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Arlo Review

Kiely Kuligowski
Kiely Kuligowski
Staff Writer
  • Arlo offers easy do-it-yourself installation and setup that makes getting started quick and simple.
  • Arlo has competitively priced packages and subscription fees for cloud recording.
  • New models of Arlo cameras don't work on older base stations, so legacy users might have to upgrade systems to use new cameras.
  • This review is for small business owners who are considering installing a video surveillance system.

After research and analysis of dozens of video surveillance systems, we recommend Arlo as the best video surveillance system for self-installation. Arlo offers several wireless and wired camera options that range from basic to advanced capabilities, with plenty of choices for any type of small business.

Arlo

Arlo

The Verdict

Arlo offers a variety of wired and wireless security cameras that are easy to install right out of the box, making it our best pick for anyone who wants to secure their business without installation costs.

We chose Arlo from dozens of video surveillance systems we researched. For more information on how we chose Arlo, see our best picks page for video surveillance systems.

Why Arlo?

Here are the top reasons we chose Arlo as the best video surveillance system for self-installation.

Easy Installation

All of Arlo's cameras have plug-and-play installation, meaning they don't require any professionals or advanced knowledge to install. The system comes with everything you need to set up your security system in minutes, including your camera(s), a home base station, an Ethernet cable, mounts, screws and batteries.

Operation of your system is also easy. With the Arlo mobile app, you can receive alerts, review video clips, control settings, and even add team members to chat within the app.

Multiple Camera Options and Integrations

Arlo offers a wide selection of camera types, making it easy to create the best system for your business. Options include wireless outdoor and indoor cameras, wired indoor cameras, mobile cameras, and even baby monitors. Several of Arlo's cameras integrate with smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Apple HomeKit.

All Arlo cameras feature HD resolution (ranging from 1080p to 4K), motion detection, a panoramic field of vision, and smart detection to distinguish nonthreatening movement from actions that warrant an alert.

Free Cloud Storage

Every Arlo camera comes with seven days of free cloud storage, which is more than other wireless cameras we reviewed (such as Blink, which offers two hours of free storage). You get 30-day video history with the purchase of either of Arlo's two smart plans.

You also have the option to store footage locally, except on the original Arlo camera. All other cameras allow you to connect a USB or microSD card so that you can have a hard copy of your footage.

Wired Option

While wireless cameras are increasingly popular, it's nice to have the option to plug in your cameras, such as in the event of dying batteries or if you want continuous recording. The Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Ultra can all be plugged in.

Key takeaway: We chose Arlo as the best self-installation video surveillance system because you can install it yourself easily, it comes with a week of free cloud storage, and it's a highly customizable system with a variety of cameras and software integrations.

Pricing

Arlo's pricing is based on its cameras, which can be purchased alone, as add-ons, or as part of a camera kit that includes a base station and installation materials, like mounts and a base station.

If you don't have any other video surveillance system, and depending on the size of your business, you will likely save significant money by purchasing a kit of two or more cameras. For example, the Arlo Ultra camera is $299.99 when purchased on its own, whereas a three-camera system costs $799.99 for the cameras plus a base station. Here are more details on Arlo's camera kits:

Arlo Ultra two-camera kit ($599.99)

  • One Ultra Smart hub
  • Two Arlo Ultra cameras
  • Two rechargeable batteries
  • Power adapter
  • Charging cable
  • Ethernet cable
  • Two mount options and mount kits

Arlo Pro 3 two-camera kit ($499.99)

  • One Smart hub
  • Two Arlo Pro 3 cameras
  • Two rechargeable batteries
  • Power adapter
  • Charging cable
  • Ethernet cable
  • Mount kits

Arlo Pro 2 two-camera kit ($399.99)

  • One base station
  • Two Arlo Pro 2 cameras
  • Two rechargeable batteries
  • Indoor power adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Power cable
  • Wall mount and mount kit

Arlo Smart Security System ($599.99)

  • One base station
  • Three Arlo cameras
  • One Arlo Q camera
  • Arlo Q power adapter
  • Three Arlo skins
  • Two wall mounts
  • Outdoor and wall mount plates
  • Mounting screws
  • 12 batteries

Arlo also offers two smart plans that offer features such as 2K and 4K cloud recording, 30-day video history, advanced object detection, package detection, cloud activity zones, and intelligent alerts:

Premier Plan

  • $2.99 a month for one camera, $9.99 a month for up to five cameras
  • Up to 2K video quality

Elite Plan

  • $4.99 a month for one camera, $14.99 a month for up to five cameras
  • Up to 4K video quality

Both plans offer 50% off any additional camera after five cameras. You can also add continuous video recording to either plan, which costs $9.99 for 14 days of CVR or $19.99 for 30 days.

Key takeaway: With its camera bundles and cloud recording subscriptions, Arlo is competitively priced for a full video surveillance system.

Customer Support

Arlo has extensive online resources, as well as a community center where you can ask questions of other users and access information. You can reach Arlo's customer support via live chat, over the phone or by opening a help ticket. All Arlo products have a one-year warranty.

Limitations

There is a recording lag time of three to five seconds in video after a camera senses a motion or audio event. Arlo addressed this issue with the Arlo Pro 2 camera's feature that allows you to look at the three seconds before a triggered event, but this feature is only available when the camera is plugged in.

If you already own older Arlo camera models and want to add newer models to your camera lineup, you may have to purchase a new base station for all your cameras to be compatible. There is also no professional monitoring available, which other video surveillance systems we considered do offer; you'll have to monitor the system and its findings yourself.

Key takeaway: The drawbacks of the Arlo system are the recording lag time, the potential incompatibility between new and legacy models, and the lack of professional monitoring service.

Image Credit: scyther5 / Getty Images
Arlo

Arlo

The Verdict

Arlo offers a variety of wired and wireless security cameras that are easy to install right out of the box, making it our best pick for anyone who wants to secure their business without installation costs.

Kiely Kuligowski
Kiely Kuligowski
Business News Daily Staff
Kiely Kuligowski is a business.com and Business News Daily writer and has written more than 200 B2B-related articles on topics designed to help small businesses market and grow their companies. Kiely spent hundreds of hours researching, analyzing and writing about the best marketing services for small businesses, including email marketing and text message marketing software. Additionally, Kiely writes on topics that help small business owners and entrepreneurs boost their social media engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.