When it comes to security technology, Arlo always seems to be one step ahead of the competition. Formerly a subsidiary of Netgear,1 Arlo has been releasing stylish, durable cameras with wire-free functionality since 2014, allowing users true freedom from wires and power outlets.
This adherence to flexibility has kept Arlo on our list of top picks for wireless cameras several years running, with little sign of slowing down. But keep in mind there is a catch with all this top-notch tech and stunning design: Arlo cameras are also known to be on the high side of the pricing spectrum.
Indeed, we’re not talking about a bargain brand here. With that in mind, we’ll dig into Arlo and unpack the value of each Arlo camera to help you make the best choice for your home. We’ll also take a closer look at Arlo’s subscription plan options, which inject even more power into their cameras with premium features like cloud recording in up to 4K resolution, noise-cancelling two-way audio, and ample storage for your video history.
Before we get started, here’s a brief breakdown of Arlo’s key features:
Looking through Arlo’s latest suite of cameras, we knew right away that we were not going to find one for under $100, with the exception of the Arlo Video Doorbell.2 One thing is clear: Adding multiple Arlo cameras to your home, as well as managing all of their data day-to-day, is not a cheap endeavor. But… we can definitely say that you get what you pay for here.
The Arlo Pro 3, for example, starts at just under $500 for a 2-camera package. This includes the two cameras, a SmartHub, and installation hardware.
This works out to about $250 per camera, which is higher than average but reasonable. Once you unlock the full potential of an Arlo camera system, you’ll start to understand that these devices are much more than “average” cameras; and with that, you can expect to pay higher-than-average prices.
Pro Tip: As with most Wi-Fi security cameras, the connection with your network isn’t always going to be smooth. This is something to note, especially when considering 2K or 4K cameras which require fast and reliable Wi-Fi. In some cases, a monitored security system might be a better way to go. We reviewed the best home security systems out there. If you go this route, check out SimpliSafe’s DIY kits for affordable equipment and monitoring.
Here’s a closer look at a few of Arlo’s cameras we’ve used:
Arlo’s only dedicated indoor camera delivers 1080p HD image quality, infrared night vision, two-way talk, and a wide 130-degree viewing angle. Overall, this is a camera that performs well, installs easily, and looks stunning anywhere you put it. We think it’s useful as a nanny cam, discreet as it is, but it’s also highly trustworthy to keep tabs on anything that might go awry in the wee hours, thanks to a healthy dose of infrared night vision.
Unlike its more rugged siblings, Arlo Q doesn’t come with a base station, and it doesn’t run on batteries. It does, however, come with a 7-day rolling cloud storage plan at no extra charge, which means you might not even need to pay monthly for one of Arlo’s subscription plans. This is a pretty big deal.
Currently, Arlo Q is sold only as a 2-camera package, with no base station needed, for $349.99. You can also snag an Arlo Q Plus, which adds on an Ethernet (PoE) adapter, for $349.99.
As an indoor camera, this one’s admittedly a bit steep price-wise, and we recall testing several indoor cameras with similar feature sets that charged much less than Arlo charges for their indoor camera. An indoor camera from Blink, for example, will cost you less than $80. While it won’t get you that same clear-as-day image quality as Arlo Q, we found Blink to be about even with Arlo in features and tech. So if you’re looking to save money, Blink might be a more suitable fit for you. We wrote an in-depth Blink review here.
Arlo Essential has the distinction of being the brand’s least expensive camera. This one gets back to basics, with two-way audio, motion detection, and 1080p HD resolution, and leaves out advanced features we found in other Arlo cameras, like 2K resolution and smart motion technology.
For $129.99, this camera makes a fine choice as an add-on to an existing Arlo system. But even as a standalone camera targeting one area of your home, a device like this can go a long way toward deterring crime,3 especially when it comes to sussing out threats that the human eye can’t see. And the integrated spotlight, activated by motion, provides brilliant yet attractive lighting to any area of your property.
It’s also available as a multi-pack, no base station needed. Note that a 3-pack costs $349, which shaves about $40 off the cost of buying the equipment individually.
