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Monday, September 10th, 2018 3:00 PM

SimpliCam losing connection

The first week that I purchased my SimpliCam everything seemed to work great and the past 1-2 weeks most of the time when motion is detected the camera works about 3-5 seconds and loses connection. I am concerned that I am not capturing what is truly going on inside of my home when I am away and when I'm really going to need to depend on it that it will not capture what I need it to capture.

2 Messages

6 years ago

Same issues here:
1)  Camera constantly loses WiFi connection.  Probable cause?  Google Mesh network.  You cannot assign 2.4 or 5.0gHz channels to devices.  Mesh network cycles that.
2) Sound like water running on camera in silent room.  Probable cause? Device is a piece of junk.

1 Message

5 years ago

I have 3 SimpliCams and 1 Doorbell Pro.

The issue is occurring with the Doorbell Pro. Weirdly it only happens when our front door is opened. The doorbell will happily record 1:05 of video when a package is being delivered (door not opened), but if somebody opens the door to leave the house, it records about 10 seconds then says 'Lost Connection', on both the iOS app on an iPhone XS, and logged in to the dashboard in a browser.

We have an Eero mesh network and I have two other D-Link Wi-Fi cameras in the front door porch that do not have this issue.

3 Messages

5 years ago

ATTN SIMPLISAFE DEVELOPERS - SIMPLISAFE, PLEASE GET THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO YOUR DEVELOPERS!

I'm an Engineer in the IT industry, and worked for months to try and resolve the issues with my 4 SimpliSafe Cameras, all without success. Because I believe this is an issue on SimpliSafe's side, I'm about to cancel monitoring, throw the cams in the garbage and go back to basic package.

I have been having problems with the SimpliSafe cameras since I purchased them this summer. I have contacted SimpliSafe support multiple times and we have reached a point where their only option left is to start replacing cameras. I strongly doubt that will do anything. I have the following three issues:

(1) About once per day, one of my four cameras will go into yellow light status (steady not blinking) and stay there. I'll have to unplug the power and reboot. Sometimes it's the same camera, sometimes different camera.

(2) There are gaps in the video recording. Sometimes only a minute will be missing and other times a camera won't record for half an hour. Then it suddenly starts recording again. I was in the room several times moving around and doing work, walking in and out. So it's not a "maybe there wasn't enough motion to trigger the camera." It just didn't record. But another camera did record during this time so I know my network was functioning and so was the internet.

(3) I constantly have problems pulling up the live feed on my mobile app. Samsung Galaxy S9 v8.0.0, not rooted, Verizon, connected to Verizon's network or WiFi. Doesn't matter. 1 out of 3 times I cannot stream the camera live. Then eventually, it starts working again. No idea why.

My network information: Frontier FiOS 150 Mbit down 150 Mbit up. I have tested it and while it fluctuates it always stays above 100 Mbit up or down 24/7. PLENTY of bandwidth for 4 cameras and 4 people. I have a Ubiquiti Edge Router, a single Engenius Dual Band AC access point located dead center of my 1200 square foot house. I have created a dedicated 2.4 GHz only network with a different SSID and password and factory reset ALL my cameras several times while working with tech support.

I run a personal FTP server (I host files for myself, not for anyone else so usage is very low). I have monitors setup for when my internet, intranet or WiFi goes down. I have only had one internet outage in the past 9 months.

All my equipment is rebooted every 60 days automatically (WiFi access point reboots weekly). Everything but the router is running the most current firmware. The router is one revision behind on purpose. But many updates have taken place with no change to the behavior of the cameras. The nearest camera to the access point is 2 feet away. The farthest one is 30 feet away. One camera isn't more or less problematic than the other.

We stream EVERYTHING. I don't have TV service. We don't stream 4k anything, all SD or HD. On the rare occasion we have a network / internet problem, I get alerts and someone (wife, kids) tells me within minutes that their (whatever app, game, TV show, etc.) stopped working. The cameras have too many reboots, lockups, gaps in recording to be caused by network or internet and us not notice it.

HERE IS THE KICKER: I have one NEST Camera, I had it before SimpliSafe's cameras and still have it now. It works FLAWLESSLY. No gaps, no issues connecting to it from mobile, no reboots or disconnect. I can watch live or archive on my mobile device. It just flippin' works!

