by StorageReview Consumer Desk

NETGEAR Arlo Pro Security Cameras For Home Security Review

Arlo security cameras are a simple way to add cameras around the home without need of extensive, or even very much, technical knowledge. In our initial review, we found the cameras to be easy to install and manage with the enough features to keep the average consumer happy. As with anything, there is always room for improvement and improve the latest version, the Arlo Pro, are. Arlo took a look at some feedback around things like when the camera begins recording, swapping out batteries and its inherent cost, and what happens is the Internet goes out, and has made improvements across the board.

Like the first version, the Arlo Pro are completely wireless, no power cords and no Ethernet cords. Like the previous version, they too are easy to mount and have several mounting options. Since it is an indoor/outdoor camera, they can be mounted without cover or fear as they are weatherproof. For a quick look at how to set up the cameras and potential insurance benefits, click on the link above and check out our first review.

With the new system, Arlo added in two-way audio. This is nice for when one is home alone, or older children are home alone, and they can easily see who is at the door and instruct parcel or mail delivery personnel where to leave the package. While the cameras are easy to mount being wire free, there is the issue of the battery. The old version used batteries that need to be replaced when they ran down or died. The Arlo Pro comes with long lasting, rechargeable batteries. Users don’t need to buy new batteries; they just need to recharge the ones they have (extra batteries and chargers can be bought separately). It is important to remember when mounting the cameras that the batteries still need to be recharged and the cameras them selves shouldn’t be overly difficult to take down and charge. For users that are less concerned with the batteries, there is a wired version available as well.

Arlo has adjusted the motion detection enabling the cameras to come on faster to make sure nothing is missed. Along with this security feature, Arlo also has added a 100+ decibel siren that can be triggered by sound or motion or remotely through the app. And another security concern for some that is addressed in this version is Internet connectivity. Arlo comes with free cloud storage that keeps videos for up to 7 days. But what happens when Internet service drops or there is a power outage? With Arlo pro users can added a USB drive to the base to continue recording even without the Internet.

The Arlo Pro Smart Security System starts at $250 for just one camera and runs up to $650 with four cameras.

Arlo Pro Smart Security System Specifications:

  • Camera
    • Video resolution: Configurable up to 1280 x 720
    • Video format: H.264
    • Imaging:
      • Full Color
      • CMOS
      • Auto-adaptive white/black balance and exposure
    • Audio: Speaker, Microphone
    • Motion detection:
      • Adjustable sensitivity
      • Automatic email alerts and push notifications
    • Digital pan and zoom: Yes
    • Night vision:
      • 850 nm LEDs: illuminates up to 25 feet
      • IR cut-off filter
    • Battery: 2440mAh rechargeable battery
    • Battery level indication: Yes
    • Field of view: 130°
    • Focus range (ST): Fixed focus (2 ft to infinity)
    • Operating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C)
    • Dimension: 3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in (79.3 x 48.6 x 70.5 mm)
    • Weight: 4.8oz (136 g)
  • Base Station
    • Interface port: Fast Ethernet
    • Indicator LEDs: Power, Internet, Camera
    • IP configuration: DHCP
    • Antenna: Internal
    • Wireless range: 300+ feet line of sight
    • Wireless:
      • 2.4GHz
      • 802.11n
    • Processor and memory:
      • 900MHz ARM Cortex A7
      • 128MB Flash, 128MB RAM
    • Certifications: FCC, IC, CE, UL
    • Operating temperature: 32° to 122° F (0° to 50° C)
    • Dimension: 2.3 x 6.9 x 5.0 in (58.6 x 174.5 x 126.5 mm)
    • Weight: 11.1 oz (316 g)

Management and Usability

The management and monitoring interface hasn't changed from the previous versions of Arlo, although a couple of additional features have popped up. Newly visible options include the "audio" trigger for starting a recording, in addition to motion. This is similar to what is found on the Arlo Q. Another item is the "USB thumbstick" icon visible next to all of the cameras connected through the new Arlo Pro base station. This indicated that local storage for recordings could be enabled with USB storage connected to the base station. While the original Arlo base station had USB ports, local storage wasn't a feature added. Finally there is a siren device added, which is built into the new base station. You can trigger it manually from the main status video, or have it trigger based off of certain arming modes. When it activates, it is incredibly loud, far louder than any of the smoke alarms in my house by comparison.

Digging into the camera settings on the new Arlo Pro, you can see one button to turn off the Fully Charged Indicator. This would be useful in keeping the camera less visible in an area where you might be supplying power to it continuously. It also offers Audio settings, for both microphone capture on/off, as well as speaker volume for its two-way audio capability.

Through the base station itself, you now have a local storage option. This can be helpful for retaining video long term, or offering recording capabilities if your Internet connection were to go down.

Under My Devices, the base station's alarm device is part of the list that you can sort. One item I hope comes to future version of the software is the ability to hide the siren entirely, to prevent it accidentally turning on from a kid playing with the Arlo App.

Conclusion

Arlo took its already good security system and improved it in several ways. While the original hardware still has many great features such as wire free, weatherproof cameras that are super easy to mount, 7-day free cloud storage, remote monitoring through a mobile app, and night vision, Netgear has added several features as well. The new features include two-way audio, a siren that can be triggered automatically or remotely, local backup of storage, faster response times when the motion sensor is triggered, and rechargeable batteries. Whether it is used as home security, business security, a nanny cam, a pet cam, or a two-way intercom within the house (or any combination of the above), the Arlo has all of its bases covered. 

Pros

  • Easily mountable, rechargeable cameras
  • Local as well as cloud storage
  • More responsive recording times

Cons

  • Recharging the batteries means the cameras are off line while charging
  • Add-ons, such as more batteries, quickly add to costs

The Bottom Line

The new Arlo Pro Security System has just about everything one needs for a home security system for a decent price. 

Arlo Pro on Amazon

Discuss This Review

Sign up for the StorageReview newsletter

Related News and Reviews