Together with its Sonos Controller 3.7 update, I wrote about last week, Sonos has also released an update of its Android Controller which comes with a nifty feature: It now allows you to connect your Android device directly to the SonosNet for wireless connectivity. Once SonosNet is selected from the advanced settings menu, SonosNet will be added to the list of available WiFi networks and connections are WPA2 encrypted. However, as Sonos highlights, bandwidth-intensive operations (such as streaming HD movies) could affect the performance of music streaming on the Sonos. In this case, it's is recommended to disconnect the Android Controller from SonosNet and use the regular in-home wireless network instead.
SonosNet, which is a secure, AES-encrypted, peer-to-peer wireless mesh network, offers a number of advantages over traditional wireless networks. SonosNet requires no configuration other than a few button presses as part of the setup process and uses multiple wireless connections between ZonePlayers to provide a stable system even under adverse conditions.
In a traditional wireless network, coverage radiates outward from a central router or access point. The further away from this central point a wireless client is, the weaker the signal between the two will be. SonosNet is different because as a mesh network, each ZonePlayer or Bridge is both a client and an access point. Instead of merely accessing the network, each device also expands it. ZonePlayers and Bridges communicate to each other unit in wireless range, ensuring multiple, redundant paths for data to travel. While each device must be within range to at least one other, they don't need to be within range of the central point.
SonosNet does not replace your existing home network but rather works along side of it. As per the Internet connection requirements, one ZonePlayer or BRIDGE must be wired into the router with an Ethernet cable. This provides access to the home network, ensuring that each device can access shared music and the Internet.
Sonos Controller 3.7 for Android is now available free of charge from the Android Market
Cheers ~ Arne