ARLO 3 problems with zones, cloud upload/notices and pitiful tech support from ARLO
We installed an Arlo 3 Pro system in early November 2020. 3 outdoor cameras and 90 day cloud service.
We set up zones on the outdoor cameras to monitor a driveway on the end of the house, the front porch and then the back yard. The zones have never worked - never - either consistently or as advertised. The issue is missing detections in the zones. Not small stuff like animals but things like people walking to the trash cans, going to and from cars, and even cars coming and going. We know its a zone/cloud issue b/c once we installed a USB drive locally most of the time the activity was recorded there (but its hard to view or find the way the USB feature is poorly implemented).
I have had tech tickets with ARLO since November. They have neither been helpful nor competent. It seems all we get are messages every 4-7 days that make clear the person (or machine) responding has not read the history. They keep asking stupid questions like what is your internet speed (350mb cable), how far are the cameras (50 to 60 feet), are there walls / glass - uh, yes, they are outdoor cameras with an ARLO solar panel, what are the hardware versions, the serial numbers of the cameras, where did I purchase them and when, etc. Then, I keep getting the same stupid requests like turn off the base, hard reset the base, remove each affected camera (all of them) from the base and add it back, remove the batteries from the cameras and reinstall, change the height of the cameras, change the sensitivity of the cameras, etc. Again, I have had the same requests on the same ticket from multiple techs repeatedly - it is as if they are copying/pasting scripts and not even reading the ticket history.
First, I would like to ask if anyone has had and resolved the issue of the Arlo 3 Pro system's zone/cloud feature missing a significant amount of activity (animals, persons, vehicles) and were you able to get it resolved and, if so, how?
Second, I am highly certain it is a design flaw that they are unwilling to fix. Why? Because once we put the USB drive on the hub most of the missing events were in fact recorded on the USB drive.
Third, has anyone found a third party product to hack this system to implement something like the promised features b/c clearly ARLO is not solving the problem after 3 months of tickets and now the initial 90 days subscription has expired. It is junk to me so I am willing to try hacking it to see if it can be made to work despite the foolishness at ARLO.
Fourth, has anyone actually talked to someone at ARLO tech who would return calls and stick with it until a problem was fixed?
How far away is the motion you're trying to detect? If the motion is beyond the maximum effective detection range (23 feet) this could be causing inconsistent behavior with both detections and Activity Zones.
The primary cameras are monitoring the driveway immediately adjacent to the garage door as well as a front porch. A LOT of the activity is in that zone. However, I do note that it will for example also trigger on activity as much as 80 feet away when cars go down the street. It sees that but it does not see people coming and going from the garage to the cars parked within 10-30 feet of the camera? It does not see package deliverymen walking to the porch but will sometimes catch the Amazon Prime truck as it pulls off after leaving the package?
I will search.
The odd thing is that its the "premium" functions involving cloud storage, push notifications, and classifying people, animals and vehicles. Often times I have learned that the missed events - like me walking from the garage door to my car to leave is recorded on the local USB drive but no notice from the "premium" features and no cloud recording.
Do you have any cloud recordings or just some? You said you had the 90 day trial for smart that includes cloud. Can you clarify if past the 90 day trial have you subscribe after the trial ran out or are you still in the trial period.
I had cloud recordings but they were inconsistent. Sometimes they had people/cars arriving but not leaving (e.g., deliveries). Sometimes there was no cloud event but I could look on the USB and it usually had the activity (e.g., me walking to the truck and leaving in the mornings). There was no real pattern other than a lot of activity that was in the zone/cloud/notification areas were not being uploaded to the cloud and notices were not received.
I went back and forth for more than 2 months with absolute silliness like "are there walls" being asked repeatedly. They never suggested placing cameras (other than to change locations) or replace hub. They did check serial numbers and firmware levels.
Of course, all the cloud recordings went away when the 90 day trial ended on 2/11. I had asked them to extend it b/c a) it did not work as represented and b) I could not answer some of their questions without that feature enabled. Now, TODAY, they want me to subscribe to the Premier service on all 3 cameras so they can continue testing. It sounds just like they know there are problems, this forum more than documents that there are problems, they are not able to fix the problems and all they want are the subscriptions on what are overpriced products (when compared to others like Wyze and some of the generics)
Yea without a Smart subscription you will not have any cloud recordings or features like Activity Zones and Smart notifications. You would still get General notifications though and the recordings on the USB in the hub.