Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras|NETGEAR
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Star

The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

I bought a 5 camera Arlo Pro 2 system (VMB4000r23) a few months ago at Costco while they were having a $150 discount off their regular price.  I was not able to install it until a few weeks ago as I did not have time to install the category 5 cable needed to optimally position the Arlo Base station in my home.  The base station and cameras are all installed per Arlo clearance recommendations to prevent interference such as the base station placed in another room from the Wi-Fi router.  All the cameras have a signal strength of 2 or 3 bars in the device status.  Three of the cameras in high traffic areas are powered via the USB power adapter.   My internet speed is 200Mbps up and down, supplied by Frontier.  I am using a Netgear DGND3700v2 router.

 

I thought I could get this thing running will reliable performance, but I have not been able to.  Most of the time the system does work, but it is unreliable and has interface issues.  Unfortunately, the time period for returns has expired.  Hopefully I can live with it or sell it on eBay.  (PM if you are interested in buying.)

 

Per tech support, I did a factory reset of the base station and resynced all the cameras.  Yet I still continue to have problems.

 

Here are the problems I have with Arlo Pro2:

  1. Unreliability to detect motion and record. One camera is powered and it failed to detect the disappearance of my trash bin.  The video prior to the disappearance clearly shows the trash can in the middle of the camera view, and 20 minutes later the trash can has disappeared; it is obvious the trash collection occurred as trash bins across the alley have been emptied because they have moved location.   One several occasions the cameras have failed to record when multiple cameras detect motion at the same time.  For example, if I enter through the back door while my enters through the front door.   Can I trust the system to record a break-in?
  2. Randomly, the phone (android) app says the system is not connected to the internet. This occurs when the internet light on the base station is unlit, but also sometimes when it is also green which is supported to mean it is connected. Yet my internet is up and running, which was confirmed by testing my internet connection.  The router showed the base station was connected to the router and it responded to a ping.  When this problem occurs, I am also unable to connect using the website interface.  After about 20 minutes the system reboots itself, and then it will work.  Yet, it will randomly disconnect again.
  3. Interface problems on multiple platforms. The app on my Galaxy S7 about 70% of the time requires me to close and restart the Arlo app to get the device status of the cameras to update, but it does allow me to change the mode and view the library.  Using Chrome (current version), sometimes during video playback it will stop and pop up a message saying that your browser does not support the video.  Why does Chrome work with some videos and not others? Why does it suddenly stop while in the middle of a video? Customer support could never answer that question.  However, I have not had the problem with the same video with the phone app.  Is Arlo saving files in some non-standard format?
  4. The firmware update on Monday, August 5, prevented me from using the phone app to check on the system. The app kept saying the system needed a firmware update. The only way to clear this was to power down the base station and restart.  This is a HUGE flaw in rolling out new firmware.  If it is an automatic update, then it MUST require no action on my part to restart the system to perform.  Fortunately, I was at home, but if I was on vacation, I would not have been able to reset and use the system.
  5. Arlo customer support is unhelpful and frustrating. The quality of their support staff is poor and it takes forever to try to explain the problem and make sure thy understand the issue.   After spending an hour, the solution to everything is to power down the system or take out the battery.  Fixing problems by taking the battery out of the camera is not a good approach as some cameras requires ladders to reach them.  If there is a camera sync problem, there must be a way to do this without having to take out the battery.  
  6. Video quality problems. Selected best video on all the a/c powered cameras and the image can suddenly become grainy and pixelated.  Video playback can also suddenly speed up.  I have noticed this on the A/C powered cameras in some videos that the person walking will unnaturally start speeding up.  There is one case when I suddenly disappeared from the image and the video continues.  

Am I being too nitpicky on performance issues?  If it was only one issue, fine, but there are so many issues that are just frustrating.  Is the Arlo Pro 2 system just poorly designed?  Am I expecting too much?

