Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

VMB4540

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Shurik_
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Aspirant

Hi. We have the Arlo system installed. We recently discovered that the factory MAC address of the hub VMB4540 has changed. Can someone change the MAC address of my hub and view the cameras connected to my hub. Our hub connects to a Wi-Fi channel that is different from ours. How can this be changed and prevented?

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StephenB
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@Shurik_ wrote:

Hi. We have the Arlo system installed. We recently discovered that the factory MAC address of the hub VMB4540 has changed. 


I don't think that is actually possible with the VMB4540 (or any Arlo base).  The MAC address is printed on a label on the bottom of the base - have you checked that against what you are seeing in the router's attached device list?

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

Can someone change the MAC address of my hub and view the cameras connected to my hub. 


As stated above, I think the answer to the first part of your question is no.

 

Also, doing that wouldn't necessarily give them access to the cameras.

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

Our hub connects to a Wi-Fi channel that is different from ours. 


The hub connects to your home network with ethernet, it doesn't connect to WiFi at all.

 

It does create a closed wifi system for the cameras - you cannot manage that, or connect to it.   If the smarthub is near your router, it will normally use the same 2.4ghz channel that the router uses.  If it's not near the router, it might choose a different channel. 

 

Not sure if that's your situation or not - if it is, it would be helpful to know why this is a concern to you.

 

DannyBearAgain
Master
Master

Could it be the arlo hub Wifi SSID name was changed rather than the MAC address? Arlo has changed this in the past after a firmware update.

Shurik_
Aspirant
Aspirant

The situation is this: MAC in the router settings is the one on the hub box. Scanning wireless networks, we see that the MAC address of the hub differs by 1 (the last digit). And the channel wi-fi on which the hub is located is on the channel of the neighbors. Neighbors can somehow interrupt the work of the cameras i.e. at some point the cameras become offline. If you restart the router and the hub, the channel does not change to ours, it remains on the channel of the neighbors. We tried to change the position of the hub - near the router or closer to the cameras, all without changes

StephenB
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@Shurik_ wrote:

The situation is this: MAC in the router settings is the one on the hub box. Scanning wireless networks, we see that the MAC address of the hub differs by 1 (the last digit).

Nothing wrong here.

 

The MAC on the bottom of the hub is the ethernet MAC.  When you scan the wireless networks, you are seeing the MAC address of the hub's wifi.  That does differ by one, but that is not because someone changed it.  It's just because it is a different network interface, and Arlo set up the two MACs that way. 

 

If you had a VMB5000 hub, you'd see two MACs for the hub in the scanner - one for the 2.4 ghz band, and another for the 5 ghz band.  And a third MAC in your router's attached device list for the hub's ethernet.

 

FWIW, I see the same thing with all my hubs.

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

And the channel wi-fi on which the hub is located is on the channel of the neighbors.


Nothing wrong here either, though perhaps a bit unusual.

 

The hub is not joined to your neighbor's wifi.  It is in fact creating a wifi network for the cameras that just happens to use the same channel that your neighbor's wifi is using.  Your scanner should show you a different network name for the base wifi (ARLO_VMB_xxxxxx).

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

Neighbors can somehow interrupt the work of the cameras i.e. at some point the cameras become offline.

This sounds like a guess - the cameras are going off-line, and you are jumping to the conclusion that this is due to something your neighbors are doing.

  • What signal strength are you seeing for your cameras in the app?
  • What signal strength are you seeing for your neighbor's wifi in the scanner?
  • Is your router wifi enabled for the 2.4 ghz band?

Have you tried moving one of the cameras into your house (6-10 feet from the smarthub)?  Then see if that camera goes off line.

Shurik_
Aspirant
Aspirant

This sounds like a guess - the cameras are going off-line, and you are jumping to the conclusion that this is due to something your neighbors are doing.

--

Our assumption is due to the fact that the cameras turn off when the neighbors enter the camera's field of view. And also with the fact that the WI-FI hub channel is always on the neighbors channel. Previously, the hub channel always coincided with the channel of our router.

