Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Base Station Wi-Fi Channel Selection Reduces Range and Slows Internet Connection Speed

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PNelson
Apprentice
Apprentice

I have an Arlo Pro2 Five Camera system with VMB4000r3 base station.  The base station is installed on the other side of the room (>10 feet) from my secondary Wi-Fi access point (Netgear).  The Netgear router auto selected channel 11; I confirmed with Wi-Fi Analyzer it is the best channel for that location.   My main router on the other side of the house is on channel 6.

 

When I installed the system several months ago the base station has been using channel 3.  (The base station selects the channel automatically and there is no user option for making a channel selection.)  I have not had any low signal issues with any camera;, all have been 2/3 or 3/3 on the signal meter.   I have acceptable Wi-Fi speed on my secondary Wi-Fi access point of ~80 Mbps or better.

 

Recently the base station has shifted to channel 11, which is now sharing the same frequency as my Netgear router.  This has caused on occasion low signal on the camera furthest away and it has affected the internet speed.  (A reboot will cause it to use channel 3, then it will shift to channel 11 after a day or more.)

Here is the data when the base station uses channel 3 (no sharing):

Base station signal strength in room: around -80 dBm

Base station signal strength at front door camera: -70 to -65 dBm

Internet speed test: ~75 Mbps

 

Here is the data when the base station uses channel 11 (shared with my Wi-Fi router)

Base station signal strength in room: around -50 dBm

Base station signal strength at front door camera: -80 dBm

Internet speed test: ~50 Mbps

 

I do not claim to be a Wi-Fi engineer, but the data shows using the same Wi-Fi channel is not optimal.  BTW, I repeated the tests to get average numbers.  I have noticed that when they use different channels the base station signal strength was always much higher than the Netgear router, but when sharing the same channel that is not always the case; many times, the base station signal strength is lower than the Netgear router. 

 

Why is Arlo programing the base station share the same channel which is sub-optimal?  My conclusion it is to avoid interference with your neighbor’s Wi-Fi.   That is understandable.  If my neighbor was being a Wi-Fi channel hog, I would be upset.  If this is the real reason, then Alro should be honest about why it does what is does.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
NewfieDrool
Luminary
Luminary

What Netgear router and extender are you using?

 

on the extender are you using a smart connect system and have you checked the extenders settings as it may include a setting that copies the main routers Wi-Fi which is why the Arlo is changing to the routers channel. 



 

 

 

 

PNelson
Apprentice
Apprentice

NewfieDrool asked:

What Netgear router and extender are you using?

 

on the extender are you using a smart connect system and have you checked the extenders settings as it may include a setting that copies the main routers Wi-Fi which is why the Arlo is changing to the routers channel. 

 

I am not using a Wi-Fi extender.   I knew the base station needed to be located in another room because I would need sufficient signal to reach my front door and the alley cameras. which are on opposite ends of the property.   I installed two category 5 cables from the main router (where the internet service comes into the house) into the room for the base station and  the secondary Wi-Fi access point.  

 

When I upgraded  my internet (I needed faster service for the Arlo system) and switched providers, Frontier has a mandatory equipment fee and router.  My old router became the secondary Wi-Fi access point, and now I have coverage for my entire property.

 

When I did research to figure out how to set-up a second access point, the use of Wi-Fi extenders can cause problems of interference because they also need to use the Wi-Fi channels.  The best option is a running a category 5 cable, or using a power line extender.  In my case running a cable was relatively easy.  Sorry for the long reply, but I thought this might be useful for others.

 

My next test is to turn off my secondary WiFi router (which is in the same room as the base station) and see what channel does the base station select?  Does it move to the channel 6 used by my main Wi-Fi router?  Does it select channel 1 which is being used by a neighbor's HP OfficeJet.  I noticed it can take a day or two for the base station to change its preferred channel after reboot, so I will follow-up in a few days.

 

NewfieDrool
Luminary
Luminary

Thanks for the update.

I’m using all Netgear stuff, XR500 and a pair of EX8000 extenders and one has my basestation plugged in. It uses a dedicated back channel so it’s fine or though the XR500 is not triband but  the DumaOS has that covered under its great QoS.
I should have read Access point on your post, sorry about that. 
see how it goes. I use a very simple mode mcu to check Wi-Fi, my MacBook simply refuses to show all where I get about 40 showing up on the mode unit including all the hidden channels which are quite a few and to my surprise some are not even protected.
I push my main stuff on to the 5ghz range with a DFS channel as I’m the only one around here using it so extender joins that with bandwidth allocation set so it always has enough no matter what I’m doing. 
got to say it works faultlessly, play online, download a film, max out my little 50 download connection but the way the software handles it means it just performs great. My old Apple router would simply grind up.

 

 

 

PNelson
Apprentice
Apprentice

I noticed a typo in my initial post for the signal readings.  Here is the correct data

Here is the data when the base station uses channel 3 (no sharing):

Base station signal strength in room: around -30 dBm   <-- I had mistakenly listed this as -80

Base station signal strength at front door camera: -70 to -65 dBm

Internet speed test: ~75 Mbps

 

Here is the data when the base station uses channel 11 (shared with my Wi-Fi router)

Base station signal strength in room: around -50 dBm

Base station signal strength at front door camera: -80 dBm

Internet speed test: ~50 Mbps

 

I turned off my second Wi-Fi access point that was in the same room as the base station for 3-4 days.  The base station stayed on channel 3 and t did not move to the channel of my primary Wi-Fi.  Once I turned on my second Wi-Fi router it took 2 days for the base station to stare channel 11.  

 

What is my conclusion from my test?  If possible move your base station away from your router so it does not attempt to share a channel with your router.  

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