 

If these are problems that can be fixed, please let me know about possible solutions.  I do know that calling customer support is useless and they tell me to do the things I have already done, or do not make any sense.  They refuse to transfer me to tier 2 support.

 

Sorry for this very long posting but I am frustrated with Arlo.

Message 1 of 20

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Numbers 3 and 5 I have both experienced. Hopefully it will get better one day because like you I didn't see all of this until after my return period expired also. And just as a warning if you purchase CVS it will just decide to pause at random times of the day and leave you with periods of no recording. I got told this was a knows issue and don't worry about it. But they wanted to continue taking my money and the problem hasn't been fixed. Granted it's extreme bad luck, but what do you do if an intrusion happens during that time? You bought this system just to get an I'm sorry for your loss pat on the back?

Message 2 of 20
Star

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Since nobody has offered suggestions on how some of these problems could be resolved, I guess the Arlo Pro 2 system is poorly desgined and maintained.   I called tech support and they told be to do a hard reset on the base station and resync the cameras, which I have already done, on my system to fix the problem.   A sign of insainity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different outcome.  All attempts to get to tier 2 support, if it exists, has been denied.  

 

To those that have bought the system and are having these problems, and you can return it to the place of purchase, then return it.   My system is still under Arlo's warranty and they have been ineffective, or unwilling, to fix the system.

 

Paul

Message 3 of 20
Star

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

I have discovered additional reliability problems with the Arlo Pro2.  (I continue to have the same problems as my earlier post, including the system randomly going off-line from the internet, when in fact my internet works just fine.)  The additional problems are failing to store on the USB flash drive and video quality problems. 

 

I came home from walking the dog and I got a notification when I arrived at my front door.  Later when I checked the videos, there was no video of me arriving at the front door on the Arlo Server.  Nor was there a video when I let my dog out back which should have triggered the back-yard camera.   (I leave the system on and do not use the geo mode.)    I then checked the USB drive to see if it recorded me entering the house.  I found two files when I arrived home on the USB flash drive, but they were corrupt and would not play back.  The system then failed to locally store 9 more videos from the alley camera, but they existed on the cloud storage.

 

I have noticed many files stored on the USB drive are very small and unreadable.  (A error scan revealed no problems, and the problem occurred with a second flash drive.)   I have also noticed some videos stored on the server will have play back problem.  For example, a person will suddenly disappear from the image, however, on the local copy the image is fine and you can see the person walk out of the frame at a normal pace.

 

I have a problem with the Arlo Base suddenly not recognizing the USB flash drive.  To solve the problem, I reset the base station and then it recognizes the flash drive for a while. 

 

Calls to customer support have not resulted in any solutions.  They have asked me to send screen shots so they can be sent to the support team.  At least they have stopped telling to resync the cameras or remove and reinstall the battery.  I am supposed to get a call back later this week.  I will let you know if they recommend any solution, besides turning it off and then on again.

 

 

Message 4 of 20
Mentor

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

To add to the list of offline issues, add that the siren fails to sound either when manually activated or triggered from rules. Power cycling the base is the only fix until the next offline event.

Powered cameras randomly go badly pixelated if pinch and zoom settings have been applied.

As well as recordings to USB backup device are truncated to one second for powered cameras while the base is offline.
Message 5 of 20
Guru

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@PNelson wrote:

I have noticed many files stored on the USB drive are very small and unreadable.  (A error scan revealed no problems, and the problem occurred with a second flash drive.)   

 


This suggests that is a problem on the base station <-> camera link (as opposed to the internet connection).

 

Afe you seeing this with all the cameras?  Perhaps try moving one camera closer to the base station (as a test) and see if the corrupted video from that camera stops.

 

How close is the base station to the router?

Message 6 of 20
Apprentice

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@Dannybear wrote:
To add to the list of offline issues, add that the siren fails to sound either when manually activated or triggered from rules. Power cycling the base is the only fix until the next offline event.

Powered cameras randomly go badly pixelated if pinch and zoom settings have been applied.

