Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

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rlpjsh
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Is anyone able to access local storage outside their LAN through a VPN (without port forwarding) using the Android Arlo app? I have no problem accessing local storage when on my LAN but am unable to access when outside through VPN. I have verified that my Android VPN connection is functioning correctly.
[My iPad Arlo app is able to access local storage outside my LAN through VPN without issue. The problem is with the Android app. (Feature request to Arlo: Access local storage through the web on my.arlo.com with thumbnails!)]
I am using a Netgear R6700v3, OpenVPN, No-IP DDNS.
If you are able to access local storage outside your LAN using the Android app without port forwarding, please share your setup, thanks.

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89 REPLIES 89
lpasquie
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Aspirant

Hi,

 

I have the same issue here: once connected on the VPN, I cannot access the Direct Access from my Arlo App on Android...

 

Really tired of Arlo...

JonTelling
Guide
Guide

Seems this still hasnt been fixed. Any update from the support team?

JonTelling
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Guide

I've been doing some technical digging on my home setup.
This issue can be reproduced without using a VPN, is it the same issue(?) unsure but gives the same outcome.
I setup a new vlan/subnet within my network, but still within the RFC1918 range. In my case, 192.168.100.0/24 (normal subnet being 192.168.1.0/24) and from the app I can no longer see local storage. This made me think it's either a broadcast or mDNS issue. Given this works with IOS and IOS uses Bonjor (I'm assuming it's used on IOS?) I used the pfsense package: Avahi between the two subnets, this got it working internally. I've not yet made progress with the openVPN side, but if I do I'll update and let future readers know. 🙂

 

JonTelling
Guide
Guide

I may had hit the wall, but because this isnt an Arlo issue but an issue with Android's API...

Found this after wanting to setup a TAP VPN rather than a TUN VPN (to bridge the broadcast domains)...

 

https://openvpn.net/faq/why-does-the-app-not-support-tap-style-tunnels/

 

With that being said, this is still a design limitation of Arlo, after all, Arlo built the software around a known limitation in Android and there is many many ways this can be improved. But... That doesnt "direct" the money to the subscriptions. 😄

JonTelling
Guide
Guide

I'm back with more info and maybe a few questions for Arlo support.

The mDNS services (after some packet sniffing) used are:

_arlo-cmd._tcp.local
_arlo-video._tcp.local
_arlo-ls._tcp.local
_hap._tcp.local

 

In my case the address returned is: VMB4540.local (ports 554, 19024, I've not tried setting up some DNS forward zones for this, just to test (I dont have a DNS server in my homesetup at the moment) if the Android app still tries DNS or if it is locked to DNS only. 

 

Given that multicast (mDNS) is blocked by so many VPNs by default, even doesnt work on local subnet (as it should be, this is by design and shouldn't traverse layer 3)  why is this even being used as an option for viewing video recordings? Seems to me that this should have never been designed this way first instance. This is something that the devs can fix, the hub knows it's private IP address (it's where the live video comes from after all), just pass it to the Android app and have it on the lookup list. Anyway rant over, the more I've dug into this the more I see the errors of how Arlo have set this up. grumble grumble. 😄

 

AZjoe
Initiate
Initiate

That is great info! Thank you for your continued effort in digging and enlightening Arlo how their product even works. I'll continue the rant. 🙂

I personally gave up trying to find a work around because, as a consumer product, it should not need a network engineer (my day job, I have enough problems to fix!) to modify a home network for a product which claims VPN support. On top of that, I gave up hope for Arlo support/Devs because all their app does is push for the subscription money. It would be a breath of fresh air to hear the truth and Arlo just admitted this will never be fixed, remove VPN verbiage and say it is subscription only. Just a matter of time before I replace my Arlo products, accept it was wasted money spent and continue to tell people & companies to run far away from them.  

ryans27
Aspirant
Aspirant

Where are you at on this Arlo?

JonTelling
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Guide

I messaged the community admin JamesC a few days ago and I've not heard anything back but he has been posting on other chains. I assume this is now being ignored. 😞

ryans27
Aspirant
Aspirant

Anyone tried WiFi SD card access through the VPN on Android?

 

I know Toshiba has a FlashAir line up to 64GB looks like. I figure would probably have more luck accessing the local videos through the FlashAir app interface if it works on VPN there. Micro SD male to SD female cords are pretty inexpensive from what I've seen. WiFi SD cards though... not so much..

