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Home Video Surveillance - Arlo, Nest, Ring, etc.

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Based on a couple different recent events, it's become clear that I need some video surveillance. Anybody running one of these systems and want to share experience and thoughts.

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There is a thread somewhere already, but I went with the Reolink Argus. Its very similar to the Arlos, but no need for a subscription. It was the best option for me, as I had to have 100% wireless.

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I recently installed a Nest outdoor and indoor IQ, as well as a Hello.  They are pricey to buy and you only get the  IQ features if you subscribe, but I think they just came out with a 5 day history plan which is less expensive.

I went with Nest to integrate with my other Google stuff.  I do like the familiar face recognition as well as the ability to divide the image into zones (pool vs. porch vs. servants' quarters, &c.).

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Picked up an Arlo bundle at costo back on the last Black Friday (no racist) with 3 cameras.  I'm really amazed at how good the motion detection is.  Haven't had a false alarm from a critter yet.  The rechargeable batteries are still going strong on their original charge (I haven't had to recharge any of them yet 4 months later).

The wifi range from the central box is decent, but not sufficient to place a camera on our detached garage (central box is inside a closet in an upstairs bedroom furthest from the garage).

The phone app works fine and is fairly idiot proof (easy to navigate/figure out).  There is a noticable lag/delay when manually activating a camera, but it's not too bad.  Overall, I'm happy with it so far.

Arlo free subscription allows 1 week of video saved to the cloud.  That's more than sufficient for my needs.

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Not 100% sure, but I think it's just the Pro.  The resolution is good enough for me.  I was really surprised at how good the image is at night (low/no light).  YMMV.

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What is your budget?

What type of place do you have?

Where do you want cameras?

How many cameras total?

Do you want to store video locally, or pay for cloud storage?

Do you want to fuck with batteries, or do you want something powered?

 

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Basic ass Arlo user here. They work pretty great. No subscription needed, 10 second recording to cloud everytime the motion detection is triggered. 

Maybe obvious thing that wasn't obvious to me, you can't use them through a window. The motion detection does not work when you do that.

I have one covering my front door so it goes off several times a day, batteries still lasts 6 months. Each uses CR123a's so not cheap to replace. There are cheap options out there to power them if you have power where you will be installing.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Robin Masters said:

...Maybe obvious thing that wasn't obvious to me, you can't use them through a window. The motion detection does not work when you do that. ...

I've got one of the cameras installed between my front door and the storm door.  The camera is mounted at the top and looks downward.  When the storm door is closed, you can't even see the camera from the outside until you get right up to the door, but the camera sees people approaching the door.  Motion detection is working just fine.  Maybe you tried putting the camera too far away from the glass?  In my case, there is very little clearance between the camera and the storm door's glass.

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1 minute ago, bernorange said:

I've got one of the cameras installed between my front door and the storm door.  The camera is mounted at the top and looks downward.  When the storm door is closed, you can't even see the camera from the outside until you get right up to the door, but the camera sees people approaching the door.  Motion detection is working just fine.  Maybe you tried putting the camera too far away from the glass?  In my case, there is very little clearance between the camera and the storm door's glass.

I had one mounted to the frame of a plantation shutter,  it was maybe 2-3 inches from the window and it basically never went off.
https://kb.arlo.com/63/Does-motion-detection-work-through-glass-or-windows

"Motion detection does not work through windows reliably. Arlo cameras use two different kinds of motion detection, and both types are inhibited by glass, especially windows."

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I suspect the 2-3 inches makes the difference.  In my case, the top of the camera is nearly touching the storm door and the camera lens is roughly 1 inch from the glass.

Not sure if it matters, but my front door faces north-east, so the camera never has the sun shining right at it.

Edited by bernorange

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I looked into the Arlo system about a year ago, but it seemed like people were complaining about lag between the time that it detects motion and when it actually starts recording. Like it would catch the delivery guy walking away and stuff like that. Has that been a problem in y'alls experience? Maybe they've pushed a software update since then.

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14 minutes ago, tokamak said:

I looked into the Arlo system about a year ago, but it seemed like people were complaining about lag between the time that it detects motion and when it actually starts recording. Like it would catch the delivery guy walking away and stuff like that. Has that been a problem in y'alls experience? Maybe they've pushed a software update since then.

I had an Arlo system and the lag in motion detection was the reason I returned it. The 2-3 second delay was severe enough it wouldn't catch the person walking to the camera - only walking away. 

I followed the steps in this KB article but still didn't help:

https://kb.arlo.com/1015583/How-do-I-optimize-motion-detection-for-my-Arlo-Wire-Free-Arlo-Pro-Wire-Free-or-Arlo-Go-camera

I ended up returning the whole system. Haven't found anything better yet. 

