Wi-Fi / Network

Signal Strength and Upload Speed

The signal strength and upload speed are not always related. The internet upload speed may exceed the minimum requirements, but there could be obstacles between the router and the SkyBell that could reduce your signal strength. If this is the case, the router should be moved closer to the SkyBell or a Wi-Fi extender installed.

Wi-Fi Connection

The SkyBell transmits voice and video via the internet and wireless networks and requires both local Wi-Fi and a good wireless connection.

  • Confirm the Wi-Fi signal reaches outside the home to the SkyBell with the front door closed - if the router is too far, or the signal strength is low, relocate the Wi-Fi router closer to the SkyBell or get a Wi-Fi extender.
  • Confirm the router is broadcasting a 2.4 GHz signal - this is only a problem if a dual band router is used. The SkyBell cannot be synced to a 5 GHz-only network. Most routers will have a 2.4 GHz network. See Router configuration to configure a dual band router.
  • Confirm there is a minimum upload speed of 1.5 Mbps, although 2 Mbps is recommended. Test the internet speed by going to OOKLA or http://speedtest.net
  • Confirm there is internet access at the location of the SkyBell - A reliable, consistent communication between the SkyBell and the router is what drives the quality of the SkyBell connections.

SkyBell is equipped with an 802.11b/g/n wireless chip set. This allows SkyBell to connect to B-only, G-only, mixed BG, & mixed BGN networks. However, SkyBell only connects to the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The common frequency bands are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Newer model wireless routers operate with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands broadcasting simultaneously. In order for SkyBell to connect to these routers, the bands must be split to allow the two to broadcast on separate networks. We refer to this process as router reconfiguration.

5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz

While it's true that the 5 GHz band is much faster than the 2.4 GHz band, the strength of the 5 GHz band is not as strong. The 2.4 GHz band is able to travel a greater distance and pass through walls while maintaining a strong signal. Since SkyBell is located outside the home, we have determined that using the 2.4 GHz band will provide optimum performance.

Setting up a Range Extender

For optimal placement, please locate the range extender half-way between the router and the SkyBell. To set up a wireless range extender with a SkyBell HD, the extender must repeat the 2.4 GHz network. You can choose to either disable the 5 GHz network or extend the 5 GHz network as well, provided that it has a separate name from the 2.4 GHz network. The extender must have a unique SSID from the home network for optimal use with the SkyBell; we typically recommend adding “ext” at the end of the network name to help differentiate the two networks (e.g. “Test Network” and “Test Network ext”). After setting up the extender, please make sure you can connect and get internet access successfully.

Once it is set up correctly, perform a soft reset of the SkyBell and re-sync it. Please be sure to select the extended network when choosing the network to which you will connect the SkyBell during the syncing process.

Network Configuration Requirements

SkyBell connects to the 2.4 GHz frequency band only. The common frequency bands are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Newer models of wireless routers operate with both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands broadcasting simultaneously. In order for SkyBell to connect to these routers, the bands must have distinct SSIDs to allow the two bands to broadcast on separate networks. SkyBell will operate on the 2.4 GHz bands only. In addition to this, there are several other router configurations necessary for use with the SkyBell. Newer Wi-Fi routers will provide better experience due to the speed of processor and RAM resources on-board to route video traffic. If available, the use of a wireless scanner is recommended to locate a wireless channel less crowded with traffic.

  • SkyBell can only connect to a 2.4 GHz network band
  • Password encryption type: WPA2
  • Mac Filtering: Disabled
  • DNS: Primary DNS - 8.8.8.8
  • Radio Mode: N Only
  • Minimum upload speed of 1.5 Mbps

Helpful link on the subject: https://www.popsci.com/speed-up-wi-fi#page-6

Port Forwarding Information

To open the required ports, the SkyBell will need to be assigned a static IP address.