JonTelling
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I've been looking at using a Ras Pi Zero W as that can act as both a master and a slave for USB. In my case I was just going to also copy the files over to my plex server.

JonTelling
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Guide

Also just been looking at: SanDisk Connect Wireless, dont really need much storage, I think I've only used 2% of my 4GB stick in 2 weeks. 🙂

StephenB
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@JonTelling wrote:

I think I've only used 2% of my 4GB stick in 2 weeks. 🙂


FWIW, the minimum size is 16 GB, not 4.

JonTelling
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Guide

Interesting as it seems to be working fine. Was the first stick I picked up from my draw. I wonder why there's a min value for local storage, or is that just being guesstimated based on 30days of normal recordings.

StephenB
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Guru

@JonTelling wrote:

Interesting as it seems to be working fine. 


What base station do you have?

 

It's surprising that it is working (others have reported different results).

 


@JonTelling wrote:

I wonder why there's a min value for local storage

Me too.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

After discussing the contents of this thread internally with the dev team, a fix addressing this issue should be available in the next base station/SmartHub release. I don't have an ETA currently but I expect this release to be available soon (within the coming weeks). I will provide another update as soon as I know more.

 

JamesC

ryans27
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Aspirant

@JamesC Thanks for the update. I'm assuming this is a FW release you mean? And does this cover all Base Station/Hub models?

Edinburgh_lad1
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Thank you @JamesC for this good news. I'm sure everyone will be pleased to hear about that.

 

However, I must point out that it's been a while since this was requested by your users (including me writing to your CEO, although I never got a response from him). 

 

It's therefore unclear to me why it is only now that this is being addressed. 

rlpjsh
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@JonTelling  By "working fine" do you mean you're able to access local hub recordings off your wireless memory stick independently of the Arlo app?

   If yes, this is actually preferable over using the Arlo app due to its slowness and lack of thumbnails without an Arlo subscription.

   Would you please confirm and share your setup? Thanks.

JonTelling
Guide
Guide

Hi,

To confirm, I dont have a wirless USB stick at the moment, that was just an idea. My main ideas for alternative access are either the wireless USB or the Pi Zero w running as a slave device on the USB port (this has been done before for other things such as TVs etc) and uses the onboard wifi for normal network connectivity.

One of the main reasons, is I want to copy the videos off the stick to my plex server which will generate thhumbnails and I wont need to use a VPN. :).

 

At the moment I'm using an old 4GB USB flash stick, I have just taken it out of the hub and and plugged it into my PC and played a few videos without issue.
I have a VMB4540R2.

Jon.

JonTelling
Guide
Guide

I'd assume this is just a firmware update, as this isnt a hardware issue and what your client (arlo app) needs to "see" the hub when on VPN isn't anything more than a target IP address, this is why mDNS is being used, but mDNS doesnt work over a layer 3 device (routing).
Will be interesting to see how the devs go about this, just from a technical side 😄 (I'm an IT guy by trade).

JamesC, feel free to contact me if you need a tester. 🙂

rlpjsh
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Star

@JonTelling Ok, thanks. Let us know what your results are with the Pi or wireless stick.

Arlo has a disclaimer that their hub may not work with some USB devices. Then there's the issue of "ejecting" the USB device from the hub and then remounting it all remotely after transferring the recordings.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@rlpjsh wrote:

@JonTelling Ok, thanks. Let us know what your results are with the Pi or wireless stick.

Arlo has a disclaimer that their hub may not work with some USB devices. Then there's the issue of "ejecting" the USB device from the hub and then remounting it all remotely after transferring the recordings.


It would be useful know if the wifi USB drive works.  I suspect it will.

 

FWIW, I don't see any issue on ejecting, since the USB drive isn't being dismounted. 

 

 

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

The SmartHub firmware release addressing this issue is now available. Please test again and let us know if you're still experiencing this issue.

 

To verify you have the latest firmware version, check here: https://community.arlo.com/t5/Firmware-Release-Notes/bd-p/arlo-release-notes?cid=a

 

JamesC

Jerry_L
Initiate
Initiate
My device is still at level 1090 and when I go to check for firmware updates it says none are available... How do I update to the latest firmware for the VPN fix?
ryans27
Aspirant
Aspirant

Still not showing local storage icon on my Ultra 2 cameras through OpenVPN.

Android 12, Pixel 4

FW: 1.17.1.2_1157_0e6c162

VMB5000r6

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