Reolink might not be the most popular security camera, but we recently found that these affordable products are actually quite powerful. They offer easy DIY setup, a great warranty, and a mile-long list of products. Reolink doesn’t offer many indoor camera options, but we think their outdoor battery/solar cams are definitely worth a closer look. Of course, we did run into a few issues with Reolink, but these weren’t deal-breakers for us.
So if you’re curious about Reolink security cameras — their features, pricing, and more — then we’ve got you covered. We’re going to share our experience with you, the good and the bad. So let’s dive in to see if Reolink is right for you and your home!
Reolink’s cameras are pretty cheap compared to industry standards. For instance, the Argus 2 costs $94.99. Compare that to the Arlo Pro 2, a camera with similar features and specs, which runs $149.99. You can see Reolink is cheaper, but we must say, it’s cheaper for a reason.
It doesn’t offer the extra features like advanced motion detection or 3-second lookback that Arlo and some of our higher-rated brands offer. And it certainly doesn’t include AI facial recognition like the Nest Cam IQ. But still, we think Reolink comes with enough helpful features to justify the price. Their new Argus 3 camera, priced at only $109.99, even comes with a built-in spotlight to keep intruders at bay. Not bad! Here’s what to expect to pay with Reolink:
|Reolink Cameras||Type of Camera||Key Features||Price|
|Argus 3||Outdoor Battery/Solar||1080p HD, Built-In Motion Spotlight, Starlight Night Vision, Two-Way Talk||$109.99|
|Argus 2||Outdoor Battery/Solar||1080p HD, Starlight Night Vision, Two-Way Talk, Weatherproof||$94.99|
|Argus Pro||Outdoor Battery/Solar||1080p HD, Two-Way Audio, Weatherproof||$69.99|
|Argus Eco||Outdoor Battery/Solar||1080p HD, Two-Way Audio, Weatherproof||$64.99|
|Argus PT||Outdoor Battery/Solar||Pan & Tilt, Starlight Night Vision, Two-Way Talk, Weatherproof, 1080p HD||$139.99|
|Reolink Go||Outdoor Battery/Solar||1080p HD, Wireless 4G LTE, No Wi-Fi Needed||$215.99|
|Reolink Go PT||Outdoor Battery/Solar||Pan & Tilt, 1080p HD, Wireless 4G LTE, No Wi-Fi||$269.99|
|Reolink Lumus||Outdoor Wi-Fi||1080p HD, Spotlight, Color Night Vision, Siren||$59.99|
|E1 Series||Indoor Wi-Fi||Pan-Tilt-Zoom, Two-Way Audio, 5MP HD||$28.99+|
|RLC Series||Indoor/Outdoor PoE & Wi-Fi||4MP-5MP resolution, up to 4x Optical Zoom, Audio Recording, Weatherproof||$59.99 – $99.99|
|RLN Series (NVR)||Network Video Recording||Multi-Channel Camera Systems||Varies|
|RLK Series||PoE & Wi-Fi||Multi-Channel Camera Systems||Varies|
Like most security brands, Reolink offers a subscription service for cloud storage. Keep in mind these plans are optional, but if you want to view, download, and share event clips stored in the cloud, you’ll have to pay to play.
From what we’ve seen, the price is right on the money compared to the competition. For instance, Ring Protect plans cost $3 and $10 per month, with the $10 plan offering unlimited camera support. Also keep in mind there’s no contract or long-term commitment with Reolink, which is par for the course. Here’s a roundup of their cloud video storage plans.
|1-camera limit||5-camera limit||10-camera limit||30-camera limit|
|7-day storage||30-day storage||30-day storage||60-day storage|
|1 GB of storage||30 GB of storage||80 GB of storage||150 GB of storage|
|Free||$4.99 per month||$9.99 per month||$14.99 per month|
One thing to note is that the cloud subscription only works with the following Reolink camera models: Argus 3, Argus 2, Argus Pro, Argus PT, Argus Eco, Reolink Go, E1, E1 Pro, and E1 Zoom.
It’s important to note that Reolink cameras fall under one of three categories: battery-powered cameras, wireless/Wi-Fi cameras, and PoE IP cameras. You’ll probably want either the battery-powered or Wi-Fi options (the PoE IP cams might be a good fit if you’re a serious techie and have the money). Overall, we enjoyed our experience using most of Reolink’s cameras. But keep reading for a detailed breakdown of our findings.
Reolink’s battery-powered cameras were the easiest to install, as there was no wiring to fuss with. The Argus 3 and Argus 2 worked well for monitoring our outdoor areas like our shed and garage (no power cord needed!). Now, if you don’t have Wi-Fi, we recommend the Reolink Go cam, which is 4G LTE-enabled. This device can stream and record videos from virtually anywhere. Also keep in mind that all Reolink battery-powered cameras are weatherproof, which is important (even necessary) for an outdoor camera.1
Pro Tip: The Argus 2 lasted us about two months on a single charge with motion detection and alert notifications turned on. If you use too many features, you’ll find yourself changing batteries too frequently. The key is determining which security features you find most helpful in your situation.
