Cannot connect and/or display live video from outdoor cameras only
I am at my wit's end and probably a few days away from returning my entire Simplisafe system to get something else instead.
And it's a shame too. The sensors and the single indoor camera unit I purchased all work just fine and were a breeze to set up. But no matter what I do, I can't get outdoor camera units to connect to my system. In the few cases I have gotten them connected, they never display a live video feed.
To date, I've spent over 2 hours on two separate phone calls with technical support and even had 2 new outdoor camera units sent to me. They are scratching their heads and blaming my Internet Service Provider, AT&T (I have AT&T fiber). But all four of the units I've tried all exhibit the same symptoms:
The first time I try to connect the camera, it will connect to the system. But at the end of the setup, it will be unable to load a live feed, giving the error: "Camera Disconnected".
What is odd is that when there is movement in front of the camera, there is a moment alert sent to the app and added to the home screen feed, along with a still photo capture. So it seems the camera is capturing a signal, it's just incapable of sending it to the app for some reason.
I've tried the above from both an iPhone (9) and an Android (OnePlus 5T running Android 10). No dice.
I experimented with two different 2.4 GHz WiFi networks I have setup here as well. I made sure my phone was on the same network each time. Neither worked. The 2nd network I tried was being broadcast directly from my fiber gateway, whereas the first was via my primary router. Its perhaps worth noting that I have an Asus ZenWiFi AX (AT8) mesh router and an AT&T BGW210-700 fiber gateway/router. I've configured the BGW210-700 for IP passthrough, so that the Asus is getting a WAN IP address. This allows my Asus (a much more configurable and powerful router) to do its job without the redundancy of the BGW210-700 in the way. Details on the configuration I used can be found here.
Should I decide to remove a camera from the system and re-add it, I'm unable to do so, as the camera is unable to connect once I get to the point in the setup where it tries to connect to WiFi. It's almost as though the previous camera installation has left some sort of imprint behind that is somehow buggering things up.
If anyone here has any ideas on things I might try, I am all ears. I have to think there is some peculiarity with how my fiber gateway or router are configured that are to blame here, I just have no idea where to start. The fact that the system provides almost nothing in the way of log files or detailed error reporting makes it nearly impossible for me to try and identify the root cause here. This is exacerbated by the fact that the two support representatives I've spoken with are equally blind on their end, with little to no logging to work from.
I really hope we can solve this. I don't want to walk away and throw away the hours I've spent thus far. But at this point, I'm out of ideas.
8 months ago
@captain11 , @davey_d and anyone else following along here - after many months of diligent troubleshooting, I have some good news. My problems are solved!
In the end, it seems the wireless cameras are somewhat incompatible with my Asus ZenWiFi AX mesh routers. After attempting numerous other fixes (including adjustments to the Asus routers that Asus recommended), we connected a TP-Link RE220 repeater to my network and connected the cameras to it. The thinking was that this repeater provided a known good 2.4GHz network for the cameras to connect to. This device is one that they often will recommend to customers when troubleshooting signal quality issues and they know the cameras connect well to it. To be clear, I had great signal quality where the cameras were located, but something with the network/connectivity specs related to the Asus routers was at the root cause of my issues.
So in the end, it was a simple fix, but one that it took us quite some time (nearly two months) to land on.
While the process was frustrating, my Technical Escalations Specialist, William A., was absolutely amazing throughout. William is knowledgable, thorough and seems to have a never ending wellspring of patience. I'm very grateful for him and for SimpliSafe's customer service, overall!
11 months ago
@vindic8r by reading your post it appears you are no novice on networking, and I will not even attempt to say I am. A very good friend of mine, a former coworker, is a Senior Security Network engineer with a very large, well known IT services company. He contacted me after going through 2 doorpro video cams and suggested he call SS support back and arrange a call from one of their tech specialists. To get to the end quickly, he went out and bout a new bell unit and presto, his 3rd replacement unit worked perfectly.
To confirm, the SS outdoor cam, like the others, will only work on 2.4 networks. As far as port forwarding, don't know about that but can say my two outdoor units, and about a dozen others owned by my daughter and other family members, work fine too. Suggest you call support today and, off the bat, ask for a senior tech to call you back as I believe the person answering the phone will not have the answer(s) you are seeking. If you get a chance, please post your outcome here.
11 months ago
Thank you for the suggest, @captain11 . I appreciate it. I'll call back support soon and request a call back from a senior technician.
It's interesting to find out that this is even an option, because the 2nd technician I spoke with told me that they were the only technical team they had and that she had no one to escalate me to. I highly doubted this, but wasn't interested in putting her to question, as she was pleasant enough on the call.
And I will definitely keep you and the community updated as this progresses.
10 months ago
So sorry to hear about your experience, @vindic8r !
But I'm glad to hear that one of our Specialists has already reached out. Hopefully we'll get your cameras working soon.