‎“Device Connection Problem” error message | SimpliSafe Support Home
 
Boring_Joe's profile

Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 4:53 AM

“Device Connection Problem” error message

For the last few weeks at least, I’m consistently seeing a “device connection problem” error message when trying to use the app. This happens any time I try to refresh settings in my system, general settings or device settings. Also happens when trying to arm or disarm in the app. This happens every single time. I don’t think I’ve had a successful connection once. Base is connected to cellular only, not to Wi-Fi.  Base has been sending push notifications when armed or disarmed from keypad for the most part and sent notification during an accidentally triggered alarm. So it seems it can send out but can’t receive connections initiated through the app. I also tried the web app and that gave the same error. 

Is this a known issue now for base stations using cellular only, or is it just my system?  It used to work fine. If this gets escalated, please have the technician contact me by email, as I’m not available by phone during the day. 

Thank you!

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

9 months ago

Hi @Boring_Joe, 

If you're still receiving push notifications, we know that the Base Station and app can still communicate. If you haven't already, I would try resetting your Base Station with the following steps:

  1. Unplug the power cord from the Base Station and use a Phillips Head screwdriver to remove the screw below the plug
  2. Remove the bottom cover and remove one battery from the Base Station
  3. Wait 30 seconds
  4. Reassemble the Base Station by inserting the battery, cover, and the power cord

82 Messages

@emily_s​ I tried the base station reset previously and again today. It did not fix the issue. I still get a device connection problem error message when trying to refresh general and device settings in the app and when trying to arm or disarm in the app. As mentioned previously, I get the same error through the web app. The base station is connected to cellular only. Phone is connected to home Wi-Fi. I receive alarm texts and push notifications fine.  It’s as if the base station can only send but not receive.

Again, if necessary, please contact me by email as I’m not available by phone in the daytime. Thanks. 

Community Admin

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5.5K Messages

Hi @Boring_Joe ,

Just to be clear - is there a reason why your Base Station is connected to cell only? Is it at a different location that doesn't have WiFi?

But to answer your question, this does sound like a unique situation that requires further troubleshooting. Almost all functions should be able to go through both cell and WiFi - the only exception being firmware updates. I think what's going on is that the connection with the cell network is either weak or unstable.

I see you've already tried resetting the Base Station, which forces it to refresh all its wireless connections. But have you already done other troubleshooting besides that? For example, we always suggest moving the Base Station to a more open space, elevated from the ground and closer to (but not in front of) a window, so it has a better time linking with the cell towers in your neighbhorhood.

If it's not a reception issue though, we'd have to arrange for a call from one of our specialists to investigate further.

82 Messages

@davey_d​ Hi, Davey !

The reason my base station is not connected to Wi-Fi is because of the long delay in sending alarm triggered alerts when the home internet cable is cut or disconnected but the base is still connected to Wi-Fi. The SimpliSafe system does not immediately recognize that the home internet is down and does not immediately fallback to sending the alerts over cellular. SS should seriously look at their implementation. Either send alarm alerts over Wi-Fi and cellular simultaneously, in case one of them is down, or implement immediate fallback to cellular when the Wi-Fi connection has no working internet.

I’ve not tried other troubleshooting. The base is in the same location it was a few months ago when we didn’t have the device connection problem error message. Signal quality is typically around -75 db same as always. And as mentioned earlier, the base is sending push and text messages just fine. But the device connection problem happens every single time I try to connect to the system from the app. 

This error happened both before and after the latest firmware update. It started around the time I changed the monitoring plan to standard. 

If this requires escalation, please ask them to email me as I’m not available by phone during the day.  We can discuss arrangements for a phone call by email, if necessary.  Thanks!

Community Admin

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5.5K Messages

@Boring_Joe​ gotcha. The system should really be behaving basically just as you describe - the cell should stay ready to take over as soon as the WiFi cuts off. There might be a short delay if the WiFi was still active but the gateway to the internet was not. But it shouldn't be an extended period of time.

But I think the behavior you describe adds a bit more to my theory that this is a cell reception problem - if not a matter of signal strength, then maybe stability. It sounds like your Base Station is having no trouble sending signals out, but might be having trouble receiving - hence the app having an issue.

Just so we can get the possibility out of the way, I strongly suggest temporarily moving the Base Station to a different spot - preferably closer to a window and on the same side as your nearest cell towers (if you know where they are).

But if that doesn't help, then yes, I'll see about getting our specialist team to contact you by email to look into the potential account issues angle.

