Smart home camera systems have sprung up from multiple brands over the last five years. In fact, these smart security systems which include cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors and more, have become one of the favorited uses of connectable technology.
It goes without saying that these devices will perform an invaluable service in helping you stay safe, and therefore it is essential to purchase the right product the first time around.
Netgears sub-company, Arlo, produces leading security cameras in the smart home market. The brand’s impressive software and hardware ensure you are getting the best features, design, and reliability.
This article will compare the original outdoor Arlo vs Arlo Pro by looking at their key features, providing you with all the knowledge you need to have to make your own decision.
For anyone interested, also read this Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2 article.
From the snappiness of recording to the cloud storage subscriptions available, we will guide you through the ins and outs of these three security cameras.
This article will look at every relevant aspect of all three Arlo cameras which can be summarized in the following areas:
- Camera recording features
- Camera detection features
- Smart siren
- User interface and playback
- Video storage options
- Battery and other features
- Price & buying options
- Comparison Table
- Arlo vs Arlo Pro Overview
- 1. Setup
- 2.Design & Components
- 3. Camera Recording Features
- 4. Camera Detection Features
- Smart Siren
- User Interface
- Storage Options
- Other Features
- Price and Buying Options
- The Similarities
- The Differences
- Final Word
- Can the Arlo Pro be plugged in?
- Can you add Arlo Pro to Arlo system?
- How long do Arlo batteries last?
- Does Arlo camera record audio?
- Can Arlo cameras work with Arlo pro?
- Are Arlo wireless cameras waterproof?
- How far can Arlo camera be from base station?
- How many Arlo cameras can run on one?
- Do you need Arlo base station?
- How much does Arlo cost per month?
- How do you speak with Arlo camera?
- How long does Arlo record for?
- Can Arlo work without Internet?
- How far away can Arlo pro detect motion?
- Can Arlo detect motion through a window?
- How do you change the sensitivity on Arlo motion?
- What is Arlo geofencing?
- Can Arlo cameras record 24 7?
- Can Arlo record to a hard drive?
- Can Arlo record more than 10 seconds?
- How do you sync Arlo camera to the Home Base?
- How do you reset Arlo base station?
- What does the name Arlo mean?
- Comparison Table
Arlo vs Arlo Pro Overview
As you will discover from reading this article, the original Arlo is simply not up to scratch compared to the newer models , including the Arlo Pro. The original Arlo will do a decent job at improving home security but realistically it is worth spending a little bit more for the newer models.
It lacks a few important features that come with the newer models, such as :
- A smart siren
- 2-Way Audio
- Audio detection
The Arlo has a lag time of 5-10 seconds following bein triggered by motion detection.
To put it into perspective, the Arlo Pro has just 2-3 seconds lag time.
There are many features that are at the same standard as the Arlo Pro though, such as:
- Night Vision
- Cloud Storage
We recommend buying the Arlo Pro over the original Arlo.
Read: Arlo vs Nest vs Ring
The process of setting up the Arlo and Arlo Pro is practically the same, although the newer versions have a few more components and a few extra steps. All models are straightforward from start to finish and just take a couple of minutes:
- Download the Arlo app and launch then launch it
- Run the setup wizard
- Connect the Arlo Base Station hub to your router via an ethernet cable
- Create a Netgear account
- Sync your cameras to the Arlo Base Station hub via the app instructions
- Update the Base Station and camera firmware via the app
2.Design & Components
The design of the Arlo and Arlo Pro are very similar. These white cameras are unoffensive, simplistic and sleek white look. Whilst some users will wish to have their Arlo or Arlo Pro out of sight, these cameras have a deterring effect when seen. Given that these cameras are designed to be placed in various places around the outside of your property, choosing a classy looking camera such as the Arlo or Arlo Pro is important. Arlo’s cameras come in a neutral white with a subtle shiny finish that allows them to blend in well to most styles of housing. In fact, the Arlo Pro has even won awards for its style!
- Slick white and shiny look
- A security camera is a deterrence as well as surveillance – they need to be noticed
Arlo Design & Components
A typical 3 camera Arlo starter kit will come with the following equipment:
Arlo Pro Design & Components
A typical four camera Arlo Pro starter kit comes with:
3. Camera Recording Features
Field of Vision (FOV)
The field of vision of a camera is the size of the visible area it can record. The Arlo and Arlo Pro field of vision is exactly the same at 110° . Camera placing is as important or even more important thatn field of vision. Both Arlo and Arlo Pro systems can have extra cameras added on them, meaning no spot will ever be left blind.
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both have a FOV of 110°.
Real-time monitoring is supported by both the Arlo and Arlo Pro, accessible from the Arlo app available on your smartphone, PC or tablet. If motion detection is triggered, you will be able to go straight onto your Arlo or Arlo Pro device and investigate..