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I have my Arlo cameras set up so that the lag does cause much problems. That said, the camera on my driveway stopped connecting 5 days after I put it up (its high) and that pissed me off. Yesterday, after 3 months of running, my front door camera just decided to go offline. Batteries are good, just not connecting.

I hate when technology doesn’t live up to its end of the deal.

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8 minutes ago, kmac30 said:

I have my Arlo cameras set up so that the lag does cause much problems. That said, the camera on my driveway stopped connecting 5 days after I put it up (its high) and that pissed me off. Yesterday, after 3 months of running, my front door camera just decided to go offline. Batteries are good, just not connecting.

I hate when technology doesn’t live up to its end of the deal.

I was having a conversation with a friend at work yesterday about how we have so much shit in our lives these days to make things easier, or better somehow. But it sure does feel like I spend a lot of time frustrated and troubleshooting stuff that's not working as promised. Another thread.

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How does one install a camera on masonry if it’s wired? Do you need to put in an electrical box for the connections? I’m looking to put something on the gable above my garage.

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I like the nest outdoor cams, that damn sub is pricey but I only have 2. Quality is great and time lapse rocks , plus easy setup .

If I had a bunch of cams I would probably setup my own system

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On 4/3/2018 at 4:55 PM, mapplewhite132 said:

Not much to add other than my ring doorbell is a piece of shit

 

Mine is pretty damn good for what it is. It just being there has already been a deterrent to people trying to leave fliers/junk mail hanging on my door. Nice to see them walk up, see the "no soliciting, blah blah" sign while still going towards the door, then see the ring and turn around.

 

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On 4/2/2018 at 1:27 PM, Damor said:

I recently installed a Nest outdoor and indoor IQ, as well as a Hello.  They are pricey to buy and you only get the  IQ features if you subscribe, but I think they just came out with a 5 day history plan which is less expensive.

have some rep  didn’t realize the new 5 day plan.

plus one for nest. we used a nest cam for our baby monitor so it made sense for us to use the outdoor version for security cams.  keeps everything in one app and i get screen capture notifications on my apple watch.  

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I'll cast my vote for Nest.  I have 3 cameras at my main residence and 3 at our lake house. Combination of indoor and outdoor cameras.

They are easy to set up and provide excellent picture quality in all lighting conditions.

 

The drawbacks are they are expensive and the additional notification and archival services are pricey as well.

 

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I have a skybell which works pretty well for the most part and was going tried the arlo pros but the price was too much for quality.  I acutally got some 4k Lorex cameras at costco and they are awesome for the price.  The wiring can be a pain but well worth it i think.

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My ring has turned into a giant piece of shit that doesn't connect consistently when I try to access the camera from desktop or mobile. I thought it was perhaps because I was on the 5 ghz network so I switched to 2.4 and it didn't make a difference. Where are we at on this 2 years later? Arlo? Nest? I don't need anything fancy. Recording to the cloud is nice. Might want to add a second camera for the sliding back door. 

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Piggybacking on this thread myself. Moving to a new house with some acreage in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping to be able to set up home security and baby monitoring in one fell swoop. I have too many damn apps and technologies in our current house and want to pare that down as much as I can in the next.

Do any of the apps for Ring/Arlo/Nest have the capability to work as a dual baby monitor? IE can I actively stream video and audio from two cameras at once, getting sound from both either simultaneously, or flipping back and forth? 

I'm trying to avoid having a home monitoring system and a separate baby monitoring system if at all possible. 

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I have the Google mesh router with the ring doorbell along with two floodlight cameras. It's only been a couple of months, so there is that, but all works flawlessly at the moment. The house already had floodlights on both sides of the garage and backyard, so I wanted the direct wired. 

Not sure about two cameras at once with sound

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7 hours ago, Baboontyme said:

My ring has turned into a giant piece of shit that doesn't connect consistently when I try to access the camera from desktop or mobile. I thought it was perhaps because I was on the 5 ghz network so I switched to 2.4 and it didn't make a difference. Where are we at on this 2 years later? Arlo? Nest? I don't need anything fancy. Recording to the cloud is nice. Might want to add a second camera for the sliding back door. 

I don't have Nest but do have the 2nd Gen Arlos. I believe they are on 3rd or maybe even 4th gen. For what I want it to do, I really like the Arlos. It's wireless and motion based. Not full on all the time recording. Easy to set up. Cloud storage. I am worried about these platforms (Nest, Arlo, etc) getting hacked and people watching me. For that reason I only have the Arlos outside watching points of entry. I have never had connectivity issues. A good router goes a long way.

 

6 hours ago, BradInATX said:

Piggybacking on this thread myself. Moving to a new house with some acreage in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping to be able to set up home security and baby monitoring in one fell swoop. I have too many damn apps and technologies in our current house and want to pare that down as much as I can in the next.

