The Arlo Security Camera Reviews & Guide of 2021

The Arlo Security Camera Reviews & Guide of 2021

In almost all the Arlo security camera reviews out there, you’ll come to notice all the various models have one word in common- wireless. The US brand is one of the providers that have successfully embraced Wire-free technology into their security solutions. So, you won’t have to worry about where to put your cameras.

For the record, a wire-free security camera is a type of CCTV that functions with batteries and wireless transmission. Just as the name, no wires are connecting the system, which means it won’t dictate where to be mounted.

In any case, this post is all about Arlo security camera systems. However, we’ll mostly focus on the battery-powered series as they’re much flexible and perfect to use both indoors and outdoors.

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Here’s a quick summary of the Great Five and how they compare to each other.

Fact Arlo Pro 2 Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Arlo Ultra Arlo Essential
Release Date 2017 2019 2020 2018 2020
Resolution 1080p HD 2K Super HD  2K Super HD  4K Ultra HD 1080p HD
Video Format  H.264 H.264/ H.265 H.264/ H.265 H.264/ H.265 H.264
Auto Track & Zoom NO  YES  YES  YES  NO
Digital Zoom 8x 12x 12x 12x 12x
Field of View 130° 160° 160° 180° 130°
Night Vision YES 
Infrared
YES 
Color, infrared
YES 
Color, infrared
YES 
Colored, infrared
YES 
Colored, infrared
2-way Talk YES  YES  YES  YES  YES 
Active Deterrence YES
[Siren]
YES
[Siren, Spotlight]
YES
[Siren, Floodlight]
YES
[Siren, Spotlight]
YES
[Siren, Spotlight]
Free Cloud YES  NO 
[3 months Trial]
NO 
[3 months Trial]
NO 
[1-year trial]
NO 
[3 months Trial]
Local Storage USB USB USB MicroSD NO 
Weatherproof YES  YES  YES  YES  YES 

About Arlo Security Cameras

Despite the latest solid grounds, Arlo Technologies Company didn’t begin on its own. Its story started as a line of product of Netgear, a California-based multinational computer networking company.

At the time, it was in 2014 when the first Arlo security camera system appeared in the market. The engineers incorporated their long-establish craftsmanship on routers on the camera, marking it the first of many products under the new home automation brand.

While it was supposedly a try-out with only 720p recording capability, Arlo recorded a stunning performance throughout 2015. In the year that followed, 2016, Netgear introduced an updated version of the camera, Arlo Pro, that has a sturdier weatherproof design.

The camera, however, also delivered 720p HD video quality, but many homeowners still favored it for the wire-free setup and free cloud storage. It even became a flagship for the maker, albeit not for long as the Arlo Pro 2 came with a better 1080p Full HD resolution.

After about three successful years under Netgear, Arlo finally decided to break loose and manage its own video surveillance department. This was back in 2018, and to say better, it released the Arlo Ultra camera with a 4K resolution to make the start of the newly-formed company.

At this point, Arlo Technologies has about ten different series of security cameras, including Arlo Baby to monitor your kids. The company has also added video doorbells in its catalog. So, you can now enjoy what traditional doorbell don’t have- watching your front yard and answering the door from anywhere.

Are Arlo Security Cameras Really Worth It?

For sure, this a Yes or No answer kind of a question. If you need a solution for your home security, the company is definitely worthwhile.

Some of the advantages with Arlo over other cameras brands and designs include:

High-Definition Video Quality: it offers camera resolutions ranging from 1080p Full HD to 4K ultra HD. Thus, producing clear, crisp video footage for easier tracking of the background activity.

Advanced Smart A. I. integration: some cameras have features like package detection, and or auto track for easier and safer monitoring

Smart Home Integration: all cameras are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings devices. Thus, allowing you to build your smart home ecosystem, whereby you can even control various functions via voice commands.

Simple Installation: the cameras function with less or no wires. Hence, quick and effortless to set up around your home without any drilling

Flexibility: The cameras can be placed anywhere, regardless if there’s electricity or not. Most of them are also weatherproof, which gives you the option to install either indoor or outdoor in the harsh weather.

Remote Access: Thanks to the WiFi connection, you can stream your camera from anywhere, anytime using your internet-enabled device.

Free Cloud: Select cameras offer up to 7-day cloud recordings at no fee. Hence, making it possible to playback video history from any location in the world.

Motion and Sound Detection: Arlo is amongst the few whose systems can send you intrusion alerts based on movements or noise.

