, but the error persisted and I had to turn Smart Connect off again.
So if you are experiencing network connectivity issues between your router and your Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick, it's most likely a problem with how your Fire TV is trying to connect to your network. Amazon is new to the device game and at the prices, they offer their products, I am sure there are some shortcuts. I have not had this type of issue with any of my other connected devices which is why it took me some time to figure it out.
Maybe Amazon will fix this issue with a firmware update, maybe not. I liked having Smart Connect enabled because it helps with load balance on my network when some devices are working harder than others on my network. Regardless, it's working now and time will tell if my network performance will suffer or not. If it does, I will most likely get rid of the Amazon Fire TV. It is not that useful of a device for me to deal with network performance issues over having it on my network. The Apple TV and Chromecast are very capable devices. The new Apple TV has the ability to play Amazon Prime video and games. I do like the gaming controller on the Amazon Fire TV though.
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