--

What signal strength are you seeing for your cameras in the app?         - 70 dBm
What signal strength are you seeing for your neighbor's wifi in the scanner?      -46 dBm
Is your router wifi enabled for the 2.4 ghz band?       - Yes
Have you tried moving one of the cameras into your house (6-10 feet from the smarthub)? Then see if that camera goes off line.   - Yes

StephenB
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@Shurik_ wrote:

 

Our assumption is due to the fact that the cameras turn off when the neighbors enter the camera's field of view. And also with the fact that the WI-FI hub channel is always on the neighbors channel.


The hub chooses its own channel.  Your neighbors have no control over what channel it selects (and neither do you).

 

Though the hub usually will select the channel of the strongest wifi signal that it detects.  If yoxxu use your wifi analyzer near the hub, you can see what that channel is.

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

 

Our assumption is due to the fact that the cameras turn off when the neighbors enter the camera's field of view.


Since they are outside, there aren't a lot of things they could be doing.  Using a WiFi jammer is possible - though illegal. 

 

Are you seeing this every single time they enter a camera field of view?  Also, are you ever seeing connection drops  when you livestream the cameras when they are not around?

 


@Shurik_ wrote:


What signal strength are you seeing for your neighbor's wifi in the scanner?      -46 dBm


That is pretty strong.  About how far away is the neighbor's router?  Is their signal stronger than your home wifi signal when you are running the scanner near the base?

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

 

What signal strength are you seeing for your cameras in the app?         - 70 dBm


The app doesn't report dbm.  Are you looking at the strengh of the ARLO_VMB_xxxxx network in your signal scanner?  If so, how far away is the device running the scanner from the base?

Shurik_
Aspirant
Aspirant

I'm sorry I got confused.

What signal strength are you seeing for your neighbor's wifi in the scanner?      -70 dBm

Signal strength of our WI-FI in the scanner    - 46 dBm (measured not more than ~2 m from router)

What signal strength are you seeing for your cameras in the app?         - in app max strength signal

 

About how far away is the neighbor's router?  - I don't know, may be about 10 m.

 

Yes, we see connection drops when they fall into the field of view of the camera

StephenB
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Guru

@Shurik_ wrote:

What signal strength are you seeing for your neighbor's wifi in the scanner?      -70 dBm

Signal strength of our WI-FI in the scanner    - 46 dBm (measured not more than ~2 m from router)

 


That is more usual.  It is odd that the hub is choosing the neighbor's wifi channel (my own hubs are not doing that).  You could try moving the base about 2m from the router, and then power-cycling it.  See if that results in it choosing a different channel.

 


@Shurik_ wrote:

 

Yes, we see connection drops when they fall into the field of view of the camera


Every single time?  

 

Are you seeing them do something (perhaps on their phones or a similar size gadget) when this happens?

 

Shurik_
Aspirant
Aspirant

We see connection drops not every time.
Yes, there are phones in the hands and maybe they are doing something

DannyBearAgain
Master
Master

What 2.4ghz wifi channel numbers are in use?

 

You may want to fix your router’s channel number to a quieter location in the band.

 

I generally find that you need to power cycle the arlo base to have it switch wifi channels to follow the router.

 

 If the neighbours are using a wifi jammer you would not know using a scanner app unless it displays the whole wifi spectrum noise floor which you would see rise when jamming was activated.

Shurik_
Aspirant
Aspirant

Channels from 1 to 13 are used.

We can't choose a quiet place because the channel in the hub immediately changes to the channel of the neighbors, even after a reboot.

 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@DannyBearAgain wrote:

 If the neighbours are using a wifi jammer you would not know using a scanner app unless it displays the whole wifi spectrum noise floor which you would see rise when jamming was activated.


Just want to add that use of wifi jammers is illegal in most (I think all) jurisdictions.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Shurik_ wrote:

Channels from 1 to 13 are used.

 


If your wifi is using channel 12 or 13, then try setting it to a channel between 1 and 11.

 

It's possible that the base will only use channels that are allowed in all countries.

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