Review of Top Arlo Security Cameras in 2022

One of the reasons that Arlo Cameras have become so ubiquitous to home security is that they have been designed with simplicity in mind. All of these cameras focus more on the simplicity of use and providing the bare minimum in terms of choices instead of ramping up their complexity of features.

Developed by NetGear, one of the world’s leading wireless network companies, these cameras offer a wide field of view and have the ability to be installed virtually anywhere. After all, the tagline “Every Angle Covered”, perfectly sums up these products.

Arlo Cameras are 100% wireless and completely suitable for DIY installation and use. They also come with a simple app that can control all the various Arlo cameras from a single source.

One of the biggest downsides to these cameras is that in order to gain access to some of the essential features like video recording, you have to purchase one of their app’s subscription plans (more about it below). Also, if you want a highly complex security system with the most advanced and creative features, Arlo Cameras are probably not for you.

Still, if that is not a problem for you will benefit from their ease of installation, interactivity, great set of features, and the fact that they can easily integrate with smart home functionality. There are a number of different Arlo products, but, in this article, we’ll focus on the four primary wireless Arlo cameras — Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and Arlo Ultra.

Review of Arlo Cameras

1. Arlo

When it comes to security cameras, most are generally AC powered since features like live streaming and HD video recording take up a lot of battery. However, Arlo is one of the first surveillance cameras to provide the complete gamut of surveillance features while being battery-powered and wireless.

The camera itself comes with an Arlo hub that needs to be connected to your internet router. While the camera is wireless, it needs to be within 300 feet of the hub. The camera can function with two CR123 lithium batteries, but the kit comes with two additional batteries as well. With the motion-detection feature turned on, the camera’s battery can last between 4 to 6 months, which is pretty impressive and it means you won’t be constantly swapping out batteries. The stated 300-feet range is pretty great, but it only holds true for ideal conditions, i.e., without any physical obstacles. In most cases, however, the range will be considerably lower, but still more than adequate for most apartments.

Officially, this Arlo camera has an operational temperature ranging from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you don’t have to worry about the upper reaches of its temperature range, but, it is possible that you might live somewhere the temperature might drop below 14-degrees. When the camera is installed outdoors at such low temperatures, its battery life drops down considerably almost instantly.

There are other Arlo cameras with the ability to withstand colder temperatures, but this isn’t one of them. As such, if you live in a cold area, you should either install it indoors in a temperature-controlled environment or get one of the other Arlo cameras.

This Arlo Camera can record 720p videos with a 110-degree lens angle. That is pretty impressive considering it is a battery-powered camera and that too with a strong lifespan. I was concerned about possible lags in live streaming, but that checks out completely — if there’s a lag, it’s negligible. I was also impressed with this camera’s infrared night vision which can provide clear 720p visuals even in complete darkness. You should note that the night vision only provides visuals in black and white, but that’s true for most surveillance cameras.

This Arlo camera also has a pretty impressive motion detection feature. The moment it detects some motion in the vicinity, it sends a push notification to your smartphone via the Arlo app and you also get an email notification. Furthermore, the camera also starts automatically recording a video, the duration for which you can modify via the app. The only important features missing in this Arlo camera are speaker-integration and a microphone. As such, you can’t hear what’s happening in the camera’s vicinity.

In terms of setup, this camera takes just about 10 minutes. Simply connect the central hub to your router, hook up the wireless camera (or cameras) and then download and set up the Arlo app.

The app is perfectly functional and you can easily connect all your Arlo cameras. You can access video recordings via the Arlo cloud. However, if you want to access videos going back beyond 7 days, you’ll have to purchase one of the Arlo subscription plans. (Details about the subscription plans have been listed out later in this article.)

While you can access the continuous live-streaming, you can also choose to pause the live-stream to save battery. You can also watch live streams from several cameras simultaneously in a split-screen mode. The app also comes with a library section. You simply have to select the date for which you want to access footage and you’ll get all the recorded clippings with time stamps.

