Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

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ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

So... I've had a couple of emails today from Alro stating that they are introducing a fair usage policy for their Arlo Secure plans which I am extremely shocked by! I pay a fortune each month for cloud-based recordings on devices which aren't even that great so now they are going to start telling me I record too much which recording motion events is the entire reason for the cameras! They have put prices up and now are going to complain about you using too much cloud recordings which is a joke! Other companies are out there which sell good quality cameras with local recording which it seems I am going to be moving over to because as soon as Arlo tells me I am using too much cloud storage I am leaving. Arlo needs to sort themselves out because this is not acceptable. The entire basis of this system is for cloud-based recording and now you are going to moan at users for doing this! Arlo is dying and I am so glad I haven't spent more money buying more cameras. I am going to look into other brands and start switching over.

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  • JamesC
    Community Manager
    Community Manager

    To clarify, the Arlo Fair Use policy is specific to Arlo customers in Europe. It does not apply to other regions. 

     

    This policy was implemented to promote fair usage of cloud resources, allowing all customers to enjoy reliable and high-quality service. By monitoring cloud usage, we aim to prevent any misuse or excessive consumption of resources that potentially impact the service quality for others. We believe that this policy helps us maintain a level playing field for everyone and ensures that our services remain efficient and accessible to all. You can find more specific details here: https://www.arlo.com/en_gb/about-us/fair-use-policy?utm_source=arloemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FUP_email1

     

    We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to our fair use policy. Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to reach out to our customer Arlo EU support team. Thank you for being a valued customer, and for your cooperation in helping us provide the best service possible.

43 REPLIES 43
Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

Are you sure these are official, or scam as you stated in the title... Sounds like scam to me.

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

Hi, 

I mentioned scam because I think it is Arlo Scamming customers by charging lots of money for cloud-based recordings only to say we shouldn't be recording lots.

 

https://www.arlo.com/en_gb/about-us/fair-use-policy?utm_source=arloemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campai...

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

Lots of companies have a fair use policy, especially in relation to broadband. But, this is taking things to a new level. You're paying for storage if you have a subscription and it's a CCTV system that relies on people/vehicles passing by. 

 

In particular, I'm amazed at this: "You can check your approximate data usage in the Arlo Secure App or at my.arlo.com, in the Feed/Library section, where your video recordings and snapshots are stored. By navigating the videos recorded, you will get a sense of your approximate data usage." So, not only will Arlo occupy you with troubleshooting/resetting/working out their systems, but also now you have to get an Excel spreadsheet on the screen to check your monthly usage.

 

So, the way forward is to place a sign outside your door to say whoever is around needs to take a diversion as the Arlo fair use policy is in force at the particular location 🤣

 

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

When I received the email and looked into it I thought what a joke! I am confused as to why I pay a monthly subscription for a service I am now being told I can't use too much because of a fair usage policy. The fact I pay for this service should mean I can record as little or as much as my cameras detect and not get in trouble for them detecting many events. I think part of this is Arlo trying to push for customers to switch to CVR plans so they can extort even more money from customers. I had a couple of cameras from a different company in storage which I purchased on a deal once before but never got around to installing them and already today I have had them out starting to prepare for a switchover and then save myself a monthly subscription fee. I think Arlo is pushing its luck with this forced policy and I am sure hundreds if not thousands of customers are going to jump ship because of this.

DrNo007
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hallo, ich habe gerade die Einführung einer Fair-Use-Richtlinie für alle Arlo Secure Mitgliedschaften erhalten. Gilt das auch für eine Nutztung ohne Abo, mit der einwöchentlichen Speicherung der Videos? Diese werden nach einer Woche ja wieder vom Server entfernt. Gibt es da ein wöchentliches Limit? Kann mir da jemand weiterhelfen?

Vielen Dank!

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

 

I can totally understand fair usage policy when you have control over what you do, like uploading files to the cloud, but with this, I think this is a step too far: even in my street, some days are busier than others. 

On top of everything, it's not like this system works in a way that one couldn't have any complaints about: nearly each firmware/app release introduces some issues. 

 

Even my community-based tools that I use on RPi (for example, ad-blockers and others) are kept in a much better shape, and the developers (who work for free most of the time) are very responsive, addressing issues promptly. 

 

And not once there have been an apology from the Arlo team for any of the problems. 

 

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

I regularly have trouble with my Arlo cameras not recording for days at a time until I reboot the Hub or the cameras show grey images because the signal wasn't great yet other branded cameras which I also use work perfectly well and record 24/7. The main reason I stuck with Arlo was the wide-angle lenses but I can do without these when they are pulling this scam on us. I've been an Arlo customer for several years and they have made lots of money from me but the time has come to part ways it seems.

fairpolicy
Initiate
Initiate

Poweruser here with over 150 Arlo cams running.

Lot of them in warehouses, construction sites, houses, gardens, etc.

CVR pops up for 12.99 € per cam / 14 days in my account.

This "fair use" policy would affect around 110 cameras => 17.146,80 € per year - for not even getting the reliability and features that real surveillance software comes with - see me laughin.

