‎Base to sensor distance | SimpliSafe Support Home

Friday, March 6th, 2020 8:20 PM

Base to sensor distance

I'm trying to find the maximum distance from sensor to base station since I'm trying to cover two buildings?
Also, I have very poor cellphone reception in this area but I do have very good WiFi service provider with my mesh system.
Does the base station plug into my router or does it connect wirelessly to my mesh system. Do the sensors operate on their own net work or use my mesh system?

1.2K Messages

4 years ago

Your base station connects to wifi.  The sensors connect to base station via their own wireless protocol which uses a much lower frequency that travels better than wifi.  I've got a detached garage with several sensors in it that are working fine.  My furthest sensor is roughly 100' from the base station.  If possible have your base station on the end of the house that faces the 2nd building.  Give it as few obstacles as you can.

2 Messages

2 years ago

I have a SimpliSafe system that covers my house and a detached garage. All of the sensors work extremely well except the lock on the garage door. As it sits now, the base station is about 51’ from the lock on the garage door and the only barriers to a clear line of sight are the brick wall of the house exterior (although the base station is only 2’ from a window) and the garage door itself. Yet, I can’t even get the lock to pair and calibrate unless I either bring it inside next to the base station or take the base station outside to the garage near the lock. The really odd thing is that the lock worked like a champ for about 10 months, but then started having connection issues. SimpliSafe sent a new lock as a replacement, but I can’t even get it to pair at all. 

Anyone having similar experiences or suggestions for a resolution?

Community Admin


5.6K Messages

Thanks for reaching out about this. Since the Smart Lock does have to be in more constant contact with the Base Station, with all that info needing to be encrypted as well, it unfortunately doesn't have the same super-high range as the sensors, and would be more akin to the Keypad. The brick wall would definitely be a big detriment, and so would any other dense physical obstructions - like say if your garage siding or the door was made of metal.

You do mention that this is more of a recent issue. Could you have installed a new wireless device recently that could be interfering as well? We're probably looking for lower-frequency devices, like garage door openers, wireless weather stations, etc.
Also you said that we had already replaced the unit. How long has that one been in place? I was thinking the battery might be running lower, but you shouldn't be seeing decreased performance for at least 6-8 months.


702 Messages

2 years ago

Does the base station plug into my router or does it connect wirelessly to my mesh system

Unfortunately there's no ethernet connection so if you want to use your home internet as a back up you'll need to connect it via WiFi and specifically the 2.4GHz band. On some mesh systems this can be challenging as they broadcast a single SSID and use band steering to to push devices to the 5.0GHz band when possible. I strongly recommend enabling the guest network on your mesh network and connecting your SimpliSafe devices (base station, cameras) to the guest network as guest networks sometimes prioritize the 2.4GHz network.

Do the sensors operate on their own net work or use my mesh system?

All of the sensors connect back to the base station via RF and they do not use Wi-Fi. All of the camera use Wi-Fi to talk directly to the internet (not to your base station). The Outdoor Camera, in addition to talking to the internet via Wi-Fi, also talks to your base station via the RF network the sensors use. (It's the only camera that does this.)

Distance from sensor to base station is, in some ways, less important than what's physically between the sensors and the base station. Open air? You're good to go. Brick, plaster walls over metal lath, etc? It's going to significantly shorten the max distance between sensor and base station.

The bottom line is you won't know if it will work for your set up until you test it because everyone's set up is unique.

2 Messages

@worthing​ The sensor that is having problems in my system is a lock that’s on the door to a detached garage. From where the base station is currently sitting, the lock is 51’ away (measured). The only obstructions are the brick exterior of the house and the garage door that the lock is attached to. Additionally, the base station sits within 2’ of a window that has line of site to the lock. 

Would you think my circumstance would be an environment where I shouldn’t expect the lock to work? To make matters more curious, the garage also houses an entry sensor, a motion sensor, and a smoke detector, all of which are working fine and all are even further away from the base station than the lock. 

702 Messages

I can find plenty of data for how building materials blocks Wi-Fi:


But I'm not sure how much of that applies to the RF frequency that SimpliSafe uses for their stuff.

I would guess that, generally speaking, the glass isn't much of an issues (unless it has coating designed to stop RF which is unlikely?) but the brick and the metal garage door (if metal clad) are likely culprits.

That said, if you have other devices that are working fine in the same space (and you do - the entry sensor, the motion sensor, etc.) it's likely either the radio in the lock itself or it's placement on/behind a metal clad door (if it's a metal clad door which if it's exterior would likely be?) or a bit of both are the issue.

If it wasn't already installed (and I assume it is?) I'd say move it away from the door, middle of the garage, and see if that works. I can't say that it will, but it's a solid trouble shooting step. I will also say that connectivity issues with the lock seem to be reported not infrequently? I know I've had some issues and my base station is 20 feet (as the crow flies) from my lock which is on a door between the attached garage and mud room/laundry room. It's almost line of site except for the edge of a drywall wall.

New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.