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I get a notification on my phone that someone is at my front door and open my Arlo app to see it’s the USPS woman delivering my latest Amazon splurge.
With my Arlo camera and app, I can monitor my package the rest of the day and keep tabs on my front door in case anyone tries to snatch my delivery.
Find out the perks (and shortcomings) of Arlo and the different camera options that are currently available.
Arlo (formerly owned by Netgear) has released a handful of cameras over the years. With each new camera comes improvements to their technology. Their continual innovation is why we consider them to be among the leaders in home security.
From the original Arlo to the latest Arlo Ulta (released in November 2018), the line of cameras are unique in that they work regardless of power source or wires (so you can mount a camera anywhere as long as you have the base station connected to an internet router within range of the cameras).
The downside is the cameras are not compatible with each other’s base station (and require the latest and greatest base to go with the newest camera). However, you can monitor and control all Arlos within one centralized app as you upgrade and add on to your existing system.
Arlo sent me two Arlo Pro cameras for us to review on Safe Smart Living. Our review process is strict, so no favors are given in exchange for the free product. We believe first-hand experiences give us a better understanding of the product to provide a more accurate review.
I’ve had mt first Arlo camera since May 2016 and received the Arlo Pro camera in March 2017. Some features apply to both models (we’ll also review the Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Ulta and Arlo lights below).
- Wireless: Both cameras are completely wire free and don’t require a power source. They connect to a base station and the batteries are re-chargeable.
- Weatherproof: Can be used inside and outside. However, if you have cold winters, you’ll want to purchase the Arlo Pro.
- Easy Installation: Arlo and Arlo Pro are both simple to install and probably took less than 15 minutes total. No computer required!
- Magnetic Mount: Comes with each camera for mounting inside but isn’t the easiest to install. It says it requires one screw, but it wasn’t sturdy, so we ended up using two screws to secure it to the wall, and that seemed to do the job.
- Solid Connectivity: Arlo Pro and Arlo stay connected to the base station and WiFi network 100% percent of the time. I have had no issues with connectivity. I’ve tested other security cameras and systems and have had signals drop and reconnect for no clear reason.
- Turn Cameras On/Off: I can choose when the cameras are on and off. We workout in the room where we have the Arlo installed, so on days I forget to turn the camera off, my phone gets tons of motion notifications. It’s nice to have the option to turn the camera off for an hour instead of always having those notifications.
- Range: Up to 300 feet between the camera and base station.
- High Quality Footage: Wide-Angle 130-degree angle lens with night vision.
- Free Cloud Recording: Keep up to 7 days of motion (and sound on the Pro) on up to 5 cameras without a monthly fee.
- Schedule: I can schedule when I want the cameras to be alarmed and set rules for when a camera is triggered.
- No Mandatory Recurring Fee: We aren’t forced into a cloud recording subscription. We automatically get 7 days of cloud recordings for up to 5 cameras.
- Battery Life: The Arlo camera battery life is long – typically we can go at least a month before needing to recharge the camera batteries.
- Smart Home Integration: Works with Amazon Alexa products, IFTTT, SmartThings, etc.
- Base Station: The downside with the base station is that it needs to be plugged directly into a router. And since I have the Arlo and the Arlo Pro, that means I also have two base stations since they don’t use the same station. I would’ve liked the Arlo Pro base station to be compatible with Arlo as well so I could have less equipment cluttering up my router.
- No Notification Opt Out: There is no way to opt out of email notifications. My husband and I set up a filter for our email accounts to have all Arlo notifications go to our trash folders because we like the app notifications better and the email notifications can fill up our inboxes fast. Plus it means we’re getting double the notifications to our phones since our emails are connected to them.
- Sensitivity to Motion: Another team member purchased and installed an Arlo Pro for her condo building. They experienced issues with the camera being too sensitive, recording and sending notifications too frequently (despite setting up a zone and adjusting the sensitivity to the lowest possible setting).
- Temperature Limits: The only issues we’ve had were when we had the Arlo in colder temperatures than the operating temperature allowed.
We have our Arlo wireless camera installed inside our house. Initially, we installed the Arlo security camera outside our front door. However, when winter came, and temperatures were close to 0°F, we noticed the batteries were draining quickly due to the operating temperature of the camera being 14° to 122°F. We had to bring the camera inside for the remainder of winter.
The Arlo is a nice entry camera that has the basic video monitoring capabilities. The value and lower-price point make it more attractive than the Pro. However, if you’re looking for audio capabilities and a few more upgraded features, the Arlo Pro or Pro 2 might be a better fit for you.
There are no Arlo Coupon Codes available at this time.
I have both of my Arlo Pro cameras installed and mounted outside with the outdoor security mounts. We expect these cameras to perform better than the Arlo camera in Iowa winters because the operating temperature allows -4° to 113° F. However, since we got this in March, the temperatures haven’t been too low, so the true test will be when winter comes.
There are three key features the Arlo Pro has that the Arlo does not have: two-way audio, a siren and rechargeable batteries.
- The two-way audio can be tricky because to use it you have to hold a button and speak (which is fine), but it can be delayed. So, if the person you are speaking to replies as they would in a normal conversation, you may miss part of what they are saying.
- The siren is a huge bonus in my eyes. If an intruder were to break into my home, I could sound the siren from the app to potentially scare them off. The Arlo doesn’t have a siren, so the only way to scare off an intruder is to barge in on them.
- There are no recurring costs with the Arlo Pro since the batteries are rechargeable.
- 1 camera and base station: $177.99
- 2 cameras and base station: $268.83
- 3 cameras and base station: $397.88
I have not personally tested the Arlo Pro 2, which launched in late 2017. The Pro and Pro 2 share most of the same features, and you can use the same base and app for either model.
