What is Direct Storage Access and how do I use it?

Direct Storage Access is the perfect solution if you’re looking for a convenient way to access videos stored locally on your Arlo SmartHub. Instead of removing the microSD card or USB storage device and plugging it into your computer to view recordings, Direct Storage Access enables a fast way to directly view recordings through the Arlo App at the full resolution of your Ultra or Pro camera. When you use Direct Storage Access, your Arlo recordings never touch the Arlo cloud, providing seamless point-to-point access.

What you need

To set up Direct Storage Access, you need the following:

  • The Arlo app (version 2.12 or higher)
    Direct Storage Access is not available on my.arlo.com.
  • An Arlo SmartHub (VMB5000 or VMB4540)
  • A router
    Note: we recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) router.
  • A USB or microSD device that is compatible with your Arlo SmartHub

Set up Direct Storage Access

To setup Direct Storage Access for your Arlo system, you must first insert a compatible USB or microSD device into your Arlo SmartHub. For detailed information about setting up local storage backups, visit How do I set up local storage backups on my Arlo base station?.

After you have inserted a compatible storage device, you must enable local storage recording in the Arlo app. When local storage recording is enabled, you can setup Direct Storage Access.

To enable Direct Storage Access:

  1. Launch the Arlo app on iOS or Android.
  2. Tap Settings > My Devices.
  3. Select a SmartHub.
  4. Tap Storage Settings.
  5. Tap the switch next to Record Locally.
    Local storage is now activated on your Arlo device.
  6. Tap the switch next to Direct Storage Access.

After you enable Direct Storage Access, your recordings are accessible when you are on the same LAN as the SmartHub. To access recordings when outside the LAN, we recommend enabling VPN on your router and mobile device to establish a secure connection to your SmartHub. Please consult your router manufacturer for specific configuration details.

You can also enable port forwarding as an alternative to using a secure VPN to access your storage recordings in the Arlo app.

Note: To enable port forwarding, you might need to contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to request permission for traffic to be allowed through the external port that is defined by the Arlo app.

To enable or disable port forwarding after Direct Storage Access is enabled:

  1. Launch the Arlo app on iOS or Android.
  2. Tap Settings > My Devices.
  3. Select a SmartHub.
  4. Tap Storage Settings > Port Forwarding.
  5. Tap the switch next to Enable Port Forwarding.
  6. Read the advisory message.
    Note: Enabling port forwarding can expose your overall network security to attacks and vulnerabilities and should be used with caution.
  7. If you understand and accept the risks, tap I accept the risk.
    Port forwarding is activated on the Arlo app.
  8. Enter the relevant port forwarding information in your router settings to enable access outside the LAN.
    Note: Please consult your router manufacturer for specific configuration details.
    If correctly entered, the ‘Status’ will change to ‘Available.’
  9. To change the ports assigned for Direct Storage Access, tap Refresh Ports to have a new port randomly assigned.

Disabling Direct Storage Access or port forwarding deactivates Direct Storage Access for your Arlo SmartHub, but your router settings will remain unchanged. If you deactivate port forwarding in the Arlo app, remember to also remove those ports from the port forwarding section of your router settings.

Find your recordings

When Direct Storage Access is enabled, your Arlo recordings appear in the Library page of the Arlo app. Your recordings do not contain a thumbnail if they are not saved to the Arlo cloud.

Note: You can’t manually record or capture a snapshot to a local storage device. Manual recording and snapshots are only available when you record to the cloud. You also can’t delete specific recordings from your SmartHub through Direct Storage Access. Deleting recordings must be done by connecting the USB or microSD device to a PC or Mac.

To access your Direct Storage Access recordings:

  1. Launch the Arlo app on iOS or Android.
  2. Tap Library.
  3. Tap Cloud at the top of the screen to select a storage source.
  4. Select a SmartHub.
  5. Navigate the library as you would with cloud storage, and tap the thumbnail to download the video recording.