‎Outdoor camera connectivity issues | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
gsk326's profile

Friday, August 25th, 2023 4:35 AM

Outdoor camera connectivity issues

I have five outdoor cameras. I have been able to set all of them up and connect them to my eero WIFI mesh network.  My internet speed with Cox is 500 mbps. 

Two of the cameras that are the furthest away from the base station and my internet router have the best signal. They are somewhat close to WIFI extenders but a third camera that is closer to an extender has a weak signal even though my internet speed test adjacent to that camera is > 100 mbps. The two cameras closest to the base station and internet router have weak signals. When I do an internet speed test adjacent to these cameras, I have > 100 mbps which should be more than enough to operate these cameras as well. The cameras with weak signals frequently go off line. I have read all I can on this site and am at a loss. I do not believe this is a 2.4/5.0 ghz problem as the cameras were able to be set up and two of them have good signals. I did turn off the WIFI on my Cox router in case that was interfering.  Any assistance to get all five of my cameras working properly would be appreciated.

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

6 months ago

@gsk326 You mention testing your internet speed, but have you tried using the Connection Check tool in the SimpliSafe mobile app to test your signal strength as well? The Connection Check tool will help to troubleshoot your cameras' connection and provide you with steps to improve it. To run this test, you can take the following steps:

  1. Tap the “Cameras” icon at the bottom of the SimpliSafe® mobile app
  2. Choose the gear icon in the upper right corner
  3. Select your camera
  4. Under “Connection” select “Connection Check”
  5. Tap “Start Connection Check” to find your camera’s connection strength

You can also learn more about improving signal strength in this Help Center article.

(edited)

17 Messages

@emily_s​ yes I have done that and get very different results. Despite the fact that my internet speed test adjacent to the "low signal cameras" shows good internet signal, the camera's are showing poor signal strength so obviously the cameras in question are not getting good WIFI signals for some reason. I have two cameras in my back yard, one facing east, the other west. They are both only about 20 feet apart and both fairly close to base station and a WIFI extender. One has a good signal, the other poor with your connection strength tool.  They are outside with no obvious interference. I am sitting near my base station and main internet router in my house and can visibly see the camera outside that has a low signal. The camera with the strong signal is actually further away. This seems completely illogical to me. 

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

@gsk326​ If some of your cameras are showing a poor signal strength with the Connection Check tool, it may be helpful to set up a 2.4GHz Guest Wi-Fi network and connect only your SimpliSafe devices to it. This will help to improve the cameras' signal.

17 Messages

@emily_s

My wifi system is a EERO mesh system. They are great for everything else in my home. I even have decent internet in my guest house on the property. While I can set up a Guest network, I can only limit to 2.4 GHz for 10 minutes to do the camera set up, but then the network will go back to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 

I have done a lot of reading and this seems to be a major problem with Simplisafe cameras in general. I wish Simplisafe would just fix this issue.

I am thinking of trying to add additional extenders, but I am afraid that may degrade my overall EERO Wifi mesh network

(edited)

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

@gsk326 another point may do the trick.  I have a Google WIFI, had 3 points, added a 4th and things went downhill.  Called Google support, suggested I do a factory reset on all of the points and have them next to each other in one foom when I reset. All reconnected, and then I moved them to their permanent locations, with one point in the master bedroom approximately half way between my two outdoor cameras, one in the front and one in the back. Result: Perfecto, both work fine and very quickly.

17 Messages

@emily_s​ I am still struggling with this problem. I spoke to an simplisafe agent on the phone and they sent me a tp-link extender that simplisafe recommends. It uses a "one mesh" system.

I contacted EERO and this is incompatible with their system so I am back to square one. 

Some of my outdoor cameras go "off line" even with fair signals. When I look at the "off line" camera with the app, it does let me see the back yard so it is "working" to some degree.  

It seems my only choice is to purchase another EERO extender and see if that helps.  Their devices tend to be pricey and I do not want to keep wasting money if the problem is really with Simplisafe and the 2.4 GHz requirements. Can you escalate my issue and have someone from Simplisafe get back to me?

Also, is there a way that I can track these support messages?  I do not get any notification when someone responds.

Thank you.

17 Messages

6 months ago

It has been 10 days and no response from simplisafe to this thread.  For no particular reason, all but one of my cameras are now getting a good signal; one has a fair signal. I have done nothing differently. I have no idea how long this will last. Gary

17 Messages

@dlpsr​ thank you for the detailed response. The cameras continue to work "this week".  I do not understand why "this week" is different. I have been fighting this problem for months now.  My housecleaners moved my base station yesterday to a "bad spot" by accident and the cameras are still working. Of course, now that the cameras are working my front door and garage camera batteries are depleting fairly quickly. I still have sensor problems that I have detailed on another post. 

I should be happy that at least my cameras are working, but from my experience, "next week" my camera problems could return.

GSK

16 Messages

GSK.

My suggestion is to not spend another dollar on SimpliSafe outdoor cameras, they have internal software flaws that SimpliSafe simpli (excuse the pun) refuses to fix.  Many of us have been posting the same problems about the exterior cameras for years, we have given up and have gone with our own  self monitored exterior camera solution. I have $1500 in SimpliSafe exterior cams sitting in a box in the attic, it just wasn’t worth  the effort. 

Like you I have EERO units and fiber to the residence. I have the latest Eero units and the tested throughput is 800Mbps averaged across all locations and different times.  As an RF engineer with 30 years experience I became frustrated with some tier 1 tech trying to convince me that it was “my problem”.   

What follows is the real problem, if SimpliSafe allows it to stay posted, I will try to be fair to SimpliSafe, and stick to the facts.   