All things considered, Arlo is a pretty effective and powerful introduction to the Arlo camera ecosystem. It is a fairly bare-bones camera in terms of features since it has no microphone or speakers, but it’s reasonable and allows you to record HD videos and live-stream while still providing great battery backup. That in itself sets it apart from almost all other surveillance cameras in this price range.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life.
  • 720p video recording.
  • Live-streaming can be paused.
  • Effective night vision.
  • Easy to set up and install.

Cons

  • Range can be slightly limited when there are obstacles in the path.
  • Lacks speaker and microphone.
  • The app user interface is slightly confusing.
  • Can only access recorded videos for free for the past 7 days. Have to buy a subscription for older videos.
  • Not suitable for cold temperatures.

2. Arlo Pro

Arlo Pro is an upgrade to the aforementioned Arlo. As such, it takes everything that makes Arlo so great and ramps that up with better features and greater app control. The Arlo Pro set comes with an Arlo Pro camera (or cameras, depending on the set you get), base station, a rechargeable battery, a power adapter, power cable, wall mount, wall mount screw, window decal, and installation guide.

Setting up and installing the camera was simple and could be executed within a few minutes. The instruction manual was short, concise, and written in plain easy-to-follow English. As far as installation goes, I simply had to connect the base station to the power and the router, hook the camera to the wall, insert the batteries, and set up the app. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes even for technologically-challenged folks.

The previously model — Arlo — had a problem with temperature. You could not keep it outside because it wasn’t highly weatherproof and suffered in cold temperatures. Arlo Pro, however, fixes that problem completely. This camera works perfectly well in all weather conditions, be it snow or rain. It can also withstand a temperature range from -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a pretty strong range and you can even install it outdoors in most winters.

If I had to complain about any aspect of the design or installation, I suppose I would say that the magnetic wall mount isn’t very secure. The wall mount is perfectly suited for indoor use. However, if you’re installing it outside under varying weather conditions, you might need a more secure wall mount to ensure that a heavy rainstorm or wind doesn’t knock it off. Furthermore, the wall mount also doesn’t come with a locking mechanism, which means anyone can easily take the camera off and carry it away.

The Arlo app was also pretty easy to operate and you could easily access all of the features. I am only concerned that the app comes with quite a few menu options, which might be a little confusing for some people. But other than that, the app had controls for all of the camera’s features, making controls really easy.

Arlo Pro has some pretty solid features. First, it can record 720 videos with a 130-degree wide angle lens. That is really impressive because it minimizes blind spots, but also because battery-powered security cameras rarely come with such stunning visuals. It has a really strong night vision as well, with the ability to illuminate a 25 feet line of sight. The visuals are in black and white, but that’s normal for most night vision cameras.

One of my biggest issues with Arlo was its lack of microphone and speaker. Arlo Pro rectifies that issue with a high-quality high-range inbuilt microphone. The camera was capable of even picking up low-decibel sounds fairly well. You can also activate the two-way intercom feature to talk remotely through the cameras. As such, if some burglars come in to rob your house, you can communicate with them in an attempt to scare them off.

One thing I was not, however, impressed with was the motion-detection feature in this camera. Arlo Pro really heightened the sensitivity of the motion detection feature, so much so that my phone started blowing up with notifications if there was so much as a gust of wind blowing some of the curtains around.

Furthermore, there’s no way to change the sensitivity of the motion detection so you’ll simply have to use the scheduling feature to turn the feature off during times when it’s likely to blow up with movements. I also noticed that there’s a slight delay in the motion-detection triggered recording, with the camera starting to record videos a few seconds after it sends the alert.

At the end of the day, Arlo Pro is a significant improvement on an already-strong Arlo camera. It is certainly one of the best security cameras at its price range. However, there are several design flaws and issues that should have been sorted out.

Pros

  • Easy installation.
  • Strong temperature range and weatherproof rating.
  • Comes with a microphone and intercom.
  • Night vision.
  • Wide-angle lens.

