Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Arlo pro battery drain issue since 5/14 update

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secaz Luminary
Luminary

I found something with IR bug tonight doing cam maintenance... its like its half fixed... am running my custom Night mode right now... took down garage cam, AGAIN (excessive battery drain oh joy), TURNED IT OFF (or whatever the Netgear equivilent is for OFF), decided to POP OUT the battery, wait 30 seconds before popping back in then hooked up to charger... when I plugged it in, the IR lights came on briefly along with blue flashing light, then all went dark and IR did NOT come on.  I verified my mode was Night... made sure it wasn't another Disarmed situation as I had previouly encoutnered with whacked out modes when I thought it was running a scheduled mode but had actually gotten disarmed (and I in no way had disarmed it - looking back makes me wonder in light of this hacking thing).

 

The IR light stayed off in pitch black office while plugged in and charging, and this is a different behavior, at least for my cams... IR remained off after I unplugged it, furiously waved hand in front of it and still no IR light in pitch black office.  Took it outside, mounted it, turned it on... got it in position, was all happy.  THEN I decided to turn it OFF... hoping that the issue was FINALLY resolved with IR coming on while camera status is off - BUT - the IR lights came on after I had turned it off.  So, what the FRICK is going on?  I am not a fan of things changing behavior and having no idea how or what.

 

I read last week or so that Netgear routers were getting hacked... by the Russians... although granted, router security lies mainly with the end user... but interesting I read an article about that, and now Arlo is telling us to change passwords, and is IS TOO QUIET, Arlo won't say anything... and that's the biggest worry... their silence SPEAKS VOLUMES...

 

Hacking is a fact of life - just ask anyone who runs their own mail and web servers and frequently reads their logs, lol... its how you protect yourself that matters... but this Arlo thing is completely weirding me out.  Netgarr won't say boo about it, then they tell us to change passwords, now the IR bug has changed behavior (at least with my cams)... I am not liking this at all...

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Bob_B Star
Star

@James32 wrote:

Similar to other posts, since the 14 May 2018 firmware update both batteries for my 2 Arlo Pro cameras are draining excessively fast — approx. 20% per day. . 


That's exactly what I'm seeing with my battery: 20% drain per day; recharge at least weekly right now. Netgear Support: WTF??

secaz Luminary
Luminary

Wklovelace3 - you are right about the batteries... I have some that SHOULD have dropped in %, but haven't since this whole IR thing started.  They are cams where there is nothing to trigger them with any regularity, and were reading 100% FAR TOO LONG... then when they dropped, these went from 100% to percentages in low 90's.  Normally with my cams, they would first drop to 98%, then slowly report drop of 1% thereafter... but now its just BOOM... from 100% to 94%, 92%... that's not right, nor accurate, on cams that have little activity...

 

Also, I noticed last night, cams that I plugged in to charge instead of swapping batteries?  These cams charged WAY too quickly... so I am thinking that when the blue light comes on to indicate 100%, it was NOT really 100%.  Pretty sure that's what happened to my garage cam I did the other night, only to have had it drop by 3% overnight with 10 short low res videos during that time.  the cam I had swapped it out with, I had plugged into charger and went about my buisness, cam did charge quickly didn't think of anything, though, until I charged cams last night and witness same behavior, charging WAY too quickly for the % level of batteries. 

 

I've been using this system for over a year, and batteries that are in the low 90's percentage do NOT charge in a minute or two...  If I have to clean the lenses on cameras that are only accessible by ladder, I will swap out the cam with another one that I've fully charged or put a new battery in, even if the battery is in the 90's for the cam where I am cleaning the lens... if I have to get up on a ladder to clean the lens, then might as well make sure the cam I put there has a full charge... so, that's how I noticed how long it takes to charge batteries.  Batteries are charing way too quickly to be fully charged when that blue light comes on... a battery that's at 97% should not charge so fast... the charge indicator is not accurate, I'll wager...

 

Conversely, if I pop in batteries from my charging station, I am not seeing that same behavior as cams I plugged into charger.  So - seems that when you plug the cam in to charge, the cam is reporting fully charged when it really is NOT.

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
secaz Luminary
Luminary

Wklovelace3 - regarding Netgear and hacking, with routers, anyone who has a router configured to be accessible from outside their LAN is CRAZY.

 

That being said...

 

No one should ever buy a router and keep the firmware it ships with.  Put DD-WRT on it, or Open WRT or Tomato on your routers... but this does require people to learn about these open source firmwars and how to safely install on their routers...

