Does Roomba Need Wifi or a Smartphone?

Does a Roomba need wifi?

No, robot vacuums don’t need wifi to work. They also don’t need a smartphone, either.

How To Use Roomba Without Wifi

If you don’t have wifi your robot vacuum will still work.

The only thing you’re missing out on is scheduling from the app or remotely controlling the Roomba.

To use your robot vacuum without wifi all you do is pick it up and place it where you want to clean. Once in the location you want to clean, you press the clean button on the Roomba, and it goes to work.

If your robot vacuum has the return home feature, it will return to the home base once it’s done cleaning. No wifi needed for this, we talk about how a robot vacuum finds it’s home here.

How To Use Roomba Without The Smartphone App?

If you don’t have wifi then it won’t matter if you have a smartphone as you won’t be able to use the app on the phone either.

But you don’t need a smartphone to use your robot vacuum.

To use a robot vacuum without a smartphone app is the same if you don’t have wifi. All you do is press the “clean” button on the Roomba, and it will start to clean your floors.

The Benefits Of Wifi And A SmartPhone

The reason why you would want wifi and the smartphone app is that it makes owning a robot vacuum a little easier.

You can get robot vacuums that can be scheduled without the need for an app. The problem with this option is that it’s hard to program the robot as you have to use a remote. Think of how hard it was to program a VCR or DVD player back in the day – it’s the same frustration.

With the smartphone app, you can also remotely start the robot vacuum. Maybe you want the home vacuumed before you get home because you have a guest coming over. With a robot vacuum that has wifi and an app, you can press a button from anywhere in the world, and it will start to clean.

You also get reports of what kind of cleaning it does and for how long. Along with alerts to let you know to swap out the brushes or empty its bin.

It’s also nice when it sends an alert to let you know it’s done cleaning.

How Much Data Does Roomba Use?

Your robot vacuum won’t use that much data. Most often, it’s under 200kb of data. It is usually only when you have the app opened too.

Reasons To Not Have Wifi On Your Robot Vacuum?

The biggest reason to not get a robot vacuum with wifi or a smartphone app is because of privacy.

I don’t want to scare you, but I do understand some people need to take security and privacy to extreme levels.

Many of the higher-end robot vacuums build maps of your home, and some even have built-in cameras.

Just because a robot vacuum has wifi doesn’t mean it’s sending the data off, or it’s for nefarious purposes. But to some that don’t matter, its the potential that it could be in the future.

It may be worth it to some to avoid robot vacuums that have wifi or, at the least, not get the ones with cameras.

The good news is that the cheaper the robot vacuum, the less likely it will have cameras or wifi.

Here is an interesting read on this subject. Another one.

Do Robot Vacuums Have Microphones?

It’s rare for a robot vacuum to have a microphone on itself as it’s brushes and motor sounds would overpower it.

This does not mean they don’t use a microphone.

Many robot vacuums work with home assistants like Alexa or Google Home, and those have microphones. The microphone on your phone could also be used in the same way as the home assistants if you have the robot vacuum app.

The microphones are used to control the robot vacuum. If you have privacy concerns, it would be worth it to not use a robot vacuum with wifi. Even if they did have a microphone, the mic would be useless if you don’t connect the robot vacuum to the wifi.

What Do Robot Vacuum Cameras See?

The cameras on robot vacuums are basic by design. They focus on the walls and other flat objects to help them map out the room.

The cameras are not as accurate as lidar that some robot vacuums have installed. Using lidar, they can see things better like dog poop or your shoes.

But the cameras are cheaper as you don’t need ones that have a lot of detail. We’ll for sure see more robot vacuums using cameras in the future to navigate, but the simple bump-into-things-camera-less robot vacuums won’t go away anytime soon.

If you want to have a robot vacuum with a camera as they’re better at cleaning, you can always use it without the wifi. You may need to set it up while on wifi, but once you’ve done that, you can change your wifi password and not worry about it again.

Robot Vacuums That Don’t Need Wifi

Not every robot vacuum has or needs wifi or a smartphone app. The good news is that the more affordable the robot vacuum the less often they have these features.

Here are a few options for robot vacuums that don’t need wifi to work.

  1. ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner – The best option if you mostly have hardwood floors.
  2. eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim) – Slim profile but works great for medium to low profile carpets.
  3. Coredy Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Works great if you need one that schedules and handles pet hair.