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both have a Live View feature.
The Arlo Pro 2-Way Audio feature enables the owner of the Arlo device to talk with anyone outside near the camera. 2-Way Audio is achieved by using a speaker and microphone on the camera as well as on the device using the Arlo app. The original Arlo does not have this feature, making it one of the most fundamental differences between the two models.
2-Way Audio on the Arlo Pro can be used for both serious and friendly situations. For example, it could be used to deter an unwelcome trespasser of to simply provide instructions to a deliver man.
- Only the Arlo Pro both has 2-Way Audio.
All of Arlo’s outdoor cameras, including the Arlo and Arlo Pro, have infrared night vision cameras that keep monitoring ticking during the night. The Arlo Pros night vision footage is a little brighter although the quality of the recordings is marginal. Both the Arlo and Arlo Pro night vision will make individuals identifiable. If the best night vision is a priority for you then it is worth checking out the Blink XT as it has a superior ability to capture images in the dark.
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both have Infrared night vision.
- Arlo Pro has a slightly brighter night vision.
Video Resolution & Playback
The Arlo and Arlo Pro record in high definition 720p. Given that security cameras record to identify individuals in triggered events, having excessive definition is not too important provided this can be achieved. These aren’t the sort of films you want to watch with your family on movie night!
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both record in 720p.
4. Camera Detection Features
Motion detection is a core technology that triggers the Arlo and Arlo Pro to record footage. Infrared motion detection is used by both the Arlo and Arlo Pro to detect variations in heat that humans create. Sensitivity of these two cameras can be set on a scale of 1 to 100.
You may choose your sensitivity level based on factors such as how busy or remote your neighborhood is and how to open the area if you are monitoring. Some users complain of the cameras being set off by branches moving in the wind, which is why you may want to reduce the sensitivity in some scenarios.
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both use infrared motion detection.
The Arlo Pro has the capability to trigger capturing footage and sending notifications through an audio sensor. This is one of the key upgrades from the Arlo as it adds a new dimension of surveillance and monitoring, and may get the camera triggered in situations where the motion detector is not enough. This is one of the most significant differences in our comparison.
- Only the Arlo Pro both has Audio Detection.
Trigger lag time
Once the Arlo or Arlo Pro has been triggered by either motion or audio detection they will start recording. There is a lag time between these two events which is critically important as too long a delay may miss the person of interest.
A real flaw with the original Arlo is a large delay between motion detection and the initiating of recording. Anecdotally, this was said to be often over 5 seconds and sometimes towards 10 seconds. This is a real issue for the camera as you can’t afford to miss any key moments, a particular problem if the area being recorded is small. This would not be such a big problem in a larger area of recording as anyone setting it off would likely still be in the shot if in an open surrounding.
Each progressing model of Arlo camera has stepped up its game in this area. The Arlo Pro dramatically reduced this lag time to 2-3 seconds, which is much more acceptable and likely to consistently record anything that needs to be.
- Original Arlo lag time is 5 -10 seconds.
- Arlo Pro lag time is 2-3 seconds.
The addition of a 105-decibel smart siren to the Arlo pro has perhaps been the most significant feature change that has happened in the Arlo camera series. The siren, which can be found in the base station, adds a new element of deterrence which is very useful.
You would much rather have a burglar enter your premises and run rather than steal something, even if you could identify them on the footage. The smart siren works in two ways; set to be triggered by motion or manually via the Arlo app. The smart siren is potentially the most important factor in comparing these three Arlo cameras, as the later models are security systems rather than just cameras.
- Only the Arlo Pro both has a Smart Siren
The Arlo app, available on Android and IOS is the main interface for you to connect with your Arlo security system. Both the original Arlo and Arlo Pro are smart connectable devices that use the app. Arlos app is where you control most aspects of your cameras and access the features available. The app is feature reach and lets you really customize the way your cameras work to suit your unique home and security concerns. This wide range of uses includes:
- Easy live monitoring through settings and layout
- Library view of daily cloud recordings
- Scheduling recording
- Manage the mode the Arlo us using
- Timeline features
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both connect to the Arlo app.
The Arlo and Arlo Pro are widely compatible with many other devices and systems. This includes voice recognition and control assistants like Alexa and Google Assitant. This works simply by connecting the Arlo camera to the cloud and then asking Alexa to enable Arlo Skills or enabling skills in the app. Alexa Arlo commands include:
- “Alexa, show me <camera name>”
- “Alexa, stop.”
- “Alexa, hide <camera name>”
- “Alexa, go home” (return to homepage)
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both work with Alexa.