Cons

  • Magnetic wall mount isn’t secure.
  • Motion detection is too sensitive.
  • There’s a lag in motion-detection triggered recordings.

3. Arlo Pro 2

Arlo Pro 2 is an upgrade on the aforementioned Arlo Pro. While it has a lot of the same specifications, it has really advanced its features. This Arlo camera is powered by a 2,440 mAh battery but it comes with an optional AC adapter as well. The set also comes with a charging cable, the base station, and a wall mount.

In terms of design, Arlo Pro 2 looks almost the same as Arlo Pro. Installation and set up is also the same, you simply connect the Arlo base station and bring the camera close to it in order to pair them, and then you can go ahead and mount the Arlo camera and control it via the smartphone app. As mentioned in the previous reviews, the whole process shouldn’t take any more than 10 minutes.

Arlo Pro 2 carries an IP65 rating, which means it is perfectly resistant to both water and dust, making it completely weatherproof. It can also withstand the same temperature range as the Arlo Pro, i.e., between -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. I did occasionally find that the lens got foggy, but minimally so and only on rare occasions.

This surveillance camera can record videos in 1080p, which is a great upgrade on the aforementioned Arlo Pro. This advanced resolution helps you distinguish details and specific facial features a lot better than the other Arlo cameras. It retains its wide lens angle of 130-degrees. The greater resolution, however, also comes with a drawback when you’re recording with Night Vision.

Like the previously reviewed Arlo cameras, Arlo Pro 2 also has a Night Vision feature that can provide up to 25 feet of visibility in complete darkness. However, because this camera has a greater resolution, it has more but smaller pixels, each of which now collects lesser light than before. Consequently, the videos recorded in Night Vision mode are darker even if they are sharper. This might make certain details harder to discern in the dark.

The motion detection feature in Arlo Pro 2 is much better than the one in previous versions. The greatest improvement is in terms of sensitivity. This camera doesn’t start blowing up your phone with alerts because of motion detected far away from your house. It has a PIR (Passive Infrared) Motion Sensor. As such, it only catches motion from objects that emit infrared energy, which means you’ll only get alerts if an actual person or animal approaches your house. However, like Arlo Pro, this camera also has certain latency issues and may be slow to start recording videos with a few seconds of delay.

Pros

  • Easy installation.
  • Strong temperature range and weatherproof rating.
  • Microphone and intercom are included.
  • Wide-angle lens.
  • 1080p video resolution.
  • Motion detector is accurate.
  • App is highly intuitive.

Cons

  • Recordings at night are darker than usual.
  • There’s still a lag in motion-detection triggered recordings.

4. Arlo Ultra

Arlo Ultra is the latest addition in the line of Arlo home surveillance cameras. It shares many of the same features as the previously mentioned Arlo cameras — it has the same installation and design features, it shares the same Arlo app as the others, and it comes with the Arlo base station.

While the other Arlo cameras were powered by a 2440mAh battery, this Arlo camera is powered by a 4800mAh battery. This upgrade is more a product of necessity rather than generosity because Arlo Ultra is one of the first security cameras to record videos in Ultra HD 4K resolution. As such, the heightened battery is crucial to keep up with the resolution.

Arlo Ultra records videos in 4K with an HDR, which allows it to capture a lot more details with more clarity. Now as far as security cameras are concerned, a lot of people believe that Ultra HD is overkill and not worth the fact that it can reduce battery life or slow down the camera and app. There certainly is truth in that sentiment. In order to record or stream videos in Ultra HD, you will need an extremely fast internet connection and a very capable smartphone with a great processor. Furthermore, the visuals you’ll receive will only be slightly better than the 1080p. So I definitely believe 4K isn’t entirely necessary.

You should also note that Arlo doesn’t store the 4K videos in the cloud because of the amount of space it would take up. As such, when you go back and access recorded videos, you’ll get access to it in 1080p resolution. If you really want to store the videos in 4K, you’ll need to do so in a separate microSD card via the local storage slot in the Arlo Hub.

