Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

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42Panic
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I have a motorola g Android version 13 and several Arlo Essential Outdoor Spotlight cameras. I'm still within the 30 day free subscription and the notifications just don't work. I've spent in the neighborhood of 20-30 hours troubleshooting and have all but confirmed that the problem is not with any setting on my phone or within my wifi or my internet service provider. Intuitively I suspect that the developers of the app have programmed the app to be bias in terms of functionality towards apple users. 

 

Sometimes I won't get any notification on my android (phone) at all while my iPad receives the notifications just fine. Sometimes I will receive a silent notification on my android (phone) informing me of motion detected but my phone will not chime at all, but my iPad will receive the notifications just fine. 

 

Steps I've tried:
Logging in and out. 

Uninstalling and reinstalling the app. 

Scheduled appointment with internet technician who assured internet and wifi connection was perfect.
I've toggled nearly every setting switch on my phone on and off. 

I've toggled every setting on the Arlo app and cameras on and off. 

I've reset the Arlo settings. 

I've removed and re-added the cameras to the app. 
I'ver repositioned the cameras.

Among other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. 

 

The only thing that works: 
First I have to notice and recognize that the issue is occurring at all, then I need to switch wifi on and off. Switching wifi off seems to unclog whatever is clogging the notifications. Sometimes after switching wifi back on the problem recreates with 30 minutes or less. Sometimes it takes up to 10-12 hours before the problem recreates. 

 

The reason I feel confident the issue resides within the Arlo app or the connection of the Arlo cloud server and the app and not within my phone or internet:

The issue will replicate when no settings have been adjusted. It will be working fine one hour and then without ever touching my phone the notifications on my android (phone) just stop but the notifications on my iPad continue just fine. My internet and wifi connection was checked by my internet service provider and determined to be "very good" and "above average.' It was in the range of 346 MBP download and 11 MBP upload. 

 

After multiple phone calls with Arlo technical support and multiple troubleshooting approaches it was decided that the best guess was a problem with the "RSSI (Receive/Send/Signal/Indicator." I was told that there was a measurement for this signal that ranged from between 0 to -90 and that anything above -50 (so -49, -48, -47, -46 and so on and so on) was a good signal. I was told that my RSSI number for one of my cameras was -53, so technically right in the range of "bad" and that could interfere with the cameras ability to communicate with the cloud server that communicates between the cameras and the Arlo app. Regardless of my cameras being set up within all the instructed perimeters and having a perfect internet connection at least one of my cameras had a "bad RSSI" number, even though it showed good connectivity and when setting up the connectivity bar was full. After agreeing with technical support that the issue could reside with a bad RSSI number technical support wanted to escalate my case to "engineering" but the department I was in was already the third escalation after about 7 days of phone calls and countless hours of troubleshooting and I just felt my time was being wasted and not valued so I gave up and here I am. 

Today is about 17 days or so since I got the cameras and the notifications still don't work properly. I don't anticipate that they will after reading all the other people who've had this exact same problem. I suspect that unless Arlo fixes and patches the glitch with an update/upgrade that the issue will continue to persist which means the cameras will not notify of intruders consistently and with assurance. 

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StephenB
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@42Panic wrote:

 

After multiple phone calls with Arlo technical support and multiple troubleshooting approaches it was decided that the best guess was a problem with the "RSSI (Receive/Send/Signal/Indicator."

 If this were the cause, you'd be missing notifications on both the iPad and the Android phone.  Which isn't the case.

 

FWIW, RSSI is relative metric, and different chip manufacturers report it differently.  That said, -53 is normally interpreted as a pretty good value.

 


@42Panic wrote:

 

The only thing that works: 
First I have to notice and recognize that the issue is occurring at all, then I need to switch wifi on and off. Switching wifi off seems to unclog whatever is clogging the notifications.


This actually suggests something is going on with the phone (or perhaps the cellular connection).

  1. Do you normally leave wifi off? (I'm wondering this because you say you are switching wifi on and then off).
  2. Is the iPad using WiFi, or does it also have a cellular data connection?
jguerdat
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@42Panic wrote:

I have a motorola g Android version 13 and several Arlo Essential Outdoor Spotlight cameras.
...

Sometimes I won't get any notification on my android (phone) at all while my iPad receives the notifications just fine. Sometimes I will receive a silent notification on my android (phone) informing me of motion detected but my phone will not chime at all, but my iPad will receive the notifications just fine.


