Why do all cameras have to connect to same SSID?

Following advice the other day, I found some information https://support.blinkforhome.com/issues-with-your-camera/camera-connectivity-issues-with-your-network?from_search=53520359

It talks about how if you are using an extender (NOT a mesh) you need to make all your SSIDs have the exact same name and password. But as anyone with a bit of Wifi knowledges knows, that doesn’t make them one merged Wifi (unlike mesh which is). They’re still separate. So it’s a real shame you apparently can’t set per-camera Wifi connection details.

For me it’s a problem, I have a separate cabin in my garden out of wifi range of the house, and I want a camera in both locations. I have a wireless PtP connection between the two (basically a wireless network cable, not a repeater) and a separate network/endpoint in the cabin, but guests use the cabin so it can’t have the same login as my home Wifi. I have House_Wifi and Cabin_Wifi.

Does this mean I simply cannot have coverage of both? Or is there a workaround? As a last resort, if I can’t have different cameras on different SSIDs, can I have 2 sync modules each with their own cameras, combined in a single system/account? Does XT/Blink support multiple locations?

Hope I managed to make this clear - thanks for any advice.

Hmm, so my basic question is answered here - yes I can have multiple sync modules on one account, in fact there are some benefits: https://support.blinkforhome.com/using-the-blink-app/how-can-i-access-multiple-blink-systems-from-one-account#:~:text=Up%20to%20ten%20devices%20can,account%20using%20the%20Blink%20App.

HOWEVER, this is confusing. It says XT2 cameras CAN work on different SSID names to the sync module. But maybe older XT(1) cannot?

XT2 is what I plan to buy while I still can, so this is quite an important factor deciding what kit to buy - I could buy a 1-cam system and a 2-cam system, VS 1 3-cam for instance. Would cost only a little more, rather than having to buy extra bits later.

They all could work on different SSIDs, if you have a separate sync module for that camera, or bunch of cameras, together using the same SSID. It’s just like having another sync module and camera at another location, which works perfectly.

The problem arises when the sync module is connected to the routers SSID, and the camera is connected to your extenders SSID, when different. Neither understand how to find a way to each other, as they think they are on separate wireless networks. Maybe they are, I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. Sync module on one SSID, and camera on another, does not work. Both on that extenders SSID, and it will work perfectly.

If you are having real trouble getting WiFi to the camera anyway, in your distant building, then you are going to have to have a sync module just for that camera anyway, so your differing SSID, in the cabin, will present no issue.

Thing is from a network point of view, it’s all the same network. My phone is on home_wifi_ext and my laptop on garage_wifi, as long as those link back to the same network router they can see each other. It’s kind of the point, this stuff should be transparent to the individual devices.

My question would be, does XT2 configuration ALLOW me to individually enter SSID/password for each camera, or is there just one place to enter that on the sync module - in which case it’s perhaps an artificial restriction but a restriction all the same.

The confusion came from my last link, where it seemed to suggest i can do per camera setup, but only on XT2:

“The Blink XT2 camera is designed to recognize networks with wireless extenders, while indoor cameras and XT cameras must connect to the exact same network name (SSID) that the Sync Module is connected to.”

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I saw just today the xt2 3cam is no longer in stock on Amazon UK, so I think I need to rush to avoid the newer models and their subscription.

The nice thing with Amazon is I can just buy everything I might want, and return it. Maybe I’ll do that :slight_smile:

John, whatever you found, and yes it sure does read as you describe, you’re going to need another sync module anyway for that far location. Your phone and laptop couldn’t manage, without what you’ve done in providing extra coverage, so it’s highly doubtful a sync module in the house can get that far to the camera either. Thus, if you give that camera its own sync module, same or different SSID, it won’t matter at range, because both the camera and sync module will see only the extended network.

Regarding single network, as I said, it doesn’t matter if it should work, it doesn’t, at least for sure with XTs. Maybe, as you found the XT2 is different. When I got an XT2, I didn’t try that in a different way, because I had already been bitten with my experience of the XT.

Definitely get it and try, and bundle it all back up if it doesn’t work. That’s what they offer that service for. :slight_smile:

From the XT original days

From the XT-2 days

  • Strengthened Connectivity: Improved camera to Sync Module signal strength indication, improved camera to Wi-Fi performance by enabling connection to best available access point when mesh networks or networks with Wi-Fi extenders are in use, and added more network regions to improve connection speed to Blink servers.
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This is exactly why I bought an XT2 and a new outdoor WiFi access point.

The New outdoor access point is hard cabled to the existing WiFi router. It created a new SSID on the new access point, this wifi now reaches the outbuilding fine now. I added the new XT2 WiFi camera and gave me no option to choose which WiFi to use. It registered but it won’t show any image which I imagine is because it’s too far now from the blink hub.

At the same time I have added the new Mini Camera (plugged in) that DID give me the option to connect to a different WiFi - I added it to a different WiFi that I have for my garden office and it’s a different WiFi to the one that the blink hub is on and it works totally fine.

I was expecting the same experience with the XT2 camera. But not getting it!

The mini does not need a hub to operate, unless you want local storage, with the new sync module 2, so it has to connect directly to WiFi and can therefore connect to your extended network without issue. The XT2, on the other hand, connects to the hub, to find out its WiFi connection details, which you give the hub when you connect that. There is no stage, during the set-up of an XT2 where you tell it the WiFi to use. It already knows, because the detail is in the hub.

You were probably just in range of the hub, sufficient for it to relay this information, and maybe even to do all its jobs in terms of passing camera settings, but the camera remains out of range, in a WiFi sense, from the original SSID that the hub knows about, and passed to the camera.

If the hub can communicate, successfully, at that range, you might well get away with an extender where you can modify the SSID to be the same as your original router. That way, when the XT2 picks up the SSID and password information from your hub, it will try to talk to a WiFi source that has that SSID and password, and it will be successful, because the near extender also has those details.

Try changing the SSID and password of the extender, to that of which the hub originally connected to, your router, if possible, and if not, you will need an additional sync module to pair with that extended WiFi source, using its details when you add the hub.

Thanks for the real world feedback. What you describe with the XT2 seems more inline with how it seemed it worked, but appears to directly contradict the official information in my link.

I figure I’ll pay the extra few bucks to have additional sync modules, on the basis I can probably juggle a way to return/replace later or simply sell unwanted bits. My cabin is likely too far away for a single sync module anyway (touch and go at least) and my garage isn’t covered by my mesh WiFi. So worst case I need 3 modules.

Might just buy $1000 of different packages, sort it out and return everything for minimal hassle. I fear otherwise I’ll find xt2 units suddenly unavailable mid build!

One last thing to mention John. If you buy an additional sync module, to test things out, and return if necessary, make sure it is for the correct region. For example, if you were to pick up a second hand one, and you are in the UK, it must be a hub suitable for the UK. Oh, and also, it must have been deregistered, by the previous owner, having already deleted it from their account.

Thanks Suttyblink.

In the end I used an additional Sync module close to the new camera and connected that to the new SSID on the new WiFi extender, and all works fine.

Set it up as a new system which has the advantage of being able to have its own arming schedule.

All that said it seems strange to me that the cheaper Mini Camera has a built in sync module effectively meaning it just needs to connect to WiFi to work surprised the new XT2 isn’t the same… it also implies it is in the description online (at least it did to me). Am sure that will come.

Also on a different topic I had to install it with the camera upside down so I could get the angle I wanted… I was thinking there must be a way to flip the image but seemingly not… again one for the future hopefully.