jcsteffy's profile

Sun, Sep 1, 2019 2:17 AM

Getting SimpliSafe Doorbell to Connect w/Xfinity xFi wifi

We had our system about a month when we decided to change our internet providers.  We went from a DSL line with Centurylink to a cable gateway with Xfinity.  The new modem is a dual band, 2.4GHz & 5GHz.  With the new wifi, I had no issues connecting the base station or the living room camera but when it came time to reconnect the doorbell cam, it would just get stuck in an infinite loop.  It acted like it was connecting - the white flashing light, then to yellow, etc. etc. until it finally just went back to flashing white and said it was ready to connect again.  So I pushed all the buttons on the back, added it, deleted it, added it again, I searched these forums, and finally discovered the issue was most likely because the camera was having trouble choosing between the two bands (and it can only connect to 2.4GHz).  I tried a few things like forcing my iPhone to connect to the 2.4 band, using my phone over LTE only, and even went to the very end of my yard to do the set up in hopes I would be far enough away to force the 2.4 to connect and not even have the 5 available.  Nothing worked, yet the doorbell would still connect easily to my old Centurylink wifi (which I luckily hadn't turned off yet and I'm assuming is only 2.4GHz) so I knew it still worked fine.  

Finally, I called SS support and the young man I spoke with was very nice and tried to help but the end result was him telling me I would need to call Comcast Xfinity and have them split my bands into two seperate networks with different passwords, etc.  Fine idea, I suppose, but this should not be that hard and I should not have to redo my entire network just to get a stupid doorbell cam to work so I decided to start looking at other brands.  In the meantime, I received a survey on how my call went that asked if I wanted a call back from a manager/supervisor.  I said yes and received a call within an hour.  He was very helpful and said the doorbell should be able to connect so lets send you out a new one.  Great - we're getting somewhere!  Maybe with a fresh start and a device that had never connected to the old network at all it would be able to choose the 2.4GHz without issue. So begins round two....

The next doorbell, brand new out of the box, did pretty much the same thing - got stuck in the infinite loop.  How disappointing!  But then I received a notification on my phone that a new device had connected to my wifi.  Wait a minute... it DID connect but something was keeping it from getting fully through.  I logged in to my gateway setting on my laptop and, sure enough, there was a new device: Generic Brand Vendor: AMPAK Technology and oddly it said it was connected.  Now, I'm sure there's a better term for what was happening but, regardless, it got me thinking about one of the settings I had seen in the Network Advanced Settings for the Xfinity Gateway called "Port Forwarding".  I believe it has something to do with gaming but, honestly, I don't really know what it does.  That said, I recalled seeing in a forum post that another customer was told to "open up port 8890" by SS customer service when also troubleshooting a doorbell connection issue.  Putting those two things together made me decide to try using that Port Forwarding setting I had seen in the Xfinity settings.  Now that I realized the doorbell device was actually recognized by the modem, I went into Advanced Settings>Port Forwarding>Add Port Forward; then choose the device from the drop down (Generic Brand Vendor: AMPAK Technology); then under Port Number entered 8890 and chose the Protocol of TCP/UDP.  I went back to the doorbell, which was still blinking white, just waiting for me, and did the set up again. I couldn't believe it, but it worked on the first try!!  

Now I'd like to learn exactly what the "Port Forwarding" actually means but, for now, I'm just really pleased I figured something out to get the device to work.  I'm hoping this probably-far-too-many-details story (but in "layman's" terms - or in this case, "laywoman's" terms) helps someone else out who is having the same issue.  I'm guessing it is happening across the board for anyone having the new Xfinity xFi system and the SimpliSafe doorbell cam.  And, just a thought, although both people I spoke with at SS customer service were super nice and doing their best to help, this tidbit of information might be really helpful to add to the script to use when helping customers with similar issues.  Thanks for reading & good luck!!

1 Message

Il y a 3 y

Thank you so much for posting this.  Your directions did the trick.  Everything was working except my two way audio.  I changed my Xfinity settings and now it works perfectly ..

5 Messages

Il y a 3 y

Im also having trouble with this and i did the port forwarding on my linksys router and still the doorbell wont conplete the setup. I hope someone finds a solution for this. It is really frustrating.

1.3K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Port forwarding is more or less like opening a door to allow traffic from outside your network into your network. Usually opening ports is to be avoided whenever possible.

A very brief look around it seems at least some Xfinity setups have a Low, Medium, High type of firewall setting. If set to High it blocks everything except basics like email and web browsing.

If there is such a setting maybe try Medium or Low to see if that allows it work.

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/advanced-xfinity-wireless-gateway-features

5 Messages

Il y a 3 y

I don't have xfinity. I have Fios with my own Linksys router.

1.3K Messages

Il y a 3 y

My guess would be that it has to do with double NAT. The FIOS interface or whatever it's called and your Linksys are probably both acting as firewalls. To simplify things, if you have not already and if you can (sometimes the provider has to do it) put the FIOS interface in bridge mode.

Maybe you've already done that or maybe not, I don't know what else you may have tried other than trying port forwarding on the Linksys. If the FIOS interface is also doing NAT as I guess, you'd have to set up port forwarding in that too. That's why people with certain needs or want to run their own router/WiFi put them in bridge mode. Simplifies using your own router for networking.

I don't have one so I can't specifically advise how you would go about doing it. I have a plain old cable modem feeding my router/firewall so no having to deal with double NAT or the possibility thereof.

Il y a 3 y

Is AMPAK Technology the Model used by Simplisafe cameras? The notification that a new device was added with the name AMPAK Tech showed up on my router after connecting the camera. Then went off. Then it disconnected. Do I need to just do the same set up again from the flashing white light part of the process? Confused.

Il y a 3 y

I just need to know that AMPAK is used by Simplisafe and not someone hacking into the network. Please confirm or give guidance.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 3 y

Yes, AMPAK Tec is the camera, and the base station is espressif.