Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Will Arlo work for me?

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CowsPatoot
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I need to set up a surveillance system, but I have a difficult situation for it. I have included a short video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG_c9gMSxLw ) that shows the layout of the area. The opening of the video shows the area of primary concern...at the end of our driveway. The only place we can actually put a camera is on the pole at about 10 seconds into the video (there is a dummy camera on the pole, but they have called our bluff).

 

I like the Arlo system for a couple of reasons. First, I have good experience with Netgear equipment, and appreciate that it is a real company rather than the fly-by-night companies that I have never heard of like most security cameras. Most importantly, I like the fact that the cameras are completely wireless. Running a wire, either for power or networking, to this location would get really expensive really fast.

 

Primary concerns:

1. Location away from the cabin. Can we actually get a wireless signal to this location? Does the Arlo system use a standard wifi signal, or does it use it's own signal to transmit to the base station? This is a log cabin, and the walls make it difficult to get a signal through. I am currently using a Netgear AC1750 (R6300v2) router, and I get a solid wireless signal on the cell phone at the location of the pole. It is still consistent when I get to the road, but starts to get weak enough that I am not sure if I could trust it for continual use. The router is located on the far side of the cabin. It wouldn't be easy to relocate it (log cabins are difficult to run wiring in)...but if that would make the difference, I will do it and leave the router in the front window. I can also put a range extender in the shed at the end of the video if needed. But all this is irrelevant if the cameras don't use a standard wifi connection.

 

2. Motion detection. Obviously, this is a highly wooded area. There will always be branches swaying in the wind. I see that we can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection....but with this much of the field of view swaying in the wind, will we be able to accurately detect people walking through the field of view?

 

3. Local recording. Is there a way to record locally rather than to the cloud? Or better yet, set up automatic downloads from the cloud? Yes...we are trying to bypass service fees for cloud storage...but more importantly, I imagine filling up the 10gb (or even the 100gb for the elite service) of space very quickly if it starts recording every squirrel that runs through the field of view....not to mention the swaying of the trees every time the wind blows harder than normal. We may be able to position the camera to not catch people passing on the road...but if we can't, we will get several minutes per day of normal traffic as well (especially on the weekends).

 

We are very concerned about being cost effective over the long term for this security system. We have averaged only one problem every 10 years at this property. I acknowledge that you get what you pay for...but I also acknowledge that by the time we have another problem (after the current one is solved), whatever system we have now will be lucky to still be within it's normal life span. I am technically very proficient, and would have no trouble setting up a dedicated system with wireless cameras that record to a linux server and automatically upload to my home server...but...again...is that cost effective considering that I would have to buy the computer as well?

 

Please help...should I continue looking into the Arlo system...or should I be looking elsewhere?

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TomMac
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1. Location away from the cabin. Can we actually get a wireless signal to this location? Does the Arlo system use a standard wifi signal, or does it use it's own signal to transmit to the base station? 

 

The Arlo base will set up it's own WIFI network.... the Arlo cameras will talk only to the base ( can't use it for other devices ). Also , the base needs an ethernet port to function, and tho you say you have a router just be aware that Arlo needs a min of 1mb/sec thru put ( and better higher ) ( problem sometimes with remote locals if your using sat link into interent )

Arlo base has a max range of 300ft but in the real world I'd say about half that ( I've used up to 100+ft ).The range of the Arlo cams can be extended by locating the base , ( ethernet cable can be 300 ft ) possiblly if your shed has power, closer to the cameras

 

As to if the camera range will work, thats a test you'll have to do... but can say that the Arlo base has stronger signal than 3 home wifi units I've seen.

 

2. Motion detection. Obviously, this is a highly wooded area. There will always be branches swaying in the wind. I see that we can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection...

 

This is going to be a bigger problem.... the Arlo cameras respond to IR and the reflection of same.  There is alot of IR reflected off leaves at times and the camera may be set off too much. Also as to the route of the sun travels for that driveway may effect things leading to false triggers

The sense level is adjustable... but once again, its a fine line between getting good results and false triggers with lots of growth around it.

 

3. Local recording. Is there a way to record locally rather than to the cloud? 

 

No you can't record directly to local device... It goes to the servers and then you can d/l from there if wanted.  But there is really no limit on storage, the storage is based on you service level days only...On basic (free) you get 7 days... on the 8th day, day 1 is auto deleted. ( other plans have longer times 30 or 60 days )

 

 

Please help...should I continue looking into the Arlo system...or should I be looking elsewhere?

 

Since you ask, IMHO, the Arlo will be great for inside the cabin... and just outside on the cabin , BUT maybe no so good for the driveway - due to range and growth ( once again this would have to be tested to verify ) Also the spec use of the Arlo cameras on batteries is 5 mins or less a day to obtain the life of batteries to 4+months A lot of false triggers could use up the battery life quickly ( btw they run about $1.50 per from online sources )

If your a bit techie, the cameras could be used with a solar panel and a large gell cell ( mod'ed and lose warranty ) but then they would not be so covert.

 

I have helped a friend set up a system for his remote cabin... we used Arlo inside and went with covert game cameras placed around the cabin ( as they are self contained and recorded to a mem card... set tp take 5 snapshots per detection )

 

 

Hope this helped,

Interesting tho...the vid was a great idea btw.

 

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7 REPLIES 7
TomMac
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1. Location away from the cabin. Can we actually get a wireless signal to this location? Does the Arlo system use a standard wifi signal, or does it use it's own signal to transmit to the base station? 