With crystal-clear 1080p HD, Arlo Pro 2 forges ahead with a 21st-century look and quality weatherproof design. And the features aren’t too shabby, either. This camera has 3-second lookback, which is a newer offering in the home security camera industry. It captures activity 3 seconds before a triggered event, which allowed us greater context into what was happening in that moment. We liked to think of it as a security time machine. And with a wire-free setup, you’ll skip any complicated wiring or drilling, and you’ll only have to recharge the battery once about every six months under normal use.
For $179.99, the Arlo Pro 2 camera can be purchased individually, but it does require a base station. It’s worth mentioning that 2-pack kits of the Arlo Pro 2 are also available at discounted prices.
With several feature upgrades from the second generation, Arlo Pro 3 levels up in both performance and style. In our hands-on review of Arlo, we found great value in Pro 3, especially with the integrated spotlight, color night vision, wider 160-degree viewing angle, and 2K HDR resolution. Barring any outages or slowdowns with your Wi-Fi connection, you should be able to see images up to 2K any time of day or night.
With the choice of black or white equipment, the camera is available as an add-on for $199.99, or as a 2-pack with base station for $499.99.
Cameras that offer this much variety don’t come cheap, so the price might be hard to swallow for folks on a budget. There are certainly lower-priced cameras out there that perform near or at the level of an Arlo Pro 3. Lorex’s lineup of cameras includes several wire-free models starting at $69.99, but do keep in mind that Lorex doesn’t pack quite the same power into their technology as Arlo does.
The most recently released Arlo camera pulls all of our favorite features of previous Arlo Pro generations into one stunning, powerful piece of smart home technology. That same premium 2K resolution is back, as well as color night vision, smart object detection, two-way talk, super-easy installation, and seamless smart home automation in every Arlo camera.
Beyond the common smart home ecosystems, Arlo Pro 4 goes a step further with Apple Watch integration. So you can now control your camera from your wrist, wherever you are. We think this is a slick addition to Arlo’s feature set.
FYI: If you’re building a smart home ecosystem, Arlo makes it easy to integrate their cameras with Google, Amazon, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT,4 and Stringify. To learn more about building a smart home, check out our home automation guide.
And with a built-in siren that can be triggered automatically or manually, you’ll feel confident knowing the Arlo Pro 4 uses active deterrence to keep you and your family safe at home.
At $199.99, Arlo Pro 4 costs the same price as the Pro 3, but does not include a base station. Instead, it works solely off your Wi-Fi connection.
Apparently not content to stay home all the time, Arlo decided to break out of those four walls and go mobile with Arlo Go. This is the one camera in Arlo’s lineup that requires a contract. Since it runs on an LTE network, it must be purchased with a mobile plan from a major carrier.
Like Arlo Essential, Arlo Go doesn’t pack fancy features, but it handles the basics like a champ. You’re still getting plenty of wire-free flexibility thanks to the camera’s extended-life battery, as well as Arlo’s wide-angle PIR motion sensor that makes sure no movement slips by undetected. Prices vary by carrier.
Arlo Ultra was the brand’s first foray into 4K technology.5 The camera’s first generation has since been discontinued, leaving a supercharged sequel in its place in Arlo Ultra 2. You’ll get a wider (180-degree) field of vision for panoramic views and plenty of detail at night, thanks to color night vision.
But the main draw here is 4K. This is going to get you the clearest possible picture in a security camera, which means, among other things, you’re going to need a pretty strong Wi-Fi connection to keep all that data transmitting smoothly. If you’ve got that, you’re sure to be blown away by the image quality.
It’s also worth noting that at $299, Ultra 2 is Arlo’s most expensive camera. It can also be purchased as a 2-camera kit in white or black, and it does include a SmartHub, which connects your cameras to your network through an Ethernet port.
Did You Know: Arlo cameras can be a tough sell for folks on a budget. Fortunately, the industry is bursting with variety, which means more choices for you. For some specific suggestions for the budget-conscious, check out our list of alternatives to Arlo.
This is what we like to call a “niche cam” – not a security camera in the literal sense, but a camera that meets specific needs around the home. In our experience, though, it’s rare to find a niche cam that’s this cute.
Arlo Baby features 1080p HD image quality, a lullaby music player, multi-colored night lights, and air sensors. It can distinguish your baby’s cries from other types of noise, and you can accessorize Arlo Baby with your choice of three character covers.
