Arlo Home Security Review (2020)
Arlo offers DIY camera-based security solutions that give you a view into what’s happening inside and outside your home. In this Arlo home security review, we provide an overview of the company’s offerings to help you determine if Arlo is right for you.
This Old House Rating: 9.3/10
Arlo takes a starkly different approach to home security than many of its competitors. Offering just surveillance-based security solutions like cameras, spotlights, and video doorbells, Arlo home security provides customers the opportunity to receive high-definition video and view live updates directly from their phones.
Through its offering of home security camera systems and subscription-based cloud storage options, Arlo gives a basic video surveillance system to customers who aren’t looking for a traditional professional monitoring security service. Keep reading to learn if Arlo is the best home security system for you.
Pros and Cons of Arlo Home Security
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of Arlo below:
Types of Arlo Home Security Equipment
Unlike many companies, Arlo doesn’t offer home security packages. Instead of focusing on complete home security solutions that include devices like door and window sensors or keychain remotes, Arlo specializes in various video security solutions through its product offerings. Here’s a look at the equipment offered by Arlo.
The Arlo Ultra is an indoor/outdoor camera that’s designed to be mounted on a wall or ceiling with a magnetic mount for a 180-degree look into your home or yard. The Ultra offers 4K video and dewarping technology, removing the frustration of distorted video. Additionally, this camera comes with enhanced color vision and auto-zoom technology, so video quality is constant at night. The camera is simple to install, weather-resistant, and contains no loose wires.
Arlo Pro 3
Similar to the Arlo Ultra, the Arlo Pro 3 is equipped to be an indoor/outdoor camera. It features color night vision to see in the dark and has a viewing angle of 160 degrees. The camera is built to withstand heat, cold, and inclement weather and includes additional features like a built-in smart siren, two-way audio communication, and a manual or motion-activated spotlight.
The Arlo Essential provides the basics needed in a surveillance camera. It offers 1080p video quality, a weather-resistant frame, motion alerts, and an integrated spotlight to help light up the night. Like the Arlo Pro 3, the Essential model provides two-way communication and the ability to deter intruders with a built-in siren.
Arlo Pro 2
Like the more advanced Arlo Pro 3, the older Arlo Pro 2 offers high-definition video that delivers quality footage in the dark. Additionally, the Arlo Pro 2 offers other similar features like three-second look back on footage captured when the camera is triggered and the ability to set activity zones—areas you want to receive motion and sound alerts when motion is detected.
The Arlo Go is built for outside jobs. Equipped with a rechargeable battery, the weather-resistant camera offers high quality footage even in the darkest of nights. The camera is powered by LTE and requires a mobile plan before use to back up video footage on a local SD card. Like many Arlo cameras, the Go model features motion detection and two-way audio.
Capturing footage in 1080p and allowing two-way communication, this camera lets you remotely check in on your home and loved ones at any hour of the day. The Arlo Q comes with Arlo Basic service, so you can keep the past seven days of motion and sound recordings in local storage.
This camera is an advanced baby monitor that provides advanced night vision, two-way talk, a smart music player, air sensors, and a baby crying alert. With the ability to connect directly to other smart home security devices, Arlo Baby gives you peace of mind that your baby is safe and sound.
Read More: Best Home Security Cameras
Arlo Video Doorbell
The Arlo Video Doorbell gives you a remote look at who’s at your door at all times. Controlled directly from the Arlo app, the doorbell provides motion detection alerts and lets the visitor call you directly from the doorbell. If you don’t want to talk, the Arlo Video Doorbell lets you respond with pre-recorded messages at the touch of a button.
Arlo Audio Doorbell
If you just want audio, or already have an Arlo camera, the Arlo Audio doorbell gives you the ability to remotely communicate with a visitor at your door. You can talk directly with your visitor, select a pre-recorded instant message, and allow visitors to leave a voice message, all of which can be managed directly from the Arlo app.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight
This floodlight from Arlo is 100% wire-free, offering up to 3,000 lumens of light so that you can see into your yard. The embedded video camera captures 2K HDR video with a 160-degree viewing angle, giving you access to a larger and sharper image. Like the Arlo Pro 3, the Floodlight model comes with two-way communication and a built-in siren.
