Arlo complete guide: Choose the perfect Arlo and get more from your security camera

Everything you need to know about Arlo's camera ecosystem

Arlo complete guide
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When it comes to smart security cameras, Arlo is one of the leaders. It’s one of the most complete smart home ecosystems for adding cameras inside and outside your home, with versatile tech and without the implicit need for pricey subscriptions.

With such a big range of cameras in the Arlo lineup, we get plenty of questions around which is the right Arlo camera to buy – and how to get the most out of it.

Read on for our full guide to Arlo, which we’ll be adding to over the coming weeks and months.

Arlo security cameras and features

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera


The most basic Arlo camera may not look much different from the newer Arlo Pro, but there are plenty of missing features. Starting with what it does have, there’s 720p recording, night vision, 100% wire-free set up, and weather-proofing.

However, there’s a narrower 110-degree field of view, the CR123 batteries are non-rechargeable and require replacing, and things like local backup and two-way audio don’t make the cut either.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Pro

The standard Arlo Pro camera offers a lot in terms of features – but only 720p recording. If the best quality is what matters to you then you’ll want to look to the Arlo Pro 2 – but this is a security camera after all.

You get weatherproofing, 130 degree field of view, night vision, and the ability to use it 100% wire-free, thanks to the lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged via USB. You will need to install the hub onto your router, which is something most other cameras swerve, but it makes it possible to install your wireless camera outside. Arlo Pro cameras can be backed up locally.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Pro 2

The best camera in the Arlo lineup, the Arlo Pro 2 adds full HD 1080p recording into the mix. Pretty much the feature set is similar from the standard Arlo, with recorded clips, night vision, weatherproofing and two-way audio – but you also get motion zones (when connected to AC power) and a three-second look back so you don’t miss the start of a clip (also on AC power only). Again, you have to use the base station which offers decent range for outside cameras, and a decent free tier that offers a week of playback for recorded motion alerts.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Ultra

The brand new Arlo Ultra offers a 4K sensor, withHDR for better video quality in mixed lighting. You can stream 4K using the app, and the field of view has been boosted up to a massive 180 degrees. The huge fish eye effect is corrected for a flatter, better image – and the base station has been upgraded to support dual-band connectivity. You get a year of Arlo Smart included, with all the advanced features and 30 days of video playback.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Go

If you fancy using an Arlo security camera away from your home, the Arlo Go is the best option. 720p video recording with a 130-degree field of view, the big change here is that it runs on LTE, which means you’ll need to purchase a data plan to use it.

This means it will upload clips to the cloud for you to view, just like any normal Arlo camera. You still get two-way audio and night vision, making it a powerful camera given its go-anywhere approach.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Security Light

Taking its wireless approach to lighting, the Arlo Security Light works from a rechargeable lithium ion battery to offer motion sensing lighting. It’s weatherproof and connects to a base unit, although annoyingly this is in addition to your camera base station. Plus side, it only needs to plug into mains power, not your router.

You can choose simple on/off lighting or capture movement, and as you might expect, it will work with cameras, to start recording when it bathes your selected area in 400 lumens. It also works with Amazon Alexa, so you can turn the light on and off on demand, and the LED is multi-coloured, so you can actually use it for ambient lighting too. Check out our full Arlo Security Light review.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Baby

The company’s smart baby monitor comes dressed as a rabbit, and has pride of place in our buying guide. 1080p video is important here and it delivers, along with air sensors for quality and temperature, night vision, sound and motion alerts. It works on a battery too so you can move it wherever you need. The Arlo Baby is also Alexa compatible, so you can send the stream to an Echo Show if you want to.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo Q and Q Plus

All this wireless and weather-proofing is fine, but if you don’t want a base station to connect to and something a little more discreet, try the Arlo Q. It requires direct power and can only be used inside, but delivers 1080p playback, smart alerts, night vision, two-way audio and local storage in a much cheaper package. What’s more, it’s the only camera that offers 24/7 recording (with a subscription) so you can get a constant recorded feed to scrub through – much like Nest Aware. There’s also an Arlo Q Plus, aimed at business, which can be wired in via Ethernet for a bulletproof connection.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo subscriptions explained

Arlo has recently changed up its subscription offering, adding more features behind the paywall. While it still offers enough within its free tier to stay ahead of the likes of Nest in terms of storage and playback. Here's what you get:

Arlo Basic – Free

You get 7 days of recordings saved in the cloud, which can be downloaded (you get 1GB, which should be plenty for most people with one or two cameras). This supports up to 5 cameras.

