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Optimizing your network for Lightspeed Restaurant

This article covers the essential aspects of setting up your network for optimal use with Lightspeed Restaurant. We’ll discuss recommended hardware, network setup, and how Lightspeed communicates within your network. Understanding these elements will help you create a stable and efficient environment for your Lightspeed system.

Choosing the right hardware

Optimizing your network’s performance begins with your hardware. This includes network hardware, such as routers, but also POS hardware, such as printers. Here are some considerations to make during the hardware purchasing phase.

Network hardware

  • Purchase your network hardware directly from Lightspeed if possible. Our Support team receives training for supported networking products that we can remotely access.
  • Use a dedicated router for your Lightspeed POS devices, printers, and payment terminals to avoid interference with other internet-connected hardware (for example, security cameras).
  • We recommend purchasing network hardware made by UniFi or IgniteNet.


  • LAN-based receipt and kitchen printers are the most reliable due to their hardwired connection to your network.
  • Avoid using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth printers in a kitchen or other environment containing interference-causing devices (for example, electric motors or cordless phones) or large physical barriers (for example, large metal appliances).  

Payment terminals

Consider purchasing a payment terminal with 4G capability. If your main internet goes offline, you’ll be able to process standalone payments via the cellular connection.

Setting up your network

This section explores best practices for the setup and configuration of your network for use with Lightspeed Restaurant. Physical setup focuses on hardware placement and connections, while network configuration involves setting up protocols for secure and efficient communication.

Physical setup

If you don’t know how altering the physical setup of your network will affect it, consult an IT professional before making changes. Lightspeed Support cannot troubleshoot or assist with network hardware purchased outside of Lightspeed

Router placement

Set up your router in an open, central, elevated area. This area should be:

  • Free from interference caused by electric motors, cordless phones, microwaves, or other electronic devices.
  • Away from physical barriers such as walls, floors, and metal objects that can absorb or reflect the Wi-Fi signal.
  • Located somewhere with ample airflow around the router to prevent it from overheating, not within an enclosed space.
  • Close enough to your Lightspeed devices to ensure sufficient internet speed and Wi-Fi strength.
Network infrastructure
  • Use a dedicated router for only your Lightspeed POS devices and hardware.
  • If your internet service provider supplied your router, purchase a separate router for greater control and security over your network. With your own router, an ISP can't force update it, potentially disrupting business. 
  • Connect LAN-based devices with an RJ45 cable (category 5 or higher) to the router.
Internet speed POS devices must have a minimum connection speed of 512 Kbps. Perform a speed test from each device to verify this.
Wi-Fi strength

Test Wi-Fi coverage on each POS device at peak times to ensure signal strength stays between -67dBm and -30dBm when at full customer capacity. For roaming POS devices, ensure there is sufficient coverage in every part of the restaurant. You do not need to test POS devices that are connected via Ethernet.

If necessary, add additional access points to your network or move existing ones to increase signal coverage and connection reliability for all devices.

    1. Download Apple's AirPort Utility app on an iOS or iPadOS device.
    2. Open the iOS or iPadOS Settings app.  
    3. Scroll down on the left side and select AirPort Utility
    4. Toggle on the Wi-Fi Scanner setting.
    5. Open the AirPort Utility app. 
    6. If prompted, tap OK to allow AirPort Utility to find and connect to devices on your local network. 
    7. Tap Wi-Fi Scan in the upper-right corner. 
    8. Tap Scan to begin the scan.
    9. As nearby Wi-Fi networks begin to appear, search for your network on the list. Look for the RSSI, the signal strength, under the network name.
    10. When finished, tap Stop to halt the scan. Then, repeat steps 2-4 to toggle off the Wi-Fi Scanner setting.

      Important: Skipping this step and leaving the Wi-Fi scanner active may drain the battery life of your device.

iOS / iPadOS settings

Configure the network settings on each iOS or iPadOS device to our recommended standards. This can help prevent potential disruption to certain POS functions.

  • Auto-join: Enabled
  • Low Data Mode: Disabled
  • Private Wi-Fi Address: Disabled
  • Limit IP Tracking: Disabled
  • Configure DNS: Manual, use and

Network configuration

If you don’t know how altering the configuration of your network will affect it, consult an IT professional before making changes. Lightspeed Support cannot troubleshoot or assist with network hardware purchased outside of Lightspeed

Network architecture
  • Use a dedicated network for POS devices and hardware to ensure stability and avoid conflicts.
  • To create such a network, use a separate router or set up a virtual local area network (VLAN) or additional service set identifier (SSID) on an existing network.
  • Set up a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network for your POS devices and hardware.
  • 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks are not compatible with some payment terminals and printers.
  • Use WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, or WPA-Personal encryption.
Firewall Configure your firewall to allow open communication between your devices and Lightspeed. For more detailed guidance, continue reading.
Ports Open networks ports 22, 80, 443, 7373, 8080, 8883, 9140, 8443, 9100, and 9880 to allow devices and hardware to communicate with each other and with Lightspeed’s cloud servers.

