From turning off your heater with your voice to locking your doors from a thousand miles away, home automation continues to transform our lives in new and exciting ways.
Arlo, a consistent leader in security cameras for flexibility and ease of use, is one of a number of cameras that work nicely as a component to a smart home. Arlo’s wire-free cameras also happen to play well with smart home platforms from the ever-popular Amazon Alexa to the more complex IFTTT (If This Then That) applet.
Unlike Ring and Blink1 – two Amazon-owned security cameras that integrate with their Alexa ecosystem in a snap – Arlo doesn’t have its own smart home platform. We do encourage you to read more about the Alexa automation process in our Ring Home Automation guide.
Instead, Arlo’s suite of wire-free cams is made to pair with existing smart homes through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a combination of both.
On a personal note, I had the same wide range of opportunities for home automation I’ve had with other cameras when I recently unpacked and reviewed an Arlo system. It didn’t feel restricting without an integrated Arlo platform, but if you prefer a brand match, Ring’s security cameras might be a better fit for you.
FYI: Learn more about how Amazon’s Ring compares to Arlo in home automation in our side-by-side Ring vs. Arlo comparison guide.
Amazon Alexa and Google Home Integrations
You’ll probably be glad to learn that Arlo plays well with both Alexa and Google Home voice assistants. Several times during my hands-on Arlo tests, I used voice commands to get real-time information on who was at the door. This was particularly helpful while waiting on a time-sensitive food delivery, which occurs often around here.
And in another perk, with the Amazon Echo Show, I could pull up my Arlo camera’s livestream to check on our sweet (but active!) poodle pup, making sure he’s behaving himself. Since it’s built to communicate with third-party platforms, this involved little more than a command: “Alexa, show me my upstairs cam.”
About the Arlo SmartHub
Another advantage Arlo brings to the smart home is the Arlo SmartHub. This is a more complex device than a standard home security base station like you’d get from a Swann camera system, for example, but its key function is the same: to pull all of the data and video your cameras are recording and processing all day into smooth, glitch-free footage.
This, in turn, will help you streamline your larger home automation experience. For example, an Arlo system of three cameras on one floor of a single-family home would all feed into a SmartHub so that, at the end of the day, your footage is all in one place. This way, it’s easy to look over recordings and clips at the end of the day to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Pro Tip: Arlo can handle lots of home automation tasks, but did you know you can also use home automation to control your door locks, turn your lights on or off, and arm or disarm your security alarm? Head over to our complete home automation guide for more tips.
Arlo and Apple HomeKit
While I can’t say definitively whether Arlo cameras play well with every home automation platform – I do know that Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro 2 cameras’ software was recently upgraded to support Apple HomeKit.2 Now, Siri can be summoned to pull up a livestream from the Arlo Ultra on my iPhone, just like that.
The Future of Arlo Automation
Around early 2019, Arlo expressed ambitions to develop its own smart- home/home security platform called Works with Arlo,3 part of which the brand presented at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that year. But in my research, it looks like Works with Arlo was never added to the product suite. It remains to be seen if Arlo will bridge that gap; but in the meantime, their cameras still earn a spot on our top 10 list of best home security cameras.
For now, Arlo remains a solid connected-camera company, but we can’t quite call it a smart-home camera – not without a native platform. But that’s not to say home automation isn’t just as easy to use with Arlo as those other brands. After all, it is called “automation” for a reason.
Overall, I’m quite comfortable recommending Arlo as a suitable camera-based home security system with plenty of third-party home automation integrations.