Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Does Arlo Doorbell need a subscription

Reply
Discussion stats
  • 17 Replies
  • 2977 Views
  • 0 Likes
  • 5 In Conversation
Floridaskp
Aspirant
Aspirant

I have had Arlo Pro cameras for several years.  I am fine with the library only keeping the videos for 7 days.  About one year ago, I added a video doorbell to the system.  The doorbell was saving videos to the library as I expected.  All of a sudden, it no longer is???  I suspect it has something to do with the fact I was given Arlo Secure for free for a year (I've been getting messages that I need to subscribe).  But, I don't understand why my other cameras are still saving the videos for 7 days and the doorbell is not.  What is the difference?  If I subscribe to Arlo secure do I have to do it for all of my cameras now?  It seems odd to take away a capability that we have always had?  Why doesn't the doorbell work the same as the Arlo Pro cameras?  I also have cameras in two different locations (2 bases), so does that mean I would have to get the Secure plan for two different places?  I don't understand when this all came into play and how it changed everything.  Thanks for any help.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

Arlo offered 7-day free storage for the Arlo Pro and Pro 2 when they were sold, and they continue to honor that.

 

But in 2018 (starting with the introduction of the Ultra), they stopped offering cloud storage on the newer cameras - including the doorbells.  So you will need a subscription for the doorbell in order to get cloud storage. 

 


@Floridaskp wrote:

 I also have cameras in two different locations (2 bases), so does that mean I would have to get the Secure plan for two different places? 


No, you can use one subscription, as long as the cameras are in the same account.

 

Note if the doorbell is the only camera that needs a subscription, you could just get a single-camera sub.

View solution in original post

17 REPLIES 17
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

Arlo offered 7-day free storage for the Arlo Pro and Pro 2 when they were sold, and they continue to honor that.

 

But in 2018 (starting with the introduction of the Ultra), they stopped offering cloud storage on the newer cameras - including the doorbells.  So you will need a subscription for the doorbell in order to get cloud storage. 

 


@Floridaskp wrote:

 I also have cameras in two different locations (2 bases), so does that mean I would have to get the Secure plan for two different places? 


No, you can use one subscription, as long as the cameras are in the same account.

 

Note if the doorbell is the only camera that needs a subscription, you could just get a single-camera sub.

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi

 

My Camera Hardware (3) is described as H3 and Door Bell AVD2001Aer1.2.

 

I have up until now been very happy with my 3 x Arlo Camera system + the Base Station. In fact I have recommended it to 2 of my friends / family.

 

I noticed the new Door bell was for sale recently assuming it would work in a similar manner as my Camera system where I get 7 days free storage in the cloud.

 

I set up the camera but after 3 months I received these messages prompting me to sign up for a Smart subscription. I was not keen to have to pay for my doorbell and after some research found I would be able to record locally on a USB drive. I thought this was not really what I wanted but it would do as a make shift arrangement. 

 

Unfortunately I have spent many hours a) research via the Internet and b) trying to change settings but all to no avail. All of my efforts have met with failure. Either Local Recording does not work or it is disallowed unless you take a paid subscription.

 

Best I can discover is that the Doorbell is just a very expensive Doorbell with no real benefits. I know I can talk to people who ring the bell but I have found that feature almost useless for my circumstances. Unless I am missing something it seems like I would have been better off just purchasing a standard Door Chime....full stop.

 

I feel that I have been duped into an expensive purchase only to be informed 3 months down the track that Arlo wants to dip into my wallet every month for many features I do not want and felt I would have received free given my earlier experience.

 

I would definitely not recommend Arlo unless you are comfortable paying what I consider a excessive monthly fee. 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Kozzie1 wrote:

Either Local Recording does not work or it is disallowed unless you take a paid subscription.

 


It does work (with limitations), and it does not require a paid subscription. https://kb.arlo.com/000062337/What-is-Direct-Storage-Access-and-how-do-I-use-it

 

If you want to access local recordings in the app, then you need to pair the doorbell with a smarthub (VMB4540 or VMB5000).  The older VMB4000 will save local recordings, but you need to eject the storage, and then plug the USB device into a PC to see the recordings.

 

The limitations of direct storage access are:

  • recordings only accessible from the app (not a pc browser)
  • recordings only accessible from the primary account (not a friend account)
  • no ability to make manual recordings or snapshots
  • no thumbnails
  • remote access requires setting up either a vpn or port forwarding in your router - which some find difficult.

 

 

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi and thanks for the response.

 
I have spent hours trying to record locally - refer screenshots. Still nothing. Have swapped USB, reformatted, rebooted everything and still nothing. So as I said I am left with a very expensive doorbell that as far as I am concerned is worthless. It has no useful security features unless you are forced to take up a subscription.
 
What would you suggest
 
Thanks

 

 
Wayne
 
PS Unfortunately the system only allowed me to attach 1 x file
 
Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi

 

Do not appear to have received a response. Does that imply that the Arlo system in question does NOT Locally record?

 

Please advise one way or the other.

 

Thanks

 

Wayne

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Kozzie1,

 

Which model Base Station or SmartHub are you using?