I have been extremely disappointed in, what I consider to be, the half-baked security cameras provided by SimpliSafe after their alarm system itself has been darn good.

BY THE WAY: The SimpliSafe mobile app doesn't support viewing previously recorded footage on my mobile device !? AND... Your website REQUIRES FLASH in order to run!? That gives me great pause from a SECURITY standpoint. All browsers (except Internet Explorer) have dropped support for flash a while ago for SECURITY reasons. Flash does not equal security, SimpliSafe. The fact that you started this product on Flash is bad. The fact it's about to be 2019 and you haven't updated is far worse. In mid-2017 Adobe (you know, the people that make Flash?) announced it's complete shut down in 2020. One and a half YEARS after this public announcement, you are still running on it!

I have been patiently waiting for things to get updated and fixed but after 7 months I'm loosing faith. I hope someone inside SimpliSafe gets this information along with ALL the other complaints here to someone that can do something about it. I love my alarm system and if the cameras were even half as reliable & functional as the alarm system, this post wouldn't be filled with frustrated replies simply stating, "I'm having the same problem!"

Thanks
C.H.

1 Message

Very similar experiences here.  Also in IT for 20+ years, currently managing a team of highly skilled infrastructure consultants for a national consulting firm. Running Meraki wireless, security appliance and switching.  Same thing with 1 of 3 cameras going solid yellow until power cycled. Same Nest cam with no issues ever. Bandwidth is 500Mb down, 30Mb up (no FIOS available), but speedtests average 400/35, and network utilization doesn't come close to hitting that. No reason for these cameras to ever drop, network wise.

4 Messages

I'm experiencing similar thing and I also don't believe this to be a network issue.  Reason I think the network is working is that motion dectection and a press of the doorbell button both prompt an event in the timeline as well as a push notification to my phone.  But when you go to look at the recording from the timeline it says "unavailable".  If you then go to the live view of the doorbell camera, it says "Lost Connection" with an option to "retry" or "troubleshoot".  Then a while later, it just starts working again. It's straight up buggy.  I have two simplicams and this has happened to one of them a few times.  But this happens constantly to the doorbell camera.  If they can't get this doorbell camera to be more reliable, I'm gonna ask for my $$ back and just get Ring.  I like the idea of having my security and cameras all on a single system and app, but if the cameras don't work when you need them, what's the point?

99 Messages

5 years ago

This has been an ongoing issue for some time. I also worked in IT for my entire career and am very accustomed to troubleshooting these kind of issues. I was able to confirm cameras were still connected to my network and responding to pings when Simplisafe showed as offline. Also, confirmed network bandwidth and no other network traffic that would cause any slowdown during the issue. This has to be on Simplisafe's end.

1 Message

5 years ago

I recently purchased this for use and was experiencing the same things as the OP. I do have Fios here and using an Orbi router and satellite.I do not have the option to choose which signal the device is on (2.4 vs. 5.0) nor do I have the background to dedicate it to one signal as the last couple of responders. I did reach out to Simplisafe and received this response:

Yes, unfortunately, mesh networks can give our doorbells, as well as cameras, some trouble. This is due to the fact they can only connect to 2.4GHz networks, and are incompatible with the 5GHz frequency. Unless you have an option that can force a device to only connect 2.4GHz, then you may run into issues where your video doorbell, and in extension, any cameras, remain connected consistently.

Kinda sucks but I will say the doorbell seems to have stabilized onto the 2.4GHz network over the last few days. I was seeing issues at first but now not so much. Hope that helps with some.

