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Netgear Arlo Q - 1080p HD Wi-Fi Security Camera with 2 Way Audio & 7 Days of FREE Cloud Recordings - VMC3040-100NAS
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs Needs a companion local storage device to be a real winner 05/26/2016

This review is from: Netgear Arlo Q - 1080p HD Wi-Fi Security Camera with 2 Way Audio & 7 Days of FREE Cloud Recordings - VMC3040-100NAS

Pros: 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi support
Motion detection
Sound detection
2-way communication (see cons)
Good night vision
IFTTT compatible

Cons: Requires Internet connection
Inconsistent motion detection
App crashes randomly
App crashes when trying to speak through camera from app
Limited to 1 gig online storage with free subscription
No constant recording with free subscription
2-way communication difficult due to latency
No local storage option

Other Thoughts: Initial setup was a pain. It has you enter wireless credentials and then generates a QR code that you must place in front of the camera. I could not get it to read the code from my Samsung Galaxy S4 after a dozen attempts. I switched to my desktop PC and went to arlo.netgear.com and it read the code fine.

You must also agree to a ToS and Privacy Policy during setup where you feel like you're signing your life away to use a piece of technology that you own. If you could handle video storage locally, I doubt this would be necessary. In the Privacy Policy I read "We may share information with third parties." in bold. Yikes.

After setting the camera up on my PC, I signed into the mobile app and my PC was automatically logged out.

It takes a good 10 to 15 seconds to start a live view. The app crashed seconds into my first viewing session when I tried speaking through the camera. I have yet to get this to work correctly. After playing around some more, it crashed again when I tapped on what turned out to be an icon for the timeline feature, which requires adding a CVR plan.

I was able to easily add a second user and grant administrative permissions to the camera.

In the camera settings, I noticed that it was set to 720p by default. I was able to change it to 1080p.

Videos seem to be easily managed in the Library tab of the app.

At 1080p, I've observed the camera using up to almost 12 Mbps in a fixed location in my garage as measured by my DD-WRT enabled router. A still image with background noise is between 1 and 2.5 Mbps, still image with more noise is closer to 5 Mbps, and opening the garage door spikes it to the highest reading I've seen yet. I'm sure it would use more bandwidth still with more motion than just the door opening and closing. It uses almost no bandwidth when there is no recording or live view happening. The figures I recorded are vastly different from Netgear's claimed max bandwidth of 1500 kbps. Maybe soemone forgot a 0.

I'm personally getting a little tired of companies peddling expensive products like this and then nickel and diming customers with monthly fees. The plans seem way overpriced for what's offered. I would much prefer local storage and control with optional cloud backup, but I can see the value some people may place on letting someone else handle the storage despite the tradeoffs.

Motion detection seems to work well for me in testing in the kitchen, but not in my garage. I was able to catch cats jumping onto the counters and found optimal placement for deterrents. I mounted it in the garage next and linked it through IFTTT to my Wink hub to turn on the lights when motion is detected. There is a delay of about 10 - 40 seconds. Sometimes it won't fire at all and I can't yet determine if it's an Arlo or IFTTT issue. I'd like to see Netgear partner this with Wink directly so that I can take IFTTT out of the mix.

The motion detection seems to suffer a bit in the garage as I have to walk to within about 10 feet of the camera for it to trigger a motion alert even on the highest sensitivity setting.

The default "Armed" mode was sending me notifications and emails every time it detected motion. Once you've placed your camera, I would recommend creating a new mode to suit its purpose as you can then easily modify motion sensitivity, motion zones, audio sensitivity, actions, recording length and notifications.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend basing your home's security on this camera, but it would be good for monitoring kids or pets or supplementing other security measures. I really want to like this product more, but I feel too restricted by the cloud storage and the caveats that come with it. I feel that this really deserves 3.5 eggs, but I can't round it up to 4.

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Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Solid choice for MU-MIMO router 04/25/2016

This review is from: Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

Pros: Crazy fast wireless throughput
MU-MIMO (great for multiple users)
Beamforming (great speed at long range)
USB 3.0 port
USB 2.0 port
A few unique features

Cons: Odd configuration
Funky manual configuration layout
Bulky and thick
Outlet-hogging power adapter

Other Thoughts: I haven't touched a Linksys router in sometime. The interface sure has changed for me.

I expect for most users, this will be plug and play. For the rest of us that want to dig into things, the interface is oddly laid out. For example, firmware updates are under the Connectivity category.

One neat feature that I've never seen before is "Bridge Mode" for Internet connection type. This quickly and easily lets me configure this as an access point and disables NAT, firewall, etc and also removes those elements from my view. This seems to work as well as a LAN to LAN connection so far.

Some other features in the same area are "Wireless repeater" and "Wireless bridge". Wireless repeater should work like a wireless extender, but turning an expensive router into a repeater would not only be silly, but would also cut throughput considerably. Wireless bridge mode seems to use one of the router's wireless bands to do the same function as the wired bridge mode, with the exception of course that there is no Ethernet cable required and the wireless band used will not broadcast to clients.

There seems to be plenty of options available including VLANs, a built-in speed test, a really neat network map, guest networks, USB file sharing, DLNA server, etc.

Throughput is as good or better than my TP-Link Archer C3200.

I also ran into an issue that required me to reboot the router where the upload speed on the 5 GHz band was limited to 5 mbps or so.

I'd say that this is a pretty solid choice for anyone looking to get in on a MU-MIMO router. The features beyond that aren't anything to really write home about though.

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TP-LINK HS110 (Energy Monitoring)  Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your electric equipment from Anywhere, Energy Saving
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: Easy setup
Physical power button
Power usage stats
Runtime stats
Scheduling
Away mode
Timer

Cons: Bulky
Covers both outlets

Other Thoughts: This is an impressive device that doesn't require a smart hub to function. It has all of the features that I could want like on/off scheduling, timer, power monitoring, etc.

I've been converting a lot of my home's switches to smart switches and putting some appliances on z-wave appliance modules. For more modest control, this fits the bill nicely. Without requiring a hub, you get a lot of great features.

I did run into a snag at first in figuring out which app to install for this as I lost the little paper insert for a day, but did end up finding the Kasa app eventually without it. The only real hangup I can see most people having with this is in remembering their wireless password.

I ended up connecting this to my Blu-ray disc player that has a tendency to freeze up while streaming video. This saves me the hassle of getting up and unplugging the thing and plugging it back in.

I didn't test out the scheduling or timer functions too much as I don't really need them currently, but they seemed to function alright.

I found that the app will even let you assign a picture to the device so that you know quickly what it is powering.

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Shane A.'s Profile

Display Name: Shane A.

Date Joined: 03/14/03

  • Reviews: 61
  • Helpfulness: 23
  • First Review: 12/31/04
  • Last Review: 05/26/16
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