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9 Jan 2023
Arlo's New End-of-Life Policy Faces Criticism
Netgear's spinoff company, Arlo, has received criticism for its decision to stop supporting several of its connected security cameras after only a few years. The company has implemented a new "end-of-life" (EOL) policy, stating that it may cease support for any camera that has not been in production for four years or less.
This policy has been criticized by consumers and industry experts, who argue that the short support lifespan of these cameras is unacceptable given their high price.
Arlo is a well-known brand that produces top-rated security cameras. Customers usually purchase a security camera from Arlo, install it, and then don't think about it until it stops working.
While all technology products eventually reach the end of their lifespan (EOL), one typically expects security cameras to be supported for longer, especially when its created by a reputable manufacturer like Arlo.
Here are some of the products that are approaching the end of their lifespan (EOL) in the year 2023.
- From 1st April 2023 – Arlo Pro and Arlo Gen 3
- From 1st January 2024 – Arlo Q, Arlo Q+, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Baby, Arlo Lights, and Arlo Audio Doorbell
In Arlo's words, the following is set to occur for any EOL product:
- No support
- No firmware upgrades
- No security updates
- No bug fixes
- No maintenance releases
- No workarounds or patches
- No spare parts
- No replacement devices
- Bundled services or features may be reduced or eliminated.
- Services and cloud functionality may be reduced or unavailable (including without limitation the uploading, downloading, and storing of cloud recordings)
Additionally, the biggest concern is the lack of security updates.
According to cybersecurity company SAM Seamless Network research, security cameras are the most susceptible devices when installed on home networks.
If a security camera is compromised, attackers can spy on a home or business, potentially gaining access to sensitive information or using the footage for extortion. In a recent legal case, two individuals were charged with using Ring cameras to Livestream "swatting" attacks and mock law enforcement during the response.
While not as critical, it is frustrating for Arlo customers when core features are removed. Many people chose Arlo products over competitors because they believed they would get free 7-day cloud storage prominently advertised in marketing materials and packaging.
According to an email sent to Arlo users, current customers can continue to live stream video, receive motion notifications, and store video clips... if they have a compatible Arlo base station.
However, some users have reported difficulties obtaining these base stations, which can be costly to purchase. Additionally, using them comes with the risk of not having access to security updates.
This situation does not give potential buyers much confidence in Arlo as a security camera brand. In comparison, when Amazon discontinued its Cloud Cam, it provided affected users with a free replacement device and a year of subscription service.
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