Reolink vs. Arlo Cameras Review 2021

Best Affordable Arlo Alternative
Reo Link
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
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    Affordable cameras
  • Check
    Affordable storage plans
Best Tech Features
Arlo
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
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    Apple HomeKit compatibility
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    Advanced object detection
Arlo wins, but Reolink is a strong budget contender  
Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
Published on July 15, 2021
6 min read

We've touted Reolink as a budget alternative to Arlo, and during this deep-dive comparison, you'll see how accurate that is. Although Reolink doesn't offer everything that makes Arlo so great, it's got a similar look and feel and some of the same features.

If you want advanced security camera features, Arlo is the better option. But if you want to save money while still getting an excellent camera, you're gonna love Reolink.

Reolink vs. Arlo cameras comparison
ModelReolinkArlo
Price$36.00–$269.99$129.00–$599.99
Video resolution3MP to 5MP 1080p to 4K UHD
Battery life*1 to 4 wks. 6 mos.
Person detectionNoYes
Storage typeCloud storage or local storage Cloud storage or local storage
Smart home integrationsAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings
Cloud subscription cost$4.99–14.99/mo. $2.99–14.99/mo.
Learn more

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 06/08/2021 12:55 PST)

*For battery-powered models

Reolink cameras
Info Box

Reolink has 20+ PoE camera models that aren’t included in this review. They have some features that Reolink’s other cameras don’t include (like person detection and Reolink NVR/CCTV compatibility). But they’re not what the average homeowner is looking for when it comes to security cameras.

Reolink vs. Arlo features

Arlo’s super-honed motion detection is incredibly useful

We’d say Arlo’s focus is its super customized motion detection, while Reolink offers features scattered across several different categories. Overall, Arlo’s features are more appealing, but we do like the variety Reolink offers.

Indoor security cameras or outdoor security cameras?
Heads Up

Most of Reolink and Arlo’s offerings are indoor-outdoor. Only a few are exclusively for indoor use, like the Reolink E1 line, the Arlo Q line, the Arlo baby monitor, and the Arlo Essential Indoor.

Reolink features

Reolink features vary from model to model, but all of its cameras have night vision, event-based video recording, and a resolution of at least 1080p.

What’s an MP?
Pin

MP is short for megapixels. 3MP is better than 1080p but not as good as 2K, while 5MP is better than 2K but not as good as 4K.

Reolink Argus 2

The Reolink models in this review don’t require hardwiring. They all work by plug or rechargeable battery. Most reviewers say the batteries need to be charged every few weeks, and we found that to be true. But if keeping a camera charged sounds daunting to you, some Reolink cameras also have a solar power option if you buy compatible solar panels.

Most of the cameras have two-way audio, and some also have lights, sirens, customizable motion zones, or pan-and-tilt functionality. Several of the latest models even use starlight night vision, a technology that allows the cameras to see in lower light.

With all these features, Reolink cameras are excellent watchdogs, but they lack Arlo’s sophisticated approach to alerts. None of the non-PoE models have person or vehicle detection, sadly, and they don’t have any of the other advanced motion detection features that set Arlo apart.

To learn more, read our Reolink Camera Review.

Arlo features

Arlo Pro 2 3-camera starter kit

Like Reolink cameras, Arlo cameras use plugs, rechargeable batteries, or solar panels to operate. But with other features, Arlo cameras are a lot more consistent across the board than Reolink.

All Arlo cameras use either 1080p or 2K/4K with a video subscription. Most Arlo cameras include customized motion zones and advanced object detection. This highly useful feature offers separate detection for people, vehicles, animals, packages, and even the sounds of smoke or CO alarms.

Arlo also offers an emergency 911 service with its multi-camera plans.

There’s a catch, though—none of these features are available without a camera storage plan. While Reolink cameras work the same with or without cloud storage, Arlo depends upon a monthly subscription.

Reolink vs. Arlo pricing

Arlo costs way more than Reolink

Arlo is far from the most expensive camera brand on the market, but most of its devices are $200+. Reolink, on the other hand, has only a few cameras that cost significantly more than $100.

Reolink monitoring also costs less than Arlo’s.

Reolink vs. Arlo price comparison
Camera
Price
Learn more
Reolink Argus 3$109.99
Arlo Essential$129.99

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 06/08/2021 12:55 PST)

Reolink price

We like to see indoor cameras under the $100 price point and outdoor cameras under $200, and Reolink’s prices are right on target for those estimates.

The exception to the pricing is the Reolink Go cameras, which cost quite a bit more than the other offerings. That’s likely because the Go models connect primarily to cellular data, not Wi-Fi, and need their own phone plans to operate.

Reolink camera prices
Camera
Price
Learn more

Reolink E1

$36.99

Reolink E1 Pro

$59.99

Reolink E1 Zoom

$79.99

Reolink Lumus

$59.99

Reolink Argus Pro

$74.99

Reolink Argus PT

$139.99

Reolink Argus Eco

$99.99

Reolink Argus 2

$94.99

Reolink Argus 2E

$84.99

Reolink Argus 3

$109.99

Reolink Argus 3 Pro

$119.99

Reolink Go

$259.99

Reolink Go PT

$269.99

Data effective as of 06/08/2021. Offers subject to change.