It’s certainly a cut above traditional baby monitors, and it’s got the prices to match. For $199, you’ll get an Arlo Baby and a matching stand.
|Arlo Camera||Source||Key Features||Price|
|Arlo Pro 2||Wire-free||
|Arlo Pro 3||Wire-free||
|Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight||Wire-free||
|Arlo Ultra 2||Wire-free||
|Arlo Pro 4||Wire-free||
||$349.99 (varies by carrier; requires monthly service plan)|
|Arlo Video Doorbell||Wired||
Arlo is all about style, and that goes for their litany of accessories, too. You can dress up your Arlo Baby in cute characters to match your nursery’s decor; you can prepare Arlo’s Pro 2 and Pro 3 cameras for combat with camouflage protective skins; and you can maximize your installation experience with magnetic wall mounts, allowing you to swivel and tilt the body of the camera around to get the best viewing angle.
We’re all about add-ons and upgrades, but you’ll rack up quite the tab if you’re not careful. At any rate, here are the latest Arlo accessories and add-ons.
|Arlo Pro Smart Hub||$99.99|
|Arlo Ultra & Arlo Pro 3 Magnetic Wall Mounts||$39.99|
|Arlo Ultra & Arlo Pro 3 Rechargeable Battery||$49.99|
|Arlo Ultra & Arlo Pro 3 Solar Panel Charger||$79.99|
|Set of 3 Camouflage Skins for Pro and Pro 2||$29.99|
|Arlo Baby Bunny, Puppy, or Kitten Character||$19.99|
|Outdoor Security Mount||$19.99|
Arlo cameras work well on their own, without a need for monthly subscription fees. We’ve seen this in every Arlo camera we’ve reviewed. And with Arlo’s Basic (free) plan, we were still able to monitor our devices through the Arlo app, receive customized notifications, tune into live camera feeds, and store footage locally through the use of a micro SD card.
But Arlo Smart, as we like to say, gives your cameras wings. It allows you access to features you wouldn’t get with Arlo Basic, like 30-day video history and advanced object detection. If you’ll recall, that’s the ability to distinguish between objects moving in the camera’s view and alert you instantly.
This, and a few other features, can be unlocked with either of Arlo’s two subscription plans: Arlo Smart Premier and Arlo Smart Elite.
|Arlo Smart Features||Included Free||Arlo Smart Premier||Arlo Smart Elite*|
|Instant Intelligent Alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2K Cloud Recording||No||Yes||No|
|4K Cloud Recording||No||No||Yes|
|Advanced Object Detection||No||Yes||Yes|
|7-Day Video History||Yes||No||No|
|30-Day Video History||No||Yes||Yes|
|Cloud Activity Zones||No||Yes||Yes|
|Price for 1 camera||Free||$2.99 per month||$4.99 per month|
|Price for up to 5 cameras||Free||$9.99 per month||$14.99 per month|
*Arlo Smart Elite supports 4K cameras only.
Arlo’s cameras don’t just look smart; they work smart, too. We’ve seen Arlo cameras outpace the competition in equipment design, functionality, value, and ease of use.
And it’s not just us admiring from the sidelines; Arlo has a customer base of more than 4 million users who stand by their products and love the look, feel, and power of Arlo cameras.
Just how does all this technology work in Arlo’s cameras? We broke it down for you below.
As a leader in battery-operated security cameras, wire-free installation is Arlo’s calling card. With every Arlo camera, you’ll get a wide range of choices for installing, setting up, and using cameras every day. With no wires needed, you’ll be up and running in minutes.
When our Wi-Fi signal was strong, we enjoyed real-time conversations with delivery folks and visiting friends via Arlo’s mobile app. The two-way communication works just like many security cameras out there today – you simply open the live feed, tap on the microphone icon in the camera feed, and speak.
As Arlo releases new cameras, we’re finding a built-in siren in every model, and we like that for one key reason: Sirens are one of the most effective active deterrent features of home security. And with Arlo, it can be activated manually or set it to activate when motion or sound is detected, through the Arlo app.
Smart Home Integration
Arlo plays well with third-party devices, and we know this because we tested them with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to see how they worked with the smart home devices in our home. Each option gave us voice control over our cameras, let us pull up live feeds any time we wanted, and allowed us to connect our cameras to Apple Homekit, SmartThings, and Stringify smart home platforms.
