Arlo is one of the many brands to consider when looking for a 100% wire-free home security camera system. In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to set up Arlo cameras with/ without a Base Station in under ten minutes.
The local brand usually innovates all its systems with DIY installation in mind. So, it’s not something you need to pay a professional installer to help on, albeit many still do it.
How You Set up Arlo Camera Depend on What You Have
Besides being wireless, the Arlo security camera comes in many designs and colors. The design part is not just about the powering option: battery-powered vs wired power. It also entails the type of setup as we have cameras that can connect directly to WiFi while others require a SmartHub or Base Station.
Do You Have the Arlo Indoor Camera?
Technically, almost all Wireless security cameras from Arlo have a sleek design you can use indoors or outdoors. But the brand also has a limited line of indoor-only cameras, such as Arlo Q and Arlo Baby.
All the camera models from these two series run on wired power (requires to be plugged in). But on the plus side, they can connect directly to your home WiFi without the need for a HomeBase station.
Do You Have An Arlo Pro Camera?
The Arlo Pro series is one of the bestselling cameras from our local brand. Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 still hold the lead on the rating scale, with the most appealing feature being the 7-day free cloud recording.
Sadly, however, the Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Pro 3 all require a Homebase station to operate. It’s only the recently-released Arlo Pro 4 that can pair directly to the WiFi without the hub.
Do You Have the Arlo Ultra Camera?
Arlo Ultra was kind of the first wire-free spotlight security camera to support 4K Ultra-HD. The “Ultra-HD” clarity of the camera series is still questionable, for sure. But we very much blame the loss of details on whoever decided a 180-degree field of view was a nice touch.
Arlo Ultra was also the first from the brand with an option to record into a MicroSD card. The problem again is that the MicroSD slot is in the SmartHub base station. Then again, you can’t use the camera without one (base station).
Do You Have the Arlo Essential Camera?
Arlo Essential is another product line from the local brand you can check out for your home. It doesn’t just cover the Arlo Essential spotlight camera, which is currently the cheapest color night vision system from the brand. There’s also Arlo Essential indoor-only Cam and several video doorbell models to help watch your doorsteps.
One of the reasons Arlo Essential is cheaper than the others from the brand is for it doesn’t come with a Base Station. You can pair the camera directly to the WiFi, whether it’s the indoor cam, spotlight cam, or doorbell.
Steps on How to set up Arlo Cameras All by Yourself
Technically, the steps how to set up Arlo cameras will depend on which of the four types of systems above you have.
Part A: How to Set Up Arlo Cameras with the Base Station
If you have Arlo Pro, Pro 2, Pro 3, Ultra, or Ultra 2, you will require a HomeBase station for the camera to work. And to set up your security camera here, you’ll need:
Step 1: Gather everything You Need on the work table
If you haven’t already, unbox your Arlo security camera and make sure everything is there:
- The camera/s
- Ethernet cable
- SmartHub or Base Station
- Charger (for the cameras)
- Power adapter (for Base Station/ SmartHub)
- Mounting brackets (magnetic & screw-in) and accessories
You will also need to have the phone/ tablet you’ll be using to set up your Arlo camera, and so is your home WiFi password. Make sure the WiFi service is active, by the way.
Step 2 Power up the SmartHub or Base Station
Grab the Ethernet cable that came with your Arlo system and connect one of the ends to your home router, then the other end to the SmartHub (or Base Station).
Next, plug in the power adapter to the input port- still on the SmartHub or Base Station.
Step 3: Download/ Launch the Arlo App
Download and Launch the Arlo Secure app on the smart device (smartphone/ tablet) you’re using. As a new user, you’ll need to sign up with your email and a memorable-but-secure password. But if you already have an existing account, just log in with your credentials.
Tip: Make sure your smart device is connecting to the same WiFi network as the Arlo SmartHub/ Base Station.
Step 4: Configure the Arlo SmartHub or Base Station
Once in the Arlo Secure app, locate and tap on the “Add New device” tab. Then click “Cameras” and select the Arlo model (Pro/ Pro 2/ Pro 3/ Ultra/ Ultra 2) you’d like to set up.
Immediately after you’ve selected your camera, the Arlo app will start looking for your SmartHub/ Base Station. And if both the phone/ phone and SmartHub/ Base Station are on the same connection (as recommended in Step 3), they should find each other.
Once the Base Station/ SmartHub has synced with the app, you will get the prompt to rename it. Then it will automatically update to the latest firmware available.
Step 5: Power Up Your Arlo Camera
After the Base Station/ SmartHub has updated the firmware, Arlo will now need you to prep your camera. The app will ask you to insert the battery, which it will even illustrate for you.
Tip: One point we’d like to emphasize at this stage is to make sure you insert the battery while the printed logo is facing up.
Step 6: Sync the Camera with the Base Station/ SmartHub
After inserting the battery into the Arlo camera, the Base Station/ SmartHub will detect it immediately via their built-in P2P connection. The app will ask you to confirm the serial number is for what you have- sometimes it can be reading your neighbor’s camera.