2 Messages

5 years ago

I am not a tech person - Reason #1 for making investment in Simplisafe system. I have been using system since early November 2018 with 4 cameras. In late December one camera disconnected. No outages or cause that I could determine.  Simplisafe Tech Support pointing finger to distance from wifi (again, not a tech person. Wifi is closeby) but assume that wifi would affect other cameras as well in addition to fact that it had been working flawlessly for nearly two months prior. Note that Simplisafe system is the only thing in house using wifi.  Only option from Simplisafe was to delete and reinstall camera (every single step!).  I had hoped that it was a random incident but now ANOTHER camera has disconnected. I am now over a thousand miles from that location and my most vital camera is not working. Simplisafe has NO options for me (unlike my reliable NEST cameras).  Frustrated and disappointed that I made this financial commitment and in a short period of time I am experiencing recurring issues that I am unable to fix without physically being there.  Doesn't help to know that others are experiencing cameras disconnecting as well.  Admittedly by their tech support, giving someone else access to your system is not a good option. Not to mention, expecting someone to be able to go through the steps to uninstall and reinstall is asking a lot. I have a long period of time to go without that camera.  Not a happy customer.

2 Messages

ALL FOUR CAMERAS DISCONNECTED NOW !!!  WOW!  Since my original post, I had a second camera disconnect. Asked a neighbor to unplug both cameras and plug them back in and shocked that they both came back online.  SHORT LIVED. Ten days later with NO power outages I lost connection on ALL my cameras. Every camera!  I can't continue to ask a neighbor I hardly know to keep doing this while I am away. NEST has figured out how to make a camera that works. Surely you can as well. Until you have manufactured a camera that is reliable and does what you advertise, you should not be selling these cameras. They are useless and this is simply not acceptable. I find myself stuck with a flawed security system that does not give me the protection I paid for.  NO cameras to monitor my home.  In addition, this is The Simplisafe Forum. Your OWN forum.  I am disappointed that you are not bothering to address the numerous complaints on this issue. Obviously this isn't random when so many of us are experiencing the failure of your cameras. As I stated previously, I am not a tech person. Nor do I need to be based on your marketing of your system.

1 Message

Same here. Camera unreliable.
I go on a business trip and after a day it loses connection. No way to flash it/restart it remotely. Internet more than capable speeds. Simplisafe needs to resolve this if they want to be taken seriously as a security company. Equipment needs to be reliable.

5 years ago

I'm having the same issues. We have an indoor camera and doorbell camera, both of which worked well the first 1-2 weeks after installation but now we have been unable to access over the last 2 weeks.

The live feed from our doorbell camera doesn't work at all. The live feed from our indoor camera works maybe 50% of the time. We continue to receive notifications through the app for 'front door' recordings and when someone rings our doorbell, however when try to access the recording it show's up as 'unavailable' and says camera disconnected. Seems as though the camera is still functioning but not able to convert video to the app.

Very frustrating as its quite obvious by the length of this thread that this is a widespread and ongoing issue that needs to be addressed quickly by either software updates, refunds, or replacement of faulty equipment.
Welp, with the length of this thread and the lack of apparent efforts to resolve this by SimpliSafe, I'll be holding off on buying the doorbell camera until something is actually done about it.  Thanks for all the reports!

292 Messages

5 years ago

Here are 10 ways to boost your home Wi-Fi and reduce the risk of connection failures.
1. Update your router's firmware

The reason to do this step is twofold. First, you can take advantage of any additional features and improvements of the new version of the firmware. Second, your router usually receives any important security updates.

Usually, you will have the option to check, review, download, and install your router's new firmware on its administration page. The exact steps depend on your router's make and model, so check the router manufacturer's support site for detailed directions.

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2. Look for interferences

Routers often compete for airwaves with other household devices. Rival devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers, microwave ovens, and baby monitors can impact your Wi-Fi network.

To help you pinpoint issues, you can create an actual Wi-Fi "heat' map of your area using a free tool like HeatMapper. By the way, Netspot works for Macs. You can also use an app like the free Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android that has a real-time signal strength meter.
3. Change channels

You can also select a different channel for your router. This is especially helpful if you're tuned to that 2.4GHz frequency. Moving from one channel to a less crowded one may help speed things up.

To check the optimum 2.4GHz channel for your area or the least used channel, try using a Wi-Fi scanner.

For Macs, Apple provides a free tool called "Wireless Diagnostics.' To access it, hold the Option key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the right-hand side of the menu bar, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics.

For Windows, download the free Wi-Fi utility, Acrylic Wi-Fi Home. Similar to the Mac's Scan tool, this application will instantly give you information about the Wi-Fi signals in your area including the channels they utilize.