Can you update to Android 14? However, my Pixel 6 can be rather delayed on receiving notifications, apparently due to the phone sleeping. If something (another notification) wakes things up sufficiently, I'll also get the Arlo ones. It's not that I don't get them, it's that they can be delayed even though all settings are correct (and it worked fine on earlier versions of Android such as 12).

42Panic
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Thanks for the response.

 

I normally leave both wifi and mobile data on while at home and this brings me to where I'm at this week/tonight. 

 

As of now the only thing that "fixes the issue" has been toggling wifi on and off. As soon as wifi is toggled all the notifications that just went to my iPad while testing come through on my phone at once. Then it either works for a few hours or a day or the notifications stop within a few minutes and I have to toggle wifi again to get them to begin again. 

I thought maybe it was some geofencing notification setting or schedule turning notifications off so I just turned geofencing notifications off and the problem persists. 

 

I played with all the "Background Processing" and "Always Listening" notification setting and the problem persists. 
I added an Arlo Smart Hub VMB4540 and still the problem persist. 

 

Right now I'm testing just leaving the mobile data setting off and only using wifi and seeing if I can get the problem to recreate that way. So far it appears to be working as expected while mobile data is off but it's only been about 15 minutes. 

That's the frustrating thing, everything will work fine for 2, 8, 12 hours and then the notifications just stop without ever changing a setting. 

 

Technical support thought it would be a good idea to forward my case to "engineering" where they will "investigate my logs" and that was yesterday and I'm waiting to hear back now. 

42Panic
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Thanks for the help.

 

There are currently no available updates on my phone. 

 

I've considered some setting that makes the phone sleep, but if there is one then there has to be a way to turn this setting off for security reasons and if there isn't then that needs to be listed somewhere in the compatibly requirements of Arlo. I've searched the settings for hours and found no such setting. 

42Panic
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After about 35 minutes or so of only having my wifi on and the mobile data toggled off the problem continues to persist. 

And as soon as I switched wifi off and the wifi came back on all the notifications came through at once just like always. Now I'll try turning wifi off and only leaving mobile on for a while and see if that "works." 

StephenB
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@42Panic wrote:

After about 35 minutes or so of only having my wifi on and the mobile data toggled off the problem continues to persist. 

And as soon as I switched wifi off and the wifi came back on all the notifications came through at once just like always. Now I'll try turning wifi off and only leaving mobile on for a while and see if that "works." 


Do you have background app refresh turned on, and enabled for the Arlo app?  (Apple settings->General)

42Panic
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Thanks, I'm using a Motorola G, and it has the "background process limit" in place of the "background app refresh" found on apple devices if I'm not mistaken. And on my Motorola device I have the "background process limit" set to "standard limit", the other options to toggle for Background Process Limit on my Motorola are, "No background process, At most 1 process, At most 2 processes, At most 3 processes, At most 4 processes." So if I'm not mistaken, and this is the "background app refresh" for my Motorola, then yes I have it turned on. 

 

There is another toggle I found in my Motorola settings labeled "Show refresh rate" and when I toggle this switch on it's bouncing between a red number 60 and a pea green number 90. I assume this is associated with a background refresh rate but I don't know. 

 

In the Arlo secure app settings I also can not find "background app refresh", all I can find is "Background Processing" and I do have this notification toggled on and set to "default" and "vibrate." 

 

Hope this answers your question. 

 

After incessant troubleshooting it appears that the issue resides primarily if not entirely with the wifi connection as the issues appears to be difficult if not impossible to recreate with just mobile data on and wifi off. I will continue to watch the problem for the next 10-18 hours with just the mobile data on and the wifi off in an attempt to confirm and report back here when I get the chance.

 

In the meantime any further advice is greatly appreciated.

And thanks in advance. 

 

I'm anticipating being in touch with technical support at Arlo at some point today to further troubleshoot the issue as well. 

 

What's confusing me right now is that, if it is a bad wifi connection (either with my mobile/router or the app and the cloud server or whatever) why wouldn't my phone just use my mobile connection when both wifi and mobile are toggled on if my mobile connection is good and the wifi connection is bad? What I'm saying is that, if it is simply a bad wifi connection how/why does turning the wifi off fix it? Seems the phone should just automatically bypass the wifi if it's bad instead of stalling out on the bad wifi connection. 