Arlo Smart Premier – $6.49

30 days of storage for 10GB – this is the plan those with three or more active cameras will need to choose. You can also have up to 10 cameras on this plan, for all you Fort Knox types. And it’s not just about storage.

  • 30 days playback, 10GB storage from 10 cams
  • Notifications from the lock screen
  • User-defined motion zones
  • Person detection
  • Auto-responder alerts

Arlo Smart Elite $14.99

Have your clips saved for 60 days (good if you’re spending a long time away from home) with 100GB of storage and up to 15 cameras on your network. You also get all of the features from the Premium level, including enhanced notifications, person detection and motion zones.

  • 60 day playback, 15 cameras
  • Notifications from the lock screen
  • User-defined motion zones
  • Person detection
  • Auto-responder alerts

Arlo Add-on $2.99

If you don't want a steep monthly cost you can add the Arlo Smart features to individual cameras. That enables you to add the following features, without storage:

  • Notifications from the lock screen
  • User-defined motion zones
  • Person detection

24/7 recording

If you’re using an Arlo Q camera, you can add 24/7 capture to your account. 14 days of capture will cost $9.99 per month and 30 days for$19.99.

Arlo complete guide: Choose and use your Arlo smart camera

Arlo tips and tricks

Set up Geofencing

Geofencing means you can have your Arlo tech in a certain state when you’re away or in the house. This means, for example, you can have all your cameras set to detect motion, but stop capturing when you’re at home. This mean you won’t get an alert every time you walk into the room – a bonus.

1. Go to the Arlo app.
2. Tap Mode.
3. Choose your device.
4. Tap Geofencing.
5. Tap where you want the fence, and how big that radius should be.
6. Choose the preferred status of that device when you’re away.
7. Choose the preferred status when you’re at home.
8. Press Save

Extend your Arlo’s battery life

Charging is annoying, especially if you’ve placed your Arlo in a hard-to-reach place. Follow these tips to getting more from the battery life:

Switch to Optimized or Best Battery Life setting

Settings > My Devices > [choose camera] Video settings.

Record shorter videos

Go to Mode > Select the base station > Press the pencil icon for each camera > Press the pencil next to Recording Settings > Change video length.

Place your camera closer to base station

All the work required to stay connected is draining the battery – if this is problematic, you might have to move one of those items closer.

Back up to USB

If you have an Arlo Pro, you can opt to back up video to a USB. That means none of your private data stored in the cloud, and captures that won’t be deleted. Here’s how you do it:

1. Plug in your USB storage into the port on the Arlo base station.
2. Launch the Arlo app, go to Settings > My Devices.
3. Choose the Arlo Pro base station.
4. Tap Local Storage.
5. Choose your device.

Arlo FAQ

Can you use activity zones or action areas with your Arlo?

Yes, you can set up action zones to omit problem areas, so you won't get false positives on a windy day - the only catch is that your camera will need to be hooked up to the mains. Check out our guide to set them up.

How to charge your Arlo battery?

You can recharge using the Micro USB port on the rear of the camera. Just unplug the rubber stopper and connect to the mains.

What is Arlo geofencing?

Geofencing allows you to put your Arlo camera into a certain state when you’re at home – or away.

How to adjust sensitivity

If you’re not getting alerts you should – or more likely getting too many – you can adjust the sensitivity of your Arlo camera. Go to Mode, choose the base station, and press the pencil icon next to each camera attached to your hub.

Are Arlo cameras interchangeable?

All Arlo wireless cameras work with Arlo base stations, so yes you can create a mix in your home set-up if required.

How many cameras can my Arlo support?

You can stream from up to five Arlo cameras connected to a single base station. To stream more, you're going to need more base stations. You will also need to choose a bigger plan, too. Premium allows 10 cameras, and Elite 15.

TAGGED    security cameras

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