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Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review

It is now even easier to install home surveillance systems especially with the proliferation of Wi-Fi cameras. The main issue with these cameras is that they require Ac power source meaning they can only be used indoors. This problem has been overcome by the introduction of Arlo security system from Netgear. It is designed to overcome the limitation by using battery-powered cameras that are linked to the base station via a Wi-Fi network. They offer very sharp video output and are very easy to install, they however don’t offer audio to conserve the power, neither can you pan and zoom.

Pros

  • Completely wireless
  • Small size camera design
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent quality color and night vision video
  • Free cloud storage
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy to use apps
  • Customization notification

Cons

  • Lacks audio recording
  • No dynamic zoom, tilt and pan functions
  • Night vision has no color
  • Cameras secured on mount by magnets hence easy to steal
  • When you exceed 5 cameras, you have to pay a monthly cloud storage fees of $9.99
  • Free recording is only for 7 days
  • In high temperatures, the battery level indicator may wrongly how low battery

Unboxing

When you receive your brand new Arlo security system, the first thing is to hurriedly unbox it. It is however advised that you carefully and systematically take the contents apart in preparation to install in order to avoid any damage to the cameras or base station. If you are not confident enough to open the box, consider watching a video that shows how to unbox the package as carefully as possible. They will also guide you on how to install and setup the entire system without a glitch juts like an expert.

Contents of the box

  • US power plug with both EU and UK adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Wall plugs
  • 8 lithium 123batteries
  • 4 wall mounts
  • The base station for the cameras
  • 2 wireless cameras with a standard camera mount, an alternative to the magnetic mount.

Design / Highlights

The Arlo Smart home security camera review has a wonderful design. The package includes two cameras, the base station, Ethernet cable and 8 lithium batteries, four for each camera. It is possible to purchase a single camera set for $199.99 and get additional cameras at $159.99 each and ad them to the base station.

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It is equipped with 4 semi-round metallic mounting accessories that can be attached to the wall with the provided screws and dry wall anchors. The cameras have powerful magnets at the back of the housing for attaching them to the mounting devices without needing any screws or any hardware. Any flat surface or the refrigerator can serve as a mounting point for the camera.

Both the cameras and the base station housing are done in a glossy white finish making them very beautiful. The cameras are 2.5 x1.6 x 2.8 inches and weighs 4 ounces. They are IP65 waterproof rated meaning they can be used outdoors in the rain and can manage temperatures from 14 to 122 degrees F to withstand the most extreme outdoors weather conditions.

Technical Features

Important features

Wi-Fi communication

The cameras communicates with the base station via a Wi-Fi network with a maximum range of 300 feet. Walls and other structures are known to diminish this distance.

Base station

Measuring 6.5 x 8.5 x 2.3 inches, the white base station has a LAN port, 2 USB ports, a power button, 5 LED status indicators, power jack at the back and reset switch. Its smart home and USB indicators are reserved for use in the future to manage your home mat features in addition to the surveillance cameras.

Apps

The Arlo app for iOS and Android and a web portal to allow logging in and managing your cameras from your browser anywhere you are. The opened app presents you with a split screen showing each camera and the last image captured. Each screen shows the camera name, date and time and its battery level. It also shows the motion detection icon and Wi-Fi indicator. You have to pres the play button for it to record live, this will continue till you leave the app. This video on demand feature helps a lot in saving the battery and bandwidth.

When you click on the library you will have access to all the stored video and snapshots from where you can favourite, email, download to your device or delete.

Motion detection sensitivity

This system allows you to tune the sensitivity of the camera’s motion detection. You can set the dates and time when it is enabled and disabled and also set the video quality.

Performance review

Pan and zoom are completely digital to save power. They must be reset in the settings so no dynamic pan, tilt and zoom.

The cameras each use 4 CR123 batteries that can last up to 6 months when used optimally.

The motion detection function can be configured to send push and email alerts.

The cameras have a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 and a 130 degree field of view. The 12 infrared LEDs provides up to 25 feet of night vision.

It delivers sharp colored 720p videos during the day and excellent black and white video using the night vision at night though from 20 feet, the details becomes muddy. It has a couple of seconds lag between live action and the app display. The motion detection works perfectly as long as it is set to moderate sensitivity where it ignores slight movements like a moving tree in the wind.

Final Verdict

This Arlo Smart Home Security Camera Review shows that the security system provides a lot of flexibility in planning for your home surveillance. You can place the cameras anywhere within the wireless range and monitor your home from anywhere you are. The battery power may be the only major downside since they don’t last too long but contribute to the flexibility since you can now install cameras even where there is no power source. It is weatherproof and also saves to the cloud for easy access and to provide additional security for the recordings themselves.

 



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