Considering going all in on a new Arlo system, with a couple of dooorbells, some cameras and the hub.
Hoping the hub supplied in the multi cam kit is good enough - of course there is a second one, but it is hard to tell them apart…
For any long term users, are you still happy with the system?
We went with Eufy (which is Anker).
We are very happy and have 3 2k cameras with a hub in the hall. Best of all. No subscriptions, it all works from the hub. It works brilliantly.
Most of these security camera systems try to upsell you a subscription.
I did see the subscription option for Arlo, and will actually be considering it. At the current price, it is quite a few years until I reach the cost of a recording server for home. Arlo offers a flat fee for all cameras.
The Eufy hub records a couple of months before overwriting. I think it is good enough for my needs. No need for a server or a subscription.
I can access it when away from the home.In fact I am scratching my head thinking why would anyone need a subscription. (I honestly couldn’t see any added value in it)
Arlo is pretty good, with caveats. I’ll elaborate on what @thealbs said:
The changing the batteries is a pain, not just because you have to do it, but because doing it also means realigning/aiming the cameras. Every. Time.
This can be solved by hard-wiring or – with some limitations – getting a solar panel that works with Arlo cameras (I bought a couple of theirs – pricier, but it works like a charm, even where there isn’t full-day sunlight except in the depths of winter). Hard-wiring gets you more features – iirc, you can’t designate motion-sensitive areas (e.g., carve out that waving tree branch) when using battery power (even with a solar panel), at least on the models I used. You also can’t do continuous recording, iirc
The subscription is a bit of a pain too. I didn’t do it – in fact, I bought the Arlo to avoid subscriptions. They promised to save a week’s worth of video for four or five cameras for free, and so far they’ve honored that. (You can also attach a USB hard drive to the base station, but I think you still have the cloud recording.) The ads and pitches to subscribe have gotten annoying.
Another down side: I could never get HomeKit working, even after getting on the phone with them. And if I understood the emails I got right, phone support is now a thing of the past unless you subscribe (though there may be a grace period for a while after purchase, I’m not sure).
Anyway, they worked for what I wanted, but I don’t know that I’ll buy Arlo equipment again.
From what I can tell, Eufy better fits the no-subscription, battery/solar approach now, but I haven’t looked closely. My guess is that all non-subscription setups are doomed over time, because companies just can’t stay away from that sweet promise of recurring revenue.
My Arlo cams are the most reliable ones I have. Pairing them with a solar panel has allowed me to create “mobile cameras” which I’m able to move around my yard at will and never have to worry about charging. I recently bought a hub and connected them to HomeKit and I’ve been very happy. The connection is more reliable than my Logitech Circle Cams. I would highly suggest them. I might look into replacing my Logitech cameras with more Arlos.
Got 5 Arlo Pro’s on one hub around the home. I did do the subscription for cloud recording, but since Arlo upgraded to native Homekit integration, I rarely use the recording function, which is only activated in case of a motion sensor trigger (therefore not happening when the house is empty).
Note: these are not true HomeKit cameras and they will not record to iCloud, only to Arlo. If a motion is activated you will get a motion pop-up in HomeKit and you can view the cameras in HomeKit at any time, which is worth more to me than the cloud recording.
you are not concerned about the company background? Just my person view - I do not mind using Anker charger etc as there is no chance of backdoor but I stay away from any networked product
I take your point. The video doesn’t leave the hub, as far as I am aware.However I do take your point about the company. I don’t think I trust them at all.
However it is a solution that works for us. The video is mainly my dog and the delivery man, so it is not mission critical.
If you have an Eero network, and maybe some others, there’s a setting to control how much HomeKit devices are allowed to send out to the wider world.
good to know , I did not know there is such a feature. May consider that next time I upgrade my router. Is there any other brand with similar function?
the video system itself may be fine, but it ‘could’ provide an entry or backdoor to expose the home network. Botnet could be a possibility if someone wants to exploit that.
May be I am too pananoid
While a bonnet is possible, I would argue you have 25 other easier attack vectors than the Eufy cam. Outdated software/firmware, reused passwords, old apps, iot, smart tv, dvd/Blu-ray, newer car etc. heck anytime you hand your credit card to a server is more of a security risk than these top 4 camera companies IMHO.
I am referring to the chance that (only a possibility , I have no prove) that some IOT has built in backdoors
I think the risk of deliberate back-doors are indeed there, not only for IOT, but for devices that require remote management of some sort. The lastest Lenovo disaster is just one in a long line of f-ups that are just mindblowingly bad.
However, the even greater risk are the networking code running in IOT devices. They are, by design, made to be mass produced at a low cost, so the internals are still limited in their capacity. Shortcuts are routinely taken in order to bring products to market quickly. Many Asian low-cost companies seems to be using “swarming” as a product development strategy. Assemble a team, make the product fast and cheap, ship it - then dissolve the team to work on something else. Nobody is left to care for after-sales, support, patching of software etc. Making a product (barely) work is much easier than making it work securely and reliably. Making a product cheaply is, in part, done by using junior coders - who are known to copy/paste “reference code” from chipset manufacturers. It works and does the job, but it’s never “production class, secure and shippable”.
Endless examples exist where errors are made that enable easy access to these devices by bypassing authentication or other means that allow a take-over. However, for IOT devices, the coding bugs are probably much more common that any deliberate back-door. Several home routers from known brand-names has been sold with the WAN administration activated while using known default password for “root”. Even when manually going into some of the admin panels and toggling the “enable WAN administration” to “OFF” may only toggle a visual indicator while leaving the actual WAN interface open for requests from anyone
This article (from 2016) shows how this kind of sloppy/security-unconscious coding can have really widespread implications – not just for your personal privacy, but much more broadly. It isn’t hypothetical.
Hackers Infect Army of Cameras, DVRs for Massive Internet Attacks (Paywall)
Attackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devicesin homes and businesses connected to the internet.
… The attackers used as many as one million Chinese-made security cameras, digital video recorders and other infected devices to generate webpage requests and data that knocked their targets offline, security experts said. It is unclear whether the attackers had access to video feeds from the devices.
… Experts have long warned that machines without their own screens are less likely to receive fixes designed to protect them. Researchers have found flaws in gadgets ranging from “smart” lightbulbs to internet-connected cars. …