Some Reolink cameras don’t come with USB cords to recharge the batteries, so you’ll have to get those on your own dime, which adds a few dollars to the overall cost.

As we mentioned, some Reolink cameras can use solar panels instead of rechargeable batteries. But you’ll need to buy the solar panels separately too.

Reolink cloud storage subscription

Reolink’s cloud storage plans work out to be cheaper than Arlo’s. The base price gets you storage for up to five cameras, and the $14.99 plan supports up to 20 cameras. For comparison, with Arlo, the $12.99 plan supports only five.

Reolink subscription plan pricing
Plan
Price
# cameras supported
Rolling storage limit
Learn more

Standard

$4.99/mo.

Up to 5

30 days and 30 GB

Premier

$9.99/mo.

Up to 10

30 days and 80 GB

Business

$14.99/mo.

Up to 20

60 days and 150 GB

Data effective as of 06/08/2021. Offers subject to change.

And, just as a reminder, you don’t have to get any of these storage plans to fully use your Reolink camera. You’ll have all your camera features without cloud storage. So you can just use an SD card for local storage and call it a day if that’s what you prefer.

Arlo price

Arlo isn’t the most expensive camera brand, but most of its devices cost more than we like to spend.

Arlo camera prices
Camera
Price
Learn more

Arlo Q

$149.99

Arlo Baby*

$139.99

Arlo Go*

$429.99

Arlo Essential

$129.99

Arlo Essential Indoor

$99.99

Arlo Pro 2*

$199.99 (for 2-camera kit)

Arlo Pro 3

$499.99 (for 2-camera kit)

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight

$249.99

Arlo Ultra 2

$580.23 (for 2-camera kit)

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 06/08/2021 12:55 PST)

*Currently not sold by the manufacturer on Amazon

Why is Arlo so much more expensive than Reolink? Not only do the cameras have more features, they often come paired with base stations.

You can’t use some of Arlo’s cameras if you buy them without the base station (or don’t already have a compatible model). And that extra hardware adds up fast.

If you’d like more info, we talk at length about Arlo base stations in the Arlo Security Camera Review.

Arlo cameras come with plugs. But, like with Reolink, the solar panels are sold separately.

Arlo cloud storage subscription

Arlo’s subscription is more expensive than Reolink’s. But it’s not enormously extravagant, either, especially compared to how much some home security companies charge for video storage.

However, we don’t love that you need a paid subscription to access almost all Arlo features. It seems pretty unfair to charge so much for a camera and then keep charging to use the camera.

Arlo Smart plan pricing
Plan
Price for single camera
Price for up to 5 cameras
Resolution supported
Learn more

Premier

$2.99/mo.

$12.99/mo.

2K

Elite

$4.99/mo.

$14.99/mo.

4K

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 06/08/2021 12:55 PST)

Also, if you want continuous recording (24/7 video vs. event-based clips), you’ll pay an extra $19.99 a month. That’s quite a bit on top of the subscription price you’ll already pay.

Reolink vs. Arlo home automation

Arlo home automation > Reolink home automation

Arlo has far better home automation than Reolink, which covers only the basics.

Reolink vs. Arlo home automation
Company
Smart home integrations
Learn more
ReolinkAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
ArloAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT

Reolink home automation

Most Reolink models work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. That baseline will be more than enough for some people, but it won’t give you much interconnectivity with other household smart devices.

Arlo home automation

Arlo is one of the only camera brands that offers HomeKit compatibility, making it perfect for folks who swear by Apple products.

Arlo also offers Alexa, Google, and SmartThings compatibility, making its cameras compatible with most popular smart speakers. And with the IFTTT compatibility, users can include Arlo cameras in custom smart home chains.

Neither of these camera brands offer direct smart home compatibility. Essentially, that means you can’t control a bunch of smart home devices from your Arlo or Reolink app. You can only access your cameras.

Reolink vs. Arlo installation

These cameras are evenly matched in installation

We haven't set up every camera from both brands (Reolink has so many!), but those we did test ourselves weren't too difficult to set up.

Both Reolink and Arlo cameras come with all the necessary screws and mounting pieces. And both have fairly intuitive, app-led processes to make the installation experience as painless as possible.

Recap: Which is better, Reolink or Arlo?

Most people will prefer Arlo, but if you want to save money, go with Reolink

When it comes to Reolink vs. Arlo, we pick Arlo for most users. Let’s break down why.

Features: Arlo is a lot more advanced in its motion detection settings than Reolink. Since detecting intruders, packages, and other objects is one of the main objects of having a security camera, most people will prefer this feature over Reolink’s well-rounded repertoire.

Pricing: Reolink is significantly cheaper than Arlo, both in equipment and cloud subscription plans.

Home automation: Arlo has a lot more smart home compatibility than Reolink, making it a better choice if you want a connected home.

Installation: Installation doesn’t seem overly difficult for either of these two brands.

Arlo is such a big name, and has such good motion detection and home automation, that we feel most people will choose it over Reolink. But if you don’t want to spend the prices Arlo is charging, Reolink is an excellent alternative.

On the other hand, if you don’t like either of these brands that much, check out our Best Security Cameras, Best Cheap Security Cameras, and Best Night Vision Cameras for some other options.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon.com. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilizes paid Amazon links.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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