While I think the resolution on Arlo Ultra is overkill, I appreciate its wide-angle lens. While the previous Arlo cameras were adequately wide at 130-degrees, this camera amps that up to 180-degrees, giving you a panoramic view of the camera’s surrounding. This essentially gets rid of all blind spots in the vicinity so you really don’t miss anything at all.

Arlo Ultra also has some of the best motion sensors in the industry. It can distinguish between animals, motor vehicles, people, etc. Consequently, you receive far fewer alarms and push notifications. Furthermore, with Arlo Ultra, they have also fixed the latency issues which plagues the previous models and the videos start recording as soon as the alarm is triggered.

Arlo Ultra has also added some completely new features to the mix. One of these features is the Automatic Zoom, which enables the camera to automatically zoom in on a person’s face the moment they are detected. This can help you better identify someone closely if they try to break in.

The other new feature — Spotlight — amplifies the camera’s night vision capabilities and brightens the LED so that possible intruders can be clearly recorded and warned off by the lights. In terms of voice recording, Arlo Ultra’s microphones come with a noise-canceling feature which can get rid of background white noise like white rain so you can hear what’s important.

Pros

  • Widest lens angle amongst security cameras.
  • Automatic zoom feature.
  • Great night vision.
  • Easy to install.
  • App is intuitive.
  • Microphone is equipped with background noise cancelation.
  • Intelligent motion detection.

Cons

  • Ultra 4K video recording is overkill.
  • Streaming takes a long time due to 4K visuals.

Comparison of Arlo Cameras

The following table will allow you to compare the basic specifications and features of all the aforementioned Arlo cameras.

Arlo Arlo Pro Arlo Pro 2 Arlo Ultra
Resolution 720p 720p 1080p 4k
Night Vision 850 nm LEDs/ 25 ft. IR cut-off filter 850 nm LEDs/ 25 ft. IR cut-off filter 850 nm LEDs/ 25 ft. IR cut-off filter Color Night Vision
Lens Angle 110° 130° 130° 180°
Motion Detection Basic PIR PIR PIR
Sound Detection No Yes Yes Yes
Two-Way Intercom No Yes Yes Yes
Rechargeable Battery No 2440mAh 2440mAh 4800mAh
Power Options Battery Battery + Indoor AC + Outdoor AC Battery + Indoor AC + Outdoor AC Battery + Weatherproof Magnetic Charging Cable
Free Cloud Storage Yes Yes Yes No
Weatherproof Rating 14° to 122° -4° to 113° -4° to 113° -4° to 113°
Special Features None None Look Back + ActivityZones + Continuous Video Recording Spotlight + Inbuilt Siren + Auto-Zoom + Tracking

Basic Specifications and Features of Arlo Cameras

The following are some of the basic specifications and features that are common to all Arlo Cameras.

Supports up to 60 Cameras

Depending on the subscription plan you purchase, you can cover up to 60 Arlo cameras simultaneously. This allows you to monitor your property from several different locations and angles, getting rid of all blind spots.

Extensive Platform Support

The Arlo App can function perfectly well on iOS devices, Android devices, web browsers on all kinds of computers, and even on Apple TVs. As such, you can easily use the app using any device and control all your cameras effortlessly.

Wireless

All Arlo Cameras are wireless. This makes setup particularly easy and it completely negates the possibility of an intruder cutting off the security camera by simply snipping the wires or turning off the main power grid.

Simplicity

As already mentioned, Arlo Cameras owe their popularity — in large part — to their simplicity of design. Anyone can install Arlo Cameras without technical assistance. They come with fixtures that allow them to be easily mounted so there’s no need to drill mounts or worry about any wires. Furthermore, the apps are also extremely user-intuitive and basic with all the features clearly accessible from the main menu. There’s no complex controls, features, or installation process.

