Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

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corneileous
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Hey guys, I finally got my SD card and got it installed but now I’m curious about the port forwarding vs putting the VPN on my router as far as which is the better method and if putting a VPN on my router is the way to go, which router do I put it on because I have two in my household. I have my main router and I have a second router set up as a wireless repeater which is what my VMB5000 Smart Base is connected to via Ethernet cable so as asked, is that the router I put my VPN on or the main one? Also, if I put a VPN on my router, will that mess up my streaming capabilities being that other than DVD and BluRay, all of my TV watching is via the internet. Thanks.  

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StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

I have my main router and I have a second router set up as a wireless repeater which is what my VMB5000 Smart Base is connected to via Ethernet cable so as asked, is that the router I put my VPN on or the main one? 


You set up the VPN on the main router.  FWIW, with Netgear routers, it is not possible to set up the VPN if the router is in AP mode.

 


@corneileous wrote:

Hey guys, I finally got my SD card and got it installed but now I’m curious about the port forwarding vs putting the VPN on my router as far as which is the better method and if putting a VPN on my router is the way to go, 


If your router includes a VPN for remote access, then I would use that method.

corneileous
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@StephenB 

What does AP mode mean? BTW, the router that is in wireless repeater mode that my smart base is connected to is a Linksys router. The main router is a Netgear. 

But how do I know if my router has its own VPN? I have a SurfShark VPN subscription if that helps. My router is a RAX41 if that helps. 

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

@StephenB 

What does AP mode mean?


AP => "Access point".  See page 75 of your router manual

The "repeater" mode you are using now in the second router is likely an AP or extender mode.

 


@corneileous wrote:

 

But how do I know if my router has its own VPN? I have a SurfShark VPN subscription if that helps. My router is a RAX41 if that helps. 


Surfshark won't do it - that is used to make your local internet access anonymous, not for remote access.

 

Your RAX41 does support openVPN for remote access - see chapter 10 of the manual I linked in above.  You will also need to set up the DDNS service in the router to use openVPN.  The free service Netgear provides will work fine, but you will need to confirm it every month (you'll get an email reminder).

 

There have been some reports saying that direct access over a VPN doesn't work with Android - I use an iPhone, so I don't know if that is still the case or not.

corneileous
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@StephenB 

 

Well, I guess all I had to do was just enable the port forwarding on the Arlo app, then go to my router settings on its own webpage and enter the internal and external port numbers along with the IP address and after doing that, it showed on the app that the port forwarding was active, so I guess I’m good to go I guess without even having to set up a VPN but, do I even need to bother enabling port forwarding being that I’m probably still going to need the Arlo subscription to be able to have access to all the settings and features like animal/human classification, activity zones and instant viewing of motion detected videos?

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

do I even need to bother enabling port forwarding being that I’m probably still going to need the Arlo subscription to be able to have access to all the settings and features like animal/human classification, activity zones and instant viewing of motion detected videos?


FWIW, I have a subscription and generally just look at the locally stored video when I am home. 

 

So not enabling port forwarding is definitely an option if you are going to get the subscription anyway.  The locally stored video is still available as a backup (and is sometimes useful when troubleshooting).

corneileous
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@StephenB 

So is there any risk involved with having port forwarding active? I guess I don’t mind leaving it enabled. 

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

So is there any risk involved with having port forwarding active?  


A VPN has higher security.

 

I also consider port forwarding to be secure - the main difference is that it is easier for an attacker to try to hack into the base station with port forwarding.  So you are depending on the security Arlo has implemented in the base.

 

 

corneileous
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[quote]@StephenB wrote:

A VPN has higher security.

 

I also consider port forwarding to be secure - the main difference is that it is easier for an attacker to try to hack into the base station with port forwarding.  So you are depending on the security Arlo has implemented in the base.[/quote]

So then what would I need to do, just get with my router manufacturer on setting up my router's VPN and tell them it's for accessing my security camera's base hub when not at home? 

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

 

So then what would I need to do, just get with my router manufacturer on setting up my router's VPN and tell them it's for accessing my security camera's base hub when not at home? 


Who is your router manufacturer?

 

Also, are you usind Android or iOS?  I am still seeing issues reported here with Android using a VPN for direct access.

corneileous
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@StephenB wrote:

 

Who is your router manufacturer?

 

Also, are you usind Android or iOS?  I am still seeing issues reported here with Android using a VPN for direct access.


Router is a Netgear Nighthawk and the Arlo app is installed on my iPhone. 

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:

@StephenB wrote:

 

Who is your router manufacturer?

 

Also, are you usind Android or iOS?  I am still seeing issues reported here with Android using a VPN for direct access.


Router is a Netgear Nighthawk and the Arlo app is installed on my iPhone. 


The Nighthawk already has openVPN built in.  You'll also need to set up the DDNS service (which is free).  So no need to contact Netgear support.

There is a free openVPN app available for the phone.

corneileous
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@StephenB wrote:

The Nighthawk already has openVPN built in.  You'll also need to set up the DDNS service (which is free).  So no need to contact Netgear support.

There is a free openVPN app available for the phone.


So if I enable this open VPN on my router, will that screw up how I stream my TV programing or cause any other issues that VPN's can sometimes cause?

 

And what is this open VPN app I can put on my phone and do I need it? I currently have a subscription to SurfShark VPN. 

StephenB
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@corneileous wrote:
So if I enable this open VPN on my router, will that screw up how I stream my TV programing or cause any other issues that VPN's can sometimes cause?

No.  This VPN setup works differently from something like SurfShark.  It is only used for remote access - when you are away from home and want to access your home network.  It won't be used for your normal connections (browser, streaming, email, whatever).

 


@corneileous wrote:

And what is this openVPN app I can put on my phone and do I need it? I currently have a subscription to SurfShark VPN. 


You definitely need it, and you'll need to turn on the openVPN whenever you want to access your recordings.  See

Again, this connection is different from SurfShark - which is designed to give you anonymous access by setting up an encrypted connection to a remote SurfShark server.  This connects your phone to your home network through your router.

 

As noted earlier, you will also need to set up DDNS, so the OpenVPN app can "find" your router.