NETGEAR Arlo Reviewed

trek_520

Regular Contributor
Thanks very much for the solid review.

How does Arlo work within your existing Wi-Fi setup? Does it sit on the same channel as your current router? Can you pick the channel it broadcasts on? I have been reading some people having issues with there Wi-Fi after they installed these. Somebody blamed it on Arlo and Sonos not working well together. Any thoughts?
 

sdeleeuw

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the question. The response I got from NETGEAR on this very same question was:

1)If the base station detects another access point nearby, it will choose the same channel as the access point that is closest (based on received signal strength). This provides better performance when two APs are placed next to each other.

2) If the base station does not detect an access point within 20ft or so, it will then follow normal Auto Channel Selection to detect and select the channel with the least interference and potentially best WiFi performance.

You can't pick Arlo's channel and it creates its own wireless network, separate from yours. In my case it picked the exact channel as the access point it was sitting right next to, like NETGEAR specified would happen. They do this so the two networks can talk and wait for each other vs just having cross-talk on conflicting channels. I didn't see wifi issues after installing Arlo, the only time the Arlo network is transmitting is when video is being recorded or displayed (on motion or manual viewing).

I guess theoretically if someone had very heavy Sonos activity and lots of Arlo cameras that were constantly seeing motion there could be wi-fi issues, I would think it would take a lot more than 2 cameras to realize that however and that's all I had to test with. The other unknown is I don't have Sonos, Sonos operates on its own 2.4GHz mesh network they call "SonosNet". Each Sonos device expands the Sonos network vs having a single access point. From the limited exposure I've had to Sonos, you can change its channel. I don't know if Arlo would identify SonosNet as a wireless network and follow its channel or not.

I also don't know the traffic patterns of Sonos, but I do know with a competitor like Logitech Media Server and Squeezeplayers, most of the traffic happens as a new song is played, with a small amount of residual traffic during playback to keep the players in sync, so ongoing traffic is not high even while using it. If someone had Sonos, Arlo and their own wireless network, I guess there could be a possibility that the 3 networks were conflicting, but theoretically the conflict should be resolvable.
 

trek_520

Regular Contributor
Thank you very much for your response. I am somewhat surprised that Netgear would pick the same channel as your access point to promote co-channel interference on purpose. I was always believed that was a bad thing. I get that it is better than adjacent channel interference, but if I only have my AP/Router on Channel 1 - why not use 6 or 11 if they are wide open? Better for both networks to be on dedicated channels - then no interference would occur i.e. waiting to talk. I can tell you that Sonos is loud and noisy from a Wi-Fi perspective.

I would think it would be beneficial for to have the ability to change the channel Arlo broadcasts on like Sonos does. Also, Sonos initially fought this, but has finally yielded to letting people use their existing Wi-Fi infrastructure with Sonos. I think Arlo should consider the same. Default should be as it is today, but giving people the choice to configure it to best fit there environment makes sense at least to me.

Further - I wish all these guys doing this type of system - Sonos and Arlo would put 5GHz radios in there devices. AC would be great as well. Then we could have the flexibility using more, less cluttered frequencies.

Just my 2 cents.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Sonos runs on Sonosnet, which is a mesh wireless system. Mesh systems are quite "chatty" due to the information nodes need to exchange to make mesh work.

Arlo is using straight Wi-Fi, albeit optimized to save camera power. Putting Arlo's network on the same channel as the "house" Wi-Fi lets both AP's "hear" each other very clearly and best coordinate airtime use.

As Scott noted, Arlo's network is quiet most of the time, so not likely to cause Wi-Fi interference.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Looking to buy home surveillance camera. Is Arlo worth that price? About $180 on amazon.
I bought one and ended up returning it. Main reason was its inability to control the motion detection zones.
 

Klueless

Very Senior Member
Last thing I ever thought I'd be doing is reactivating a 5 year old thread.
1)If the base station detects another access point nearby, it will choose the same channel as the access point that is closest (based on received signal strength). This provides better performance when two APs are placed next to each other.
I would think it would be beneficial for to have the ability to change the channel Arlo broadcasts on
Putting Arlo's network on the same channel as the "house" Wi-Fi lets both AP's "hear" each other very clearly and best coordinate airtime use.
I think this must work most of the time (or Arlo wouldn't still be in business : -) but, perhaps, not all the time?

My son called me over. He bought a used house about a decade ago. Decent size, just shy of 3,000 sq. ft., two floors, high ceilings, finished basement so ... three floors of activity.

35 x 5 Mbps cable Internet service, ISP provided (so tweaking options are limited) Ubee modem/router combo, dual-band AC.

Kids are older now; computers, smart TVs, smart phones, gaming machines all over the place now. Occasional problems, nothing serious until ... now. COVID. Parents are working from home, Kids are schooling from home, more streaming, more gaming. More dropouts (WiFi, not high school, dropouts).