As well as recordings to USB backup device are truncated to one second for powered cameras while the base is offline.

Glad I’m not the only one having the siren issue. I’ve removed my usb drive to see if this maybe the cause. Not sure that will cure my motion detection issues though which simply fail to work correctly. 

Are you by any chance subscribed to a plan? 

Message 7 of 20
Mentor

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Never subscribed to a plan, not even participated in any trials.

Issue appeared back in May with the base firmware updates.

Have resorted to scheduled power cycling the base station twice after the offline event regularly occurs.

Good luck with the USB removal, my observations were that it made no difference to the siren issue, base still goes offline but cameras stay intact in the system.
Message 8 of 20
Star

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@StephenB wrote:

@PNelson wrote:

I have noticed many files stored on the USB drive are very small and unreadable.  (A error scan revealed no problems, and the problem occurred with a second flash drive.)   

 


This suggests that is a problem on the base station <-> camera link (as opposed to the internet connection).

 

Afe you seeing this with all the cameras?  Perhaps try moving one camera closer to the base station (as a test) and see if the corrupted video from that camera stops.

 

How close is the base station to the router?


I have found unreadable files associated with all five cameras on the USB flash drive. The majority occur on those cameras that detect motion most often, so I am not sure it is camera dependent. I am not sure camera distance from the base station is the cause because the majority of the bad files occur on the cameras closest and one of the furthest cameras from the base station. I found these bad files because I noticed a bunch of files that are very small in size (kb). I did find one bad file that was 2 mb, which appears blank. There are likely more that are unviewable; without opening every file it is not easy to detect the problem files.

The base station is across the room from the nearest Wi-Fi router, so about 10 feet. (I have not measured) I have not seen any issues where one camera will show that it is not synced to the base station. Signal strength is 2/3 or better on the signal strength icon.

What are the symptoms of the base station being too close to a Wi-Fi router?
What are the symptoms of a camera being to close to the base station?

 

Message 9 of 20
Aspirant

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Another problem I’m seeing with the pro2 system is video freezing up in the middle of a recording but audio keeps going, also having the offline problems which defeats the purpose of having the system when you have it to keep a eye on things while working out of town.
Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Message 10 of 20
Apprentice

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@Dannybear wrote:
Never subscribed to a plan, not even participated in any trials.

Issue appeared back in May with the base firmware updates.

Have resorted to scheduled power cycling the base station twice after the offline event regularly occurs.

Good luck with the USB removal, my observations were that it made no difference to the siren issue, base still goes offline but cameras stay intact in the system.

Thanks for the info. 

Ive set the base station up via one of Netgear’s EX8000 extenders which is then connecting to a Nighthawk XR500 so it’s well away from the main router but I’ve noticed after a recent update to the XR500 that I can control the QoS which I’ve questioned on Dumas forum. Can’t believe this is creating an issue but to be safe I’ve mentioned it to them.

perhaps my base station is going off line then back online and I’m not noticing this and afterwards the siren fails.

As I’m new to this Arlo I never knew a May update created this issue, thanks for the info.

Message 11 of 20
Mentor

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

I had my Base located within 6ft of the wifi modem when the faulty firmware updates first appeared. Since then I’ve located a second fresh base 30ft away and transferred the camera’s to it. It then went offline within 48hrs an so did the siren operation. To me this eliminates the base station hardware and the wifi as a cause of the issue.

You should notice the offline event occurs around the same time twice a day. I believe this is when the arlo server performs a heartbeat check of the base station. Of course the timing is not exact but close enough for me to schedule a power cycle.

I’ve noted the offline event duration is reduced to 30mins when no USB backup is used. This extends out to hours when using the USB and this is when the cameras drop off.
Message 12 of 20
Apprentice

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@Dannybear wrote:
I had my Base located within 6ft of the wifi modem when the faulty firmware updates first appeared. Since then I’ve located a second fresh base 30ft away and transferred the camera’s to it. It then went offline within 48hrs an so did the siren operation. To me this eliminates the base station hardware and the wifi as a cause of the issue.

