Arlo Wireless Security Camera Review

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
There’s a reason the Arlo and Arlo Pro are leaders in wireless cameras. Whereas security cameras of the past required extensive installation and networking setup, these require minimal time and effort and have the support of a strong app.

Two of NETGEAR’s home security cameras have made our lists this year—the Arlo is number seven in our overall best home security cameras list and the Arlo Pro ranks number two in our best outdoor cameras list. Because they’re wireless and waterproof, these are incredibly versatile devices, adaptable for any number of uses and environments. They’re supported by a highly rated mobile app that receives alerts from the cameras so you can monitor your cameras on the go. The Arlo and the Arlo Pro are the two most similar cameras from this line—and as the name indicates, the Arlo Pro delivers some new features and updates to the original Arlo. Before we get into comparing the cameras, let’s start with some general features they have in common.


  • Wireless
  • Automatic night vision
  • Easy DIY installation and setup
  • Waterproof IR65 rating for outdoor use
  • Free cloud storage (up to 1GB) for up to 7 days
  • Mobile monitoring with Arlo app (iOS, Android)


  • No continuous recording
  • Some reported lag in motion-sensitive recording and alerts
  • False low-battery reports when temperature drops below freezing

How Arlo cameras compare to other wireless cameras

arlo outdoor being installed

NETGEAR Arlo cameras have a lot in common with other wireless, app-monitored cameras we’ve reviewed. But while its camera and other features are similar, it raises the bar with night vision and ample free cloud storage.

Like other wireless cameras, the Arlo and Arlo Pro record in 720p quality—which is technically HD. This should be a high enough resolution for most, but it won’t deliver the same level of detail you’re used to seeing on your HD TV.

One thing that sets Arlo apart is its seven days of free cloud storage. Other wireless cameras only give you between 2 and 24 hours of cloud storage.

Arlo cameras also require connection to a hub—or to your camera system’s network point and local storage system. This is a huge plus if you’re operating several cameras at once, since you’d get local storage and a faster internet connection. (But if you only need a couple cameras, you may want to skip Arlo’s hub for the Canary Flex.)

Arlo Features

Here’s what you get with the Arlo:

  • A wire-free setup that allows you to place the camera wherever you need to without running wires
  • A weatherproof casing with IP65 rating for outdoor use
  • 720p HD video quality
  • 850nm LED night vision that illuminates up to 25 feet in the dark
  • Push notifications to your Arlo mobile app when motion or sound is detected
  • Free cloud storage of video clips for up to seven days

Arlo Pro Features

Arlo Pro Features

In addition to the above features from the Arlo, the Arlo Pro includes these upgrades:

  • A rechargeable battery that saves you money on purchasing new batteries
  • Wired and wireless options so you can keep it plugged in (but be aware that the cord is NOT rated for outdoor use and should only be used inside
  • Local backup storage when you plug a USB drive into the hub
  • A 130° field of view and motion detection (20° wider than Arlo)
  • Two-way audio so you can speak remotely through your camera via the app
  • Livestreaming capabilities for 30 minutes at a time to preserve the battery
  • A smart siren that can be turned on remotely via the app or set to go off when motion or sound is detected

Direct Comparison

To me, the most important improvements in the Arlo Pro are the rechargeable battery and the local backup storage. I’ll get into this a little more later, but one of the most common complaints about the original Arlo is its expensive and short-lived batteries. Particularly for users whose cameras catch a lot of activity (and who probably need the most battery power), the device chews through batteries, meaning they have to purchase these either frequently or in bulk. Recording video takes a lot of power, so it makes the most sense for a video device to be rechargeable or at least powered in a more sustainable manner.

The Arlo Pro’s local storage via USB is also huge because it gives you a semi-physical copy of your footage, just in case. I haven’t seen any complaints about Arlo’s cloud, but I always like having a backup.

Here’s how the Arlo and Arlo Pro compare on a technical level:

ModelArloArlo Pro
Product image
View productView on AmazonView on Amazon
Video resolution720p720p
Night vision850nm LEDs (25 feet)850nm LEDs (25 feet)
Field of view110°130°
Battery4 lithium CR 123 photo (included)2440mAh rechargeable battery (included)
Operating temperature14° to 122° F-4° to 113° F
SizeH: 2.8 inches

W: 1.7 inches

D: 2.6 inches
H: 3.1 inches

W: 1.9 inches

D: 2.8 inches
Weight4.3 ounces4.8 ounces
Product image
View product
Video resolution
Night vision
Field of view
Operating temperature
Arlo Arlo Pro
View on Amazon View on Amazon
720p 720p
850nm LEDs (25 feet) 850nm LEDs (25 feet)
110° 130°
4 lithium CR 123 photo (included) 2440mAh rechargeable battery (included)
14° to 122° F -4° to 113° F
H: 2.8 inches

W: 1.7 inches

D: 2.6 inches
H: 3.1 inches

W: 1.9 inches

D: 2.8 inches
4.3 ounces 4.8 ounces

How Arlo works

Arlo cameras can be connected to any Arlo hub, so you can mix and match your Arlo cameras. You can purchase these cameras individually, in multipacks, or bundled with a hub.