Active Deterrence: Various devices have a smart siren and a built-in spotlight. Hence, stopping opportunistic criminals before they could break-in.

Audio Features: All Arlo cameras have a built-in mic and speaker to record videos with the audio or establish a two-way conversation.

These are some of the key beauties of adding Arlo to your property. However, there are several others found on individual devices as shown in the following Arlo Security camera reviews.

The 5 Best Arlo Home Wireless Security Cameras

Arlo Pro 2 [VMS4230P] Wireless Security Camera System Kit

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Arlo (VMS4230P) Pro 2 - Wireless Home Security Camera System with...
13,479 Reviews
Arlo (VMS4230P) Pro 2 - Wireless Home Security Camera System with...
  • 100 percent wire free: Free of power cords and wiring hassles
  • 1080p HD high quality video with sharper and brighter details

This is the second update of the original Arlo camera, which the maker introduced to address some of the issues raised by the previous users. It has a simple, sleek design like its predecessors, featuring one base station and two cameras.

Different from these older models, however, the Arlo Pro 2 security camera system has a 2mp CMOS image sensor. Hence, allowing it to deliver high quality 1080p HD videos- which is about 1.5x sharper than the 720p resolution. All the images come in full color during the day, thus you can easily tell the face or clothing of the intruder.

Furthermore, the wireless CCTV camera has an auto-adaptive nighttime sensor that automatically switches to infrared night vision and vice versa. The night vision features black and white images, which means you may not be able to tell the true color of the captured car.

But since the camera does push motion-activated alerts to the phone or laptop, you can be able to stop a crime before happening. There’s even a smart siren that you can remotely activate to disrupt the intruder, plus a built-in speaker to scare away whoever it’s.

Pros

  • It offers a wider field of view for better coverage
  • Records videos with audio
  • Offers a free 7-day cloud recording
  • Supports customizable motion detection
  • Can be mounted anywhere, indoor or outdoor
  • It has a solid, weatherproof house to prevent rain damage

Cons

  • It records short clips when there’s motion
  • The siren is on the base station, not the cameras

Arlo Pro 3 [VMC4040P-100NAS] Super HD Spotlight Security Camera

Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera | Add-on | Wire-Free, 2K Video & HDR...
3,651 Reviews
Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera | Add-on | Wire-Free, 2K Video & HDR...
  • Arlo Pro 3 Add-on Camera requires an Arlo SmartHub or base station, sold separately.
  • Spend less time recharging with 6 months of battery life on one charge.

If you need to keep an eye on a high-value location, like the main door, this camera may be what you need. Not only does it deliver crystal pictures during the day, but also in full color even at night.

The camera has a 4mp image sensor that delivers a maximum resolution of up to 1440p HD (also called 2K). However, you can also set it to record in 1080p or 720p quality if you need to lower the storage consumption or extend battery life. But due to its wider 160° field of view, it would be better to continue using in 2K video mode to not affect the clarity.

More on that, the Arlo Pro 3 security camera system has a lovely spotlight integrated right above the lens. This lighting is pretty powerful as it delivers 6500K white light, allowing the lens to capture the details in full color at night. When the LED light is off, the device is still functional, though in black and white quality.

Sadly, the security camera doesn’t have a micro SD card slot. So, you’ll have to rely on the company’s cloud storage if you would want to have past video history.

Pros

  • It offers super clear, vivid pictures
  • Support both H.264 and advanced H.265 encoding
  • Includes an awesome package detection
  • Has HDR technology for sharper images in unbalanced lighting conditions
  • It can connect with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant devices.

Cons

  • It’s relatively expensive
  • Has a slight lag before receiving a notification
  • Doesn’t have free cloud video storage like the previous models

Arlo Pro 3 [FB1001-100NAS] 2K HDR Wire-Free Security Camera System

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Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera | Wire-Free, 2K Video & HDR | Color...
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Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera | Wire-Free, 2K Video & HDR | Color...
  • Spend less time recharging with 6 months of battery life on one charge.
  • No hub required, connect directly to Wi-Fi.

The Arlo Pro 3 floodlight camera review is more like that of the model VMC4040P-100NAS. Of course, the latter is several months older, but both systems have many of their performance features similar.

If it’s the video quality, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight also has a 4mp image sensor that brings you a maximum resolution of up to 1440p HD. But if you feel it taking up more storage space or draining up your batteries fast, you can switch the video mode to 1080p or 720p HD

Nonetheless, the camera has a very wide (160-degree) lens, which of course, is great for covering more grounds of your property. On the negative side, though, this setting is too high and likely to affect the picture details when switched to lower video modes. So, it will be better to leave it at the default 2K resolution.