Color Night Vision
After Arlo 2, all of Arlo’s cameras were made with built-in color night vision. Seeing your property lit up at night, in full color, provides the kind of peace of mind customers have grown to appreciate in security cameras. It’s also why so many of them – our team included – keep going back to Arlo cameras.
Generally, bundling cameras together is the best way to save money on most any security purchase. This remains true in Arlo’s case, as many of the brand’s products are most commonly sold as packages.
While it’s possible to buy Arlo cameras individually or as an add-on to an existing Arlo setup, it’s usually cheaper overall to buy a package, which typically consists of two or more cameras and a base station. This setup, along with a stable Wi-Fi connection, ensures that all of the data being transmitted from your cameras won’t disrupt or slow down your network.
And among those packages, you’ll find markdowns from time to time throughout the year. Similar to many major camera brands, the sales heat up around the holidays for Arlo. Around Black Friday and in the days after, you’ll likely find several Arlo packages marked down pretty significantly, like an Arlo Pro 3 2-camera kit for $299, originally $499.
FYI: We frequently compare brands here at SafeHome, and one of our frequent comparison points is the body design of the many cameras on the market. That said, if you like the build of an Arlo camera but not so much the high prices, we tested and reviewed the Argus 3 from Reolink and found it to be similar to Arlo’s outdoor cameras, with one notable exception: the Reolink Argus 3 costs $110, while Arlo’s cheapest camera starts at $199. Just something to keep in mind.
But if you’re interested in Arlo’s cameras, you can probably still score a deal no matter the season. For year-round promotions, feel free to check out our full breakdown of Arlo’s deals and discounts for more ways to save on Arlo products.
The ability to know when danger is imminent is the backbone of any good security camera. Thanks to Arlo’s solid feature set and smarter-than-ever motion sensing technology, Arlo checks that box with ease, making their cameras a worthwhile purchase for anyone looking for top-shelf home security.
But nowadays, many homeowners are looking for more than that; they also desire a camera that looks great and holds up against the toughest of weather conditions. And when it comes to equipment quality, we’ve found that all cameras are definitely not created equal.
When we looked into Swann’s camera lineup, for example, we noted their top-notch security technology made for a positive experience right out of the box, but the equipment itself wasn’t as robust or well-built as Arlo, so we weren’t sure it would hold up long-term. In comparing Swann to Arlo, we found that Swann keeps up in features and tech, but Arlo cameras are better for durability and protection from damage in the long run.
So although premium-level features like the ones Arlo offers might make for a high-priced camera, note that you’re also paying for highly durable, expertly designed equipment that can withstand the elements, which is not necessarily a given in this market.
For cameras that perform this well and look this good mounted around your home, we think Arlo is one of the best choices out there.
No, you’re not required to sign up for a monthly subscription plan with Arlo. But if you want to expand your coverage, the Arlo Smart plan is $2.99 per month (a three-month free trial is included with purchase), the Premier plan is $9.99 per month, and the Elite plan costs $14.99 per month.
Yes, Arlo Pro 3 cameras are wireless and run on batteries. However, you do have to connect the SmartHub to your home’s Wi-Fi network via an Ethernet cord.
According to Arlo, normal usage is about five minutes of recording each day. Under this usage, you should get four to six months of battery life. In high-activity areas with all alerts turned on, battery life will be shorter.
Arlo Pro 3 can connect to Amazon Alexa devices such as the Echo, Echo Show, and Fire TV. The Google Home Hub also works with Arlo, and you can connect to many other third-party devices such as Bose, Sonos, or Phillips Hue.
To function at their best, Arlo Pro 3 cameras should remain at a maximum of 300 feet from the SmartHub system.
You can buy Arlo Pro 3 cameras in a 2-, 3-, or 4-camera pack, starting at $499.99. You can also buy individual (or add-on) cameras for $199.99.
Heater, B. (2018, Feb. 6). Netgear is spinning off its Arlo security camera business. Techcrunch.
Arlo Technologies Inc. (2020, Sept. 15). Arlo Introduces Arlo Wire-Free Video Doorbell with Full Head-to-Toe View.
Baram, M. (2009, Feb. 11). Eye on the City: Do Cameras Reduce Crime? ABC News.
Rouse, M. (2015, Oct. 1). What is IFTTT (If This Then That)? Internet of Things Agenda. TechTarget.
Taylored Blog. (2020) 4K vs. 1080p Surveillance Cameras. Taylored.com.