April 16th, 2016 by StorageReview Consumer Desk
Netgear Arlo Security Cameras for Home Security
The Arlo Wire-Free HD security cameras are designed to offer reliable home security no matter if they are exposed to the elements or used indoors. Previously, we reviewed the Arlo Wire Free HD Camera System, which we found seamless to setup and manage. The Arlo platform is ideal for those who don’t have on-premise storage and need a simple solution for home security and monitoring. Netgear has also made these wireless cameras weatherproof, making them perfect for monitoring outdoors. In this article we cover how users can install a system around their home and in certain circumstances qualify for a homeowner's insurance discount.
Netgear’s other line of surveillance cameras, the Arlo Q HD Security Camera with two-way audio, was announced in November of last year. Intended more for indoor surveillance away from the elements, these cameras are extremely versatile and feature 1080p high-definition video with a 4-megapixel-image sensor, built-in night vision (which the entire Arlo line has), two-way audio, and the ability for users to communicate in any room that they are installed. The Arlo Q cameras are ideal for security, baby monitoring, pet monitoring, nanny cams, or a way to share videos with friends and family. Both camera lines can be monitored via a smartphone or tablet, or through a web browser using an intuitive user interface and mobile app. Users are also given the ability to connect upwards of 15 cameras to the cloud (once users get above 5 cameras there is a fee associated with adding more).
One large benefit to the Arlo cameras, due to their practical and important function in regards to security, consumers can have the cost of the cameras offset from homeowner’s insurance discounts simply by having a security camera system implemented around their property. Though the specific amount certainly varies on your specific insurance policy, many use cases can see a modest discount.
The reasons for the rebate are well-warranted. When properties (e.g. homes and businesses) are monitored by video surveillance systems, this significantly decreases the chances of being burglarized, as potential intruders tend to stay away from areas protected by cameras due to the increased risk of being caught. Even having a sticker in a window (also included with the Arlo system) can deter burglers. If it does happen, however, the recorded footage helps law enforcement identify the person and aids in recovering any stolen items. These benefits are very attractive to insurance companies, as property owners who leverage surveillance systems are less likely to file expensive claims for loss or property damages. As a result, these companies often encourage customers to use security cameras by offering discounts; the more sophisticated the surveillance system is, the larger discounts.
As a test-case we've deployed the Arlo Security Camera system around a home, and gone through the legwork with one insurance company to find out just how much the cameras can lower a homeowners insurance policy.
Installing the cameras around a home is fairly straight forward with the multitude of mounting options the Arlo cameras support. The camera design includes a rubberized concave portion on the rear that is magnetized to hold onto different fittings. In addition to that easy to use system, Netgear also includes a standard 1/4" threaded hole on the bottom of each camera to work with various universal camera-mounting systems. At the end of the day the mounting system that worked for our test case were the included stock metal domes that we affixed to our exterior flashing on windows around the home. Our goal was to provide an adequate view of the perimeter of the house, cover the main entry points (front door, backyard gate, driveway, and side of house) while still keeping the cameras within reach for ease of servicing. With a battery-powered system, its important to remember that eventually you'll need to be able to get to the camera to swap out the batteries. By mounting it to the exterior trim on upper-level windows, servicing is made as simple as opening the window and pulling it off its magnetic holder. Adjustments were also simple to make, since you don't need to break out a ladder for small field of view changes.
With the cameras up and operational it's important to take note of how to best access the system and receive prompt notifications of activity seen by different cameras. The easiest by far is using the Arlo app on your iPhone or Android device. NETGEAR offers different forms of notifying you of activity, including popups as well as emails where a still-image is attached to see what is going on, text message alerts are included as well. With 5 cameras in our setup, three of which viewed some public roads in front of the house, the flood of emails changed our preferred method of notification to app prompts on an iPhone. If a phone wasn't on hand the Arlo website offered all of the same functionality to check in on things and make adjustments as needed.
As for how much you might be able to save, there are other factors that affect the discount unrelated to the Arlo cameras such as geographical location, the size of your property/home, and other policy agreements. In our test case Cincinnati Insurance lowered the yearly policy cost by $96 through a Security Protection Credit. The requirement is that the cameras cover the perimeter of the property, record activity 24/7 and can be remotely viewed. The discount is enough to offset the vast majority of the $449 retail purchase price for a 4-camera over the life of the product. For homeowners the added security and convenience of knowing what is going on around your property makes the Arlo video monitoring system an easy choice.
Ultimately, Arlo Cameras are well built, easy to manage, and allow both insurance companies and property owners to save money. Though both parties benefit from the installation of security cameras, it should be noted that not all insurance policies will offer the same level of discount. However, if security is important to you, and you’re looking to save money on overall costs of owning a house, a surveillance system is a good route to take. It would also be worth your while to research other insurance companies if your current policy doesn’t include a discount option for security hardware.