 

Netgear has built its empire on Liunx and open source.  There's an odd thing I have noticed with people who claim to be Linux geeks - they think becasue they use Linux, they are invincible.  This is bad enough when you are a individual using Linux at home... but companies have the same mindset as well.  And your network is ONLY as secure as your sys admins.  Truth.

 

I am a Linux geek and in no way think my servers and workstations are 100% invicible... as with any OS, you need to be vigilant...

 

And I'm am thinking Netgear thinks, or thought, thenselves invincible.  Most breaches are a result of lazy sys admins, or overworked sys admins, and social engineering.  Breaches ARE going to happen in a large organization, and to varying degrees, but in order to minimize this, you need the right sys admins, ones who are not so over worked they don't have time to be proactive... if your sys admins don't have the time to be proactive, then all they will ever be is reactive, cleaning up AFTER a breach instead of having time to prevent them in the first place.

 

Well - its Sunday, time to update my Linux servers and workstations, lol...

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
secaz Luminary
Luminary

I pay close attention, too, to my cams, batteries, basestations... and being a techie by trade, its kind of in my nature to notice things out of the ordinary...

 

Hot mess indeed, and STILL not a peep out of Netgear...

 

Well - perhaps we should thank the Russians for pen testing Netgear and our Arlo systems. 

 

Glad I do not have cams inside my house... hope the Ruskies like my desert landscaping, though... lol...

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
secaz Luminary
Luminary

BTW - something else I noticed last night, every single time cam status refreshes, the IR lights come on.  This I noticed in dark office last night with cameras... I opened Android app and cam status refresehed, when it did, I saw the IR lights come on the cams in my office which were charging.

 

This could explain, excessive battery drain as well.  If you're like me and check your cam status a lot, or every time it refreshes, its turning on those IR lights, so draining batteries... my cams were  OFF at the time I refreshed opened Android app and itt refreshed cam status...

 

I will see if this is still the case tonight, will check if the behavior is the same.  I never noticed this before, and find it hard to believe its been there all along... I do most of my cam maintenance at night, take cams into my dark office, clean lenses, charge the cams, use my phone to check on cams while in there, and never noticed checking cam status invoking IR lights to activate...

 

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Highlighted
PFF Aspirant
Aspirant

I have noticed the same problem with my system since the problem with the app update.  My notifications are working now for both iphone 5c and 6s but camera batteries are losing about 20% of life per week or more. This will give about a month per charge. Previously I was getting 4 to 5 months per charge. Nothing has changed with my system other than the app update. I was very pleased with Arlo up until this point, the system worked perfectly for me and did just what I needed.  This problem has really spoiled my opinion of Arlo. I hope they can fix this problem in the app if that is what is causing the drain. I'm not impressed by their support system. Very hard to get info on what is going on or to report the problem.

BillUhr Tutor
Tutor

Same problem here.  Batteries draining in high motion areas even when the cameras are off and disarmed.  Is the problem being worked?

 

Bill

BillUhr Tutor
Tutor

BTW, can someone explain how I would check my firmware version?  Thanks.

 

Bill

Bob_B Star
Star

settings>my devices>your cam_name>device info

 

at least, that works for me

secaz Luminary
Luminary

When I first got this system a little over a year ago, I was able to use high res setting for cams, was able to record for 30 seconds at a time or even until motion stops, which made for longer recordings... and by the end of the week my batteries were about 96%.  That was really great given the length and quality of the videos, and that was even with bouts of me doing live feeds and some live recording - but somewhere along the line battery life started sucking.   So I swithced to lo res and 10 second clips so I won't have to chase the ones where I have to get up on a ladder so much.  During winter I don't need to clean lenses that frequently but during windy season or monsoon season and dust storm season, need to clean them more... so I have to do lenses anyway, and will just do battereis as wellsince I'm up on the ladder... but when its not windy and dusty, I really don't want to chase batteries any more than absolutely necessary, so lo res with 10 seconds clips, batteries usually last long.  However, given this latest MESS with firmware, batteries life is really sucking, even with low res and 10 second clips, and NOT even a lot of clips, either... so... it's not us, folks, its Netgear...

 

And still their silence on this issue persists...

 

You know - if it gets any worse, class action lawsuit sounds good... seriosuly... this isn't some entertainment system we've purchased, you know?  And for all the issues with the system, not to mention the time Arlo has been down... and the lack of response from Netgear... 