82 Messages

@davey_d​ After several weeks of getting the device connection problem error every time I tried to refresh system or device settings in the app, it appears to have resolved on its own. I did not relocate the base station or try any other troubleshooting other than previously mentioned. It just started working again a few days ago. If the issue resurfaces, I will resurrect this thread. 

I thank you and Emily for your assistance. 

1 Message

7 months ago

hello, I seem to be having exact same issue - reset and no change - app on iphone recognizes 'away' status but throw's up a ' device connection problem' ... 'device is unable to connect' when i try to refresh in order to see current temp senor readings. It does work when I log into SimpliSafe website on my pc which suggest to me the base station, cell tower, etc is all working  - is the app not working? i downloaded latest version other day and no change. Some setting on my phone timing out? Please let me know any thoughts.  The house is rural and no internet - reason i have Simplisafe to begin with is ability to work basic security via built in cell signal only. Also, winter is here, my need to monitor temps is critical. Thanks. 

(edited)

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

@djayhjr​ I have not heard any reports of app outages or widespread problems like you are experiencing.

As Davey mentioned above, this may be an issue will cell reception, so we would want to troubleshoot that first. I would recommend adjusting the placement of your Base Station for a bit to see if that allows you to refresh your mobile app. It's best to elevate the Base Station at least 3 feet off the ground, and put it on a non-dense surface like wood or glass. And if you know which side of your house is the closest to a cell tower, it can help to put the Base Station there as well.

6 Messages

6 months ago

I have the same frustrating issue when I attempt to read the temperature from my freeze sensors. This has gotten worse over the many years I have owned my system. At first getting connected required three or four attempts, each getting Device Connection Problem. Today I have already made a dozen attempts and still don’t connect.

of what use is the Simplisafe system if it doesn’t allow communication?

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

@lubowsky​ Does this every time you try to access your mobile app, or just when you refresh the app to get a new read from your temperature sensor?

Davey mentioned this above, but this issue could be related to an issue with cellular reception. Have you tried any troubleshooting steps, like adjusting the placement of the Base Station? If you haven't, I would recommend moving the Base Station to a spot a close to a window to see if that stops this error message from coming up on the app.

6 Messages

Thank you Emily. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. This has happened in the past. Connecting to the cellular provider - I don't know who you use -has always been an issue. It might take me many tries to update, each time getting that "Connection problem" message...but it would finally connect after many many tries. This time it's been over 48 hours of continual tries with the same maddening message.

Before I left the house, I moved the base station close to a large outside window with the window screen removed.

Thank you

Jack Lubowsky

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

@lubowsky​ We use Verizon as a cellular provider, but our Support team can send you an AT&T SIM card if Verizon is spotty in your area. Did changing the placement of your Base Station resolve this "connection problem" notification? If it did not, I can go ahead and forward your case to our specialist team to look into further.

6 Messages

@emily_

Thanks Emily. I haven't touched the base system and for the past two weeks, I had been getting near instant responses to temperature requests. Now it's up to  it's old tricks again of getting "Device connection problem" in response to countless requests for temperature readings. 

I don't believe a well designed system should require on-site attendance. 

5 Messages

6 months ago

Not sure this is related to a cellular connectivity problem. I use my system seasonally to check the temp in my house over the winter. I reactivated it today and encountered this problem when trying to refresh the home page by pulling it down. The reason I think it might not be related to cellular issues is because I can retrieve the temperature in the house by using the web app and it works fine (I hear the resync message from the tower). I can also retrieve the temperature from the app (not from the web page) by accessing the page for the freeze device and then backing out to the page that has the the resync wheel icon in the upper right corner. When doing this I also hear the resync message from the tower and it works fine. If it is a cellular issue why does it work from the web page and using the method I described for the app? 

I also noticed in settings that I can see the device settings but get an error message when trying to see the system settings.

It would be helpful if others on this thread would try the methods I used to retrieve the temp to see if you encounter the same behavior.

I’ve tried lots of things to overcome this issue powering down the tower, restarting the phone, reinstalling the app, installing the app on another device at a different IOS level and it still does not work. The tower is in the same location that it has been for the last 6-7 years. Also, I use an AT&T cell card in the tower.

Seems odd that this problem thread started in September of this year and several others are now reporting it issue. Can anyone at Simplisafe provide any other options other than to move the tower?

