Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras
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former_customer
Tutor
Tutor

Dear Arlo,

I'm done.

I was an early adopter, with an orginal arlo camera and a base station. Life was good. When I needed it most (traveling away from home), I could receive alerts when my camera detected motion, and view a clip of what happened while still away from home.

I decided I needed to upgrade to more cameras, so I bought two arlo essential wireless cameras. I hooked them up to my wifi and life was good again, until the trial period ran out and I learned that I had to pay $120 a year to see recordings from my two new cameras. A BIG step back from the orginal arlo functionality.

No worries, I thought, I'll just connect them to my base station instead of my wifi. Oops, that doesn't work, the new cameras don't work with the old base station.

Ok, I'll pony up for a vmb4500 base station so I can get back to original functionality. Which I did. And only after installing it did I learn that the only way to view the recordings is to eject the usb thumb drive from the base station and view it from another computer. Except for the orignal arlo camera, that one just works, cloud storage and all, even when connected with the new base station.

Shame on me, I guess, because I did not anticipate such a huge step backwards in functionality compared to the original arlo camera. I'm done with this mess. I guess I'll eat the cost of the base station and two wireless essential cameras for a lesson learned on your new business model.

7 REPLIES 7
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@former_customer wrote:

Ok, I'll pony up for a vmb4500 base station so I can get back to original functionality. Which I did.


Unfortunately you got the wrong base. Direct access to local storage is a feature only found in the smarthubs (VMB4540 or VMB5000). Though there are a lot of restrictions, it is not as useful as the cloud storage.

former_customer
Tutor
Tutor

Ok, so I needed to spend an extra $100+ on the hub and still not get back to the same functionality I had with the original camera and hub?

Arlo has turned into a money pit. The "free trial" is just a ruse to keep people from returning their cameras before they realize how much they have to pay in subscription fees to have basic functionality. How many messages are on this board asking how to record or view recordings after the trial period?

RegularJoe
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I'm no authority, but a full year for me and my 9 essential wireless cams should only come to $72.

9$ a month for unlimited cameras...

former_customer
Tutor
Tutor

Sorry, I don't follow, please explain. $9 x 12 = $108. And the secure plan is $9.99 per month for multiple cameras. $9.99 x 12 = $119.88 per year for the subscription fee. What plan are you referring to for $72/year?

I don't know how you do it for $72, but even that is ridiculous considering it was $0 with the original camera for the same functionality.

Ticked_Customer
Initiate
Initiate

I'm with you former customer.

 

Really ticked off with arlo's decision to start charging.  I've been a customer for years and I'm responsible for convincing a lot of people to buy arlo cameras based on no monthly/annual fee to view the video history.

 

Arlo, you lost the single greatest selling point you had.  I can no longer recommend you to anybody, there are less expensive options now.

former_customer
Tutor
Tutor

@Ticked_Customer 

 

For what it is worth, I rolled my own and I'm much happier with the result.  I installed linux on an old macbook and installed motioneye.  I bought an IP camera that is powered over ethernet cable so I don't have to recharge the camera.  I wrote a script to post-process the captured videos to use object detection to filter out a lot of the detection noise (raindrops, bugs, etc).  I paid a $5 lifetime fee for a push notification service that sends me a notice to my phone whenever the system detects motion in the camera, the notification includes a link to the captured video that lives on my server.  It's a straightforward AI enhanced system that cost me $85 ($50 camera, $20 POE adapter, $15 cat5 cable) and has 0 recurring fees.  I can add as many cameras as I want to my system.

 

I wish that I could use my three Arlo cameras with my system, since I already paid for them, but their closed ecosystem obviously won't allow it.  Does anyone have a FW update that turns these into IP cameras?  It would be nice to be able to use these cameras that I paid for after Arlo decides to quit supporting them.  Queue message from Arlo dated January 1 2023:

 

As part of Arlo’s commitment to delivering high performance products and to protect our customers’ privacy and data, we continually review the ability of our products and services to meet the ever-evolving technology and cybersecurity standards of the market. Based on this analysis, we determine when our products and services need to be updated or retired and moved into their end of life (EOL) stage.

 

Starting January 1, 2023, Arlo is implementing an EOL policy for its products and services, with the Generation 3 (VMC3030) and Pro (VMC4030) cameras being affected on April 1, 2023. These cameras were released in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The EOL of the Generation 3 (VMC3030) and Pro (VMC4030) cameras means that certain features of, and support for, these cameras will become unavailable, including 7-day cloud storage, firmware updates, and email notifications. To find your product model number go to the Arlo Secure App > Settings > Support Center > click on your specific camera and then scroll down to the details section to view the product model number.

 

These cameras may continue to be operated after April 1, 2023 by all existing Arlo owners to live stream video, receive motion notifications, and store video clips locally with a compatible Arlo base station. These cameras also can utilize Arlo’s new cloud storage, which is available with the Arlo Secure subscription service, though the EOL’d cameras themselves may lose some functionality over time, as they will not be provided with further firmware upgrades.

 

More information on Arlo’s EOL policy can be found here.

 

Thank you for being part of the Arlo community.

 

-The Arlo Team

 

Government
Initiate
Initiate

Yeah this happen to me too, I’m just about done with Arlo, this is so weird on so many level that they require a subscription just to view the camera history. Why we have to pay for this BS! This make me furious asap. You charge ppl for a subscription after selling camera that expensive in the store and expect an auto pilot money from us to subscribe to your service? Screw you. That greedy for a company to sell cameras.