At any rate...weeee, internet 2024. 

 

Thanks again,

Panic. 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@42Panic wrote:

 

There is another toggle I found in my Motorola settings labeled "Show refresh rate" and when I toggle this switch on it's bouncing between a red number 60 and a pea green number 90. I assume this is associated with a background refresh rate but I don't know. 

 


That sounds like it is the refresh rate of the phone display.

 


@42Panic wrote:

 

What's confusing me right now is that, if it is a bad wifi connection (either with my mobile/router or the app and the cloud server or whatever) why wouldn't my phone just use my mobile connection when both wifi and mobile are toggled on if my mobile connection is good and the wifi connection is bad? What I'm saying is that, if it is simply a bad wifi connection how/why does turning the wifi off fix it? Seems the phone should just automatically bypass the wifi if it's bad instead of stalling out on the bad wifi connection. 


i'm not convinced this is a "bad" network connection.  It sounds like your phone is deciding to postpone the delivery of the notifications, and that changing the network connection is just triggering the delivery again.  The puzzle is to figure out why.

 

I use an iPhone myself, so can't help much with Android.  But I have one more thought - if you have battery saver or adaptive battery mode  enabled on the phone, try turning that off, and see if it makes a difference.

 

There are other suggestions here:

42Panic
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Yeah, the Motorola g has multiple settings for adaptive battery saving function, both within the Arlo app settings and the phone settings, I've turned every one that I could find off, they're all currently off and I'm burning through data and battery life unnecessarily. 

 

It's been 18 or so hours since I switched the wifi on my Motorola G off and left the mobile data on and the problem basically hasn't repeated since. There was one occasion a few hours ago where the notifications seemed delayed but a single toggle between "armed away" and "armed home" within the Arlo app from my iPad "woke up" the notifications on my Motorola and all was well again. I've been using only wifi on my iPad for the last 18 hours and it has been receiving every notification just fine.

 

I switched my Motorola wifi back on about an hour ago and left both wifi and mobile on for about 15 minutes and tested the notifications by toggling my "armed away" and "armed home" from within the app on my iPad and sure enough notifications to my Motorola had stopped again. As soon as I turned the wifi on my Motorola off again the missed notifications all came through at once as usual. Leading me to believe the issue all but certainly resides with some kind of wifi connection between my Motorola phone and or the Arlo app specifically. 

 

I reached out to technical support today after about 40 hours of no reply from them because they were about to close for 12 hours and the 48 hour deadline they had promised to respond was about to expire. Apparently there was a delay in 'notification' (wink wink) between the escalation department and engineering as well, hehe. They were still awaiting an "update" (response) from engineering.

 

The problem is that I only have 2 days left to return one of the cameras and the same amount of time on one of my 30 day free Arlo Smart Subscriptions and the issue is nowhere near resolved or even understood yet. Unfortunately it looks like no matter what I'm stuck with at least one of the cameras as we won't get the issue resolved before the return date has expired but the second second set of cameras, doorbell and base-station I ordered will be getting returned around the 10th of next month if some kind or resolution isn't found. Which would be too bad because the cameras work fine under certain conditions, I just haven't been able to get the company to clearly define what those conditions are yet.

 

Like I'm willing to accept that they only work on my mobile connection, I just need to understand why as that would appear to negate some of the clearly defined instruction provided by Arlo as to how the cameras are supposed to function and I just don't think having a 'non-functioning' security system for $500 and $120 a year is a smart or safe investment at this time. 

 

Thanks, 

Panic. 

42Panic
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Just replying to your comment so I can update;

I replied to my own comment earlier and it looks like my reply didn't post for some reason, so I'll try replying to yours.  

 

Update since my last entry here:
I still hadn't heard back from technical support by this morning and my 30 day free trial ends tomorrow so I called back today and escalated my case. Otherwise I have to pay money to extend a subscription just to keep talking to someone and we haven't found any resolution yet and very little assistance has been offered. I was offered a promotional coupon for another 30 days free but I have to enter my credit card info and billing information to receive the promotion and I'm not comfortable offering billing information so I'll see how this plays out from here. 

