Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: I Give up, batteries drain too quickly

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guzpro
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I give up.  I am done with using the Arlo Wireless Cameras.  I have honestly tried to accept the oddities I have experienced since the purchase but I am done.  Once again for the 6th time since purchase the cameras chew through batteries almost daily.  My base station has been replaced, relocated it and gone through in the plural of hundreds now in batteries trying to make this work.  I worked with Netgear early on and eventually the cmaeras were stable and reliable.  but in the last 2 months after updates it has gone back to daily/weekly battery changes.  the cameras are in my office 1 7 feet, the other 12 feet from the base.  Heck for the last 2 weeks they have been on my desk sitting almost next to the base.  I have not changed the objects in my office so for months no interference issues or anything like that from other devices.  These things just go offline, no warning and by the time i realize, often within a a day, sometimes hours the batteries are chewed through.  I am a huge netgear fan but I can't take it anymore.  I have 2 dropcams and in the years since i have had them i have had zero issues.  They just run and run.  But I am done spending money on these things.  I come here and read thread after thread of people having battery issues and it seems like this si just something thats known and happens and seemingly never gets resolved.  I am sticking to wired camer'as and am now going to research new wired cameras to replace my 2 Arlo cameras.  What a waste of a great concept.

131 REPLIES 131
JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

guzpro,

 

I would like to offer assistance with the issue you are describing. I will reach out to you in a private message to gather more information.

 

JamesC

bigrad
Tutor
Tutor

I agree with you.  I recently switched from the older netgear camera system which I had for several years without any problems.  The new system cameras drain, sometimes in a week.  Not all cameras and not all the time but I am monitoring a house ZI go to only every few weeks and each time some cameras are drained.  They go from full batter to low then off without any more advanced notice.  The wifi is strong and the proximity of base station very good.  I have tried everything that has been posted without success.  All firmware updates done.  There is clearly an issue here that needs fixing.  I am about to abandon this system as well and go to something more reliable.  Batteries can get costly at this rate but even more important is I lose the ability to monitor my house remotely.  Clearly not as advertised.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

bigrad,

 

The batteries in your Arlo Wire-Free camera last for about four to six months with normal usage, which is about five minutes of recordings a day.

 

If your cameras are detecting more recordings each day, this could be why you are having to replace batteries more often than expected.

 

Take a look at this article for tips on how to extend the battery life for your Arlo cameras: How can I extend my Arlo Wire-Free camera’s battery life?

 

JamesC

guzpro
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Star
I had the same results. Completely random and unreliable. I had to switch to nestcams.
cher45
Tutor
Tutor

After a couple months with only a quirk here and there- this evening had one camera suddenly at 12% battery. This camera is in the lowest traffic area. The higher traffic area camera still has 75% battery.Something is definitely wrong and needs to be addressed.

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

It may just be the display.  I have one camera in a low traffic area that suddenly reported 25%.  I left it alone for a few weeks with no change.  Recently, I opened and closed the battery door and the battery is now reported at 99%.

cher45
Tutor
Tutor

@jguerdat I tried opening/ reclosing battery compartment with no change-well a little worse actually, it is now at 8%. Will wait a week and do it again unless it dies completely before then.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

What's the WiFi strength reported in Settings, My Devices?  A poor signal for any reason can drain the batteries quickly.

cher45
Tutor
Tutor
Mine shows full bars and Network at 100% for both cameras.
NightOwl12
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Tutor

Same problem here. Put fresh batteries in 18 days ago and they are at 50% now. I only have at the most 3 minutes of recordings a day. Previously the batteries lasted 3 months. Seems like the batteries started draining very fast over the last two months. Wifi is at 100% and camera is only 75 feet from the base station. Very frustrating. At this rate, better off buying a new Nest outdoor cam and pay the $10 a month.

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station, VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

WHat happens if you open and close the battery door on the camera?  I've had a low battery indication that this cured.

 

Also, 75 feet, while well within spec, could be part of the issue.  If there are walls, other wireless 2.4GHz devices nearby, etc., battery life could suffer.  If possible, you could swap cameras around to see if the symptom follows the camera or remains with the position.

NightOwl12
Tutor
Tutor
So now I've used 8 batteries in just one month on one camera. I should be able to use this camera within 75 feet. There can't be walls between the base and the camera??....it's an outdoor camera!! Everything worked perfect for 6 months and only changed batteries once. Didn't move around my setup since then. This is obviously a software issue.
jguerdat
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Guru

Maybe it's a software issue, maybe not. Walls DO make a difference since it's not only the thickness and construction but also what's inside them (wires, ductwork, etc) that can block signals.  Interference from various 2.4GHz devices, not all WiFi such as cordless phones, can also get in there.  While it won't tell you about non-WiFi sources, one way to determine useful signal levels is by using this software:

 

http://www.ekahau.com/wifidesign/ekahau-heatmapper

 

It allows you to move around inside and outside the house to map out what signals are doing for you.  You can't say it's not a WiFi issue if you don't know what's going on or has possibly changed, whether by you or something/one else.