 

The Arlo base will set up it's own WIFI network.... the Arlo cameras will talk only to the base ( can't use it for other devices ). Also , the base needs an ethernet port to function, and tho you say you have a router just be aware that Arlo needs a min of 1mb/sec thru put ( and better higher ) ( problem sometimes with remote locals if your using sat link into interent )

Arlo base has a max range of 300ft but in the real world I'd say about half that ( I've used up to 100+ft ).The range of the Arlo cams can be extended by locating the base , ( ethernet cable can be 300 ft ) possiblly if your shed has power, closer to the cameras

 

As to if the camera range will work, thats a test you'll have to do... but can say that the Arlo base has stronger signal than 3 home wifi units I've seen.

 

2. Motion detection. Obviously, this is a highly wooded area. There will always be branches swaying in the wind. I see that we can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection...

 

This is going to be a bigger problem.... the Arlo cameras respond to IR and the reflection of same.  There is alot of IR reflected off leaves at times and the camera may be set off too much. Also as to the route of the sun travels for that driveway may effect things leading to false triggers

The sense level is adjustable... but once again, its a fine line between getting good results and false triggers with lots of growth around it.

 

3. Local recording. Is there a way to record locally rather than to the cloud? 

 

No you can't record directly to local device... It goes to the servers and then you can d/l from there if wanted.  But there is really no limit on storage, the storage is based on you service level days only...On basic (free) you get 7 days... on the 8th day, day 1 is auto deleted. ( other plans have longer times 30 or 60 days )

 

 

Please help...should I continue looking into the Arlo system...or should I be looking elsewhere?

 

Since you ask, IMHO, the Arlo will be great for inside the cabin... and just outside on the cabin , BUT maybe no so good for the driveway - due to range and growth ( once again this would have to be tested to verify ) Also the spec use of the Arlo cameras on batteries is 5 mins or less a day to obtain the life of batteries to 4+months A lot of false triggers could use up the battery life quickly ( btw they run about $1.50 per from online sources )

If your a bit techie, the cameras could be used with a solar panel and a large gell cell ( mod'ed and lose warranty ) but then they would not be so covert.

 

I have helped a friend set up a system for his remote cabin... we used Arlo inside and went with covert game cameras placed around the cabin ( as they are self contained and recorded to a mem card... set tp take 5 snapshots per detection )

 

 

Hope this helped,

Interesting tho...the vid was a great idea btw.

 

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Morse is faster than texting!
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CowsPatoot
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Thank you for your detailed response.  I think you have answered all my questions, both the direct ones and the inferred ones.

 

1. Location.  We have cable internet.  I run 60+MB down and 4MB up, tested through a Netgear EX6120-100NAS Range Extender.  The beauty of this range extender is that it allows a wired connection directly to it...so I could easily put another one in the shed (which does have power) and attach the base to it.  I think the range would not be an issue in this configuration.

 

2. Motion detection.  Your description of how the motion detection works was extremely useful.  Even in my best camera location, I can't imagine eliminating the motion of the trees as long as it is detecting equally in all locations of the frame.  If I could set up zones for it to ignore, that would be a different story...but it doesn't appear that it is possible to do that.  That would also make the battery life a severe issue...it means we would be changing the batteries every weekend when we are there.

 

3. Local recording.  7 days is enough...but with the amount of time it would be recording because of the motion detection, I think we would be hitting the size limits quickly.

 

Some details about the problem we are trying to solve...
We have some locals that decided they can use the strip of property to the left in the start of the video to run their 4 wheelers down to the river.  They are destroying the property in the process.  We know who they are...but need video of it for legal action.  We tried game cams...they disappeared.  Unfortunately, they know they have all week to circumvent any security we put on them...we lock them to a tree, and they just come back the next day with bolt cutters.  We acknowledge there is a good chance that they will destroy or take an Arlo camera as well....but we would have the video of that action in a remote location.

I appreciate the modularity of the Arlo system.  But that modularity also seems very proprietary...meaning the long term usage is reliant upon Netgear continuing to make devices that work with the current ones.  I do believe that a base with a single camera (VMS3130) would solve our current issue, and may be the most cost effective way to do so (but not the most convenient considering the amount of video we would have to go through to find the small portions we need).  Once the current issue is resolved, we could even move the camera to the front door for long term usage.  But I am also quite confident that the Arlo system will not work for long term usage on the extra strip of property...and would not be the best long term solution for the cabin itself (which has never had a security issue).

 

Again...thank you for your VERY helpful response.

TomMac
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3. Local recording.  7 days is enough...but with the amount of time it would be recording because of the motion detection, I think we would be hitting the size limits quickly.

 

 

Re above, just so we are clear....  There IS NO LOCAL recording with Arlo cams. It all goes to the cloud and then back to you.

Also, there are no storage limits OTHER THAN NUMBER OF DAYS in your service plan

 

Glad it helped

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CowsPatoot
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You were very clear on the lack of local recording...I continued to use the same subject for that section simply for continuity.

 

Per http://www.arlo.com/en-us/products/subscription-plans.aspx, each of the plans clearly states a maximum size of the cloud storage in Gb.  For normal use, I am sure that limit is high enough that it isn't a concern, but we have also established that I am not "normal".

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TomMac
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Yes there is a storage limited posted in the docs....and I think it's still there for the suits... Ala CYA.

 

But, a while back , about Jan there was an unofficial word that the storage limits were no longer enforced and it appears to be true.....at that same tho there were other major changes to SW , like recycle bin removed...

 

Since then no limits but a very strict auto delete policy based on your days of service

 

Also if I didn't mention, there is no limits on the number of bases on any level account...this allows you to have an extended area coverage OR cover two entirely different locations with same account

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CowsPatoot
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In that case, this is starting to look more and more like the right solution to the current problem.  Thanx.

jguerdat
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If it eases your mind, I have 1.7GB on the servers right now, on the free basic plan.

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