For Android users, there are many Wi-Fi scanning tools available, but a popular one is Network Analyzer. Click here for more details and download information.
4. Put the kids and guests on their own network and enable QoS

Parents can put their kids' devices on a separate network and establish special rules and settings. This can help keep the kids out of trouble on the web, and it eases the burden on your bandwidth.

You can set up a different Wi-Fi router, or you can simply enable your router's "Guest Network' option. You can also set up a different network name (SSID) and password for the guest network to avoid confusion with your main network.

Guest networks are meant for visitors to your home who might need a Wi-Fi internet connection that keeps your shared files private. This segregation will also work for your smart appliances and shield your main devices from Internet of Things attacks.

You can also use QoS (Quality of Service). QoS is a feature on some routers that will let you prioritize traffic according to the type of data getting transmitted.

You could set latency-sensitive applications like Skype, IP telephony, streaming media, and online gaming to have higher priority over other types of activity. If you prioritize Skype, for example, other software will slow down, ensuring your call is smooth.

Different routers have different ways of handling QoS, and most consumer-level routers have more simplified ways of enabling it by having presets available. Just check your router's support site for information on what each one does.
5. Get an updated router

If you're in the market for a new router and you want improved Wi-Fi speeds and reach across your home or office, aim for at least an 802.11 N or AC router with dual or triple band capabilities.

AC routers have a maximum spectral bandwidth of around 8 x 160 MHz, compared to the 4 x 40 MHz standard of N routers. In other words, the increased bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted without slowing down.

Additionally, by having multi-bands, you could keep older 2.4GHz devices on their own bands while keeping newer devices that support the latest Wi-Fi standards on the higher bands. This is like having multiple routers in one.

Newer AC routers also have advanced features not found in older routers. Look for specifications like beamforming, Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO), multiple USB 3.0 connectors and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Some top-of-the-line routers are even starting to roll out support for the newer AD protocol, also known as Wi-Gig.
6. Try a Mesh network

If you have a large house or office space that requires consistent network speeds, a mesh Wi-Fi network is worth the money. Unlike standard Wi-Fi routers that require extenders for added reach, next-generation mesh routers are designed to spread a Wi-Fi network's coverage through multiple access points.

These systems usually come in sets of two or three separate units that work together to envelop your home or office with Wi-Fi coverage. As far as your gadgets are concerned, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous Wi-Fi network.

If you want to know more about mesh networks, click here for the scoop on my site.
7. Check your security

When unauthorized devices mooch your Wi-Fi, it slows down your network. But even the type of wireless security you use can impact your overall speed.

First off, if your network is Open (no security) or uses WEP, change the security setting immediately. Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked.

This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP or WPA2 with AES.

WPA and TKIP are older protocols and are now considered insecure. The way to go is WPA2 with AES.

Note: WPA2's successor is on its way! Click here to read more about WPA3.
8. Change location

Another important factor that affects your Wi-Fi network's connectivity is its physical location. Try placing your router as close to the center of your home as possible. It's also a good idea to keep it elevated and free from any physical obstructions like furniture and appliances.

You may also avoid reflective surfaces like glass, mirrors, and metal because Wi-Fi signals tend to bounce off these types of materials. Walls, especially those made of concrete, can also severely degrade your Wi-Fi signal.

You may even adjust your router's antennas. Your router's antenna is omnidirectional, so the signal goes every direction equally. If you put your router along an outside wall, you're sending half your signal outside.

If your house is too big for a single router, you may need a boost. For distance issues, try installing Wi-Fi extenders around your house to boost your network's range.
9. Choose the right band

Wi-Fi bands are not created equal. If you have a newer router, check to see if it supports the 5GHz band. Newer N or AC routers typically support this band. Unlike B/G routers that only transmit on the crowded 2.4GHz spectrum, N and AC routers could transmit on 5GHz as well.

Newer routers usually have dual-band capability. By enabling dual bands, you could keep older devices that only support the slower G specification on the 2.4GHz band and newer devices on the beefier and speedier 5GHz band. This is essentially like having two routers in one.
10. Reboot your router

Most users have to reboot their cable or DSL modem from time to time. If your network seems sluggish, unplug both gadgets for at least 30 seconds. Plug in the modem first and wait for it to come fully online. Then turn on your router. Sometimes that's all it takes.