 

It's certainly also possible to be a software issue but it seems to be affecting you and not widespread, pointing to something about your installation and/or scenario.

guzpro
Star
Star

I am sorry but as someone who has dealt with drained batteries for months now its not a networking issue.  To test this I literally moved the netgear arlo router to my basement.  sat both cameras within 3 feet of the base station.  left my schedule on as it was before.  My basement is unfinished, and this was placed literally away from all other power sources.  Basically i a corner with a iant extension cord and a mega long cat6 cable run to it.  In the last 3 weeks.  One camera shows basically a full battery but 4 times i had to reset the arlo router because both cameras were offline.  when i reset the router the cameras came alive.  They also came alive if i removed the batteries.  2 nights ago i get an email the one of the camers batteries are tired and at 0%.  the other is full.   So clearly this is an issue.  Based on the number of threads this is a common issue and is the reason i am giving up on arlo and moving to nest cams.

NightOwl12
Tutor
Tutor

Thank you guzpro. Exactly my situation. I have to reset my base station because cameras go offline and when I do so the battery level plummets. But hey it's not a "widespread issue," yet half the threads on here are about this exact problem.

jguerdat
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Guru

Or maybe you have bad hardware.  Without contacting support using the Support link above, you're just guessing.  Too many issues reported here have been resolved with replacement hardware.

guzpro
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Star

Or maybe I did work with support as I have already stated and maybe they sent me replacement hardware....as I have already stated and yet still the issues exist.  It is possible that the product and updates to it have taken it from stable to unstable.  Whereas the 2 drop cams i have had for years have just worked, not sometimes worked, not mostly worked.  Just worked and the additional nest cams i added took 6 minutes total to setup and they too just work. 

DrEric
Tutor
Tutor
Installed the system 5 days ago. Total camera time of 5 minutes maximum. Now it has 53% battery. The other camera with 1 minute maximum camera usage has 83% battery. I'm hoping this is not accurate. Otherwise, sham. Think Enron.
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

While it's possible you have faulty batteries or equipment, try power cycling the base and open and close the battery doors.  Check your firmware versions to verify you have the latest ones.

Clucky_1
Tutor
Tutor
Wow, not impressed with this camera system at all. This is the third set of batteries, for two cameras, that I have purchased in less than 6 months. $40 for four batteries, $240 so far, on batteries, that's quite ridiculous. I could get alarm force installed for that.
Can't get anyone on live chat to talk. Sick of this product. My batteries in one camera, lost 25% of their juice minutes after putting them in. I feel very angry about this and reading all these comments, I'm clearly not alone and will not get it solved.
Is Arlo a scam ? I'm thinking it is !!!
If my house gets broken into, when my cameras should be working, but aren't, I think I would be within my rights to take this scamming company to court.
No customer service.
Bad quality product.
Overpriced in general.
Will not bother renewing my batteries after they run out. Will get my cameras and dump them in the garbage. No point giving them to anybody as they don't bloody work !!!
Seriously disappointed.
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Feel free to send your system to me.  I'll pay shipping.

 

You either live in a country where you can't find cheap batteries or haven't bothered to look online.  In the US, there are many places that sell them for $1.50-1.75.  There's also huge threads here on rechargeables, even though currently Netgear doesn't recommend them.

 

For support, there are more ways than just chat, including email and phone.  Have you tried any of those?

Clucky_1
Tutor
Tutor
I have emailed.... no reply !
I haven't " bothered " as you say, to go online as I haven't the time to do this and I've never had to purchase batteries online. Post and packaging to Canada is usually extortionate too and don't forget the Duty when I have to collect the item from Customs, in the city, which I would have to travel 120km round trip for. That's a lot of effort to buy batteries online that are going to last one week.
What do I do when I need to go away for three weeks then ? Really !!!!
Batteries, here in Canada are damned expensive, the AA's are affordable but the 123's that are required are $20 for two...
And, let me reiterate my point, why are my batteries draining so quickly. It cannot be the batteries I purchase. I have never had a problem before this.
Arlo is clearly an inferior product. I'm reading a lot of comments and I'm not only the unhappy one out there.
My cameras will go in the garbage.
Clucky_1
Tutor
Tutor
 
DrEric
Tutor
Tutor
Camera battery levels have readjusted to expected levels. It must be a software or firmware issue that has been resolved. Again, these are great cameras and a great system. I'm very happy that the apparent battery levels have normalized. I would highly recommend this system after my initial experience. In fact, I bought these for my parents.