Over the twenty years since they were first founded, Netgear has earned international praise for delivering reliable high quality networking equipment to business and consumers around the world. Now the global networking giant has decided to launch themselves into the home security solution industry with their first comprehensive home security platform, the Arlo.
Presenting the Arlo as the ‘world’s first 100% wire-free, weatherproof HD security camera’, Netgear is making big splashes in a saturated market with their feature rich and innovative design. In this article we’ll examine the features, application, design and construction of the Arlo and help you decide whether the Arlo is the right home security solution for you.
What Is Arlo?
Arlo is a wire free DIY home security solution consisting of a series of HD cameras and a base station, available in both home business variants. Arlo offers cord-free home security that uses the wifi network of your home to stream HD home security footage via a dedicated security app anywhere in the world.
The Arlo system is high quality and has one a Red Dot Design Award, with cameras that can be placed indoors or outdoors and function without issue in hot, cold, wet and dry environments, offering reliable coverage in any situation.
Setting up the Arlo home security system is super easy and takes less than ten minutes. Cameras can be installed anywhere within the home by snapping them on to magnetic mounts or placing them on flat surfaces- simply place the cameras in the desired location, connect them to the base station, and you’re ready to start streaming crystal clear home security footage.
Arlo cameras stream 1080p HD video completely wire free and are weather proof, allowing placement all over the home. Each camera has a 130 degree viewing angle complete with motion and sound detection, and come with two way audio capability that allow you to listen to what is going on in your home as well as talk back through each camera.
Smart alerts provide instant notification to users when variables within the home change and can easily be upgraded to up to 15 cameras in each system. Netgear even offer advanced home security features such as night vision and continuous 24/7 video recording through Arlo, although the default shelf life of video recorded with the Arlo system is 7 days.
Arlo is managed by a smartphone app available for both Android and iOS. The Arlo system operates primarily in one of five different modes, that can be selected and managed from the app. The modes are fully programmable and customizable. Users can set a series of variables for each mode, allowing the app to notify them if certain parameters change- such as motion detected within the house. Alerts are sent via email and push notification to the smartphone app.
Arlo users are able to schedule different behavioural modes to match up with their daily and weekly schedules, providing streamlined security automation. The app is available via the Google Play Store or iOS App Store and is compatible with Android devices running version 4.03 or higher and iOS devices running at least iOS 6.
The app is fairly straightforward and consists of three different tabs for Mode, Camera and Library.
The Camera tab of the app allows users to view a complete list of all of the live cameras attached to their Arlo system, and drill down to each specific camera to watch a live feed. Users are also able to view information on each individual camera such as remaining battery life, wireless signal strength, and motion detector status.
The Mode tab allows users to toggle between preset security modes, and library provides a collection of previously recorded security footage for review. Users are also able to manage their Arlo systems via a web app if they don’t want to use a mobile device.
The battery life of the Arlo wireless cameras are quite impressive- on full charge Netgear promises four to six months of battery life with recommended settings and typical usage.
Design & Construction
The Arlo cameras are robust and well designed, each small enough to sit within the palm of the hand. The cameras have very few protrusions or bulky elements, and each has a single sync button on the bottom of the device for connecting to the network during setup.
Each camera has a white shell with a black front housing that contains the camera components and motion detector. Arlo cameras contain lithium 123 batteries which last longer than their traditional AA equivalents.
The Arlo base station resembles a sleek internet router, and is used to connect to the various Arlo cameras placed around the house. While it has no internal storage, the Arlo uploads all footage recorded to cloud storage, and has multiple USB slots if you’d like to connect storage devices and store recorded footage locally. The base station has six lights along the bottom that indicator power, internet, camera sync status, ethernet and USB.
Arlo cameras are smaller than most home security options, sized at 2.8 x 2.5 x 1.6 inches and are fully waterproof, capable of working between minus 10 to 50 degrees Celsius.
A basic Arlo wireless home security system starts at $499.99 USD. The basic package includes 4 wireless HD Arlo cameras, the Smart Home Base station with power adaptor, one ethernet cable, 4 magnetic camera mounts, mounting screws, batteries, a quick start guide and a window sticker to scare off potential home intruders. Arlo Q Plus business solutions designed for business owners are somewhat more expensive, but offer a larger range of enterprise features.
Overall the Arlo is an excellent first foray into the home security industry by Netgear and a solid choice for those that want to protect their home with a comprehensive home security system that won’t break the bank. Arlo systems are available for order online or via a wide range of retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, Target and Staples.