 

After 24 hours of mobile data only I switched the wifi on my phone back on and for almost an entire day I received 100% of the notifications on my mobile device while BOTH mobile data AND wifi were on. During the 24 hours of mobile data only I also switched the Arlo app on my phone to light mode because I was reading elsewhere of very similar bugs while the app was running in dark mode. I struggled to see the video taken at night because of the dark contrast of the video and bright light mode of the app, but the notifications were working.

 

After escalating I spoke with Goldmar in level three engineering I believe. I explained the apparent fix by switching to light mode and mobile data only for a day and then switching wifi back on and Goldmar agreed that this sounded like it could have been the potential fix. At any rate Goldmar assured me that the issue wasn't with wifi connectivity and likely resided with a setting in my phone preventing the notifications. Godmar advised me to leave all the settings as they were while my case was escalated again and my information was shared with other teammates for further advice. I was told me someone would be in touch within the week and offered the 30 day free promo code. 

 

Unfortunately as soon as I got off the phone I went into the setting just to see if I could learn some more and clicked on something I thought was a button to open another settings window. This button was labeled "Reset notification importance." Sadly, this was not just a button to open up another settings window but in fact was a button to "reset the notification importance." I looked it up and found this: "Reset notification importance: Android attempts to sort your notifications over time by importance, and tapping this button resets that behavior." I read something else about how my phone can also decide to suppress certain notifications if it thinks they aren't important. The phone is brand new, I've only had it for about 45 days, or about 10-15 days longer than the Arlo cameras themselves. At any rate, after hitting this button the problem started all over again. I don't know if it's connected, but I think it is.

I've switched back to mobile data only for another day and have the app in light mode I'm hoping to recreate the success of fixing the problem. I've got about another 10 hours to go. I don't know what else to try. I'll keep updating here to keep notes. 

 

I feel pretty confident that this particular problem of missed notifications on the Motorola g while wifi is on is directly related to some kind of bug between this adaptive notification memory and the dark mode and I highly suspect this glitch is the cause of other undocumented and documented service issues within the app. I'll try calling technical support again today to inform of the lapse in my Arlo Secure Subscription and see what happens. 

 

More later, 

Panic. 

42Panic
Aspirant
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thumbnail_Screenshot_20240206-154433.jpeg

Screenshot_20240202-163541.jpeg

 

My case has been escalated yet again and anticipated response time is now within another week. The problem is that I only had until the 7th (tomorrow) to return the first of the remaining cameras. I returned it yesterday. I have until like the 24th to return the remaining cameras and base station. I'll be returning them sometime around the 15th I suspect. I've wasted enough time and money on this. 

As can be seen in the first of the two screenshots, the current time recorded is 3:44. The arlo notifications marked "now" are timestamped for 3:39 and 3:40 even though the current phone time, or "now" it clearly says that it's 3:44. The notifications marked "now" by the Arlo app are four and five minutes late according to their own timestamp. The phone was on both wifi and mobile data and the notifications were all received on the iPad which was only on the same wifi connection. Also, the doorbell notification had no timestamp even though it was triggered at the same time as the other missed notifications and the doorbell is only connected to wifi and not base station while the cameras are connected to the wifi via base station. In other words, the notification for the doorbell was also 5 minutes late and it doesn't indicate this, in fact it indicates that it was delivered on time and it wasn't. 

 

In the second image it can be seen that sometimes when I open the app I'm given the "you're not connected to the internet" error even though I know I am. All I do when I get this error is pull down on the screen to refresh the page and the error banner goes away and I appear to be back online. Not sure if I'm actuality getting kicked offline, but there's absolutely no reason that should be happening.  

 

After closer inspection today it was confirmed with certainty that during times of missed notifications my phone does in fact have a valid internet connection with a refresh rate of 120Hz. I was able to load YouTube pages and refresh between new YouTube links while Arlo notifications were not working. Other webpages in chrome were also loading just fine on my phone while notifications from Arlo were delayed/missed.

 

It was also discovered that the only settings avaibalew for background processing limit on my phone are; 

Standard limit

No background process

At most 1 process

At most 2 processes

At most 3 processes

At most 4 processes

 

I think everyone wanted to see a "unrestricted background processing limit" but it just wasn't there. I'm pretty sure people with androids, Motorola G apparently in particular, are encountering missed or delayed notifications and they don't know it unless they have multiple devices right there next to them. 