We really liked the fast wake-up times on these cameras. Also, we found the 1080p HD video quality to be solid, and the lag when live-streaming was minimal. However, we did find some room for improvement. For instance, the Argus 2 PIR motion sensor2 was a bit too sensitive for our liking. Because of this, we received too many alerts, and it certainly can’t help with battery life.
Reolink’s lineup of Wi-Fi cameras consists of indoor and outdoor cameras in fixed-lens, PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom), dome and bullet versions. Note that these Wi-Fi cams are the most balanced of the Reolink products we tested — they offered us rich features while still being quite easy to install and use.
Without battery restrictions, the wireless Wi-Fi cameras offer higher video resolution (up to 1440p or 5MP) and continuous video recording if you purchase a Network Video Recorder (NVR).3 NVRs provide a great way to watch over your home or business using a monitor or through the Reolink mobile app.
Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) cameras are perhaps the most reliable surveillance options offered by Reolink. That said, they are also the most difficult to install as they require an Ethernet cable to run from the camera to an NVR. If you’re not familiar, the Ethernet cable provides both power and a means to transport data/videos. So, if you’re willing to brave the installation process, the good news is that only one wire is needed per camera.
PoE cameras are reliable because the devices actively monitor your home (so long as your NVR is up-and-running). Battery-powered cameras are at risk of losing charge, while Wi-Fi cameras may run into connectivity issues. Be forewarned, however, that we found several customer complaints about faulty Reolink NVRs. So that’s something to bear in mind.
Pro Tip: Don’t hesitate to mix and match different camera types to cover all areas of your home. Reolink cameras work as a unit with the help of the mobile app. If you do choose Reolink, we recommend going with a mix of battery-powered and Wi-Fi cameras, or Wi-Fi and PoE cameras.
We tried out a handful of Reolink cameras, focusing on the battery-powered and Wi-Fi-enabled models. And we researched their PoE IP cameras and NVRs and read through customer reviews to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. With this in mind, we came away with good news and bad news.
What Reolink consistently does well is make cameras with excellent picture quality. Note that all the models we tested exceeded our standards in terms of clarity, crispness, and color quality. We wouldn’t say the resolution measures up to Lorex (one of our top-ranked cameras), but we were plenty happy with Reolink’s 1080p and 5MP video quality.
We also found Reolink’s cameras easy to install. The entire process is guided by the Reolink mobile app, and it took us less than three minutes to set up each camera. As mentioned, the PoE models are a little more involved, but once they’re connected, the software takes care of the rest.
Although the picture quality is great, it’s not perfect. Most Reolink cameras max out at 15 frames per second. With that frame rate, it will be difficult to capture a license plate number of a passing car or identify a person’s face if they’re moving. We also noticed some user reviews pointing out Reolink’s inadequate tech support. Although we had no issues here, some customers feel that Reolink can do better in answering tech-related tickets.4
After really getting to know Reolink, we can say that the feature-set on most of their products is pretty solid. But there was nothing ultra-innovative or earth-shattering. In fact, Reolink falls short when it comes to features and tech — especially when measured up against other affordable options. However, considering the low price-point (starting at under $30!), we think the company does just fine here. See below for the best Reolink features.
Reolink offers cameras that work indoors, outdoors, and in both settings. Those that work outdoors are weatherproof with IP65 to IP66 rating. The ones we used worked well even when exposed to the elements.
Most Reolink cameras we tried have infrared night vision that turns the picture into black-and-white in low-light conditions. Some models, like Reolink Go and Argus 2, have both Starlight and infrared night vision. In total darkness, pictures turned black-and-white, but in low-light conditions, the Starlight image sensor enhances the image to keep the colors rich.
Motion detection is one of the best security features offered by most Reolink cameras. We received an email and push alert when motion was detected so we could jump into action if, say, a porch pirate targeted our home. Thankfully, we were able to adjust the sensitivity and even disable notifications.
Did You Know: There are several types of motion detection. Reolink cameras either use Computer Vision (CV) or PIR Motion Sensing. PIR Motion Sensing cameras are triggered by “heat signatures” and are less prone to false alarms.
We’ve used Reolink’s app-guided installation wizard several times. It’s usually as easy as scanning a QR code on the unit using the mobile app, entering your Wi-Fi credentials, and then scanning the QR code on the app using the camera. This shouldn’t take you more than three minutes per camera.
You can access your cameras from anywhere in the world using your smartphone. Simply open the Reolink app and tap on a camera to initiate a live-video stream, or go to the settings to manage your cameras. Note that this is standard with most security camera brands today, but we still like it.
Reolink offers a range of wireless, Wi-Fi, and PoE cameras. Below are a few of our favorite devices that they currently sell. Just note that this is not an exhaustive list — remember, Reolink has loads of options in their lineup (maybe even too many). So if you get overwhelmed easily, this brand might not be the best fit for you.
Reolink’s flagship cameras, the Argus 2 and Argus 3, offer full HD resolution, Starlight night vision, IR LEDs, two-way audio, a weatherproof design, and live-streaming. Argus 2 worked like a charm when we tested it, but now there’s an Argus 3 that comes with a built-in motion light.
