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 purchasing 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.
Related: Arlo vs Blink
This article will compare the original outdoor Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2 by looking at their key features, providing you with all the knowledge you need to have to make your own decision.
From the snappiness of recording to the cloud storage subscriptions available, we will guide you through the ins and outs in order to compare Arlos 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
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Arlo Comparison Chart
- Arlo Comparison Chart
- Arlo vs Arlo Pro Overview
- Arlo Pro vs Pro 2 Overview
- 1. Setup
- 2. Design & Components
- 3.Camera Recording Features
- 4.Camera Detection Features
- 5. Smart Siren
- 6.User Interface
- 7. Storage Options
- 8.Other Features
- 9.The Similarities
- 10.The Differences
- Final Word: Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2
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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 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 Pro has just 2-3 seconds lag time.
There are many features that are at the same standard as thePro though, such as:
- Night Vision
- Cloud Storage
We recommend buying the Pro over the original Arlo.
Arlo Pro vs Pro 2 Overview
The Pro and Pro 2 are real market leaders due to their features. It is important to understand that both these two devices will tick all the boxes in regards to making your home more secure. That said, the comparison of Pro and Pro 2 is marginally won by the newest version thanks to a few neat updates. It is currently one of the best smart security system and camera you can get, although it admittedly isn’t too much better than the Pro.
The Pro 2 has a few better featured over the Pro:
- Wider FOV
- Zone Recording
- Zero Lag time
- Continuous Recording
The Arlo Pro 2 is the best but the Pro is not far behind.
Read: Arlo vs Nest vs Ring
The process of setting up the Arlo, Pro and Arlo Pro 2 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, Pro and Pro 2 are very similar. These white cameras are an unoffensive, simplistic and sleek white look. Whilst some users will wish to have their cameras 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 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 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
3.Camera Recording Features
This section looks at the features related to the camera itself. This includes Field of Vision (FOV), 2-Way Audio, Live View, Night vision and resolution.
Field of Vision (FOV)
The field of vision of a camera is the size of the visible area it can record. The original Arlo field of vision it 110 ° where the Pro versions are 130 °. Whilst FOV is important, it is far more important to place the cameras in the most optimal way and use as many as you need. Arlo security systems can have extra cameras added on them, meaning no spot needs to be left blind.
Real-time monitoring is supported by both the Arlo, Pro and Pro 2, 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 Pro device and investigate.
An advanced feature that the Arlo Pro and Pro 2 have is a combination of technologies that enable the user to talk with anyone near the outdoor camera. This is mediated through the devices using the Arlo app as well as a microphone and speaker on the camera. The original Arlo does not have this feature, making it one of the most fundamental differences between these models. This is a very useful feature and a shortcoming in the features of the original Arlo. 2-Way Audio can be used for both serious and friendly situations. For example, it could be used to deter an unwelcome trespasser to simply provide instructions to a delivery man.
All of Arlo’s outdoor cameras have infrared night vision cameras that keep monitoring ticking during the night. The Pro and Pro 2 have incrementally better night vision footage. The newer the model, the marginally brighter and better the night vision will be, although the quality of the recordings is marginal. Both the Arlo and Pro night vision will make individuals identifiable which is the end goal. 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 The Pro 2 has a very marginally enhanced and brighter images that are a little easier to make out, although all in all this is minor.
Video Resolution & Playback
The Arlo and 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. At the same time, higher resolution is useful when looking at the footage which is far in terms of distance. The Arlo Pro 2 is a little more defined at 1080p HD. This is a nice improvement although it certainly isn’t vital as long as the camera can articulately detect motion and recorded footage that can identify people.
4.Camera Detection Features
This section looks at the features related to camera detection. This includes Motion Detection, Audio Detection, Zone Recording and the trigger lag time.
Motion detection is a core technology that triggers Arlo cameras to record footage. Infrared motion detection is used by both the Arlo, Pro and Pro 2 to detect variations in heat that humans create. The 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. This requires trial and error to pinpoint the perfect level which depends on how busy the local area and field of vision is.
The Pro and Pro 2 have 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.
Trigger lag time
Once the Arlo, Pro, and Pro 2 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 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.
This is the same time the Pro 2 as if it is being operated wirelessly. When plugged in the “Look Back Feature” continuously records to capture the 3 seconds prior to the trigger. The real problem with this is the fact it has to be plugged in which can be logistically difficult or unsightly.
5. Smart Siren
The addition of a 105-decibel smart siren to the Pro and Pro 2 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.
The Smart Siren is not a feature to be missed and one of the most compelling reasons to get a newer model of Arlo over the original.
This section looks at the features related to the interface of the Arlo app and access to Alexa.
The Arlo app, available on Android and IOS is the main interface for you to connect with your Arlo security system. All of Arlos wireless cameras 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
The app is feature reach and lets you really customise the way your cameras work to suit your unique home and security concerns.
These Arlo cameras 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)
If it works with the app it then it works with Alexa, in the case of Arlos cameras.
7. Storage Options
This section looks at the features related to storing the video footage. This includes Free Cloud Storage, Extended Cloud options, Local Storage and Continuous Recording feature.
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 all Arlo 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.
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.
The Pro and Pro 2 have 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 there 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 into the Base station and configuring the My Devices settings on the Arlo app.
This section looks at other features related to the Arlo cameras. This includes battery life, wireless options and weatherproofing.
You can expect to get 4-6 months of use from the original Arlo or 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 Pro has rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which only takes a couple of hours to charge. The Pro 2 uses a similar setup to the Pro, except the batteries can be expected to last for 3 months.
This battery is far more convenient and price-efficient to the Arlo which required purchasing a new set several times a year. One step further, the Pro models can be hooked up to Solar Panel to work indefinitely. This is green but expensive and quite unsightly unless you’re a fan of solar panels. An Arlo Solar Panel can be connected to enable an in theory limitless supply of energy, although this is expensive and requires a panel for each camera.
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. The Pro 2 does have a wired option if you wish to access the continuous recording and look back features.
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.
This is an overview of the main similarities and differences in this Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2 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
This section quickly overviews the main discussions of the article by highlighting the key feature differences of the Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Pro 2.
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 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 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 is the best smart security camera available now and has all the features that the previous models with some extra benefits:
- Field of vision is 130° instead of 110°
- Focused zone detection and recording
- Option for no lag time for starting recording
- 1080p resolution instead of 720p
- 24/7 continuous recording option
- Slightly smaller battery life of 3 months
Final Word: Arlo vs Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2
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 this Arlo camera comparison.
If you are interested in getting an indoor camera, you should take a read of our Arlo Q vs Arlo Q Plus comparison.