You can accomplish this by following these instructions:

1. Get the SkyBell's MAC address under the “Device Information” tab in settings.
2. Check the router’s client list to find the SkyBell’s IP address by matching
it with the MAC address.
3. Create a static IP address tied to the MAC address of the SkyBell.
4. Port forward the above ports for the static IP/MAC address for the SkyBell.

Please try opening the following ports in your router:

  • 5683-5684 UDP
  • 5004-5010 UDP
  • 16384 - 32767 UDP
  • 443 UDP,TCP
  • 123 UDP (NTP)
  • 53 TCP,UDP (DNS)

Syncing with a Hidden SSID

Step 1: Open up the SkyBell HD Application, and select ADD A NEW SKYBELL.

Step 2: Select Begin and enter Sync Mode.

Step 3: To begin syncing, leave the SkyBell App, launch Settings, and navigate to WiFi.

Step 4: Select SkyBellHD_XXXXX, and go back to the SkyBell HD App.

Step 5: Connect to the Web: Enter your SSID and Password, then hit connect.

Double NAT Detection Resolution

The digital world is all about IP (internet protocol) addresses. Every device needs an IP in order to communicate on the internet or within a private network. Given there’s not enough public IP addresses out there for every internet-connected device (at least with IPv4), this little thing called NAT becomes extremely important. It stands for network address translation (NAT) and is a function provided by routers to enable multiple devices to access the internet via a single public IP address.

Behind each public IP, there can be hundreds of devices with their own private IP addresses, thanks to NAT. And almost all equipment that provides the NAT function includes a firewall to protect the private IPs and devices from public IPs and devices on the internet. Other network services are also typically offered, like DHCP (dynamic host control protocol) to give out the private IP addresses to devices that connect to the local network.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • How double NAT happens
  • The problems double NAT can cause
  • How to detect a double NAT situation
  • How you can fix it

How double NAT happens

Having more than one device performing NAT on a private network, however, can cause issues with that network. Some users may never notice, making it a non-issue for them. But others can run into headaches with certain applications, services, and situations. So, it’s always a good idea to eliminate double NAT if you have it.

Having more than one NAT device usually happens when you connect your own router to a gateway installed by your internet service provider (ISP) that also includes the NAT and routing functions. Some ISPs install only a simple modem that lacks the NAT and routing functions, which eliminates the problem altogether. But most ISPs assume their customers don't have routers, however, so they’ll provide you with a combo device whether you want it or not.

If you’re unsure what the ISP has given you, take a look at the box. If there’s only one Ethernet port, it’s likely a simple modem (aka a broadband gateway). But if there’s multiple Ethernet ports or if it supports Wi-Fi connections, it’s likely performing NAT and routing as well.

The problems double NAT can cause

When there’s double NAT on your network, you might run into issues with services that require UPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) support or manual port forwarding. This would include online gaming on computers or consoles, remote desktop into your computers, connecting to a VPN server, or accessing security camera feeds. Services like these sometimes require certain ports to be opened in the router’s firewall and directed to a particular computer or device on the network.

This screenshot shows how the router is configured for port forwarding, so that I can use remote SSH (Secure Shell) on a server on the local network. I can’t do that if the gateway is also performing NAT (network address translation).

The problem with double NAT is that if the first router on your network doesn’t have the port forwards configured, incoming traffic will stop there even if you have the port forwards configured on the second router. Or even if the first router has the port forwards, it can’t forward the traffic to a device that’s connected to the second router. It might only forward traffic to computers and devices directly connected to that first router, which could be either a wireless or wired connection.

Double NAT can also complicate any manual or automatic quality-of-service (QoS) controls that prioritize traffic on your internal network to ensure lag-sensitive traffic (gaming, voice, or video) is given higher priority than data associated with file transfers. This is especially the case if you have devices connected to both routers, both of which have different QoS controls.

This screenshot shows the router’s QoS (Quality of Service) controls, which I’ve configured to assign VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) top priority.