You should notice the offline event occurs around the same time twice a day. I believe this is when the arlo server performs a heartbeat check of the base station. Of course the timing is not exact but close enough for me to schedule a power cycle.

I’ve noted the offline event duration is reduced to 30mins when no USB backup is used. This extends out to hours when using the USB and this is when the cameras drop off.

That’s great thanks. How are you monitoring this? Is there a way to check when it goes off line or does your router has this ability that alerts you?

 

Message 13 of 20
Mentor

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

I have not found a way that immediately tells me when the base goes offline.

If I sit watching the base station LEDs around the usual time, I see the internet LED go out then flickers a few times then everything goes out, and power LED goes orange. Then all LEDs eventually reappear after 10mins then the cycle repeats for a few hours. The cameras usually then have to be resynced.

If I then manually activate the siren it doesn’t sound.

If I view the cloud recordings I can usually see missing recordings for the offline duration. Then activating the siren confirms it has occurred.

There is no information around on the arlo heartbeat cycle unfortunately.
Message 14 of 20
Apprentice

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Thanks again for the info.

yesterday I deleted the 2 activity zones which never seemed to work any way and so far it’s holding. If I added a third zone all motion detection failed.

im trying to get my head round why my van parked just 7ft from the camera can be driven off and returned without the camera alerting me or recording this yet cars on the road around 25ft away get recorded. Must be camera placement but it’s strange. 

I wondered if a smart plug might work where it can be programmed to power cycle at set times.

ive also asked on the Duma site as my router runs this software if any type of  customisable monitoring system could be implemented in the future. 

I will see how the Arlo holds up with what I’ve done but so far for the first time I’ve not had to reboot.

 

Message 15 of 20
Guru

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues


@PNelson wrote:


The base station is across the room from the nearest Wi-Fi router, so about 10 feet. (I have not measured) I have not seen any issues where one camera will show that it is not synced to the base station. Signal strength is 2/3 or better on the signal strength icon.

Then it's not WiFi interference from the router.  There could still be interference from some other device - for instance, if the base station is right next to a TV.   Still, I'd expect to see some symptoms that the cameras are losing sync, and you aren't.

 

Have you tried contacting support?

 

 

Message 16 of 20
Star

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

An update on my situation.

 

After my repeated calls to customer support and sending them problem files, Arlo sent me a replacement base station.  (My base station said only Arlo on the tag, while the refurbished model had Net Gear and Alro on the tag.)   Several firmware updates occurred automatically which took some time.  I left the system alone for 20 minutes to make sure it had all the updates before syncing the camera.  I synced the cameras without problems.

 

I only have about 12 hours of observations, but I have noticed the following:

 

  1. Before, the closest cameras had 3/3 signal strength, and the furthest had 2/3, but now all five cameras show 2/3 signal strength.
  2. I still see differences between the videos on the Arlo server and my local storage.  I will suddenly disappear from the image on the server. My movement is normal on my local version. My conclusion is there is a problem at Arlo’s servers as the camera properly sends a file to the base station.
  3. The internet light on the base station went off which signals the base station went off-line. However, I could get a device update and do a live view on the cameras. I rebooted the base station and all three light are on.
  4. I have not observed any video files that are unreadable, but the problem has been intermittent, so I will continue to monitor.

I will provide an update later this week if my most serious issues, i.e. failure to detect and record, have been resolved.

In response to some previous inquiries, my base station is across the room and more than 10 feet from the nearest wifi router.  The base station uses channel 3 and the wifi routher uses channel 11.   The closest camera is about 8 feet away from the base station, but there is a stucco wall in between, so I think it is not a problem.