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86 Messages

4. Put the kids and guests on their own network and enable QoS

I 1000% agree with this. Further, I have the cameras from SS and Ring on their own network - that is password protected, of course.   You can even use a guest network if configured correctly.

1 Message

I have the same problem as everyone else.  I have 100MB plus download speeds and a mesh network in every room with a camera.  2 of my cameras continue to drop from the network.

1 Message

5 years ago

Having the same issue.  It's not my wifi or internet -- that was just checked out and has high speeds/working fine.  Is there a resolution to this or just return this damn thing.

5 Messages

5 years ago

Same issue...on calls with SimpliSafe to troubleshoot and they cannot give me a straight answer. Their solution...keep the privacy shutter open, which isn't even an option on the video doorbell.

I've tried everything...2.4ghz only newtwork, DHCP lease, port forwarding, restarting, readding cameras, nothing. I have 100mps down and 25mps up. Speed is not the issue here.

My thought...they shipped this too soon into production, weren't ready for the popularity, and now are experiencing overwhelming network traffic.

130 Messages

5 years ago

I hate to be that guy, but you have your doorbell installed outside right?
Mine is installed quite literally in the wall of my house, and EVERYTHING effects wifi, including the insulation of your house. I could be standing 12 feet away and I'll have low signal.
I'm thinking it's not about distance, or speed. It's just a bad wifi connection.
You mentioned all the things you've done to fix the issue, but have you tried changing your WiFi to a different channel? There could very well be Wi-Fi interference on the channel that it is currently operating on, and a different channel may help. Even a minor adjustment of the antennae of the router will help improve signal.

Cheers,

1 Message

5 years ago

Adding my story as well, in an effort to emphasize this is endemic! I'm using one camera primarily as live feed. I randomly have issues with both the camera disconnecting and the video not able to upload to my iphone. I have 5.25 mps upload at the camera location.  Very frustrated....

1 Message

5 years ago

I am having the same issue. IT pro myself.   Way too many people having this same problem.  This is clearly an issue on the Simplisafe end.  Please resolve this issue quickly.  The alarm is fantastic.  The cameras would be great if they would stay connected but they don't.  At $180 for the doorbell camera it needs to work much better.

7 Messages

5 years ago

I have posted several comments on this topic in other threads, but I feel I must keep pushing the issue because, unless SimpliSafe can prove that this is not their issue, I can't find anything on my end to correct my Video Doorbell Pro problems with disconnecting.

In addition to the Video Doorbell Pro, I also have a Foscam camera in my basement that is wireless and is accessed via port forwarding to my router. It is at least 3 times further away from my router as my Video Doorbell Pro and it NEVER disconnects when I'm viewing video streaming on my mobile device. Now as @guidosalducci has pointed out, distance isn't necessarily a determining factor in successful Wi-Fi connections. Therefore, I checked out my doorbell WIFI connection with a WIFI analyzer. The result, there was very, very minor difference in the signal strength between my doorbell and my Foscam camera. Looking at both analysis, they both had a consistent range of -50 dBm to -53 dBm. The Foscam signal would drop to -55 dBm or so occasionally. Either way, both showed sufficient and very reasonable signal strength.

One difference between my Doorbell Pro and my Foscam camera is, the SimpliSafe apps rely on a cloud service to deliver the streaming and my Foscam does not. Since I can go literally hours with uninterrupted streaming and viewing of my Foscam camera that uses an open port to my router, I must surmise that this problem has something to do with the SimpliSafe cloud service that is either losing connections to my doorbell camera or the app on the mobile device is losing connection to the cloud service. Or it could be an app buffering issue with the SimpliSafe cloud service. The bottom line is, my router and the distance from my Video Doorbell Pro camera can't be the issue with the signal strength that I'm getting, unless the doorbell camera hardware itself is inferior.

I'm not saying it's the cloud service for sure, but we need SimpliSafe to comment/communicate and let us know where the problem is. Again, as others have indicated, this is a genuine problem and many are dissatisfied! I'm still in the 60-day window and if nothing is done or communication isn't received to indicate that support is concerned about this, I'm going to seriously consider sending everything back and look at the Ring solution.
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