Free Cloud Storage
Most brands of smart camera tend to offer some free package of cloud storage for the triggered footage you record. Arlo’s free cloud storage works on a weekly refreshing basis. This effectively means that it will hold triggered recorded events for a week before they are automatically deleted. This free cloud storage system is available for both Arlo and Arlo Pro cameras.
Given that theft or trespassing is detected quickly after it happens, it is likely that this will be a long enough timeframe to withdraw the footage you need to investigate what has been recorded. You can easily download any of these events from the cloud by simply tapping the download button.
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both have free cloud storage for up to a week.
Extended Cloud Options
Arlo has a few paid options for extra cloud storage duration and the ability to connect more cameras. There are several packages available from $2.99 a month up to $14.99 a month. The most expensive package provides cloud storage for triggered events up to 60 days after and allows up to twenty cameras to be used for cloud storage.
The free option just allows six cameras, so if you want to add some new cameras to your smart camera system and keep your storage on the cloud, you must be prepared for this subscription cost.
- Arlo and Arlo Pro both have extended cloud storage subscriptions available.
The Arlo Pro hass the ability to store your smart camera’s files through local storage. This is intended to primarily be a backup for when the internet is down and the cloud storage doesn’t work. The original Arlo does not have this option making it a little more unreliable if their are internet connectivity issues.
It should be noted that manual recordings can’t be saved to a local storage device. This is set up by plugging a USB storage device in the Arlo Pro base station and configuring the My Devices settings on the Arlo app.
- Only the Arlo Pro both has a local storage option.
You can expect to get 4-6 months of use from the Arlo or Arlo Pro depending on how sensitive the motion detector is and how many triggered events are captured. The original Arlo uses four non-rechargeable CR123 batteries whilst the Arlo Pro has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which only takes a couple of hours to charge.
This is far more convenient and price efficient to the Arlo which required purchasing a new set several times a year. One step further, the Arlo Pro can be hooked up to an Arlo Pro Solar Panel to work indefinitely. This is green but expensive and quite unsightly unless you’re a fan of solar panels
- Arlo battery 4-6 month, not rechargeable
- Arlo Pro 4-6 month rechargeable
All Arlo cameras are 100% wire free which makes their setup and maintenance much easier. It also means there will be no unsightly wires around your property.
Outdoor security cameras need to be able to endure a range of weather fronts if they are too appeal to a wide market.
Both the original Arlo and the Pro models are suitable for many types of weather, although the Pro models can work at a lower temperature to the original Arlo, at -4 Fahrenheit as opposed to 14 Fahrenheit. They have an IP65 waterproof rating which is suitable for rain.
- Both the Arlo and Arlo Pro are highly weatherproof.
Price and Buying Options
Click on any option to view its current price on Amazon
Arlo’s starter kits come at many sizes and prices. This can be anything from a one off camera to a pack of six with the home base station. The price of options can range from $150 to over $1,000, although on online retailers like Amazon they can vary a lot. We have created a quick table to show you the different starter kits available now for the Arlo, Pro and Pro 2.
Please note that there are some other options available not listed below. These other options are add-on cameras in combinations which have some of Arlo’s other products such as the Arlo Q in.
This is an overview of the main similarities and differences in this Arlo comparison:
- Live view
- Night Vision
- Motion detection
- HD playback
- Arlo App
- Alexa control
- Free cloud storage
- Extended cloud storage option
- Wire Free
- Weatherproof for outdoor use
The original Arlo camera is relatively decent but lacks a couple of new effective features seen in the Pro . The features and points below highlight what the original Arlo misses compared to the newer models:
- No 2-Way Audio
- No smart siren
- No audio detection
- Has a delay between trigger and record
- No local storage option
The Arlo Pro is one of the best security cameras on the market. It has everything the original Arlo has, and a few more top features that make it a much better home security system. Differences between the Arlo Pro and original Arlo are that it has:
- 2-Way Audio
- Audio detection
- 3 second trigger lag time vs 5-10 seconds
- Local storage option for increased reliability
- Smart Siren
This comparison shows an obvious upgrade and the addition of new essential features that you shouldn’t miss. Many secondary generation products don’t offer much of an advantage other their predecessors as companies hold back features and rely on brand loyalty.
In the case of the Arlo series, the Pro is significantly better than the original Arlo. You do pay for the better features, but this is well worth it in the case of smart security cameras as they do an important job.
This is one of the smart home devices that you should not skimp out on because it protects your family and your home. These smart home security cameras are as much about deterrence as they are monitoring. One of the most important features in our comparison which sets the Pro out from the original Arlo is the smart siren.
We hope you enjoyed reading!
Can you add Arlo Pro to Arlo system?
How long do Arlo batteries last?
Does Arlo camera record audio?
The Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 can record audio whilst the original can’t.
Can Arlo cameras work with Arlo pro?
Yes, all these cameras are compatible with each other.