5 Messages

6 months ago

Since my earlier post I’ve moved the tower to a second story window in the house. I use AT&T for my mobile phone and I can see at least 3 bars on my phone at that location. I tried testing the app and had the same results.

5 Messages

6 months ago

Thought about this overnight and decided to run a few more tests this morning. 

First - I returned the base station to it’s original location (from the top floor by a window to the ground floor of my house). The base station immediately recognized the power outage and I received a message by text. When I plugged the base station back in immediately reported that power had been restored (by text msg). The time stamps on the text messages were one minute apart.

I then ran a few timing tests - 

Test # 1 - attempted to refresh the home page in the app by pulling it down. After 60 seconds the error message appears listed at as the title of this support thread. I tested this method twice and the timing was consistent. 

Test # 2 - attempted to refresh the temperature from the device screen. I went into the window for the freeze control device (from within the app) and hit the refresh button (two arrows, circling each other). For about 30 - 45 secs (right after completing test 1 and launching test 2) I get the message “base station busy”. After this time period expires the refresh works and I can see the updated temperature at on the device page. Also I sure the temp is updated because it shows a different temperature than what was previously listed. I also hear the message “your settings have been synchronized” and see the blue light flashing on my base station. It is also important to note that when I run test # 1 and it fails the temperature  listing at the bottom of the page disappears. Some time after running test #2 the temperature appears at the bottom of the app home page with the temperature reading that was retrieved from test #2. This take a good bit of time - maybe 15 mins (and I might close and reopen the app in that time frame).

Test # 3 - attempted to refresh the temperature reading from the web page. I logged into the web page and pressed the refresh button at the bottom of the page. The page refreshed with the new temperature reading in 14 - 15 seconds. I also get the message “your settings have been synchronized” Btw - this method will also give the “base station busy” message if used right after trying to refresh the home page in the app and getting the error message.

Ok - what might this be pointing toward and what follow up steps make sense?

At least in my case, this is not a cellular communication problem unless you are using two different forms of contacting my base station from your server (one method for test #1 and a different method for test #2 and 3.  There is too much consistency in the results for test 2&3 vs test # 1 for this to be a communication problem. The power message also support this position.

The error message in Test 1 and the time period suggest that a timer is set for 60 seconds before the timer pops and issues the message. It does not seem to be based on receiving an error back from the server the indicates a hard problem (the timer could be set at the mobile app level or the server). The “base station busy” message seems to indicate that the server continues to try to honor the request even after the error message is displayed in the app.

Both of these findings suggest the place to look for the issue is either in the behavior of the refresh action of the app or the code path within the sever for that action. It could be a malformed request from the app, a different path for communicating with the tower or some form of sever error that is causing this. I would also suggest looking for changes - either mobile app or server related that were introduced just prior to the first post in this listing.

Hope this helps in your debugging of this issue. I’m certain we would all be happy if you could fix this before the really cold weather sets in.

Feel free to contact me if you need anything else to help with your debugging effort.

Community Admin

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242 Messages

@york1account​ Thank you for all the details, and for taking those steps to try and troubleshoot the issue further. Because you've exhausted all the steps that I would take to try to identify the issue further, I'm placing a request on our backend for a specialist to give you a call to try to troubleshoot this in real time to get to the bottom of this. They should be reaching out to you shortly.

If the issue is resolved on your call, feel free to follow back up here with the details on the resolution so others can try those steps too! Have a great weekend!

6 Messages

Thank you Alexandra C. I had spoken with a Simplisafe Tech person and and the conclusion was that the unit needed to have a person on site to power down and temporarily remove one of the rechargeable batteries.

Oddly enough I was able, using my cell phone,  to shut the alarm off, but haven't been able to re-arm it remotely. 

5 Messages

6 months ago

IOS levels for the two different mobile devices (both iPhones) are 16.7.2 and 17.1.2

6 Messages

6 months ago

Thanks York1, I have tried those things but all I get is the Connection Problem message.

5 Messages

Did you try to use the web page interface (not the app on your phone) ? 

There is a little icon at the bottom of the page that allows you to refresh the page and obtain the current temperature from the freeze sensor. The icon looks like a little wheel composed of two arrows that point to each other. Just press it and it will start to spin and you should see the current temperature appear.

if this works, it could be a good work around until Simplisafe resolves the problem with the mobile app.

6 Messages

Thanks York1. But that's the way I've been doing it. For the past week it's been working nearly instantly - now it's back t its old tricks of retry-retry-retry..... 

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