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Arlo review

Jun 01, 2023Jun 01, 2023

In an era where technology intersects with every aspect of our daily lives, smart home security systems have emerged as a must-have for the modern home. Offering real-time monitoring, remote access, and smart alerts straight to your mobile device, these systems put control directly into the hands of users.

In 2019, US company Arlo and European-based Verisure joined forces, giving the former a significant foothold outside the US through Verisure's operations in Europe. Homeowners benefitted from this partnership, too, by gaining the ability to integrate Arlo and Verisure products into one security system.

Arlo is well-regarded for its smart home security systems, including wireless cameras, doorbells, and lights. Their products are designed to be user-friendly, with wireless and cordless designs that make for easy installation and flexibility in placement. The devices connect to a smartphone app, allowing you to view live streams, receive alerts, and monitor your property remotely.

Arlo's home security systems also integrate with smart home platforms, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, allowing users to control their systems using voice commands.

Regarding pricing, Arlo offers a range of options, including individual product purchases and bundled packages. They also provide a subscription-based service called Arlo Secure, which gives users additional security features.

In this article, we will explore Arlo's range of products, offering a granular view of their functionality, usability, and value. Our hands-on product testing and direct experience with Arlo's customer service and installation processes provide a comprehensive understanding of what it means to choose Arlo for your home security needs.

Rating: ★★★

Arlo offers a broad range of home security devices designed to provide peace of mind for homeowners. From their top-tier Pro series to the Essential line, Arlo's cameras deliver high-quality footage, featuring night vision, two-way audio, and alarms. Its security packages offer ready-made kits, which can be expanded with products from its comprehensive catalogue.

However, the company has received poor customer reviews on Trustpilot, scoring low for unsatisfactory customer support, product quality, and app functionality. Arlo systems tend to be more expensive than many competitors, and some features, such as interactive notifications and cloud storage, require a subscription to Arlo's Secure plan, which has also produced negative reviews.

Our researchers found that, while expensive, Arlo delivers a comprehensive home security solution, but the large number of negative reviews should be considered before purchasing Arlo products.

Our Independent Advisor experts have researched and tested each home security system in order to provide fair, impartial and accurate recommendations. We compare products, features, quality and cost alongside what others in the industry say and how customers have also reviewed their experiences.

Our reviews are determined by the following categories:

We examine 18 elements within these categories including:

All of our home security articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, to give consumers the knowledge they need to make an informed, up-to-date and confident decision.

At the heart of a smart security system is its ability to connect various devices via a wireless network, enabling them to communicate with each other and with you, via your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

While traditional security systems alert a monitoring centre or sound an alarm in the event of a detected break-in, a smart system takes this further. Not only can it detect a security breach, it can also send you real-time alerts and live video footage directly to your device, no matter where you are.

Smart security systems also boast other advanced features. They often incorporate artificial intelligence for more-accurate motion detection, distinguishing between regular and suspicious activities or between pets and potential intruders. Some systems can also be integrated with other smart home devices, such as lights, locks, and thermostats, allowing you to remotely automate and control various aspects of your home's security and other functions.

Arlo is one of the most expensive home security systems we’ve reviewed, second only to Verisure – its European partner. It provides a wide range of outdoor, indoor, doorbell, and floodlight cameras, but these come at a premium price point. Like many others, Arlo also offers optional subscription plans at competitive rates and with additional features, including cloud storage or advanced object detection. However, despite the system's high price, Arlo does not provide professional monitoring, and even with a subscription; it's self-monitoring only.

Arlo's cameras typically have high-definition video quality, with some models supporting 4K. While 4K is not universally offered by its competitors, many do provide 1080p HD video, which is often sufficient for most home security purposes. Data security is an important consideration for all smart home devices, and while Arlo has a solid track record, so do many of its competitors.

Arlo devices deliver robust smart home integration capabilities, supporting Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit platforms. This is standard across the industry, with competitors like Ring and SimpliSafe offering similar integration. However, it should be noted that Apple HomeKit requires a separate hub and is only compatible with Essential Spotlight Camera.

The security systems are designed to be simple to install, making Arlo comparable with Ring, SimpliSafe, and Hey!.

Arlo compares favourably with its competitors in all areas, except for the high prices and the lack of Apple HomeKit compatibility without a separate hub.

Arlo delivers several home security packages, ranging from the smallest system, Essential Flat & Apartment Security Kit, to its Ultimate Home Security Kit, suitable for more expansive properties. If you own a caravan, or other off-site property, the Remote Location Security Kit is well worth considering, while the Extended Battery package gives you 365 days of protection on a single charge.

If you are looking for different components, every kit can be expanded by purchasing additional devices. However, you may find that, depending on your requirements, it works out cheaper to buy individual components and build it from scratch.

In addition, Arlo also offers a range of accessories, such as solar panels, charging cables, additional batteries, and various mounts to assist with installation.