 

I contacted my router company today for the third time. We went over the speed tests, again. And again, everything came back good. My ISP has done the same thing several times. I was assured by Linksys and spectrum that all test indicated that the router and internet connection were functioning fine and internet speed are even above average, as I've said previously. I'd like to also reiterate again that the iPad gets all the notifications on the wifi connection just fine and all other equipment connected to the wifi is functioning just fine, it's just the Arlo app on my Motorola G only.

 

I'd also like to reiterate again that I can't believe that it's been 40 days and no help or directive. If I hadn't bought the cameras in separate rounds I would have already been forced to start a paying subscription just to get someone on the phone to help. 

It's for this reason I'm returning all my Arlo equipment, it hasn't worked right since I ordered it over 40 days ago and I've gotten no help and have been cohered into a paying subscription just to continue getting help. 

 

I might circle back around to Arlo in the future if I don't like the new equipment I've ordered better, but I'll be using a pre-paid credit card to order any subscriptions. 

 

I think it's also important for people to realize that Alro has a financially vested interest in providing faulty equipment and glitchy software because they make money off of the technical support services. 

 

2/6/24,

Panic.

42Panic
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Aspirant

Discovered potential connectivity issues today with the Motorola internet connections. 

 

Worst case scenario (for the Arlo community) is that there are connectivity issue with Motorola and Arlo that remain unresolved, and honestly looking back over the forums here and recalling my own problems, that remains a high likelihood of a possibility.

 

Best case scenario (for the Arlo community) is that the connectivity issue is with my specify internet connection/s. Unfortunately the cameras and base-station and doorbell were returned today so I am unable to verify this but decided to resolve my case because I felt technical support had done everything for me that they could under the conditions. I have swapped out my modem for a new one and a new router is on the way, so I will know more soon. 

 

I have purchased 6 Vision-Well outdoor battery powered security cameras. I've been running them for a few hours and can already tell that the software from Arlo is better. The Arlo cameras are more sturdy as well.  There is a lag on the Vision-Well video display that didn't exist on the Arlo cameras. The Vision-Well cameras appear to basically be a knockoff Arlo camera but for a much more reasonable price for those who may be in a tighter budget. Some of the interface features on the Vision-Well app seem to be smoother but overall the Arlo cameras and software are clearly superior. 

42Panic
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Aspirant

There are so many glitches in the app. From faulty thumbnails on the dashboard to missed notifications and glitchy 'rich notifications.' The cameras work great but the application needed to run the cameras obviously does not. 

 

Technical support has a vested interest in providing faulty software. If the software works the way it's supposed to, technical support is out of a job. 

 

Technical support has been useless in helping solve any problems. I've seen this complaint across multiple forums online. Technical support only wastes time. They provide advice such as to uninstall and reinstall the app continuously, this resets all the app settings on the phone and makes trouble shooting impossible. They've never helped me resolve one of my problems. 

 

The only thing I've seen that leads to any direct action in this regard is multiple users spamming their forums with the same complaint which 9 times out of 10 leads to a software update.

Go figure.

Rinse and repeat and the cycle continues. 

 

One of the most honest reviews I've seen on these cameras was; "sometimes they work, sometimes they don't." 

 

I fear that the incentive for this company to provide a working product is quickly waning. 

 

There are so many glitches in the app and technical support is useless. 

42Panic
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Aspirant

I was going to try and resolve this issue from this angle and try talking another approach, but the truth of the matter is that the issue just isn't closed or resolved. Arlo wants me to log into an email account that I don't use for anything and update the case every 7 days or they automatically resolve the issue. 

I closed the case because I was sick of beating a dead horse and because Goldmar of level 3 escalation from Arlo technical support assured me that his teammates were able to confirm from the logs they took from my phone that the reason I was missing notifications was because my phone was not connected to the internet during those times. I was just sick of going around and around with them and exhausted and I feel like that was their intention. I've seen someone else say this exact same thing.

 

Unfortunately for Arlo I was able to confirm that what they had told me was not correct BECAUSE..... ..

 

During the times that my phone was awaiting missed notifications I was able to confirm that it had a valid internet connection by live-streaming the Arlo cameras. Let me repeat; Goldmar says the engineers confirmed the reason I was missing notifications was because my phone was not connected to the internet, however I was able to livestream the cameras and browse the internet during times of confirmed missed notifications.

 

Either Goldmar miscommunicated or I miss understood or god forbid Goldmar and the engineering department lied.