The Arlo Pro 2 does have some fantastic upgrades, listed below.
- The Arlo Pro 2 records video at 1080p, while the Pro is at 720p.
- You can plug in the Arlo Pro 2 with an AC adapter in addition to powering it by battery or solar panel.
- You can create up to 3 motion zones (when plugged in).
- The “Look Back” feature records the 3 seconds before your Arlo Pro 2 camera detects motion (when plugged in).
- Continuous video recording with a monthly subscription once it detects motion (also, only when plugged in). The Pro only records up to 8 minutes when it detects motion.
The only downsides we found with the Arlo Pro 2 vs the Pro are a shorter battery life and a higher price tag. The new features, especially the higher resolution, may be enough to justify upgrading if you have the budget.
Arlo sent me two Smart Home Security Lights in June 2018 to test out in exchange for an unbiased review.
The Arlo Lights are wireless, weather-resistant LED lights that can be used to illuminate areas around the exterior of your property. I installed mine near the garage and back door entrance of my home.
When the 400 lumen light detects motion, it turns on and alerts you through the Arlo app. You can set it up to turn on other lights around your property or record video from Arlo cameras.
Overall, I think these lights are a nice addition to a security system, but they could also be used as a stand-alone product with the app. However, I don’t think they should be the only deterrent for burglars, but they do serve a purpose. It’s comforting knowing the exterior of our home is better illuminated.
I had to put my lights on a schedule because I was getting inundated with notifications. I think birds may have set the light notifications off because there are bird feeders near one of the lights, but I’m not positive since there’s no video. I don’t dock Arlo for this because the other light doesn’t experience these types of random trigger notifications so I think it’s purely based on the location I chose.
The biggest “con” I could think of was that the light isn’t very bright in my opinion. I expect a security light to be alarmingly bright and these lights aren’t that way.
I like that I can set my cameras to record when motion is detected by the lights. With the bird issue mentioned above, it has rapidly used up the battery of the Arlo Pro, but that’s nothing a recharge can’t fix.
I have not personally tested either of these cameras, but below are their key features.
Arlo Q Review
The Arlo Q is very similar to the Arlo Pro except for a few things. The Arlo Q is not wireless; it requires AC-power, and can only be used inside because it is not weatherproof. Lastly, the Arlo Q has better video quality at 1080p than the Arlo Pro’s 720p. This Arlo HD security camera is great for those of you who want to video monitor the inside of your home and don’t mind the cord.
Arlo Q Plus Review
The Arlo Q Plus is designed for business and has all the features of the Arlo Q in addition to power over Ethernet connectivity. So you can power the camera and connect it to your network with one cable.
This is great because depending on where you want the camera, it could be placed a ways away from the router. Having the ability to connect the camera via Ethernet can ensure a strong connection.
Arlo Go is powered by 4G network, so it is used through a mobile plan. It has flexible data plans for you to choose from based on your usage. The camera is wireless, so it can be placed anywhere. This camera is perfect for mounting in the timber to watch for animals since it works outside in all weather conditions.
The camera has two-way audio and the battery is rechargeable. It has advanced motion detection, so any movement within the view will be caught. It also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.
As we mentioned above, Arlo doesn’t require a subscription to its cloud storage plan unless you have more than five cameras or you want your recordings stored longer than 7 days.
- Rolling 7 days of cloud recordings
- Up to 5 cameras
- Arlo Smart Add-on
- Rolling 7 days of cloud recordings
- Create motion detection zones
- Person detection
- Enhanced notifications
- All features of add-on
- Roling 30 days of cloud recordings
- Guide emergency responders directly to your home
- Up to 10 cameras
- All features of add-on
- Rolling 60 days of cloud recordings
- Guide emergency responders directly to your home
- Up to 20 cameras
This system provides excellent picture quality and broad viewing area coverage. The audio quality is great as well. I would definitely recommend! – CardinalFan, Best Buy 4/3/2017 (in regards to Arlo Pro)
Bought this online from Home Depot. Set up was easy and quick. Now I can watch my house whenever and wherever I want. You can have up to 5 cameras on your system and it’s all free. You even download videos and picture straight to your phone. You can set up notifications when the motion detection goes off. I was gonna get the simplysafe security system but now I have this. This is a great system!!!! – Mullighanistan, Home Depot 2/3/2017 (in regards to Arlo)
90 support is only for setup only nothing else. I call customer service because I had a message saying software update needed. When i tried ,message came up unable to update. Customer service told me it would cost $66.00 for assistance even through I was within my 90 day support. They said it was not related to setup so therefore it wasn’t covered. – campnjohnny, Best Buy 11/30/2016 (in regards to Arlo Pro)
I find the cameras neat, smart. The pixel quality is ok. This only has a one target zoom, which can be off when the subject is off center who you are recording. The batteries run out way too soon. I am soon to be on the market for new rechargeables, hoping I can get rechargeables for this set. Also the weather seems to wear out the batteries faster if the camera is in the elements rather than under a cover. I like the set, am keeping it. But only will use it sparingly which is because to save on batteries. Other than that I like it. – mamas, Home Depot 10/6/2016 (in regards to Arlo)
This video explains the key differences between the Arlo cameras to help you decide which cameras would be best for different areas of your home or business.
Is Arlo home security enough to protect your home? If you simply want to video monitor your entry points and some areas of your home, we think Arlo is a great option.
However, if you want to know when doors open and close or when motion is detected throughout your home, you may want a more traditional style security system with door/window sensors and motion detectors.
Check out our Best WiFi Security Camera reviews to see other for our take on the most popular wireless security cameras on the market. You should also review some other top outdoor security camera options.