Lightspeed is a cloud-based point of sale system, as we continue to innovate and add new functionality to our platform, a number of these new features will require stable, reliable networking.
Your hardware peripherals (such as payment terminals & printers) will also require stable networking.
This guide will go through the differences between the WIFI that powers services like your online ordering and reporting and the fixed connections that power your printing along with some ways in which you can validate if your networking is sufficient & able to provide a stable experience on Lightspeed POS.
Different types of Networking
A Local network (also called LAN) represents the devices that are connected to your router, this data isn’t sent over the internet, Lightspeed communicates with these devices via the connection on your register device (WIFI or Ethernet) and the connection of the device connected to your router via Ethernet cable (Eg: Printer)
All devices should connect either directly to their wireless router via Ethernet Cable or they should have an ethernet port installed into the wall where the printer will be placed by an Electrician.
Avoid using a wireless ethernet adapter or wireless router to connect to printers wirelessly.
If possible, try and limit the number of non-POS critical devices connected to your local network (eg: Sonos)
We recommend looking to add a strong capable wireless access point to handle your WIFI to greatly improve your connection stability (We sell a great model on our Online Store that our Hardware Team can help you with)
The internet refers to when data is sent from your device (Lightspeed POS) to another device or service outside of your own network.
Devices & Services
Lightspeed Application & Lightspeed Display
Integrated Payment Terminals (such as Lightspeed Payments)
Lightspeed Bump Screen (powered by Bump-It)
Online Ordering Services (such as Lightspeed Ordering, Lightspeed Delivery, Mobi2Go, Bopple, Loke, OrderUp!, Mr.Yum & Me&U)
These services require reliable internet with minimal/no dropouts in your connection (when a dropout occurs, it will take the Lightspeed app offline causing issues with the Devices & Services listed above)
There should be stable internet wherever you are planning to take orders in you venue
If they are planning to take orders in other parts of your venue (such as Table Service), make sure that your device is able to receive full reception in that area (see later in the guide for steps on testing your network)
- Printers should be hard-wired to your router or switch and ideally should not be relying on wireless bridges or wifi connectivity (apart from between your register and the router). If you need production dockets in a location that does not have ethernet cabling and must be run wirelessly, consider Lightspeed Bump Screen instead.
- Lightspeed POS should have it's own dedicated printers and not share them with other systems, as interruptions in printing may occur. Please note that we cannot control how other systems connect to the printer and it may even be a suggestion to consider separating these off to a separate subnet or VLAN to prevent these systems from crossing over. We have observed some POS providers will auto-search and then maintain a permanent connection to any POS style printer found and this can lock Lightspeed out of that printer.
Testing your Network
How do I test my internet connection?
Download the below application for iOS.
It’s simple, press Start and walk around all parts of your venue where you will be taking orders, the points will go up and down as the connection gets stronger & weaker based on the strength of the signal at that time.
If you find that your connection gets lower when you walk to one of your tables then you may need an Access Point to improve your connection in that area.
How do I test my local (LAN) connection?
The main device most Lightspeed Customers will have connected to their local connection is their printers (some customers will also connect their payment terminals for the most stable connection)
When a printer is connected to your Router or Wall Point (and DHCP is enabled), it will give you an IP address after holding the reset button for 3 seconds.
You can download an app from the AppStore that will let you contact this IP address to test the stability of the connection from your Lightspeed POS device to your Printer.
Download the below application for iOS.
Once the application has been downloaded, you can open it and click Ping
Type the IP Address of your printer into the Server field and select Start
Run this test for a minimum of 3mins, if you see any timeouts that means that your Lightspeed POS device is unable to reach your printer.
Frequently Asked Networking Questions
I received a wireless router from my internet service provider, isn't that suitable?
The wireless router you receive from your Internet provider is often entry-grade, it's capable enough to a few devices in a household for streaming services like Netflix but we have found for customers that require 100% uptime for services like online ordering that they don't quite have the reliability.
If I buy a new Access Point am I able to keep the Router from my Internet Service Provider?
An Access Point is what controls your WIFI signal, most access points will require a connection to a modem or router to provide your internet connection (and also for you to connect your printers too)
In most cases, the router that you get from your internet service provider will be sufficient because the WIFI is being handled by your new access point so the router's only job is to provide a LAN connection to your printers, and most routers can handle far more devices then most Lightspeed customers connect!
However, if you're in any doubt feel free to speak to our team.
Can I provide Guest WIFI access to my guests?
Creating guest networks on the same network you use for Lightspeed (& your Printers!) can mean that when your venue gets busy and lots of guests are using your Guest Network, it can impact the reliability of Lightspeed POS System.
While we recommend to avoid guest networking, if you would like to utilise a guest network, I would recommend engaging a network specialist who can help provide a business grade guest network so it doesn’t impact Lightspeed.
Where should I store my wireless router or access point?
Your router or access point use a radio signal to communicate with your POS devices, this means that they need to be able to have a relatively clear line of sight to each device you will be using.
Each time there is an obstruction in front of the router, it can create interference and weaken your wireless signal.
Places to avoid;
- Under benches
- In Back Offices
- Near wireless devices like Microwaves
- Keep clear from metal tables/draws
How should I connect my printers?
Lightspeed has 2 supported methods for connected your printers.
Printer connected directly to router
This is the easiest method to configure, an Ethernet cable runs from the printer directly into the router.
Printer connected to Ethernet Wall Point
An Ethernet wall point would have one ethernet wall-point near the router (an ethernet cable would plug into that Ethernet wall-point with the other end going into your router) and there would be another Ethernet point where you are planning to install the printer.
Note: An Electrician would be required to install this.
If I don't have one of the above supported setups for my printing, can I still get support if my printing fails?
Our Lightspeed Support Team are trained to support supported setups and the Lightspeed application, our Support Team will be able to assist with some quick basic troubleshooting to identify if the issue is related to the network setup.
If a network issue is identified, our Support Team will recommend engaging a network specialist to assist in configuring your network to one of the above supported setups.