Arlo Security Light
The Arlo Security Light is a customizable floodlight that allows scheduling when you’re away, sends motion detection alerts directly to your phone, and works directly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Cost of Arlo Home Security
Here’s a pricing overview for Arlo devices:
Arlo Smart Plans
Customers can choose from two Arlo Smart Plans that provide cloud recordings, 30-day video history, advanced object detection, package detection, cloud activity zones, and intelligent alerts. The offerings of each Smart Plan are similar, with the Premier Plan compatible with 2K video and the Elite Plan compatible with 4K.
Here’s a look at the pricing of each plan:
How Does Arlo Work?
Arlo offers affordable and compatible video surveillance equipment that can be accessed and controlled directly from your mobile device. After purchasing a device from Arlo and installing it in your desired location, you can self-monitor your system through the Arlo app, where you can do everything from sounding a built-in siren to zooming in on live footage.
Arlo has partnered with HelloTech to provide professional installation services for the Arlo Video Doorbell for U.S. customers only.
Note: For some Arlo devices and features, an Arlo Smart Hub or Base Station is required.
Read More: Best DIY Home Security SystemsArlo
Arlo Home Security Reviews
Arlo is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an A rating. Their rating is determined by the BBB, which takes into account the business’ interaction with customers and their complaints. Although the company has a positive rating on BBB, the customer reviews on the site are mixed.
Here’s a sample of BBB customer reviews:
“Arlo keeps pushing out updates that [don’t] work. The latest on Dec. 2nd, 4th, and 12th. The first 2 updates made my system useless and the last one did nothing to fix it. Their customer service is terrible. Their only ‘solution’ is to tell you to restart your cameras and escalate to ‘Level 2’ support.” — Scott S.
“I have three systems, Arlo, Ring, and Nest. Of the three, Arlo works the best, plus you have 7-day camera recording [without] having to purchase a plan with which Ring you do. Ring also takes [too] long for [the] camera to activate. Haven’t had much problems with Nest but feel Arlo works better.” — David G.
The This Old House Reviews team gives Arlo a 9.3/10. Although the company doesn’t offer complete home security packages, it does provide customers with an array of video-specific equipment for any situation. If you’re strictly looking for a home monitor, Arlo’s products provide high-quality video, unique remote features, and free cloud storage that many home security companies can’t provide.
If you’re unsure if Arlo is right for you, compare it to other top-rated security companies in the industry.
Our Home Security Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for home security providers is on a 100-point scale based on 10 factors:Number of systems (5) Special features (10) Installation options (5) Connectivity and smart home automation (15) Pricing (15) Contract period (5) Warranty (15) Trial period (15) Usability (5) Trustworthiness (10)
Our team reviewed 32 companies and spent 744 hours researching and testing out products to help us compare home security systems on key factors such as package options, cost, reliability, and ease of use. Read more on our methodology here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Arlo
Can Arlo record all the time?
Continuous video recording (CVR) is an optional feature available on select Arlo devices, like the Arlo Ultra, Pro, 2, Q, Q Plus, and Baby cameras. To use CVR, you must have a compatible camera, sign up for a one-month subscription of CVR recording, and use AC power to support the camera.
Do you have to pay a monthly fee for Arlo?
You can purchase equipment from Arlo without signing up for a subscription that has a monthly fee. However, if you want features like 30-day video history and advanced object detection, you have to sign up for an Arlo Smart Plan. These plans range from $2.99 per month to $14.99 per month.
Does Arlo only record when motion is detected?
Typically, set modes and rules turn your camera on so it begins recording. For instance, if your camera is armed, it will record live video when it detects motion. You can control when your Arlo camera is armed by setting a schedule based on the day of the week and time of day.