Netgear's Arlo lineup has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years and that can make it a little difficult to figure out which security camera is best for you. There are a whole host of factors that go into making a security camera purchase (including whether the product is right for you in the first place) — in fact, I've written about some of the things you should consider in this post:
Once you've got all that sorted, it's decision time! We're going to take a closer look at the Arlo, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Pro 2 security cameras to give you a better idea of what each camera offers.
Let's break it down
Per usual, I like to start things off with a comparison chart. Your time is valuable and a handy chart can give you a quick idea of what each product offers.
|Arlo Pro 2||Arlo Pro||Arlo|
|HD video||1080p HD||720p HD||720p HD|
|Power source||Solar panel or rechargeable battery||Solar panel or rechargeable battery||4 CR123 batteries|
|Storage duration||7 days free||7 days free||7 days free|
|Local storage||Yes, USB drive option||Yes, USB drive option||No|
|Alerts||Motion & audio||Motion & audio||Motion|
|Field of view||130º||130º||110º|
|Price||$440 (two-camera kit)||$403 (two-camera kit)||$220 (two-camera kit)|
Price is, as you might expect, an obvious differentiator between the three cameras. Aside from that, though, you may be wondering what makes these security cameras so different — especially with such varying price points. Let's take a closer look at each camera and what it has to offer.
Arlo Pro 2
The second-generation pro camera looks almost identical to the first edition but offers a few more interesting features. Most importantly, the Pro 2 gives you the option to set up Activity Zones. Activity Zones let you highlight specific areas of your camera's view in order to receive notifications for motion events and sounds that happen within those bounds. Here's how that translates into IRL use: I have dogs that roam my house freely while I'm away. I use Activity Zones to mark the upper portion of each of my security cameras, thereby excluding the part of the camera's view that would otherwise be triggered by my roaming puppies. If someone or something enters my home, I'll get a notification so long as they're taller than a chihuahua. The Arlo Pro 2 also features a better camera system with 1080p video — a small step up from the 720p video of the other two cameras. If you're into voice control and home automation (my guess is you probably are!), the Pro 2 works with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Stringify. Lastly, the Arlo Pro 2 can work more like a standard security camera — if it's used in doors and remains plugged in, you can set it to record nonstop 24/7 recordings.
You can get a two-camera Arlo Pro 2 kit from Amazon for about $440.
As I mentioned before, the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 look quite a bit alike — they also have many of the same features. That said, if you choose to go with the Arlo Pro, you're going to be missing out on a couple things:
- You're not going to get that 1080p HD video. The Arlo Pro records 720p HD video.
- The Arlo Pro isn't compatible with the various voice services and smart home platforms that work with the Pro 2.
- Regardless of whether you plug it in, you're missing out on Activity Zones and 24/7 recording.
If you don't mind losing out on more precise motion and activity notifications, you can save yourself a bit of money by going with the Arlo Pro system. My advice? If you've got the ~$400 to spend on a two-camera Arlo Pro kit, you might as well get all those extra features for $40 more.
You can get a two camera Arlo Pro kit from Amazon for a little more than $400.
I'm not gonna lie, once you've read about all the features available with Netgear's Arlo Pro line, the plain ol' Arlo really doesn't stack up to the competition. If you want to add a couple extra cameras to your home security setup that only need to be able to track motion, the Arlo may be a good choice. But before you go with this option, keep in mind the following:
- You're not going to get that 1080p HD video. The Arlo records 720p HD video.
- It isn't rechargeable and you can't plug it in. The Arlo is powered by CR123 batteries.
- It doesn't offer any local storage options.
- It doesn't listen for audio alerts — it only tracks motion.
- The lens's field of view is smaller.
- It doesn't have a siren.
- It isn't compatible with voice services and smart home platforms.
If you're buying a security camera setup for your home, I wouldn't recommend starting with the Arlo. Buy an Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 kit and consider buying a couple Arlo cameras as supplements to your security system. If there are places where you're OK with just seeing video and don't need a wider field of view, these cameras are a less-expensive way to make that a reality.
You can get a two-camera Arlo kit from Amazon for about $220.
So what did you decide? Are you going with the Arlo, Arlo Pro, or Arlo Pro 2? A combination of the three? If you'd like, you can share your thoughts and brag about your camera setup in the comments or over on Twitter!
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