Message 17 of 20
Aspirant

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

Unfortunately my expeience is similar, and i'm really sorry i went with Arlo.  After a couple months of ok service (ignoring consistently slow response and numerous motion activations due to insects and rain), one of my two cameras reported itself as offline, or 'Request timed out' when i tried to go live.  But it reported motion (insects so far) and the recorded video was available in the Library.  But i wanted to be able to go Live, so after opening a case online and waiting three days without response, I called tech support (408-438-3750) and was instructed to 'Remove Device' which i did.  But to reconnect, I need to bring the camera within 3 ft of base - which I can't do as i'm 1000 miles away.  I guess i should've made that clear, but shouldn't tech suport have asked before giving me instructions?  Anyway, now I have one camera.  At least it usually works.  Kind of. Next time I have a chance i'm going to replace Arlo with Nest cameras.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Message 18 of 20
Star

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

I was sent a new base station to resolve the problems that I have been having, and I installed it on Aug 30.  It appears the situation of the base station going off-line (internet light off) when my internet is working fine has been resolved.  However, a new firmware update occurred at the same time when I installed the new base station, so that could have been the fix.  Of course, I really do not know if it is resolved because it could be happening when I am away from home or trying to access the system.

Here are the problems I continue to notice:

 

  1. I see videos on the server when a person will suddenly disappear off the image, yet the version on my local storage is fine. I notice this with multiple cameras. 
  2. I am having occasional problems with videos that are unviewable on the USB storage, but it is better than before. These files are 2-3 MB, but when I open the file it appears blank and I get no error message.  Previously, on some files I would get an error message saying the file could not be opened.   (I have scanned the USB flash drive, and it returns with no errors.)
  3. Periodically it will fail to detect motion and record. It still happens, but it has gotten better.   For example, my dog is playing on the deck and the video stops after 15 second.  The next video 1 minute later is of the dog walking back onto the deck.  How did the dog get off the deck? 
  4. Customer service is terrible. I followed up--via the email they sent me with my case number--regarding the issues I that I continue to have and provided examples.   A week went by without any response.  This week I called twice, and I was told tier two support would call me back, but they never did.  Today, I spent 1 hour and 42 minutes on the phone today.  It took 1 hour and 10 min to get to a supervisor or tier 2 support person.  I was told they were going to look into the issue.  Why haven’t they already done this when I sent them the information previously?  I was told they will call back next week, but I don’t expect to hear from Arlo.

My advice to anyone who has purchased an Arlo Pro2 system recently and is having problems, try to return it.  You may never get the problem fixed, and the resolution process is very frustrating and time consuming.  I am probably going to have to accept that the Arlo Pro 2 system has reliability issues, or get a different system.   When it works it is great, but for a security system should be more reliabile.  

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Message 19 of 20
Apprentice

Re: The Arlo Pro 2 is Unreliable and has Interface Issues

It’s a real shame as it has the potential to be a very good system but sadly like yourself I’m finding it a tad unreliable.

 I do find that it sometimes misses movement i.e. a delivery driver walks down the side and it never picks him up, I walk out and it picks me up and I can’t get my head round why it fails to pick up movement in the same area  constantly.

 I suppose realistically the systems are never going to be fully reliable like a professionally wired camera system but this is a fraction of the price to be fair. 

I keep finding little issues with the new app and the latest one is if the alarm siren sounds i used to be able to turn it off by activating the alarm within the app and then turn it off with the slider which now no longer shows up.  You can’t activate the alarm when the siren is sounding for some reason.

 I’ve also noticed with the new app the video quality has deteriorated and I have a pulsing affect with pixelisation, it doesn’t seem to be an issue I’ve seen others Commenting on and it’s fine on the old app or on a web interface and the recordings are fine too. I’m on an iPad so I’ll wait for The new update which is due out on the 30th of this month to see if that helps. 

 The other thing I noticed was I’ve tried the free trial and there you have to put your credit card details in and I am a little surprised that there is no option to remove these details and I can’t even alter the details of the card but I can alter my  Address.

 I know Arlo is now separate to Netgear And to be honest my router and extenders are all Netgear and work really well But I’m a tad disappointed with the security camera system given it’s been out a while.

 

Message 20 of 20