When I made a decision to purchase my first home security cameras, the Arlo Q was my obvious selection – every reviewer identified that it offered seven days of free cloud storage as an alternative of forcing you to subscribe. Hell, even Arlo advertised it on the packaging.
But on January 1, 2024, the corporate is phasing out this feature on many Arlo cameras — and reserves the precise to eliminate all cloud features, including email alerts, push notifications, and other “packaged services or features” for any non-manufactured camera for 4 years.
Arlo is communicating these messages in the shape of a latest retroactive “End of Life Policy”, which you may read in full below, however the abbreviated version is as follows:
According redditors who received an email from Arlo (by 9to5Google) with the brand new policy, you may still “stream live video, receive traffic alerts, and store video clips locally with a compatible Arlo base station.” But it’s grammatically unclear if this implies a base station is required for live streaming any videoor simply for local storage.
I understand and sympathize with the concept that an organization may not need to support their products indefinitely, and EOL policies aren’t unusual, as is cutting support for, say, a phone after 3-4 years. But these aren’t the smartphones you replace so often – these are products we install in our homes and expect to remain there indefinitely. Again, 7 days free cloud storage is a feature that was advertised right on the box.
I ponder if the lawsuits will come. Canary was sued in 2018 for bait and switch tactics when it began charging for services that were once free, however the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed amid questions over whether Canary could force its clients into binding arbitration. Arlo also has a binding arbitration policy.
When Amazon killed off its Cloud Cam, which also offered free 24-hour storage, owners at the least got a free alternative device and a yr of subscription service. Maybe the corporate will do something like that if there’s enough slack.