 

Take PoE Hikvision or Axis cameras + Synology NAS + Surveillance Station => 4 cameras + NAS + 3 TB WD Red HDD Raid + surveillance licence for around 1.100,00 - 1.400,00 € (depending on resolution (8K)!, night view, further features you need). You can configure all recording parameters by your own, you will get a great app with reliable push notifications and better resolution without that awful Arlo-specific cuts in the middle of a recording that we randomly experience.

 

Compared to 4x Arlo 5 Pro + 4 year CVR, here in Germany = 3.249,00 €

 

My Synology setup above is good for 4-8 years without reinvesting - we have a lot of them up and running before replacement of HDDs after 4/5 years will be necessary for 200 bugs.

How many of my 4/5 years old Arlo cams are still alive? Too much replacements to memorize, but I would guess 50 percent died since 2018. For example Arlo Q Plus around 40 cams out of 55 are dead...

 

You really want to sell cameras and CVR for double the price of more reliable setups that come with better apps, more storage, better resolution?

Great business plan!

May work for the guys that only need 1 camera on the door with built in battery and WiFi, but you will loose a lot of business customers and property owners that can provide PoE for even better and - on the long run - cheaper systems.

 

aguetlich
Initiate
Initiate

Das habe ich auch bekommen, und ich habe ein Abo.

Das wäre nun tatsächlich ein Grund um Arlo zu verlassen. Ich habe als (langjähriger) Abonnent noch nicht mal die möglichkeit diese Zahlen zu überprüfen!!!

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

I got a fair usage policy email.

 

1. What is the actual space on Arlo's cloud that each user is given? Without that, i.e. a specific number, how are we to know if we're "breaking" their rules.

 

2. Asking me to add up roughly the amount my videos take up in my feed is too big an ask I'm afraid - I have more important things on my agenda.

 

3. Once you've bought a subscription for a year (annual subscription), wouldn't introducing such changes be breaking the agreement? 

 

4. Not being able to see local storage videos in the feed is a tactic to make the user buy a subscription, which in turn is then restricted. All this is akin to 'you can't have your cake and eat it'.

 

 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@aguetlich  wrote:

As a (long-time) subscriber, I don't even have the opportunity to check these numbers!!!


I'm confused by this comment, as it isn't difficult to estimate how many minutes of recording you get per day for each camera.  The fair use threshold is about 30 minutes of recording per day.

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

I've already started my switch over to a different brand. I can get 2 cameras for the price Arlo charges for a single which that in its self is a joke and then we need to pay monthly for the recording option...and now we aren't supposed to record often... It all seems to be a constant rip-off with Arlo don't you think 🤔

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

I'm sorry but if Arlo advertise their products as 2k and 4k, this being their USP, as it seems it is, then they need to be aware that this takes up a lot of space on the cloud. I suspect they've applied lots of compression ( @DannyBearAgain will probably be able to enlighten us on the matter more) - I remember how good a quality footage was on Arlo HD to start with. Since there are two subscription models (2k and 4k), then this needs to be taken into account, too, and there's additional cost involved (setting up, equipment etc.) when having CVR, in addition to the cost of that subscription. 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Edinburgh_lad1 wrote:

 I suspect they've applied lots of compression 


Arlo says the bandwidth requirements are

  • 3 mbps for 4K
  • 2 mbps for 2K
  • 1 mbps for 1080p and 720p

In practice it's a bit less. In my professional opinion, the video quality is limited by the compression, not the camera hardware.  I've suggested that Arlo consider an option to increase the bitrate in return for lower retention (3x the bitrate with 10 days retention for example).  But they don't seem to be interested.

 

Just doing the bitrate math (15 hours of recording * bitrate, converted to GiB) yields approximately

  • 20 GiB for 4K
  • 12 GiB for 2K
  • 6 GiB for 1080p

By contrast, CVR requires about 300 GiB (30 days at 1 mbps).

 

FWIW, storage costs might not be the only consideration.  Processing video with AI requires a lot of compute. 

 

I get the concern over the policy.  In addition to the cost of CVR, I find the experience it offers to be wanting.  But I am wondering how many people posting here will actually be over the storage ceiling.  Has anyone estimated their actual video recording hours per month?

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

You're right @StephenB When I had my Arlo HD in full operation, I thought it was my VDSL connection at the time that considerably reduced the quality, but in fact it was the compression. So, yes, the current Ultra and Ultra 2 record in 4k, but the quality will be much lower, as already noted by @DannyBearAgain in other posts. 

 

I forgot indeed about the AI, which is also Arlo's USP. I don't think, however, that this will affect storage (not long term, at least), but bandwidth only. 

 

I'd be happy to have a 7 day retention (rather than 10) for a better quality and a slightly lesser cost, with an option to store videos locally as a back-up, too, to be able to access them in an event of a historic incident.

 

Alternatively, why not give an option to connect the user's own storage system like OneDrive or iCloud, as most already have it in one way or another. 

 

With more competition available and terrible reviews for Arlo (on Trustpilotreviews, for example), plus the many issues plaguing the app and its functionality, I hope they continue to operate, as I've invested a lot in the system. However, I'm not as happy with it as I once was and am considering selling more than before. 