Do any of the apps for Ring/Arlo/Nest have the capability to work as a dual baby monitor? IE can I actively stream video and audio from two cameras at once, getting sound from both either simultaneously, or flipping back and forth? 

I'm trying to avoid having a home monitoring system and a separate baby monitoring system if at all possible. 

Baby monitor would require 24/7 up time and very little lag. Others can chime in but I think the best option for that would be a full blown wired system. I think there are videos on how to convert old phones into baby monitors. Not sure if they were wired or wireless.

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Just a note that while browsing I saw 4K UHD 4xCamera Arlo kit is currently $100 cheaper than the 3 camera kit.

Haven’t installed cameras in our new house and been here years. Got me looking.

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3 hours ago, crash_davis said:

I don't have Nest but do have the 2nd Gen Arlos. I believe they are on 3rd or maybe even 4th gen. For what I want it to do, I really like the Arlos. It's wireless and motion based. Not full on all the time recording. Easy to set up. Cloud storage. I am worried about these platforms (Nest, Arlo, etc) getting hacked and people watching me. For that reason I only have the Arlos outside watching points of entry. I have never had connectivity issues. A good router goes a long way.

 

This is basically what I want. I don't need wireless for the doorbell because I have the wire in place but the add on camera (or 2) will be wireless. I just want motion recording, 30 days, cloud. I'm a little overwhelmed at the options. They offer like 6 of the cameras on the arlo website. I got impatient and bought the doorbell + 1 Arlo essential camera. 

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Arlo Pro 2 here. Five cameras, all outside. 1080p so video quality is good. I have too many trees and too much wind, so I turned off all the notifications and review it every morning with coffee. Free cloud storage for up to five cameras for 7 days, if I see something I want to keep I can download it.

 

 

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Just noticed nest changed their sub model to include all cameras instead of charging for each. About time

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https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/video/terrifying-video-familys-hacked-ring-camera-system-67704081

I wouldn't connect cloud cameras in the house. You have no idea how secure some of these companies are. Hackers may have free reign to users' cameras.

If you are using it inside the home, I would pay the extra money for a secure wired system with dedicated networking.

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I've got the Nest Doorbell camera, one indoor Nest Cam, and Two outdoor Nest Cams.  They have been solid, and having the 24/7 cloud recording is nice.  I had a Ring Doorbell camera before and it sucked ass.  The recordings would always start when the person was walking away from the door.  Nest is probably not the cheapest route to take, but I have been very happy with mine.  

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8 hours ago, Liteitup said:

Arlo Pro 2 here. Five cameras, all outside. 1080p so video quality is good. I have too many trees and too much wind, so I turned off all the notifications and review it every morning with coffee. Free cloud storage for up to five cameras for 7 days, if I see something I want to keep I can download it.

 

 

Doesn't the wind and trees tripping the motion wear done your batteries constantly or do you have it hardwired? 

Also, I am looking for something for my parents, so I would need it to be fairly simple. They can handle a certain amount of tech. 

I really haven't started looking, but I just want something I can self-install on 5 or 6 parts of the outside of their one story house that is motion, so I don't think it will be too difficult. 

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Posted (edited)

I have to charge the batteries every two or three weeks, depending on location. I was keeping an extra camera charged and changing out as needed, but had some odd activity and need all 5 cameras now. It's simple to install and get up and running...as witnessed by me being able to do.

Edited by Liteitup

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10 minutes ago, Liteitup said:

I have to charge the batteries every two or three weeks, depending on location. I was keeping an extra camera charged and changing out as needed, but had some odd activity and need all 5 cameras now. It's simple to install and get up and running...as witnessed by me being able to do.

Alright, thanks. Looks like it would be close to a grand if I got them 5 cameras. Seems steep, but I need to get them something. 

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I didn't want to have to pay for cloud camera storage indefinitely. Not to mention the aforementioned possible security risks.

We went with a Unifi Cloud Key Plus  and a couple of the G3 Bullet cameras. I should mention, that I already had a Unifi home network with a POE switch so set up was pretty simple. I also paid a guy to come out and put in some ethernet drops to the spots I wanted my cameras. So far, I'm loving it.

Here are a couple of shots of the interface.

 

2020-07-24 16_32_09-Window.png

2020-07-24 16_32_26-Window.png

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Nothing is ever simple. Sigh. 

Re: Arlo doorbell. I don't have a chimebox anymore. I had the painters push the wires back into the wall. I DO have a wire at my front door, and I used it to power my ring. Apparently you have to connect a power box that comes with the Arlo to your home's chimebox. I figured I could skip that step and just have the doorbell ring to my phone, like the Ring did. But my Arlo would not power up just connected at the door. I guess I will be returning the Arlo. 

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