Infrared Night Vision

Night Vision is one of the most important features for security cameras since most robberies and break-ins happen at night. Arlo Cameras come with several infrared lenses that can illuminate the dark and provide visuals even in complete darkness.

Motion Detection

It isn’t possible to keep your eye on your camera at all times when you’re away. That’s why motion detection is such an important feature. If some unusual motion is detected in the camera’s vicinity, the user will get a notification in their phone along with visuals and the camera will automatically start recording. This will allow you to react quickly if someone is breaking into your property. All Arlo Cameras come with the motion detection feature, and some even allow you to modify the motion detection feature’s sensitivity.

Alexa Integration

Arlo Cameras can perfectly be integrated with Amazon’s Alexa products. As such, you can control the cameras through voice commands, which makes them ideal for smart home integration.

Smart Home Compatibility

Arlo Cameras are compatible with a wide variety of third-party apps, tools, hardware, devices, etc. As already mentioned, Arlo Cameras function perfectly well with Alexa products. They are also compatible with Google Assistance to provide voice control. Arlo is also compatible with other Smart Home devices such as Apple Homekit, Wink, SmartThings, and various others. As such, if you are setting up a smart home, Arlo Cameras are the ideal security cameras to use.

Customer Service

Arlo’s parent company — NetGear — has a pretty good reputation for customer service. There are quite a number of different means by which you can contact customer service for assistance.

You can use Live Chat for immediate one-on-one chats with a representative. For the first 90 days after purchasing Arlo Camera, you can also avail of free phone support. As such, you can call them for assistance at any time. If you purchase one of their subscription plans, you can continue availing of their phone assistance. However, if the 90 days expires and you don’t subscribe to one of their subscription plans, you’ll have to pay separately for the phone support.

Arlo Cameras also come with an exhaustive resource center where you can access their detailed FAQ and guides. You can also post your questions in the community center to crowdsource your support so others can pitch in with helpful answers.

Cost

The upfront cost of the Arlo cameras is pretty reasonable. All of the Arlo Cameras — Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Ultra — come in various different configuration styles and with different numbers of cameras. You can generally get a set of 1 camera to 6 cameras, with the ability to add as many cameras to the system as you need. In terms of configuration, you can either get system only, or the system with a charging cable, with a doorbell, or with an extra mount. All of these options, however, are perfectly reasonable in relation to other security cameras on the market.

However, if you want to use the Arlo Cameras to record videos or access any of their features, you’ll need to purchase an Arlo subscription package. Without subscribing to some plan, the Arlo cameras are basically bare monitors without any additional features. As such, subscribing to one of their plans may be optional, but it’s pretty essential.

While the cost of the device itself is reasonable, Arlo cameras can be fairly expensive in the long run because of their regular subscription costs.

Residential Plans

This is a set of three plans suited for residential users and homeowners.

  • Basic Plan: This is a free plan that can cover up to 5 cameras and give you access to up to 7 days of stored video recordings. You also get 90-days of phone support.
  • Premier Plan: This costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year. It lets you cover up to 10 cameras and gives you access to 24/7 continuous video recording and up to 30 days of stored video recordings. You also get unlimited phone support.
  • Elite Plan: This costs $14.99 per month or $149 per year. It lets you cover up to 15 cameras and gives you access to 24/7 continuous video recording and up to 60 days of stored video recordings. You also get unlimited phone support.

Business Plans

Business plans are meant for large corporations and companies that need access to a greater number of cameras.

  • Basic Plan: Same as the Residential Basic plan, this is a free plan that can cover up to 5 cameras and give you access to up to 7 days of stored video recordings. You also get 90-days of phone support.
  • Advanced Plan: This costs $12.99 per month or $129 per year. It lets you cover up to 16 cameras and gives you access to up to 14 days of stored video recordings. You also get unlimited phone support.
  • Professional Plan: This costs $24.99 per month or $249 per year. It lets you cover up to 24 cameras and gives you access to up to 30 days of stored video recordings. You also get unlimited phone support.
  • Enterprise Plan: This costs $49.99 per month or $499 per year. It lets you cover up to 40 cameras and gives you access to up to 60 days of stored video recordings. You also get unlimited phone support.

