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Re: Arlo’s SmartHub WiFi channel problem, Following neighbours WiFi channel

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User7
Guide
Guide

I’ve read countless forum posts about the inability for users to select a WiFi channel for their Arlo systems, and I’m ripping my hair out about my current situation.

 

We live in a large house, and the best position for my Base Station is in the garage essentially half way between my 2 Arlo Ultra cameras. The problem is that my Orbi WiFi router (it isn’t too far from the Base Station, but has a few concrete walls to penetrate into the garage) isn’t the strongest WiFi signal where my Base Station is positioned. That crown goes to my lovely neighbours who have their WiFi about 10 feet from one of my cameras.

 

For months I’ve been trying to figure out why my battery on that particular camera was draining at an alarming rate. I swapped batteries, bought a new battery, turned off features, turned on features...I tried everything! Then I got a WiFi scanner app and found that my Arlo network was on the same channel as the neighbours. I now put all the issues down to interference.

 

I knew Arlo essentially used the same WiFi channel as your router, but I didn’t know that it was actually quite dumb and just assumed that the strongest SSID is yours.

 

Please Arlo, give us the option to configure WiFi channels for our Base Stations. I’m sure the current configuration works for 70% of your users, but not for the rest of us.

Model: VMB5000 | Arlo Ultra Base Station
LandJS
Prodigy
Prodigy

I would love to see Arlo with that ability it's not a new idea and been around for years, though you can't choose the ch. on a cell phone even they allow you to chose between 2.4 and 5 ghz. and 1 of 2 5ghz. for those who have it, S10+ and the latest routers even have wi-fi 6.  Rebooting both the router and then the hub will change it eventually but it's a pain.  I have been using a wi-fi analyzer for 3/4 years and can say Arlo does not choose the best ch. on it's own.  So here's backing your idea

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

The easiest way to use a different channel is to reposition the base/hub away from the router. Having them close together results in using the same channels to reduce conflicting channel interference which is worse than having them on the same channel. Separating the devices by several feet eliminates that need and each will use its own channel.

LandJS
Prodigy
Prodigy

First thing to do for sure and I have,  Mine are several feet apart, often uses different channels than my router but Arlo still doesn't always pick the best ch.  and sometimes the most congested in the area.  Since Arlo has the ability to select it's own channel it should be able to be an option just like other settings.  Rebooting until you get better ch. selection works so user selection seems a better option.  I still support the idea.

pjama
Luminary
Luminary

My router and my arlo base station are about 10m apart and always settle on the same 2.4GHz channel irrespective of whether I set the router to auto or fixed or even reset my router after arlo has chosen a channel. IMHO it's a design flaw to have arlo choose the same channel as the nearest/loudest wifi signal.

Model: VMS5440 | Arlo Ultra 4 Camera Kit
michaelkenward
Sensei Sensei
Sensei
@User7 wrote:

I knew Arlo essentially used the same WiFi channel as your router, but I didn’t know that it was actually quite dumb and just assumed that the strongest SSID is yours.

 

I thought the hub was more intelligent than that.

 

Have you tried moving the hub nearer to your router, further away from the neighbour's, and seeing if your cameras can still talk to it?


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Pro 3 Floodlight, Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
blong7699
Tutor
Tutor

This is the only product that I am aware of that forces the user to select the same broadcast channel as your router. For example, the Philips Hue Hub (e.g. ZigBee cross-interference) and Sonos (e.g. SonosNet 2.4 Ghz WiFi) both ALLOW AND ENCOURAGE users to separate wifi network traffic by selecting the best channel for your specific network topology. In fact, Samsung SmartThings hub does not allow for the Zigbee Channel to be selected manually, and the community has had this exact same debate. For those who don't know or don't care to follow technical specs... 2.4 Ghz WiFi and Zigbee RF can overlap and interfere with each other as well. This is important because WiFi congestion is becoming a bigger issue in urban and suburban areas that have a dense population, and every home automation solution/company believes that it must have it's own "hub" to control their product in your home. In fact, if you own Arlo cameras and Arlo security lights then you understand that you need both a camera base and a separate light bridge to use the 2 products simultaneously (and these are the same company... ugh!).

 

I have read multiple articles on WiFi channel interference, and the Arlo system is the first one that I have ever read that claims that extensive research has proven that a combined  WiFi channel between home router and Arlo base station is a best practice to insure network connection reliability. The other 2 companies mentioned in my post infer, if not outright acknowledge, that WiFi Channel interference will degrade signal reliability for their particular product line; hence, WiFi channel should be changed so they don't overlap with existing channels. 

 

Can somebody from Arlo please explain how combining channels is a good thing for Arlo users and doesn't cause signal interference?

Model: VMS5340 | Arlo Ultra 3 Camera Kit
st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

Co-channel interference ( when two devices use the same WiFi channel) is the least significant type of interference.  The two devices can coordinate to share the available airtime.  Consider also that the Arlo cameras are not transmitting unless motion is detected (unless you use CVR), so the impact is minimal. I've never seen any issue with it.

LandJS
Prodigy
Prodigy

actually a wi-fi ch. is no different then the freeway, the more traffic the slower things get.  The first thing your told if you live in a congested area is to try a different ch, it's the purpose of a wi-fi analyzer and the ability of being able to change the router ch.  Even Comcast will have issues when more people come home and get online.  As for Arlo, changing channels does affect the signal to the cameras.  I used to do it manually but now just reboot the hub until it picks a good ch.  After the update to show a more accurate signal strength every time a camera drops to 1 bar (red) the hub will flash even though all is working.  Hard reboot (5 the other day) and it will hit a channel where all cameras are full bars until something reboots the hub.  It has always worked for me.

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  • 8 Replies
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  • 7 In Conversation