Similar to its counterpart, this camera does record colored, as well as black and white night vision. It doesn’t necessarily need external lighting to see in color as it has a powerful, built-in floodlight that illuminates between 2000-3000 lumens. You can set the lighting source to illuminate automatically (through motion detection) or manually from the manufacturer’s app.

Pros

  • It has advanced HDR imaging support
  • Can record footage with audio
  • Supports 2-way talk and sound detection
  • Can connect directly to WiFi without a base unit
  • Has the latest high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) compression
  • You can zoom up to 12x without drastically affecting the quality

Cons

  • It doesn’t have the free cloud recording
  • The WiFi connection is weaker (without the base)
  • There’s a bit of lag with the remote viewing app

Arlo Ultra [VMS5240-100NAS] 4K Wireless Security Camera Pack

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Arlo VMS5240-100NAS Ultra - 4K UHD Wire-Free Security 2 Camera...
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Arlo VMS5240-100NAS Ultra - 4K UHD Wire-Free Security 2 Camera...
  • UHD video quality - Zoom in to see sharp details with Arlo Ultra’s 4K & HDR advanced image quality...
  • 180 Degree diagonal field of view - See more with a wider angle lens that has auto image correction...

As mentioned, the Arlo ultra-security camera was like the endowment after the provider separated from Netgear company. It has everything any homeowner would want for monitoring and security needs, albeit with slow performance on the market.

If it’s video quality, the CCTV camera has the highest resolution and the best coverage. It has an 8mp image sensor that brings you advanced 4K image quality just as it’s on the ground. Then, if the background has unbalanced lighting conditions (with dark shadows and bright highlights), there’s integrated HDR technology to ensure you still get clearer videos.

Even better, this camera has a built-in spotlight that produces up to 6500K white light at 42lux. Thus, making it possible to record in full color at night in the event of activity. And in case of a potential intruder, there’s a smart siren that you can use to interrupt the planned motives.

Thanks to the added micro SD slot, this camera necessarily doesn’t require a subscription to record. You can add up a 64GB card, which you can set to record between 720p HD to 4K Ultra HD videos. However, you can’t remotely view (via the app) the videos recorded on the SD card. You have to first remove the card from the camera, then place it in another device to view.

Pros

  • It delivers crisp, clearer footages
  • Has smart auto zoom and track feature
  • Offers seamless two-way talk
  • Includes advanced package detection
  • It has sturdier, weatherproof housing to survive harsher outdoor conditions.

Cons

  • It’s very expensive
  • Doesn’t work with the previous base stations

Arlo Essential [VMC2030-100NAS] Full HD Wireless WiFi Camera

Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera | 1 Pack | Wire-Free, 1080p Video...
2,127 Reviews
Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera | 1 Pack | Wire-Free, 1080p Video...
  • Spend less time recharging with 6 months of battery life on one charge.
  • No hub required, connect directly to Wi-Fi.

Though the last on the list, the Arlo essential spotlight camera has been one of the bestselling security cameras in 2020. No brag, it has been performing far much better than the Arlo Ultra (market-wise), albeit having a lower video resolution.

At the core, the new CCTV has a 2mp CMOS image and a wide-angle field of view lens. Hence, bringing you full high dimension 1080p video, while at the same time covering a broader scene of your property.

Even better, the camera has an integrated spotlight that lights up your compound at night to capture clearer details. You can set the lighting source to power on automatically or manually using the app. So, it can work as a great deterrence for those opportunistic burglars lurking in the darkness.

Like many from this maker, this camera runs with a rechargeable battery. As such, it’s straightforward to set up as you won’t need drilling or running cables on the walls. And if you want to, you can connect with the Essential Solar panel Charger for uncut streaming.

Still, on the installation, this camera doesn’t require a base station to work. You can sync directly to the WiFi through the app and it works. But if you would want to lower the battery consumption or save the footage locally, you must pair it with a SmartHub or base station.

Pros

  • It offers both colored and infrared night vision
  • Supports up to 12x digital zoom
  • Can record footages with audio and 2-way talk
  • Includes multiple active deterrence features
  • It works with Apple Watch, Google Home Hub, and Amazon’s Alexa

Cons

  • It’s relatively expensive, considering its features
  • The non-removable battery doesn’t last as with the previous models

Key Takeaway

As for the question of local recording, all the Arlo cameras that come with a base station supports multiple storages. The cloud service is the main in all and the provider provides it either free or as a renewable subscription.