How the Arlo Ecosystem Works

All Arlo Cameras can be connected to the Arlo Hub. As such, you can mix up your Arlo cameras, getting different cameras for different locations. For example, you can get Arlo Pro for the bedroom and Arlo Ultra for the living room. After purchasing the cameras either individually or as a group, you can connect them to the Arlo Hub.

Setting up the Arlo ecosystem takes only about 15 minutes. You have to do the following:

  • Use the provided cable to connect the Arlo hub to the router.
  • Download the Arlo app.
  • Create an account for yourself via the app or the Arlo official website.
  • Put batteries into the Arlo cameras.
  • Using your app, connect all of the Arlo cameras to the base station.

Once all the Arlo cameras are connected to the app, you can set up schedules, configure the motion detection sensitivity, or access any of the cameras’ features. Whenever some motion is detected by the camera, you get a push-notification in your phone via the app and the camera automatically starts recording the video. You can adjust the length of time that the camera records the videos following the motion detection being triggered.

The recorded videos are stored in the Arlo cloud for up to seven days for free. However, if you want to access the footage following that period, you’ll need to subscribe to one of the aforementioned subscription plans.

Frequently Asked Questions about Arlo Cameras

Are the Arlo Cameras Wireless?

All the Arlo Cameras are completely wireless. There are no wires involved and they are powered by rechargeable batteries. As such, as long as the cameras are within 300 feet from the base station, you can install them anywhere. However, while the Arlo cameras are wireless, the base station has to be connected to the internet router via a wired power adapter and an ethernet cable.

How loud is the alarm triggered by the motion-detector?

If someone enters your home when you’re away, the motion-detector will pick it up and set off a siren at a 100dB loudness.

How do you use the Arlo Camera app?

You have to first download the Arlo app to your iOS or Android smartphone. Once the app has been downloaded, set up your account by entering your email address and password. You’ll receive a verification link, following which you’ll be able to access the app. Once you’re in, you can access all of the cameras’ features.

Can several users access the same Arlo Camera simultaneously?

Yes, multiple users can access the Arlo camera simultaneously. You have to simply go to Settings > Grant Access and enter the user’s email address and name. They’ll receive a verification link, following which they’ll also be able to control the camera from their respective accounts. You have the power to select how much control you want to grant them from your account.

Are the Arlo cameras compatible with each other?

As of now, all of the Arlo cameras are completely compatible with all the other Arlo cameras and the base station. However, if NetGear decides to end firmware upgrades for some of the older equipment, you might not be able to access certain other Arlo devices.

Can the Arlo cameras still work if the internet is down?

Arlo cameras come with an inbuilt USB backup. As such, even if the internet goes down, they can continue recording videos. However, in order to access them, you will still need access to the Arlo cloud via the internet.

How can the Arlo cameras be suspended?

All Arlo Cameras bear a slight depression on the back of their body. This is a part of the camera’s suspension feature which you can use to mount it on a wall along with the provided metallic hemispheres.

Where are the recorded videos from Arlo cameras stored?

All videos recorded from Arlo cameras are automatically stored to the cloud. The only way to access them is via the app. As mentioned above, the Basic subscription plan is available for free and gives you access to 7 days of recorded footage. However, if you want to retrieve videos from farther back in the archives, you’ll need an advanced subscription plan.

Can the recorded videos be stored locally?

If you don’t want to store the recorded videos in the cloud, you can connect a USB drive to the base station and store the videos locally. This, however, will incur a specific tariff rate. In addition to the USB, you will still be able to find a backup of the video in the cloud as well. There’s no way to prevent the cameras from storing a version of the video in the Arlo cloud.

What’s the purpose of the Arlo camera’s base station?

The base station helps connect the various Arlo cameras and stores all of the recorded videos and images on the Arlo cloud.