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Link & WiFi Troubleshooting
My Missing Link Won’t Link!
98% of my customers have no problems getting their Missing Link talking to their other Link devices. But a lucky few each year get to chat with me over email as I try to help them sort out why their Missing Link device isn’t syncing with Ableton Live or other Link devices. Here are common trouble-shooting issues I’ve found over the years. I tried to sort these in trouble-shooting order from most common to more obscure problems.
Verify That Ableton Link Is Working
Make sure Link is turned on
Double-check that Ableton Link is enabled in the application you wish to sync up with your Missing Link (in Ableton Live, click the Link button in the upper left corner of the screen). Mobile apps usually have a “Sync” section in the Settings where you enable Link. Sometimes toggling this setting will fix things.
Try another app or device
If your Missing Link is not syncing to your Link-enabled DAW, try using a mobile app (iOS or Android music app) that has Ableton Link. See if that mobile app will sync to your DAW or your Missing Link. If the mobile app is able to sync to your DAW, but your Missing Link cannot, then we know that Ableton Link is not being blocked by your WiFi router or a firewall on your computer. Some other issue is blocking your Missing Link from seeing other Link devices.
Firewalls on your desktop computer can block Link from working. Make sure Port 20808 is not blocked in your firewall settings.
2.4 GHz Only
The Missing Link Desktop and ML:2 only support 2.4 GHz WiFi radio. Some WiFi routers do not seem to allow Ableton Link communication between the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz radio networks. If your WiFi router combines the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz radios under one SSID (name) then your computer is probably connected to the 5 GHz network and your Missing Link will be connected to the 2.4 GHz network. If you are experiencing issues getting your computer and Missing Link to sync up, try renaming your 2.4 GHz radio to a name different from the 5 GHz radio. For example, if your combined WiFi SSID is “My Network” then renamed the 2.4 GHz SSID to “My Network 2G”. Once you have renamed the 2.4 GHz radio to a unique SSID, connect all the devices to that 2.4 GHz SSID that you wish to use Ableton Link.
Try Access Point Mode
To validate that your Missing Link is not having any internal issues with Ableton Link, it is good to test Link on a known good WiFi network. It turns out that your Missing Link makes a very nice WiFi network of its own when in Access Point Mode. Your Missing Link will happily host all your Link devices on its own WiFi network in Access Point Mode.
- In the Web Control Panel for your Missing Link, go to the Stored WiFi Networks page. Remove the stored WiFi network for your home or studio WiFi. Save the settings and reboot your Missing Link.
- When your Missing Link boots back up, it will not find a WiFi network to connect to and will go in to Access Point Mode.
- Connect all the devices you wish to sync with Link to the Missing Link’s WiFi network (SSID will be MissingLink-XXXX or ML2-XXXX).
- You should now be able to Link all the devices.
Note that in Access Point Mode your Missing Link is not connected to the Internet. You will not be able to access firmware updates and any devices connected to the Missing Link network will not be able to access the Internet.
Some WiFi routers block Multicast, which is required for Ableton Link to function. Go in to your WiFi router’s administration page and see if there is an option to enable Multicast.
ISP-Provided WiFi Routers
Quite often when I am troubleshooting a customer’s WiFi network issues, it seems to be an ISP-Provided WiFi router (e.g. a WiFi router rented from your cable company). These routers seem to have lots of restrictions and ports blocked. If you are renting a WiFi router I would suggest returning that to your ISP and buying your own WiFi router. Chances are the WiFi router you buy will be more modern and higher performance than the rented one.
Mesh WiFi Networks
Mesh WiFi networks such as Google Mesh WiFi seem to cause problems with allowing Ableton Link to jump between mesh access points. Currently I do not recommend using Ableton Link on a mesh WiFi network.