While we feel that Arlo's packages are well considered, fulfilling various requirements, the prices are far higher than its competitors, which may place it out of the range of many homeowners.

If you choose to forego Arlo's monthly subscription options, you’ll only gain access to live video streaming and notifications – to enjoy its other features, a subscription is required. Several of Arlo's home security devices offer a 90-day free Secure subscription trial.

Every home security package from Arlo includes the necessary elements for installing and connecting your system, including USB cables, wall mounts and screws, and a quick start guide.

The system can be connected directly to your home router or you can purchase an Arlo SmartHub from £109.99.

Our specialists have analysed the kits, providing a comprehensive summary of the hardware components.

Arlo's user-friendly security camera can be managed conveniently via your smartphone. Completely wireless and weather-resistant, it can be installed effortlessly within minutes and offers 1080p video, a 130-degree viewing angle and an integrated spotlight. You’ll also receive a 90-day free trial of Arlo Secure.

Arlo Go 2 stands out as one of the most adaptable security cameras available. It allows connections through wifi or a 3G/4G SIM card, enabling protection for a 130-degree range without the need for wiring. However, the SIM card is not provided – a data plan must be purchased, with BT as the suggested provider. The camera includes a built-in siren.

Arlo's award-winning security camera can zoom up to x12 with 2K HDR video. However, this is only available when the camera is connected to the SmartHub and your phone is on the same network. It also offers 160-degree viewing range, an integrated spotlight, colour or black and white night vision, and a 90-day Secure subscription for free.

The package contains a rechargeable battery and a magnetic charging cable.

Providing an impressive 3,000-lumen output, this wireless floodlight camera can light up to seven metres of your property with LEDs that outshine car headlights.

It also offers 2K colour night vision or black and white video, x12 zoom, 160-degree range, and a 90-day free subscription to Arlo Secure.

This security camera allows you to identify trespassers and activate the integrated alarm or employ the two-way audio to communicate with or deter them. Additionally, it includes an adjustable lens cover, enabling you to shut the camera for absolute privacy management. The video has a 130-degree viewing area, 1080p video, mains connection, and two-way audio ability. It also comes with 90 days of Arlo Secure for free.

The doorbell camera boasts a distinctive perspective, recording full-body 180-degree 1080p footage, and two-way audio. Additionally, the incorporated alarm aids in deterring unwanted visitors.

The package contains a rechargeable battery and cable and a free 90-day trial of Arlo Secure.

The Arlo Essential Solar Panel Charger ensures your battery stays powered using direct sunlight. Its design is resistant to weather conditions, and with a 2.4m power cord and adjustable mount, it can be easily installed. The panel is compatible with Arlo Essential Spotlight and Arlo Essential XL cameras.

The Dual Charging Station helps maintain your batteries at full capacity, charging up to two batteries 15 per cent faster, reducing charging time. It's compatible with Pro 3, Pro 4, Go 2, and Pro 4 XL models.

Arlo has a poor customer rating on Trustpilot – 1.2 stars out of a possible five. Its one- and two-star reviews make up 94 per cent, with under four per cent being four- and five-star reviews. Many customers mention sub-par product quality, poor customer support, connectivity problems and a less-than-positive app experience.

"Countless issues with Arlo, hours spent trying to resolve problems. Main issue is pairing with our home network… Two Cameras in use; first camera works fine, second camera just drops out of pairing and then you need to spend an hour each day re-connecting the second unit. Support provided a replacement second unit (after much debate and procrastination). Really poor service and poor quality cameras."

"I have had Arlo cameras for about 10 years, one of the best we have ever had. Had an intermittent fault with my Floodlight camera, phoned support at lunchtime today and a new camera is arriving tomorrow."

"In the main, Arlo has served me well until recently when I downgraded my subscription to a single camera. After that, my notifications wouldn't work right. All I wanted was notifications for people but I got notifications for animals, cars, motion and none for people. That makes it pointless and kept me awake.

My solution was simple. I downgraded to zero subscription and will not be resubscribing unless I get some kind of trial to see if it has been fixed. Otherwise, I’ve lost faith in Arlo's notification system and won't pay another penny."

Amazon reviews for Arlo products paint a more positive picture, with many customers commenting on the easy installation process, and the quality of the products. However, some reviews echo the Trustpilot results, with several reviews suggesting that Arlo lacks value for money considering the high price bracket.

"Very impressed with this system, very easy to install and set up. We are using this for home security, the alerts to your phone are great and the picture is really clear."

"I am returning this camera set as there are too many disappointments.

While a number of Trustpilot reviews suggest that Arlo's app has several issues that the company needs to address, especially with the Android version, we experienced no major problems. Android users have reported that the cameras don't always detect movement, and although our researchers were able to live stream, communicate via the two-way audio, receive notifications, and control the settings easily, the functionality was less fluid than we’d like. Some controls were hard to locate on the interface, and setting up the sensor widgets was a somewhat confusing process; however, generally, Arlo's app works well once you’ve familiarised yourself with it.

