Your camera is often “unavailable” when you try to access the video stream. No image is displayed or you receive notifications informing you that its “connection is no longer working correctly”.
Information about possible causes
Your camera can frequently lose connection in the following situations:
- the phone’s 3G/4G coverage may be insufficient to access the video stream
- your internet connection is subject to regular outages
- the WiFi quality at the place where your camera is installed is not good enough
- your upload bandwidth is insufficient
- the WiFi channel used by your Internet router is congested
1. Check the color of the camera’s LED light
First and foremost, check the current status of the camera by verifying the color of the LED light on the front of the camera. A flashing blue, steady red or steady green LED light means that the camera has to be reinstalled
2. Check the quality of the phone connection
In order to be able to view the images from the Somfy Outdoor Cameras under good conditions, you need to be sure that your phone has high-speed Internet access: 3G, 4G or WiFi. No matter which of these you have, you must have good-quality reception and speed.
If you are unsure, try watching a YouTube video.
3. Be sure that your internet connection is stable
During internet outages, if someone is on site or if you have another component that is remotely accessible, be sure that your internet service is actually available.
Also consider rebooting your residential gateway box; this might improve the quality of your internet connection at your house.
4. Check the WiFi quality at the place where your camera is located
In your Somfy Protect application, go to the “Settings” menu, then “My devices”, then “My Camera”.
If, under “WiFi quality,” you see 1 bar out of 4, this means that the WiFi connection isn’t strong enough to ensure a good-quality connection.
- 4 bars – excellent connection
- 2 or 3 bars – average connection
- 1 bar – insufficient connection
It would be a good idea to move the camera to find the ideal location—one that is closer or one with fewer obstacles with the residential gateway box (or the WiFi router), in order to improve WiFi quality.
- the WiFi quality level does not refresh automatically; therefore, it is recommended that you move the camera and then try again to access the video stream to find out if moving the device was effective
- WiFi quality is very variable; in fact, two cameras that are located one metre apart can have different WiFi quality levels
- To find the ideal location, place the camera 2 meters away (unobstructed) from the residential gateway box. Connect to the video stream, and after unplugging the camera (it is battery-operated), move around slowly until you find the ideal location
- If you don’t want to move the camera around, you can also install a WiFi repeater and change your camera’s WiFi network to connect it to this repeater
5. Be sure that there is enough bandwidth at the place where your camera is positioned
The camera needs a stable WiFi connection allowing it to stream video constantly at 0.19 Mbps for SD and 0.53 Mbps for HD:
- 720p quality (HD)
- 0.53 Mbps with a lot of movement in the camera’s field of view
- 0.20 Mbps without movement in the camera’s field of view
- 480p quality (SD)
- 0.19 Mbps with a lot of movement in the camera’s field of view
- 0.13 Mbps without movement in the camera’s field of view
In order to check the upstream bandwidth available through your internet service, you can use a free software program or a speed test application:
- PC/Mac - Speedtest Web
- iOS - Speedtest iOS
- Android - Speedtest Android
It would be a good idea to test the speed at the location where your camera is positioned.
The upstream bandwidth (also known as the upload speed), on the right side of the above illustration is 2.01 Mbps. At your home, if it is below 0.50 Mbps, it would be necessary to set your camera to SD. In fact, in this case, it is probable that it frequently goes below the threshold needed to stream HD video.
Also verify that other components connected to the internet in your home is not tying up all the bandwidth: a computer that’s downloading, other IP cameras, a connected TV, etc. To be sure, disconnect these while you are performing your tests.
6. Check to see whether the WiFi channel used by the residential gateway box is congested
If there are many WiFi networks around your home, it is possible that the channel used by your residential gateway box is congested.
If the operations above have not allowed you to find a suitable location for your camera and the HD/SD setting corresponds to the available bandwidth, it may be necessary to change the WiFi channel in the settings of your residential gateway box (or WiFi router). We advise you to first set your WFi channel to “Auto” if this is not already its setting.
If this does not solve the problem, it is recommended that you verify the WiFi environment. You can use a free software program or channel testing application:
- PC - Acrylic WiFi
- Mac - Netspot
- Android - WiFi Analyzer
These applications will display a graph showing the level of congestion of the different WiFi channels. If your WiFi network is on a channel used by several other networks, it would be necessary to move it to a less cluttered channel by going to the settings of your residential gateway box (or WiFi router).
In the example above, the most congested channels are channels 1, 6 and 11. It would be advantageous to move the WiFi channel of the residential gateway box or router to channels 3, 4, 8 or 9, which are the least cluttered channels.