The outdoor cams were developed by a third party and integrated into the SimpliSafe lineup, they are a stepchild, unlike the new indoor cams which are a SimpliSafe home grown product and work exceptionally well.   The outdoor cameras were designed around the small home and apartment market over five years ago, the technology is outdated, and they don’t work well with mesh systems, in systems that use 5gHz, or in large deployments of over a few cameras.   

Contrary to common belief, it’s not signal strength that’s the problem, it’s the communication software in the cameras. The cameras were designed to operate on very little battery voltage, so the software puts the cameras to sleep if no motion is detected; this becomes a problem with mesh systems that actively manage end devices, when they stop polling the mesh system marks them as inactive. When the camera detects motion is has to activate the network which takes 10 seconds, and then has to evaluate signals and re-home itself to a mesh node which can take another 30 seconds; compounding the problem is the 2.4gHz signal which mesh systems have to process separately, another  5-10 seconds. Add up the times, by the time the camera is online any usable video is lost, even worse some cameras go offline and the mesh systems can’t wake them up; the camera have to be manually reset. 

To be fair, SimpliSafe has a good system. The outdoor cameras simpli (pun intended) just need to be scrapped and replaced. For whatever reason the business side of the house doesn’t want to make that call, so the technical side of the house  continues to push the wireless extenders even though that’s not the problem with the majority of customers. I’m sure if we could talk to the SimpliSafe techs and software programmers offline they would tell us they hate the outdoor camera as well. 

Solution?  The SS indoor cameras are great for monitored security. For outdoor cameras I installed my own PoE cameras, they are managed by s program called Blue Iris which can be installed on any PC and has a web app. While it requires self-monitoring, blue iris can send sms and push alerts, record directly to a hard drive or network storage, and it has a built In AI capability to identify and alert for  only what you want alerted.  The AI capability is so refined that my push alerts can tell me if the alert is from a cat, dog, bird, or a deer: it also has facial recognition and can read and evaluate license plates, beat that ! 

Again, to be fair to Simplisafe, they have a good system , I am a full package long term customer and will continue for the majority of my system.  However, until their  business unit throws in the towel on their outdated and flawed exterior cams,  most of us will stay with our own solutions. 

2 Messages

17 days ago

It may be time for a class action suit. Clearly this is a pervasive HW/SW issue that is not being addressed. I, personally, am sick of having my home security system not doing its job. I know it's not a signal issue as other devices directly next to the cameras have full signal. They are on an isolated 2.4 network. Every other device works fine. 

1 Message

11 days ago

I agree with your thoughts regarding a CAS. I have 4 outdoor cameras that I have been trying to work with SS for over the past 6 months to fix why they sporadically work. Technicians offer virtually no assistance and as of today, simpli do not respond to call back commitments or respond to emails attempting to set up a time to spend on figuring out the issues. I currently have only 1 outdoor camera that works 80% of the time and one camera that works less than 10% of the time…and 2 that I cannot get to come back online to work any percent of the time. It is just wrong for a company to proclaim to offer security service…yet your total security system is dysfunctional. 

On a positive note, all inside cameras and the security system appears (I hope) to be functioning properly.

Would love to reach out to others with outdoor camera problems to take this to another level that will get service attention.

856 Messages

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110 Points

@rsrocha​ They've been a problem since release. Read about it here for years, reddit, etc. I'm in a little over 1 year and a few months.

Here's todays sample outdoor camera, caught the UPS truck showing up, never saw the driver coming over to the porch, doorbell decided this video wasn't worthy of recording, just a black video, but outdoor cam did get a glimpse of me and saw the UPS drivers back leaving. This is with my powerful mesh wifi system. It's also random, they work when they feel like it, just like the two doorbells.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/i0oh6woqzryiik4lbuej6/h?rlkey=3rixu230c0tos3ja1coh4e4jz&dl=0

And besides the problems of spontaneous recordings when app is opened on any device.

Constant and many random detections for some users, I had it for a while.

Records on shiney snow and sunshine shadows I guess. Had it.

Wouldn't charge properly for months due to 1.20 wired power performance mode firmware. Is better now. Had it.

For me, all 5 outdoor are solar, still initially wake slow on first wake up, then not terrible while awake. But rather useless if I want fast view on first wakeup to see a perp.

I could go on and on, pointing to many posts including mine, have kept extensive records of all sorts for a year+.

I've officially/unofficially been and indirectly been offered options, free power cables, which is a firm no, I'm not rewiring my attic with receptacles for these cameras. Not worth the extra investment to me. I don't know yet if they're abandoning solar power users.

They've evidently worked on poor battery percentage accuracy, it seems a little better where very poor for months. Still, at times inaccurate.

Also indirectly and officially or unofficially, an email from an employee tendering possible refund, presumably for just the cameras, solar panels, doorbells etc., they've gone silent on the issue since. Of the options available that's the one I would accept if the offer and conditions suit me.

There are a couple to a few who like the cameras. And will claim no problem whatsoever. But very few. I see no constant I love these outdoor cameras of mine posts here or anywhere. Just the opposite actually.

At best, with strong mesh wifi they function, without it and the offered wifi extender they're pathetic in comparison to my $20 to $35 Wyze cameras. I'm aware of the cloud issues Wyze had, didn't affect me. Nothing to see here.

The Massachusetts and other states AG just recently closed a lawsuit against a very similar security company with similar issues. $5-$7 million or so, took 5 years though.

By then I might not be here, or here alive. If no refund offer that suits me, file the CAS. I cant afford to. Yet.

2 Messages

10 days ago

The one I love is that the app shows it's connected to the network, yet the "Camera is offline" Move closer to the router! SIGH

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