Our 4G Connect Pro has been one of the hottest products this year – providing fast, 4G internet connectivity on board for browsing, weather, email, movies, entertainment etc. We’ve seen users with up to 20NM offshore connectivity. Once you have internet on board, your boat opens up to a realm of other opportunities.
We’ve also been asked by many boaters “What’s the best solution for boat video monitoring?” There are lots of dedicated (and expensive) marine solutions which could connect to the 4G Connect network but there’s also the simple and popular Arlo home based system which can be used. Arlo started life as part of Netgear but became a stand alone listed company back in 2018. Their products can be bought from Amazon, Best Buy etc.
The system comprises small, waterproof, battery powered cameras that connect to an Arlo hub via wifi. It means you don’t have to run wires around the boat or even find 12V power and you can position the camera in different locations as you need to. Multiple cameras are also supported. Arlo says the cameras are waterproof but we’re not convinced they are “marine grade” waterproof – that said you probably want to monitor the inside or cockpit areas of the boat and they will likely be fine with a bit of protection. They come with a mounting base which can probably be adapted for any installation by a competent DIY boater.
Just install the Arlo base near our 4G Pro and connect via an ethernet cable direct to the LAN port provided on the 4G Pro modem unit. There’s a simple set up routine which I’d recommend running at home so your unit is ready to plug in with the latest updates when you’re on board. This sets up a cloud account so you can monitor the cameras and pairs the cameras with the Arlo base. Apps are available for mobile devices and the cameras can be set to detect movement, record and upload to the cloud as well as providing you with an alert. The system can be set to only be active when you move away from the boat. Video can also be stored on a local USB storage stick as the cloud recordings have a limit of 7 days with the free service. It’s a slick consumer solution which may meet the needs of many boaters and a great addition to 4G Connect’s capabilities.