Argus Pro is a slight step-down from Argus 2, but it’s still a solid battery-powered camera. The main difference is the night vision technology. While the Argus 2 features Starlight night vision that provides colored low-light images, the Pro’s night vision uses infrared LEDs that turn the image black-and-white. We recommend using Argus Pro to complement Argus 2.
If you want the features of a battery-powered camera but don’t have a Wi-Fi connection, Reolink Go is a solid (but expensive) solution. It uses 4G LTE signals to generate instant alerts, store videos in the cloud, and provide you with remote access. However, note that it needs a data plan to work on top of the hardware and optional cloud subscription fees.
FYI: We think the Reolink Go is a great solution for monitoring a cabin in the woods, a construction project, or even a boat docked in a marina.
The Argus Eco is a bullet-type, battery-powered outdoor camera. It shares the same features as Argus Pro, but as an outdoor camera, it has a longer night vision range capable of capturing objects up to 33 feet away.
The Argus PT is a head-turner, literally. It’s an indoor/outdoor, battery-powered camera that can rotate almost 360 degrees horizontally and 140 degrees vertically. We think it’s a great solution if you need a camera that can monitor wide, empty spaces like a parking lot or a storage unit. Similar to Zmodo’s Torch 360 camera, you can control Argus PT remotely via the Reolink app.
The Lumus is a unique Wi-Fi camera due to its built-in spotlight. When motion is detected, the camera instantly lights up to startle intruders. This camera also features a siren to scare away bad guys. Overall, it’s a decent option, but we’d sooner recommend Ring’s Spotlight Cam if you have the budget for it (it has two-way audio, 140-degree field of view, and other bells and whistles).
You should know that Reolink offers all sorts of add-ons — perhaps too many to list. They range from power adapters to NVR antennas, rechargeable batteries and mounting brackets. One of our favorite accessories is the Reolink Solar Panel for $24.99. From what we’ve seen, most of the prices are reasonable and range between $9.99 and $39.99 depending on the product. So if you’re looking to customize a camera system to your heart’s content, just know that Reolink is competitive in this category.
Pro Tip: When setting up Reolink cameras, don’t forget to assign a name to each camera. Doing so will make it easier for you to choose a camera feed to stream, or to pinpoint where alerts are coming from.
Though installation and setup are quite simple, sometimes things go wrong. Thankfully, Reolink’s website features tutorials aimed at solving every problem you could encounter. You can also submit a request to their support team. If you’re lucky, they might be able to solve your issues. However, it’s not uncommon for Reolink customers to receive inadequate support, as some Amazon customer reviews have noted. We suggest trying to reach out a second or third time — you might finally connect with an agent who can help.
Launched in 2009, Reolink came onto the scene selling traditional IP cameras, NVRs, and DVRs.5 The market was tough and evolving, so when they found the opportunity, they released a new line of DIY cameras that propelled the brand to where it is today.
That new product line was Argus. Released in 2017,6 Argus was inspired by Arlo, the undisputed leader of battery-powered cameras at the time (we highly recommend looking into Arlo cameras). Eventually, Reolink managed to separate itself from Arlo and other top brands like Ring by releasing more affordable cameras with some decent features.
Today, the Argus line remains the brand’s headliner (we’re really liking the new Argus 3), backed by a supporting cast of indoor and outdoor cameras that are either wired, wireless, or wire-free. All in all, we think Reolink is a solid brand that you can trust.
After digging into Reolink cameras and trying them ourselves, we’ve concluded that they aren’t for everyone. Sure, the cameras are affordable, with most options selling for under $100. And we liked that they are simple and easy to use. But we wish they’d improve some features, such as the battery life of their battery-powered cameras, the UI for viewing videos stored locally, and the motion sensitivity of their Argus cameras.
So do we recommend Reolink? Well, that depends. If what you’re looking for is an inexpensive but reliable security camera system with enough features to protect your home, then we think Reolink might work for you. But if you’re willing to pay a little extra for smart features, there are a number of brands that will do you one better than Reolink. We highly recommend looking into Ring, Nest, or even Arlo.
Yes, Reolink offers a generous 2-year warranty, with a 6-month extension option when you register the warranty card within those first two years.
Yes, Reolink offers easy DIY installation and setup. The process only takes about 3 minutes per camera.
Yes, Reolink offers free basic cloud storage, as well as three paid subscription plans with advanced features/options.
Yes, Reolink offers 1080p HD and up to 5MP video quality on some of their cameras. While it’s not the best resolution we’ve seen, it definitely gets the job done.
We didn’t have any issues with Reolink when it came to service and support. However, in our research we found that some users complain of inadequate response times and support on open tickets.
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TrustPilot. (Accessed June 3, 2020). Reolink User Reviews.
Reolink: About Us. (2020). Security Camera Provider.
PR Newswire, Press Release. (2017, December 27). Reolink to Unveil Innovative 4G Camera, Reolink Argus 2 & 4K Ultra HD Security Cameras at CES 2018.