We’ve chosen three of Arlo's security systems for closer examination. Suitable for a range of homeowners, we’ve considered the components, functionality, value for money, and several other factors, designed to provide a comprehensive analysis.

This package from Arlo is designed for flats and apartments, but would also suit small-sized homes. (Arlo)

Arlo's smallest security kit is perfect for flats, apartments and other small properties, and is available in black or white colourways. The Essential outdoor camera can be used for monitoring key areas, such as windows and entrances, and is versatile enough to be used both indoors and outdoors, while the Essential Indoor Camera, equipped with a built-in privacy shield, offers the flexibility needed to safeguard living areas or keep an eye on children and pets.

The Remote Location package features products that would assist homes that are vacant for longer stretches of time, or for homes with large gardens. (Arlo)

While other companies produce packages that would work with remote locations, Arlo have designed a kit specifically for larger gardens, outbuildings, livery yards, boats or caravans. At the heart of this kit is the Arlo Go 2, delivering connectivity through wifi or a 4G SIM card – although this isn't included. The solar panel chargers are a good addition, allowing autonomous power even if the location is off-grid, which is often the case in remote areas.

One of Arlo's larger packages, the Advances Home Security Kit is best for larger homes. (Arlo)

At around £500 cheaper than Arlo's Ultimate Kit, we feel the Advanced Home Security Kit offers better value for money, and provides a more comprehensive security solution. The Pro 3 Floodlight, coupled with the Essential doorbell camera, covers the property's approach and any darker areas of garden, while the indoor camera completes the basics of home security. The package also includes three Pro 4XL cameras which can be placed either indoors or outdoors, depending on the design of your home, and a solar panel charger, allowing off-grid power.

Arlo markets itself as a security camera provider, and without any sensors in its catalogue, the focus is on visual and audio equipment. However, the specification of Arlo's products is generally high, with features such as high-definition video, night vision, two-way audio, and motion detection alerts. Its security cameras are also designed for easy installation, with models offering wireless connectivity for added convenience.

However, we have to consider Trustpilot's poor customer reviews and, although our researchers found Arlo's products performed well, the score of 1.2 out of a potential five stars cannot be ignored. There are clearly issues surrounding product quality, customer support, and price points, which Arlo needs to address if it wants to compete on a level playing field with other home security providers.

Rating: ★★★

Provided it's for personal and non-commercial use, having a CCTV system inside your home is legal. However, considerations around privacy and data protection laws apply, especially if your camera captures footage outside your property or of individuals without their consent. Using CCTV in areas where individuals expect a high degree of privacy, such as bathrooms or bedrooms, could potentially lead to legal issues.

Regulations regarding audio recording are more stringent if audio is recorded without consent. Sharing or publishing identifiable footage, especially online, could potentially breach privacy laws. It's advisable to familiarise yourself with the relevant guidelines and possibly seek legal advice to understand the implications fully.

Choosing the right security camera for your home depends largely on your requirements and budget. For a versatile, high-quality wireless camera, consider something like the Arlo Pro 4. It offers colour night vision, two-way audio, and a built-in siren for added security. It also records video in 2K resolution, providing detailed footage of your property.

However, the Wyze Cam Pan could be a great option for a more budget-friendly solution. Despite its affordable price, it provides a range of valuable features, including motion tracking, two-way audio, and panoramic scanning of your home. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is also a good choice, offering advanced motion detection, 1080p video, and integration with Amazon Alexa.

The cost of a home security system can vary significantly, depending on the complexity of the system, the number of components, features and whether you opt for professional monitoring services.

For a basic DIY system with a few sensors and possibly a camera, you might spend somewhere in the region of £150 to £300.

Mid-range systems usually include more advanced features such as additional cameras, smart home compatibility, or high-definition video. These can cost between £300 and £800.

If you’re considering high-end systems with professional installation, more advanced cameras, multiple sensors, and possibly professional monitoring services, the cost could rise above £800.

A professional monitoring service often comes with a monthly fee, typically ranging from £5 to £40 per month. This service adds an extra layer of security, as the company can alert the authorities on your behalf if the alarm is triggered.

Also, consider potential costs related to repairs, replacements, or system upgrades over time. If you opt for a system with video capabilities, you may also need to pay for video storage.

Always remember to balance cost with your specific security needs. Don't overbuy, but also make sure to get a robust system to provide the security coverage you need.

Pros: Cons: Essential outdoor security camera Go 2 camera Pro 4XL camera Pro 3 floodlight camera Essential indoor camera Wireless video doorbell Solar panel charger Dual charging station Essential Flat & Apartment Security Kit: Best for small homes Remote Location Security Kit: Best for large gardens, boats and caravans Advanced Home Security Kit: Best for larger homes