Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras
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Arlo - please handle base station offline better!

(Dear Arlo - please don't move this to another topic again. This is NOT really about alerts when offline.

It's MAINLY about the cameras' batteries draining when the base goes offline. Please read in it's entirety.)

 

So this happens now and again - my base station goes offline. I assume it's when a firmware update is pushed out and crashes my base station. 

 

My issue is that when the base station goes offline, the cameras drain their batteries trying to reconnect.

 

This last time, the base station went offline around 10:30am pacific time on the 6th May. Perhaps someone from Arlo can confirm if that was a firmware update? Or tell me how I can check that myself?

 

I didn't realise until late on the 7th. (Thankfully I have other cameras, because I know I can't rely on this system yet.) (Also thankfully I'm at home. When this happens while I'm away, there's nothing I can do... Big fail for a security system.) Power cycling the base station only served to show me the cameras all offline. Sometimes rebooting the base station a few times brings some cameras back online, but not this time. Clearly the batteries were all drained. It was too late at night to be getting ladders out and swapping batteries, so that's what I'm doing today. Thankfully I have rechargeable batteries, otherwise Arlo would be getting a big bill for new ones! And I have confirmed that the batteries are all dead - power cycling the cameras does nothing.

 

Here are suggestions. I hope Arlo are listening. They are pretty basic requirements of a security system.

 

  • When a camera detects the base station is offline, it goes into a low power mode. Instead of draining its batteries by continuously trying to reconnect, have it try once every minute for the first 10 minutes, then once every 10 minutes for the next hour, then once every 30 minutes. That way, when the base station can be physically power cycled when the owner returns home (note that this usually can't be done remotely as the base station is offline), the cameras will hopefully still have some battery power left.
  • When the base station goes offline:
    1. Have the base station AUTOMATICALLY power cycle itself say every 20 minutes until it reconnects. That way if I can't get to the base station for a week, it doesn't render the entire system USELESS!
    2. SEND ME A NOTIFICATION. Pretty please. The cloud knows. If I open the app, it knows. If a security system goes completely offline, it should trigger a panic mode 😱 where it sends not only repeated push notifications, but also texts and emails.
  • When a camera goes offline:
    1. Automatically try to reconnect, and go into a low power mode.

 

p.s. thank you for finally ditching flash...

Comments
Apprentice

Good ideas.  I hope they implement them, but don't break other things when that new version comes out.