House is long. Router is in far corner. Two of the bedrooms and garage rec room couldn't be farther. I looked at the "Fritz App" on my iPhone that measures "bit rate" (independent of Internet service speed) and could watch/confirm huge drops in the far reaches. I also noticed everyone used the "WiFi" SSID for 2.4 GHz and no one was using "Wifi-5G" (the SSID for 5 GHz).

I looked at my WiFi analyzer (Acrylic for Windows) and saw four devices fighting over the same 2.4 GHz channel:
  • Our router.
  • Our wireless HP printer. (Not much I can do about that.)
  • A single band Netgear N300 wireless repeater. (Not much I can do about that.)
  • A NETGEAR something that I assumed was the neighbor's router
Then:
  • I took his business computer off of WiFi and hardwired it to the router (one less device on WiFi).
  • Logged into the router and:
    • Changed "WiFi-5G" to "WiFi" in the hopes that at least a couple of devices would move themselves from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz.
    • Changed the 2.4 GHz from "Auto" to unused channel 11 (to separate us from the neighbor).
  • As long as they had the Netgear repeater I connected the garage TV to it.
When I came back they were still having dropouts. Puzzling was that the "neighbor's router" had moved over to our router's channel. I looked closer. It was not our neighbor. It was us. "We" have Arlo Cameras and the "NETGEAR" I was seeing was the Arlo Base Station. Hence ... this long winded post under this thread. No matter what I do the Arlo keeps moving over to my router's channel.

I think my path forward will look something like this:
  • Unplug the Arlo and the Netgear repeater for a couple of days and see what happens.
  • Add the repeater back into the mix and see what happens.
  • Add the Arlo back in and see what happens.
IF I see what I think I might see, i.e., things run better without the Arlo, I'm thinking that I might;
  • Replace the N300 repeater with a dual-band Netgear 6150 range extender,
    • Set a dedicated 5 GHz backhaul to the router,
    • Advertise 2.4 as "WiFi" (just like the "WiFi" SSIDs on the router). It's location is center to the house and just "might" cover the whole house. Devices that connect to "WiFi" should flip between 2.4 Extender and 5 GHz router as needed.
  • Rename the router's 2.4 GHz SSID to something like "unused" and not share the password with the users and lock it to a channel different than what the 6150 uses. I'm hoping that the Arlo will grab onto this "dummy" rather than the one the extender will be advertising.
So, when I'm done;
  • Both the WiFi extender and the Router will advertise the family service as "WiFi", one at 2.4GHz and the other at 5 GHz.
  • As mobile devices move about many to most should flip automatically between 2.4 & 5 GHz
  • The router, printer & Arlo will be on channel 11 but since the router will have just one device (the printer) on it is shouldn't be much of an issue.
  • Just the extender will be on channel 1.
If it actually works out it will suggest that Arlo might want to consider giving Arlo users the option to "fix" a channel?
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
The faster you push your local network the more the load is pushed to your internet connection. I guess you know two 4K video streams will saturate your internet connection at 35 meg. If you are having problems maxing out your internet connection then you need to play games to limit devices on bandwidth to not kill your 35 meg internet connection. You can add a router with cake to help but it will not solve your problem. Once you go too far over your bandwidth devices will time out no matter what. This is going to be a kind of trial and error making everything work. The more you can stay away from video streams the better off you will be.
 

Klueless

Very Senior Member
The faster you push your local network the more the load is pushed to your internet connection. I guess you know two 4K video streams will saturate your internet connection at 35 meg. If you are having problems maxing out your internet connection then you need to play games to limit devices on bandwidth to not kill your 35 meg internet connection. You can add a router with cake to help but it will not solve your problem. Once you go too far over your bandwidth devices will time out no matter what. This is going to be a kind of trial and error making everything work. The more you can stay away from video streams the better off you will be.
Thank you kindly for your reply. When I first went over I really thought it was going to be an Internet service speed overload problem. Part way in I started thinking otherwise. The only 4K TV, the "family" TV, they have is on an old fashioned cable TV setup so it's out of band / not on the network.

The rest would be HD TV. So if the remaining four were all streaming that would be 4 times about 6 or 7 Mbps, about 25 Mbps. Even gaming (Fort Nite) comes in at less than 5 (three-ish?). Even so I didn't see a lot of gaming or TV going on. A lot of read, type, read as in work, browsing, face book, e-mail, etc.

(I was really missing my Asus at this point as there is no traffic monitor to check to ascertain these types of things.)​

That's when I started stumbling into the further out locations only getting 5 to 10 Mbps while Internet speed tests were still showing 30/35 Mbps speeds at the better locations. Prior to Arlo this never seemed to be a problem but since Arlo it is. Of course during COVID they're on more so the more you're on the more likely you are to see problems you never noticed before.

But, after reading your reply, I will reopen my mind to that possibility. Towards that I will check with the kids and see if they're using Zoom, etc. for school and how many "screens" they use? I "think" they just see one presentation screen which wouldn't be an issue, but multiples could be.

I don't have a lot of fancy tools but I think if I can get them to shut off the Arlo base station for a couple of days, shut off the repeater and stay away from the far reaches for a couple of days, I might learn something by process of elimination?
 
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