Once you’ve confirmed the serial number, set the name you’d like to identify your camera. Then hit the bold “Continue” button.
Tip: if your Arlo camera fails to sync with Base Station/ SmartHub automatically, you can do it manually. Click on the “Manually Pair Device” button, then press the “Sync” button on the camera until the status LED blinks blue.
Step 7: Mount Your Arlo Camera
After your Arlo camera has paired with the Base Station/ SmartHub, you can now mount it to your preferred location. The cameras usually come with two different mounts: a magnetic mount and a flexible screw-on mount.
Make sure you mount your camera at least 7 – 8 inches off the ground, where the burglar won’t grab it and run away. Then aim it slightly downward in a manner that both the image sensor and motion detection sensor will have the best coverage.
Don’t forget, the place you put up your Arlo camera must be within the range of the Base Station/ SmartHub. Otherwise, the camera will show to be offline or the live stream keep on breaking up if the signal range is weak.
Step 8: Test Your Arlo Camera
After you’ve installed your Arlo camera in place, don’t just assume everything will work as advertised. Make a quick test of the various video quality modes, audio quality, two-way talk, siren, and motion detection range.
If possible, you can also test how is the night vision video quality- or postpone the test until the evening if it’s during the day.
Step 9: Make all the Necessary Adjustments for your Arlo Camera
After testing and confirming the various features of your Arlo camera are okay, you can now make the other adjustments you’d prefer.
For instance, you can go to the SmartHub Base Station “Mode” under the Arlo app menu. Then tap the pencil icon here and edit the motion detection modes you’d like your camera to use.
If you’ve subscribed to an Arlo Secure plan, you can also go to “Settings” and set up the “Activity zones” for the camera to focus on within the monitored space.
Part B: How to Set Up Arlo Camera without Base Station/ Smart Hub
If you have Arlo Q/ Q Plus, Baby Cam, Pro 4, or any of the Essential cameras, you can set up your system directly via WiFi.
To do that, you just need to:
- Launch and sign in to Arlo Secure App on your smartphone/ tablet
- Tap on the “Add New Device” tab and select the camera (Arlo Q/ Baby/ Pro 4/ Essential) you want to set up
- After choosing your camera, you may get a prompt to confirm if you want to “Connect without SmartHub or Base (happens with Arlo Pro 4 and Essential)
- Next, confirm the phone/ tablet you’re using is connected to a 2.4GHz WiFi, then click the bold Green “Continue” button
- After hitting the “Continue” button, the Arlo app will need you to input your WiFi SSID (name) and password. Make sure the WiFi name you select is the same 2.4GHz connection the phone/ tablet you’re using connects to.
- Tap “Continue” to have the Arlo app ready to sync with your camera.
- Now, locate the Sync button on your Arlo camera. Then press and hold it for about 3 seconds.
- When the Arlo app has detected the camera, it will display a QR code to complete the setup. Hold the phone (display with the QR code) in front of the camera lens. Keep a distance of 4-6 inches between the camera and phone to make sure the sensor scans it successfully.
- After the camera has read the QR code successfully, you’ll hear a chime. Tap “Continue” to complete the pairing
- Once your Arlo camera has successfully paired, the app will ask you to give it a name
- Finally, repeat Steps A (7) through (9) above to have your Arlo camera running and recording.
Commonly Asked Questions:
As we’ve just seen, the process to connect the Arlo camera to phone will vary with the type of camera owned. In some, you’ll need to connect the base Station/ SmartHub to the internet router with an Ethernet. Then insert the camera battery and it will automatically come live on the phone.
In the other Arlo cameras that can connect directly to your WiFi, you just need to make sure your phone is connected to 2.4GHz WiFi. Then, press the Sync button and scan the QR code displayed.
The process how to pair Arlo Essentials without a Base station is as easy as:
Make sure your phone is connecting to 2.4GHz WiFi
Launch and log in to the Arlo Secure app
Click Add New Device >> Cameras>> Essential and choose your camera model
Select “Connect without SmartHub or Base Station” and tap “Continue”
Enter the name and password of your 2.4GHz WiFi
Next, press the Sync button on the camera
Now scan the QR code displayed on your phone to complete the configuration.
Finally, name your camera. Then use the onscreen instructions to complete the rest of the adjustments for your camera.
Use the Base Station to Make the Most of Your Camera
In conclusion, that’s everything relevant you should know on how to set up Arlo cameras at your home or even a small store. It’s a pretty straightforward process that you can handle yourself in a matter of minutes.
Arlo will send you everything (except tools like a screwdriver) you need to complete the installation. Many of the cameras we’ve gone through will come with both a magnetic and screw-on mount. They also have screws and plastic anchors to secure them on the wall.
Speaking of securing, Arlo does allow you to secure your footage in USB or MicroSD card if you don’t the to pay cloud fees. However, the local storage options are only available with a Base Station or SmartHub. And that means you will miss out on the feature when setting up cameras like Arlo Pro 4 or Essential directly to WiFi (with no hub).
Also, you will need a Base Station/ SmartHub if you want to pair any of your Arlo cameras with Apple Homekit.