ModelArloArlo Pro
1 camera add-on (no hub)$159.99 on Amazon$189.99 on Amazon
1-camera kit (hub included)$219.99 on Amazon$249.73 on Amazon
2-camera kit (hub included)$299.99 on Amazon$419.63 on Amazon

Setup is exceptionally easy—many customers report the entire process takes under 15 minutes. Simply plug the hub into your router using the supplied cable, download the app or go to the Arlo website to create your account, put the batteries in the camera(s), and use the app to pair each camera to the base station.

From the Arlo app, which is available for iOS and Android mobile devices, you can set arming schedules, adjust motion-sensor sensitivity, receive alerts, save and share video clips, and more. Clips are recorded whenever motion or sound is detected, and you’ll get a notification on your device so you can check it out. From the app, you can adjust the clip length (up to 120 seconds) for each camera. These clips are stored in the cloud for free for up to seven days, but Arlo offers two other service plans if you’d like to have longer access to your videos.

Plan nameBasicPremierElite
Monthly priceFree$9.99 $14.99
Days of cloud recordings73060
Max GB of cloud storage110100
Number of cameras51015
SupportLimited for 3 months*UnlimitedUnlimited

NETGEAR support

NETGEAR offers a fairly comprehensive community-driven support website where Arlo customers answer questions and help each other troubleshoot their devices. If the website can’t answer all your questions, you can contact NETGEAR’s customer service directly via phone, email, or live chat. I’ve interacted with NETGEAR a handful of times in regard to other Arlo cameras and found that the representatives are always courteous and eager to help.

For the most part, they are knowledgeable about products and services. However, I’ve come up with some stumpers that were only answered after quite a bit of back and forth. It is a little disappointing that free phone support is only available for the 90 days following your purchase. After that, unless you’re paying for a support plan, you’ll have to pay a “small fee” for help over the phone.

*NETGEAR’s standard technical support for its products is three months from date of purchase.

What customers think of Arlo and Arlo Pro

Arlo customers tend to love these cameras’ user friendliness, ease of setup, app, and video quality. The Arlo Pro’s addition of a rechargeable battery shows NETGEAR’s responsiveness to customer concerns surrounding the Arlo’s expensive and short-lived batteries. A common complaint for both devices is their tendency to lag when motion is detected, meaning that they don’t always catch the action—so it’ll be interesting to watch future developments in the brand to see if it can tackle this issue. Here’s what customers have to say, in their own words:


Positive review

This kit is simply genius. Sets up in minutes and works flawlessly. I’ve delayed installing a security camera system because of the need for running cable and having an adjacent power source, as well as wanting cameras covering different locations at different times, indoors and out. Doing that means a lot of cabling. The magnetic ball/cup mounting allows for simply pulling the cameras off the base and moving to a different base (2 extra bases come with the kit) in seconds. Can also pull one off and just set on a shelf anywhere in the house to serve as a nannycam when needed. We use both iPhone/tablets and Android phone/tablets in our household and the Arlo App works perfectly on all of them as well as on our desktops.This set is idiot-proof. The only thing I do not yet know is what kind of battery life we will achieve, but when set to record only in the motion-detect mode I expect that to be no issue.
steamboatwilly, Best Buy customer, 4/30/15

Negative review

Poor battery life and odd battery size: I have the model that takes 4 replaceable batteries that are a size I’ve never seen or needed so I had to by special batteries for this guy. The other problem is the camera didn’t even last a week on 1 set of batteries so it would cost me a small fortune to power this guy for months or years.CO, Amazon customer, 1/9/17

Arlo Pro

Positive review

Added this to my 1st gen base and it was active in seconds. Picture quality is exceptional and the built in battery lasts 3-4 times longer than the 1st gen cameras. The sound quality is also flawless. We have it working on the iPhone and iPad and the conversation is crystal clear in both directions. –DanC54, Best Buy customer, 12/10/16

Negative review

Recording delay – there is a 1-2 second delay before the camera starts recording. This a big deal. If you miss half the approach, you are very likely to miss important information like a car’s license plate, an intruder’s face, etc. Then, once it triggers, it only records for 10 seconds. If it detects sufficient continuous movement, only then does it spin up a new 10s clip, leaving more gaps in your recording. Now look, I understand these are battery powered but I would rather charge these once a week and get great responsiveness than have them be mildly useful and have a battery that lasts monthsCarl, Amazon customer, 12/30/16

Things to consider when shopping for wireless cameras

The wireless camera or cameras that you choose will of course depend on a number of variables unique to your needs, but here are five key factors to consider while you shop:

  • Indoor or outdoor capabilities: Your first consideration is where your cameras will be located. An outdoor camera can be used inside, but an indoor camera won’t hold up to temperature extremes or moisture outdoors, even if you think you have it well-protected.
  • Battery life: A longer battery life means the camera will require less attention and upkeep for you—plus, batteries can get expensive. Even if you buy a camera with rechargeable batteries, you don’t want something that’ll die after just a few hours of recording.
  • Motion detection: Motion-activated recording and alerts are pretty standard with wireless cameras for the sake of conserving the batteries. But watch out for cameras with significant delays between the time they detect motion and the time they start recording, as your subject could exit the frame in a matter of seconds. Some brands, including Arlo, allow you to adjust the recorded clip length per camera, so you can set some to record for only 10 seconds after motion is detected and others to record for a full two minutes.
  • Storage: Many wireless cameras include some sort of free cloud storage, though the length of time you’ll have access to what’s been stored ranges from 12 hours to seven days. Like checking the batteries, think about how often you’ll want to review your video clips—I’d much rather have a full week to do this than have to check in twice a day. I also prefer cameras that have a local storage option so that there’s some sort of hard backup in case of cloud failure.
  • Connection type: Cellular connections are far more reliable than a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, because if the power goes out, so does the internet. A cellular connection will ensure you still have remote access to your cameras even when other systems fail.

Arlo Pro leads the pack

For areas where you don’t expect a lot of activity but want some added surveillance, the Arlo will do the job. For most other situations, however, you might as well go with the Arlo Pro for its rechargeable battery, local storage, wider field of view, and generally more-updated technology.

There’s a reason the Arlo and Arlo Pro are leaders in wireless cameras. Whereas security cameras of the past required extensive installation and networking setup, these require minimal time and effort and have the support of a strong app. Their motion detection delay is frustrating, however, so I’d suggest running several of your own tests of the motion detection while you’re still in the return period of whichever distributor from which you purchased the device.

Though complaints about the delay are frequent, they’re not universal, so it may depend on the specific device and where it’s located. My hope is that as other companies develop more sophisticated motion detection, NETGEAR/Arlo will follow suit and update their technology as well, which would make these palm-sized cameras must-haves for every home.

  • PRO 2810

    I have the Arlo 2 camera system and worked perfectly for 1 yr then one camera went “offline” and does not respond. Talked to Arlo customer service and they believe camera is corrupted and the system may be as well. So it is useless and they have no resolution. Terrible customer service. Great system until something goes wrong then trash. go on their community and see all with the same issue.

  • El Titis

    Batteries life…less than a week….not good…how can I get a refund?

    • Maria Millett

      Hi El! I am sorry to hear that! We do not represent or have jursidiction over the companies we review. I highly recommend reaching out to the company directly to figure out battery issues or a return. Good luck!!

  • Rod Won


  • Ron Radcliffe

    Dissatisfied: purchased new, failed to work immediately. Connected as directed and the base station failed to power up properly. Would not come out of a single amber light to proceed syncing the cameras. So we called the company, terrible customer service. They told us you may have a defective base station thank you for that offered no other solution. Contacted support, after a very lengthy wait the tech told us to use a different ethernet cable. Who has one of those lying around the house? Went thru a battery of tests, unplug plug in, reset for 30 seconds and on and on nothing. Told to call the store we purchased it from? Not sure how they can help, all in all bad experience. Returning to the store tomorrow for full refund plus the two years service contract, Looking at something not Arlo. Glad someone has a good experience with them. Not us, will not recommend to others based on the customer experience and service we didn’t receive.

    • Maria Millett

      Dang, Ron! This sucks to hear. Thanks for letting us know.

  • Tony C

    The lag is a very big issue . Preventing anyone from using it for two way communication is totally useless ( false advertising) and live view is never working correctly!NOW EVEN WORSE ONCE THIER PROGRAMERS SCREWED IT UP MORE WITH THIER LAST UPDATE !!!! (More false advertising, that you can live view) netgear knows this problem since original product but plays stupid and blames internet speed or user installation , I’m sure they’d say Alien interference if people would fall for it . thousands of complaints daily by angry customers and they still won’t admit product defective.
    ! I sold mine cheep and went with other options sice netgear could care less about fixing issue I won’t ever but netgear products again

  • Reno Sparks

    Terrible camera. Lag is bad. Motion detection is awful. Doesn’t record much, especially at night. Battery life is bad. I was sold this system at frys and was lied to about nearly every feature. I was told the batteries were rechargeable with micro usb and they last 6 months. I’ll be returning this POS as soon as possible and going back to my wired system. I should have gotten the dvr I came for.

  • Ivan Knudsen

    Stay away! I bought the netgear arlo q for monitoring my dog while im at work. The camera has problem conecting, falling out “buffering” not connecting at all and the camera sometimes get very hot. I do not recommend this camera if you want something that is stable and work. I have a high speed internet connection and very good wifi at home.

  • Matthew

    Terribly awful system! Don’t waste your money! Serious lag issues!! By the time it starts to record there is nothing in the frame. They do not communicate as advertised. Picture quality is awful!! Have had it a week and havnt gone 24hrs without a problem!!! Motion notifications take forever rocket come in, my house would be emptied by the time the notification came in and even then can’t get a clear picture. Daytime video give black face and nighttime picture bright face with no clarity. Taking it down this weekend and sending it back for a refund… would throw it away if someone gave it to me for free at this point.