 

JamesC

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi James

 
My original post had all that info. But just to repeat, I have a VMB 4000 Base station that works fine with my 3 x cameras which I record to the cloud. As I said earlier, I purchased a Doorbell recently largely to enhance my security. I feel I was duped into the purchase thinking the doorbell would operate in a similar fashion as the cameras but have recently found out this is not the case. After the 3 month 'honeymoon' I received a message saying I had to have a subscription to record videos. I view my system and see a 'local' recording option and have spent many hours trying to activate this but all to no avail.
 
I am sorry but it is very frustrating having to repeat all this when I have advised it all before. Moreover, I then have to get a chime....I would have been better to just get a traditional chime that plus into a wall socket.
 
As far as I am concerned I now have the most expensive Doorbell in the street .
 
If the system recognises the USB drive then why can it not records. I have sent you 2 x screenshots detailing my system.
 
I await your advices.
 
Thanks

 

 
Wayne
JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Kozzie1,

 

Is the doorbell synced to the VMB4000 or directly to your WiFi network? For local recording to take place on the base station storage device, the doorbell must be synced to the base station.

 

JamesC

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi James

 

Done all that. Yes it was connected directly to Wifi. Door Chime works but Doorbell is not recording anything nor do I get any notifications now?

 

Various screenshots attached.

 

Thanks

 

WayneScreenshot (50).pngScreenshot (49).pngScreenshot (53).pngScreenshot (52).pngScreenshot (49).pngScreenshot (53).pngScreenshot (52).pngScreenshot (51).pngScreenshot (50).png

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Kozzie1 wrote:

 

Done all that. Yes it was connected directly to Wifi. Door Chime works but Doorbell is not recording anything nor do I get any notifications now?

 


On notifications:  Have you checked that the doorbell is listed in the armed mode (and that recordings and notifications are set up in the rule)?  https://kb.arlo.com/42/What-are-modes-and-rules-and-how-does-Arlo-use-them

 

On recordings:  With your base, you will need to eject the USB drive and plug it into a PC in order to review the recordings.  There is no free 7-day cloud storage like there is for older cameras like the Pro and Pro 2 anymore.  A smarthub (VMB4540 and VMB5000) would let you see the local recordings in the app (but not the PC browser).

 

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Yes done all that as well. Ejected USB Drive and no Doorbell recordings. Camera activation was recorded.

 

Tried to setup a Custom Mode for the Doorbell and while this was possible, the option to Video Record was 'greyed out' - refer Screenshot.

 

Sorry still stumped?

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Kozzie1 wrote:

 

Tried to setup a Custom Mode for the Doorbell and while this was possible, the option to Video Record was 'greyed out' - refer Screenshot.

 


I haven't seen that one - though I am using smarthubs that have direct access to local storage enabled.

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi

 

Do not appear to have received a reply?

 

Thanks

 

Wayne

Kozzie1
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi

Still do not appear to have received a reply. Can I presume that the system just does not work?

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Currently reviewing the details here with the development team.

 

I will provide an update once I have more information to share.

 

JamesC

np2022
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hello, 

I have a similar issue. I have had Arlo Pro cameras for years, which are connected to the Arlo Smarthub VMB4000, and the videos are stored locally. A few months back, I added an Arlo Essential 1080p Wire-Free Video Doorbell. I signed up for the free trial of the Arlo Cloud Subscription.  The doorbell was saving videos to the cloud as I expected. 

 

After the Cloud Subscription expired, the doorbell was no longer saving videos, to the Cloud and to the VMB4000. So I removed the doorbell from the account (via the iOS app), and added it back in, and during setup, I specified that it should connect to the Smarthub and not through Wi-Fi.

 

My Arlo Pro cameras continue to save videos locally to the Smarthub, but the doorbell does not save any videos to the Smarthub. The doorbell can only notify me when it detects motion, but it cannot save any videos locally on the Smarthub. I cannot see any videos from the doorbell using the Arlo iOS app, even though I had specified that it should connect to the Smarthub. I can only receive notifications from the doorbell, and then I have to view the doorbell's live videos in real-time, but no doorbell video is saved locally.

 

This is completely NOT the behavior I expected... the doorbell should be able to save videos to the Smarthub, otherwise what is the point of having a Smarthub? Why is only the doorbell (which is a very new device, purchased a few months back) not able to save videos locally, while my older Arlo Pro cameras can do it? I purchased the Smarthub for storing videos locally, as I did not want to purchase a cloud subscription & pay monthly fees. That defeats the purpose of having a Smarthub.

 

My request: Please enable saving  Arlo doorbell videos to the VMB4000 Smarthub and access to the videos from the Arlo mobile app.

Please help!! I am sure many Arlo customers will be having the same issue.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

np2022,

 

Viewing locally stored content on the Arlo mobile app is not available when using a VMB4000. To view locally stored content from the VMB4000 you must eject the storage device and view from a computer.

 

JamesC

Discussion stats
  • 17 Replies
  • 2978 Views
  • 0 Likes
  • 5 In Conversation