How to detect a double NAT situation

I already mentioned how to quickly tell if an ISP’s gateway has NAT and routing capabilities, but you might also want to see if double NAT is actually happening before spending time on the issue. Sometimes gateways will detect double NAT and automatically fix the issue for you. Or sometimes, if the ISP installers are knowledgeable, they might fix it when they come out to install the gateway and see that you have your own router.

For the two ways I’ll show you how to detect a double NAT situation, you’ll need to check your IP addresses and know if they’re private or public. This is easy: private addresses are usually in the 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255 range, the 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255 range, or the 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255 range. Addresses outside of these ranges would be public (internet) addresses.

One quick way that usually shows if double NAT exists is a traceroute, which allows you to ping a server or device on the internet and see the path it takes between routers and servers. Open a Command Prompt (on a Windows PC that’s connected to the internet, click on the Start menu, type “cmd,” and hit Enter) and type “tracert 8.8.8.8“ to see the traceroute to Google’s DNS server. If you see two private IP addresses listed in the first two hops then you have double NAT. If you see only one private address and the second hop shows a public address, then you’re all good.

Here’s a traceroute showing double NAT, as evidenced by the private IP addresses in the first two hops.

Another way to check for double NAT is to connect to your router’s web-based GUI and see if the WAN (internet) IP address is private or public. It should be a public address. If it’s a private address then you have double NAT.

More evidence of a double NAT situation: The router's WAN IP address is private, not public.

How you can fix it

If you’ve confirmed you have double NAT, there are ways to fix it. One simple way is to unplug any additional router and only use your ISP’s gateway. If you’re a power-user and you can’t part with your fancier router, then this option probably isn’t for you.

If you’d like to keep your router, see if you can put the ISP’s gateway into bridge or pass-through mode. This will disable the gateway’s NAT, firewall, and DHCP functions and reduce it to a simple internet modem. Many gateways offer these settings, but not all. Log into the web-based GUI of the gateway and check for a NAT, pass-through, or bridge mode setting, but keep in mind sometimes it’s hidden. If you don’t see it, search the internet for details on your particular model, or call your ISP’s tech support.

The Arris gateway from TimeWarner (Spectrum) has its NAT options in the LAN settings, but other vendors may have it in the WAN or another area.

If your ISP gateway doesn’t offer any bridging functionality, consider putting your router in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) of the gateway. If the gateway has a DMZ, it will basically give the router a direct connection to the internet, bypassing the gateway’s NAT, firewall, and DHCP so that your networked devices get those values directly from your router.

To utilize the DMZ, you’d log into the web-based GUI of the gateway, find the DMZ setting, and enter the private IP address that’s assigned to your router. Furthermore, you should also see if you can establish an IP address reservation for your router, so your gateway always gives the same private IP address to your router. If the gateway doesn’t support IP address reservations, you should log into the router’s web-based GUI and manually assign it a static private IP address (the same one you configure as the DMZ host) yourself for its WAN (wide area network; i.e., the internet) connection.

The gateway has DMZ preferences in its firewall settings, as is typical for gateways.

Another option for eliminating double NAT while keeping a ISP gateway and your router is to run an Ethernet cable from the gateway to one of your router’s LAN ports instead of the router’s WAN (internet) port. This will basically turn your router into a switch, and any computers connecting through the router (either wired or wireless) will get NAT, firewall, and DHCP from the ISP’s gateway. This is a good option if you’re using a secondary router to get better Wi-Fi or because you need more Ethernet ports. If, on the other hand, your desire for another router is for better port forwarding or improved QoS controls, this approach won’t help.

This story, "How to identify and resolve double-NAT problems" was originally published by TechHive.

SUPPORT AVAILABILITY

Monday-Friday: 7:00am – 5:00pm PST
Saturday: 8:00am – 2:00pm PST
Tel: (888) 423-9194
Note: calls in queue before cutoff time will be answered in the order they were received.

SUPPORT AVAILABILITY

Monday-Friday: 7:00am – 5:00pm PST
Saturday: 8:00am – 2:00pm PST
Tel: (888) 423-9194
Note: calls in queue before cutoff time will be answered in the order they were received.

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