How to Connect your Awair Element to an Advanced Network

Article Summary

This article provides guidance for connecting an Awair Element to an advanced network configuration.

Article Overview 

Awair Element Network Compatibility

Awair Element is compatible with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n networks. For most users, reviewing the following aspects in your router’s settings will resolve any connection issue.

  • Frequency: Awair Element is only compatible with 2.4GHz networks. Awair Element will not discover or pair with 5GHz networks.

  • Mode: Awair Element works best with routers set to mixed access mode (802.11b/g/n). Due to the stricter access rules, Awair Element may not be compatible with 802.11ac or 802.11n-only modes at this time.

  • Channel: Generally, channels 1 and 11 have the least amount of interference. However, you may find that your Awair Element performs best on other channels, so it may take some tweaking and analyzing your environment to find your optimal configuration. Wi-Fi scanning services (such as NetSpot) can be helpful to find the right channel for your environment.

If you’re trying to connect your Awair Element to a corporate, enterprise, or high-security network, we recommend taking a look at the following best practices.


Advanced Networking Highlights

  • Your Awair requires outgoing TCP & TLS connections on Ports 8883 and 443.

  • The connection on Port 8883 is indefinite, the connection on Port 443 is intermittent.

  • For adding device-specific permissions, every Awair has a standard MAC-48 address listed on the back of the product.

  • Awair Element does not support networks requiring two-factor authentication, login portals, or managed login networks. You may be able to connect your Awair to these networks by setting device-specific permissions (e.g. MAC Whitelists).

Network Encryption Methods

Awair Element recommends using a password-protected Wi-Fi network. Because of the extra security it allows, we specifically recommend using WPA2 (WPA2 + AES) as the network authentication method. However, your Awair is also compatible with WPA, and open networks.

Your Awair is not compatible with WEP, WPA Enterprise, WPA2 Enterprise, or WPS encryption methods. Awair does not support networks requiring two factor authentication, login portals, or managed login networks--however, you may be able to establish a connection to these kinds of networks by adding your device’s MAC address to your network’s whitelist.


Managing TCP Ports

Basic security firewall configurations will commonly allow outgoing connections from all devices, but high security configurations may block all or a portion of this traffic. If your firewall is particularly restrictive, try adjusting your firewall’s policies to allow your Awair Element to make outgoing TCP connections on Ports 8883 and 443.

Your Awair Element uses one long-term secure communication protocol to send data back to Awair’s servers. After connecting to your Wi-Fi network, your Awair will open an ongoing TCP connection on Port 8883 to Awair’s servers, secured with standard TLS encryption. If severed, your Awair will continuously attempt to re-establish this connection.

Once per hour, your Awair will check for and download firmware updates when available. This check is done via a TCP connection using TLS security and HTTPS protocol, initiated on Port 443 to Awair’s servers.

All connections to your Awair are outgoing, no incoming connections are established.


MAC Address Whitelists

You can add your Awair Element to your network by whitelisting its MAC address (this method is sometimes referred to as MAC address authentication or filtering). You can find your Awair Element’s unique MAC address on the back of your product, it’s the 12-digit number starting with “70”.

Whitelisting your Awair Element by MAC address is often the best way to connect Awair to managed login access points requiring secondary authentication.


Testing for Network Compatibility

If you’re unable to connect to your Awair Element after trying the methods above, your network may be incompatible with Awair. While not the most elegant method, the quickest way to test the compatibility of your Wi-Fi network is to use a mobile hotspot.

By setting up a mobile hotspot or tethering to your phone, you’ll be able to quickly determine if your Awair’s connection issue is rooted in the advanced configuration of your Wi-Fi network.

However, if you’re unable to connect your Awair to the network created by your mobile hotspot network, it’s possible your Awair’s hardware may be defective. This rare situation is covered under our 1-year warranty and we’re more than happy to replace your product if needed.

If you continue to run into trouble getting your Awair Element connected to your network, please reach out to us so we can help. We’re happy to troubleshoot over email or schedule a phone call at your convenience.

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