Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Video doorbell local recording in library without subscription

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kcjchan
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I’ve read somewhere that the local recordings will show up and be accessible in the library section of the Arlo app if I have a newer hub connected to the video doorbell. This is WITHOUT a subscription. Is this still true? With the VMB4000 hub that I have with my Arlo Pro 2 I can only eject the USB memory drive to view the recorded videos which is a bit inconvenient.
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StephenB
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@kcjchan wrote:
I’ve read somewhere that the local recordings will show up and be accessible in the library section of the Arlo app if I have a newer hub connected to the video doorbell. This is WITHOUT a subscription. Is this still true? With the VMB4000 hub that I have with my Arlo Pro 2 I can only eject the USB memory drive to view the recorded videos which is a bit inconvenient.

You'd need a VMB4540 (adding USB storage) or a VMB5000 (adding a microSD card).

 

There are limitations

  • No access from the web browser, only the app
  • no access from friend accounts, only the primary account
  • no manual recordings or snapshots
  • no thumbnails
  • remote access is possible, but can be challenging to set up.

One other aspect is that you also lose activity zones and smart notifications.  Since you can't aim the doorbell camera, losing activity zones can result in getting a flood of unwanted notifications and recordings.

 

Whether this path is cost-effective depends on how you view up front vs monthly costs.  A VMB4540 lists for $99 USD, and a monthly single-camera subscription costs $2.99/month USD.  So the return on the investment in the VMB4540 is about 3 years. 

 

One practical aspect is that it's hard to find standalone smarthubs at the moment, and they are often overpriced.  One on US Amazon is listed at $219 at the moment, which changes the return on investment to about 6 years.

kcjchan
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Thank you so much for the explanation.
When you say no thumbnails does that mean the library just shows a blank video thumbnail unlike the Pro 2 that has a small thumbnail of the video when it starts recording?

Also, no remote access means the library can only be accessed through the local wifi? I guess I could get around that with a VPN setup.

I’m looking for options at the moment since I might get some newer cams with a base included but your analysis is great and it does seem if I get more cameras then the unlimited camera plans do start to make sense.
StephenB
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@kcjchan wrote:
When you say no thumbnails does that mean the library just shows a blank video thumbnail unlike the Pro 2 that has a small thumbnail of the video when it starts recording?


Correct.  You need to download the recording before you have any idea of what is in it.

 


@kcjchan wrote:

Also, no remote access means the library can only be accessed through the local wifi? I guess I could get around that with a VPN setup.


You can set up port forwarding (in both the app and your router).  Reserving IP addresses is also helpful here. A home VPN setup also works with iOS.  Some Android users have also had success with the home VPN, but others haven't.  Not sure what the current status there is. 

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