 

What you guys think?  Or are we just overreacting?

 

I pay for an Arlo account - so that makes me angry, that I get blown off and no one bothers to inform me of what is being done, what even happened in the first place... that they "don't know" doesn't exactly instill confidence, am I right?

 

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
ysu Luminary
Luminary
Netgear team, any update?

It’s just another issue you need to put your engineers on urgently. Enough people complained. More people will find out later when they get low battery warning surpringly soon. So deal with it before it becomes big issue.

You need to trust the community doing way better job than your own QA. When you get an issue with dozens of people saying “me too”, don’t try to dodge. History has proven we were always right.
secaz Luminary
Luminary

Wklovelace3 - I hear you loud and clear.  I'm semi-retired and I made a substantial investment in Arlo over the past year, I can hardly afford to dump they system and go find something else.  I still love the hardware, but without functional and bug free firmware what good is it?  I've been asking myself this question a LOT these days... its pretty much just good for wildlife videos... I've had it miss BIG THINGS, like cars and people, yet a bird walking on the ground will trigger recording... and at dusk/dawn before sun rises or just after sun sets, and on gray days, forget red vehicles and people wearing read, won't pick these up most of the time no matter how high (or low) I set the sensitivity... very frustrating especially since the guy whose been threatening me has a red vehicle and he wears red most all the time...

 

Right now, since I work from my home, I can chase batteries around and other issues with the system since I'm here... and futz with other bugs and quirks as they arise, if I was young and had a full time job and a long commute, I'd be livid over this mess because I'd have to deal with it after work or before work.  Not that I'm not ticked off, mind you, but at least I have the time to chase this system around... what about the rest of you?  How much of your free time are YOU wasting futzing with this system in vain attempt to achieve stability?

 

It worked so well the first few months I had it, but didn't take long before the quirks started to settle in, and they've been increasing... after a while gets hard to accept so many of them - and I can't rely on the system, not one single solitary iota.

 

In my eyes, Netgear is guilty of negligence.  They need to add a disclaimer to their product, to not use it as a reliable security measure....

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
bib668m Initiate
Initiate
Battery drain too quickly, have to charge in 4 or 5 days with only 2-3 motions detected each day.
secaz Luminary
Luminary

I think it would be beneficial if everyone who comes across this thread would add their gripes and experiences.  I know its a pian to signup for forum... but will help us, as a collective, if everyone makes his or her voice heard.  i'm sure most people find this thread and think, oh, well - its not me, its Netgear, and never post... 

 

I'm still having some issues with signal strength, too, since the firmware update... cams that are a stone's throw from base stations frequently lose signal strngth... and I have a small house with nothing in between basestations and cams that would block or impede signal.  The issue is sporadic, and I know wifi is a fickle thing, but honestly - Arizona here, small lots, small houses... and most of my neighbors are snowbirds and aren't here half the time esepcially now its summer... and are old people, so not a whole lot of technology being used either, lol... and this a weekend where most people pack it in and head north for holiday... its like a ghost town here in my community today, and suddenly, again, I have a couple of cams acting up with signal strength...

 

 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
JD2018 Aspirant
Aspirant
Has anyone reported this issue to the media?
secaz Luminary
Luminary

I'm not on social media otherwise I'd be all over it...

 

I decided to stop swimming upstream and dragged out a basestation I had salted away in case of emergencies.  So, now I have THREE base stations covering a tiny little house.  Insane, but whatever.  I was getting annoyed with iffy signal on my garage cam, which never had any issues with signal strangth until the past couple of months, iffy signal started back in February, really... but was sporadic so didn't worry overly much.  Iffy signal strength eats battery life, too, and that's one cam I'm not fond of chasing batteries on since its out front... and the iffy signal has been more of an issue since Netgear's latest debacle...

 

And actually, I got my second basestation back around February, too, becasue my door cam, which is about 25 ft from original basestation, was getting crappy signal... so I got another basestation to put by the door, and then moved some other cams to it too...

 

Netgear did some update in February that caused issues for me, especially with the Android app... 

 

Every time they do an update or redesign something, functionality tanks...

 

My dogs are a better security system than Arlo... at least they are consistent...!!!

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
secaz Luminary
Luminary

OMG - LMAO I just got an email from Netgear entitled "Arlo Paid Study Sign Up"...

 

Here's the emil verbiage... I split a gut laughing... proof positive no one from Netgear reads ANYTHING at this forum, I'm the LAST person they would want to send something like this to...!!!  lol

 

++++++++++++++++++

 

 

 

Want to see what we’ve been cooking up? Here’s your chance!