If you have either 1st Gen Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Q, or Arlo Q Plus, you certainly don’t have to pay for smart plans. Each of these cameras come with a rolling 7 days of free record, which saves short motion-activated clips.

For the later systems, however, Arlo only offers a limited cloud storage plan. And once that trial period is over, you can now upgrade with a monitoring package that suits your needs. The two cloud smart plans available are:

Included Features Basic (No) Plan Smart Premier Plan Smart Elite Plan
Max Resolution 1080p HD 2K Super HD 4K Ultra HD
Max Video History N/A Up to 30 Days Up to 30 days
Artificial Intelligence N/A YES YES
Push Notifications YES YES YES
Live Streaming YES YES YES
Person/ Vehicle/ Animal Detection  N/A YES YES
Package Detection N/A YES YES
Custom Activity Zones N/A YES YES
Table Table YES YES

 

From the table above, you can see Arlo’s monthly subscription does pay off if you’re up for the price. Not only do they offer additional cloud storage, but also give you access to more advanced features exempted from the camera itself.

In case you would want to have storage backup for later use, all the Arlo outdoor cameras also do support local recording. If it’s the Arlo Ultra, the base station of the camera does have a slot that you insert a micro SD card.
The other camera models don’t support micro SD, but their base station does have a port to hook a USB drive.


FAQ


Does Arlo work without a subscription?

Arlo security cameras are all wireless, which means they transmit the videos to the viewing device via WiFi. In case interested in viewing past video history, some systems do have free 7-day cloud recordings and local USB backup.

Others, those produced after 2017, don’t include the free cloud, but instead a short time trial to give you a glimpse of the smart plans.

If you consider the Arlo Ultra 4K camera, its base station has a slot to insert a micro SD card. So, you necessarily don’t need to subscribe to the smart plan to continue recording footage.

How long do the batteries last in an Arlo security camera?

First of all, how long your Arlo camera retains the charge depends on the specific model you have at hand. It also depends on the features available on the camera, as well as how active they are each day.

If it’s the Arlo Pro 2, for instance, some cameras can fully discharge after 6 months, while others after 12 or 16 weeks. With the Arlo Pro 3 floodlight, expect the batteries to drain faster (average 2-3 months) due to the higher video resolution and high –luminescence lighting.

What is better Arlo or ring?

Well, both Ring and Arlo are great home automation and video security companies. They offer various selections of products and with easy DIY installation. So, you don’t have to add bills outsourcing an installer.

With Ring, however, the company has been longer in the industry, whereby it offers full home automation. The company also has optional professional monitoring, plus it does have environmental sensors like motion sensors and alarm security kit.

On the other hand, Arlo offers CCTV cameras with resolution beyond 1080p and free cloud storage to select lineups- something not experienced with Ring.

Can Arlo cameras be hacked?

As one of the world’s most sought-after wifi cameras, Arlo is created to maintain the highest level security. And not just to your property, but also to your privacy. The company uses advanced AES encryption, which is the same one that financial institutions use to protect your information online.

Does Arlo record all the time?

Technically, Arlo designs its cameras to be saving data online on the cloud. However, cloud storage isn’t cheap, which is one of the reasons the security firm ended its previous offer of free 7-day video history.

Meanwhile, these cloud recordings are usually short activity clips so that the camera can save on battery power. However, the brand does have the option to record 24/7 when the camera is plugged into AC power (not solar panel charger).

Conclusion

Overall, Arlo is a great security camera for home monitoring and surveillance. Each year, the company has proven its great need and the inspiration to offer the best and favorable security solutions.
Regardless, Arlo cameras are not for everyone or all situations. They’re:
Recommended for:

  • someone with enough or significant budget
  • Someone with a small property
  • Areas inaccessible to wired power
  • Someone willing to pay for cloud [option]
  • Home with an internet connection

Nonetheless, if you have a larger property or you need a security camera system, we can’t recommend Arlo for use. A 2 pack of their best cameras cost between $200- $600, and while they may be worth it, it can be very expensive when buying many pieces.

So, it would be better to consider a DVR or NVR security camera system if you know your property will require eight or sixteen cameras.

In any case, hopefully, our Arlo security camera reviews covered everything you needed to know. Don’t be left exposed and in the dark. Add your trusted extra eye to see for you when you’re not there.

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About the author

Enamul Haque

I am Enamul Haque an expert for home security system. I research the different market place and read customer reviews to make a perfect product guide. I believe that a good product review can help you take a good decision because every man tries to buy a perfect product for him. Getlockers.com one of the best for you.