Whitelist network traffic to and from:

  • *.ikentoo.com and *.lightspeed.app (for devices to reach Lightspeed’s cloud servers)
  • *.adyen.com and *.adyenpayments.com (for processing payments via Lightspeed Payments)
IP addresses There are no specific IP addresses you need to whitelist.
Features to disable Turn off wireless isolation, access point isolation, client isolation, or any other features that limit the ability of devices on your network to communicate with each other.
Other considerations
  • Regularly update the firmware and signatures of any network security tools, including intrusion detection (IDS) and prevention systems (IPS).
  • Set up DHCP reservations in your router for printers, payment terminals, and other hardware on your network to ensure specific IPs are available for those devices.
  • Apple's networking guide provides additional recommendations for its products.

Understanding network communication

This section discusses how the Lightspeed network works, including the different types of POS devices and how data moves around. This will help you understand the network activity caused by Lightspeed, which can be useful for managing your system.

Role of active and passive POS devices

Active and passive POS devices serve crucial roles within your network. They operate on OSI Layer 2, which ensures reliable device-to-gateway and device-to-device communication in unicast or broadcast mode.

  • Active POS devices function as local servers, store financial transactions, keep track of open orders, and transmit data to the Back Office.
    • Typically only one active POS device is recommended. For optimal performance, connect this device directly to your router using an Ethernet adapter.
    • Before adding more active POS devices, try improving the connection of your existing active device by using Ethernet or moving it closer to the router. One active device with a strong connection will outperform multiple active devices with weaker connections.
    • Active POS devices must remain connected to your network and powered on with the Lightspeed app open during service. If an active device disconnects, other devices running the Restaurant POS app won't be able to function properly.  
  • Passive POS devices relay data to an active device, which then sends it to the Back Office. 
    • Use passive devices for any POS devices in your restaurant after your initial active device, especially those that may frequently turn off or disconnect from your network.
    • Passive devices must be connected to the same network as an active device with the Restaurant POS app open.

Flow of data to and from POS devices


Active POS devices communicate with:

  • Active POS devices transmit encrypted blocks of financial data to the Back Office, providing a detailed record of transactions.

  • Active POS devices receive sales data and other information from passive devices. The active device then processes the data and sends it to the Back Office.

  • Active devices send technical data such as logs, crash reports, and error messages to our servers. This data is used to optimize performance and troubleshoot issues.

  • Active devices send and receive data to and from Lightspeed Payments payment terminals to facilitate card payments and refunds. A POS device signals the payment terminal to initiate a transaction, then the terminal communicates with Lightspeed Payments to obtain approval. Active devices also receive error messages from payment terminals when issues arise.

  • Active devices send print commands to connected printers and receive error messages if printing fails, ensuring receipt and ticket generation.

  • Active devices can interact with third-party software through API, both sending data to and receiving data from these programs. This enables additional features such as inventory management and customer relationship management.

  • Active devices communicate with Apple's servers to receive software updates.


Passive POS devices communicate with:

  • Passive devices relay information to active devices, which then process the data and send it to the Back Office. They depend on active devices to act as intermediaries for information flow.

  • Passive devices send and receive data to and from Lightspeed Payments payment terminals to facilitate card payments and and refunds. A POS device signals the payment terminal to initiate a transaction, then the terminal communicates with Lightspeed Payments to obtain approval. Active devices also receive error messages from payment terminals when issues arise.

  • Passive devices send print commands to connected printers via active devices and receive error messages if printing fails. This ensures proper generation of receipts and tickets, even from non-active devices.

  • Passive devices communicate with Apple's servers to receive software updates.

Basic troubleshooting for network issues

The first step for any tech troubleshooting is to make sure everything is still plugged in and turned on. As obvious as it may seem, this simple check can save you lots of headaches.

Further steps include:

  • Ensure that network cables are not damaged and securely connected at both ends. They should click into place when plugged into devices.
  • Look for status and power lights on each device where available. All devices that require power should be connected and switched on.
  • If your printers are using the Ethernet connection, they should be plugged into the Ethernet ports on the back of the modem/router - these are usually marked 1, 2, 3, 4. Using ports marked as Internet or WAN will not work.
  • Ensure your tablet is on the same network as your printers.
  • As a last resort, you can always turn everything off, wait 10 seconds, and then turn everything back on again.

What's next?

Understanding basic networking

Boost your knowledge of networking basics to enhance how your devices connect and interact within your Lightspeed Restaurant setup.

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