Over the next 4 months we will be conducting research studies covering some new ideas we’ve been working on and would love your help making your Alro experience even better!
 

Where will sessions take place?
Some sessions will take place online. You can participate from your home (we use Zoom meetings to share our screen).

Other sessions will take place in San Jose, CA. Great if you're local and can come to our office.

Study Details
The session length will vary (60-90 minutes).
The thank you gift for your participation will range between $100-$150 Amazon gift card (depending on length of session)

To qualify
Please click on the button below to complete the pre-qualification form. It takes about 8 minutes to complete. 




What will happen next?
If you are selected to participate, we will send a follow-up email with information about how to schedule your session.


Please Note: Completion of this pre-qualification survey does not guarantee you will be selected to participate. The honorarium will be provided upon completion of your scheduled session.

 
 
 
Begin Survey
 
Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
secaz Luminary
Luminary

Nothing is consistent with Arlo lately - and THAT'S the problem... I am experienceing different things with different cams... and I have enough cams to where I am like, WTF?  Why so much inconsistancy?  and I swap cams around, so its not like they are always in the same place, they exhibit same behavior whereever I put them...  Its just a royal mess, and I can't figure out why some are draining faster than others... but its all back to the IR bug thing... every time we check status on cams IR comes on... so, if we don't keep checking cams, then hopefully won't drain as much... so, let's not use our Android app and lets not log into the website.

 

lol

 

I mean, what else can you do?  I've been messing with cams today adding that third base station, so cam status is refreshing A LOT... will see how much battery drain I have later on becasue of that...

 

There are a couple of cams which seem unaffected... BUT... I suspect they are not reporting correct battery level, and will probably suddenly drop by A LOT... this is probably what's making us think there's excessive battery drain... if it holds steady for a long time then BAM... percentage tanks, it most  likely was gradually discharging, but Arlo was not reporting  battery percentage correctly until it got to a certain level THEN reported the change... graspinng at straws here, really...

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Nancy_L Guide
Guide

I've been having all the same problems as the rest of you.  Infared lights come on when the cameras are turned off.  Signal strength shows very weak signals and take several tries to get a LIVE picture. Sometimes the camera won't pick up movement.  The system worked great when I got it in January 2017 up until the "firmware upgrade".  Phooey.  Used to work!  Same Netgear router we have been using, same house, cameras and base station in the same locations.  The only change is the Firmware upgrade.  Give me back the old firmware!!!  I've tried all of the same fixes and workarounds as the rest of you and we should not have to go to all of this trouble to get a working product.  We purchased this system for our safety not just a toy to play with.  Class Action Lawsuit, Yes!  

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
Suzyquick123 Aspirant
Aspirant

Thanks very much to people who are writing on this forum as it seems the only source of information out there.  I bought my system recently and am pretty sure i can return it so it looks like that may be the route i take.  However, i really liked the system, the cameras are discreet and met my needs perfectly.  So my question is, has anyone researched another product that is effective? I saw another wireless unit but the cameras are large and just a bit too obvious as i require them inside my house where they are not obviously visable.  I am hesitant to return the system but it doesnt look like the company is going to be forthcoming with a fix or even an update on their progress ( if there is any) for a fix.  Also I’m not as tech savy as some on the forum....couldnt even get the new password to save..LOL! And...all this hacking stuff is to me just a bit scary! Thanks

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
James32 Initiate
Initiate

@James32 wrote:

Similar to other posts, since the 14 May 2018 firmware update both batteries for my 2 Arlo Pro cameras are draining excessively fast — approx. 20% per day. Tried resyncing, restarting, batteries in from cold, etc but both cameras still draining fast.


Tried restarting the base station again and that seemed to fix for problem for now. 

ysu Luminary
Luminary

AAAAND here comes the perfect storm

 

I’m taking down my Arlo battery for charging, because of the fast drain issue since 2 weeks ago. When I wanted to check my charge level, arlo server is down.

 

(I guess solid blue LED in front of camera when connected = 100% charged?)

ysu Luminary
Luminary

Ironically, also got this email from Arlo telling me my battery is low, which was just charged in about 1-2 months ago and usually lasted 4 months...

 

IMG_1909.jpg

Bob_B Star
Star

I haven't tried powering down my base station. As I have to charge my cam today anyway, I'll pull the plug on the base station and restart it to see if that helps. If it does, I'll post.