ChrisCbth
Aspirant
Aspirant

My understanding is that you’ll be allowed 15hours stored per camera, aggregated over all the cameras. So 10 cameras means 150 hours across them all.  
I’m sure there are people who need to keep more than 15 hours for up to a month, but lots don’t. 
My 20 plus cameras are used for watching wildlife, anything I particularly want to keep then I download it.  
After getting the email I looked and I noticed that some of my cameras are recording more than an hour a day each  when there is lots of activity.  I suspect the policy is aimed at users like me.  I don’t object.  I had never bothered deleting files because I know that it will happen automatically after a month. Now I’ve started deleting anything more than a few days old.  
Arlo could possibly help by allowing us to choose a default deletion time between 2 and 30 days.  
I hope that those who

need more than an average 15 hours per camera stored per month can find a solution.  
You may find that now I’ve deleted 20+ days on 20 odd cameras, there’s no pressure on storage! 😉

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

For me, the problem is that they are complaining about us using the service we pay for and that service doesn't come cheap so why should we have these new rules put in place and still pay the same amount each month? I have cameras in high-traffic areas and they catch many events during the day and I suspect Arlo will complain at me at some point so I'm not going to hang around for that to happen and I am already making the move to different systems that offer 24/7 recording as well as AI events. Arlo say that if you are identified as a high user they will point you towards other solutions namely CVR which costs a fortune and then if you continue they may suspend your subscription so it is a case of do as I am told or be gone so I am going before they have the chance and they have lost out because I am going to be saving the money they got from me each month.

Edinburgh_lad1
Prodigy
Prodigy

But the point is that without a specific number (in terms of GB, not hours - see below), it's completely arbitrary.

 

Data is measured in bytes and not in hours, so that's even more room to be completely arbitrary ("Your data usage is based on the number of hours of video clips recorded" in the policy itself). I don't know the insights of compression, but my logic dictates that if there's a lot of detail in a recording, then compression will be less, and data more. So, probably, no clip is the same in terms of size, even though it may last the same amount of time (for example: a busy street vs. patio that is plain or has a lot of patterns.

 

The policy also uses words like 'broadly', which in terms of policy isn't precise enough. Because: does that also mean that there is a margin of error? And if so, as this suggests so, what is it.

 

In relation to the above, it then contradicts itself in a number of places, implying that this allowance is specific: 'we specify a data usage allowance', though still doesn't let us know what this allowance is.

 

I find the whole thing quite extraordinary, and imprecise.

 

Also, what if you reject a call to transfer over to CVR and have an annual subscription which you'd taken out before this policy was introduced? Isn't that a breach in agreement and whoever breaks it is liable for compensation?

 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Edinburgh_lad1 wrote:

 

I forgot indeed about the AI, which is also Arlo's USP. I don't think, however, that this will affect storage (not long term, at least), but bandwidth only. 

 


The AI doesn't affect the bandwidth (or the storage).  But Arlo is paying for the compute used by the cloud servers that analyze the video, and that likely is substantial.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@ChrisCbth wrote:

My understanding is that you’ll be allowed 15hours stored per camera, aggregated over all the cameras. So 10 cameras means 150 hours across them all.  

That is also the way I understand the policy.

 


@ChrisCbth wrote:


Arlo could possibly help by allowing us to choose a default deletion time between 2 and 30 days.  


True, and I think many people would be ok with reducing retention somewhat to avoid the expense of CVR.

 

And of course if you also have local storage, then the impact of losing some retention is pretty small.

 

Sheppeyboy
Luminary
Luminary

Received an email regarding the new FAIR USE POLICY starting 9th May 2024.


Be aware ARLO might curtail your 60 day on line storage for Secure Plus Subscription  😥Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 10.33.21.png

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

To clarify, the Arlo Fair Use policy is specific to Arlo customers in Europe. It does not apply to other regions. 

 

This policy was implemented to promote fair usage of cloud resources, allowing all customers to enjoy reliable and high-quality service. By monitoring cloud usage, we aim to prevent any misuse or excessive consumption of resources that potentially impact the service quality for others. We believe that this policy helps us maintain a level playing field for everyone and ensures that our services remain efficient and accessible to all. You can find more specific details here: https://www.arlo.com/en_gb/about-us/fair-use-policy?utm_source=arloemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campai...

 

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to our fair use policy. Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to reach out to our customer Arlo EU support team. Thank you for being a valued customer, and for your cooperation in helping us provide the best service possible.

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

I disagree with this move in any way because we pay a fair price for this service every month and we should be able to record as much or as little as we want and not be told otherwise. Arlo is taking money from customers so should be improving the systems used for recording and not implementing rules for those who use the service. If the service was free then yes by all means have the rules but it isn't. Arlo selling out to Verisure in Europe has killed Arlo and I am at a loss as to why Arlo did this. I have already swapped 6 cameras for another brand and have a 7th coming in the next day or so and then I am switching my subscription off. Adios Arlo

ProChris20
Apprentice
Apprentice

My new cameras truly are 2k and 3k and have excellent footage compared to my Ultra 2 cameras so this push by Arlo/Verisure has worked in my favour 😂

 

#Backfired