Choosing between the Arlo vs Arlo Pro

Netgear has stepped up the home surveillance game with the release of the Arlo and Arlo Pro. Each version has more standard features and add-ons than most other cameras on the market.

Which one should you buy? The Arlo is a great camera and is packed with features. The Arlo Pro takes the Arlo and raises the ante with noticeable improvements. Which one is right for you will depend a lot on your needs and budget.

We will take a close look at each of these cameras and give you a break down in their strengths, weaknesses, and usability. If you want the full report, keep reading. If however, you are anxious to know the verdict: get the Arlo Pro, its features far outweigh the extra cost.

The Ultimate Table of Comparison

What kind of review would this be if we didn’t give you a side by side comparison of the two cameras and their features? We don’t know, but we don’t like it. So check out the awesome table of comparison below:

Arlo Arlo Pro
Water Resistant Yes Yes
Wireless Yes Yes
Rechargeable Batteries No Yes
Temperature Range 14 to 130 F -4 to 113 F
Viewing Angle 110 degrees 130 degrees
Cloud Storage (Free) 7 days 7 days
Upgradable Storage Plans Yes Yes
Two-Way Communication No Yes
Response Time Up to 9 seconds Up to 4 seconds
Solar Panel No Yes
Motion Alerts  Basic Only Advanced Options
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

What are the Differences Between the Two?

  • The Arlo Pro has two-way communication with a built-in microphone and speaker. The Arlo does not offer two-way communications.
  • The Arlo Pro comes with rechargeable battery packs that recharge very fast. The Arlo is battery operated by CR123A 3v batteries.
  • The Arlo Pro steps up response time to notification from 8 seconds with the Arlo, to 3 seconds with Pro.
  • Infrared motion tech in the Arlo Pro allows for a sleep mode to save battery life that the Arlo just doesn’t offer.
  • Arlo Pro offers additional storage in the base unit, in case the Internet ever goes down. The standard Arlo only has cloud storage.
  • Arlo Pro has a siren that can reach 100db when motion is detected. The standard Arlo does not.
  • The Arlo offers 110 degrees field of view. The Arlo Pro reaches to 130 degrees giving you a wider shot.
  • The standard Arlo is only operated by batteries. The Arlo Pro offers two alternative power sources: an AC plug and a solar panel.
  • The Arlo Pro has a wider range working temperature rating: -4 to 122° F, whereas the Arlo is not as hardy at 14~113° F.

What Do These Two Models Have In Common?

  • Each camera is water-resistant and weatherproof so you can mount them outdoors.
  • Both cameras are 100% wireless using batteries as the power source.
  • The Arlo and Arlo Pro can be used with either version of the base station.
  • Each camera offers infrared night vision.
  • Both the Arlo and the Arlo Pro have seven-day cloud storage from the manufacturer.
  • They are both compatible with smart home systems such as Alexa, Echo, Wink, IFTTT and much more.
  • The standard and Arlo Pro cameras both use HD quality imaging.
  • You can purchase the Arlo Smart Upgrade for each of these cameras.

What We Like About the Arlo

100% wire free with the use of batteries for power.

The use of the cell phone app to adjust settings and camera sensitivity is awesome.

Seven-day cloud storage for free is a deal you won’t find anywhere else.

720p HD video quality is good enough for home security cameras.

Smart home integration with Alexa, IFTTT, SmartThings, and others is seamless.

The Things We Like About the Arlo Pro

Everything we like about the Arlo, plus:

Two-Way audio is the best improvement in the Arlo System

Solar panel power option is great for going green.

The increased field of view from 110 to 130 degrees means more mounting options and fewer cameras to install for coverage.

The inclusion of rechargeable batteries is a huge bonus and cost-effective savings.

Advanced Motion detection with “sleep” mode works faster and saves battery life.

Dimension Comparison

Let’s take a closer look at some of the camera details so you will have a better idea of what each one offers.

1. Weather-resistance

Both models are weatherproof and water-resistant. What this will mean to you is that you can mount these cameras outdoors without worry of damage from the elements. If you live in a wet climate, you may want to ensure your mounts are out of the water. Prolonged exposure to rain can allow water inside.

These cameras make perfect front and back door cameras, and with the added two-way communication of the Arlo Pro, you can also talk to whoever is at your door without ever leaving your recliner. Unless of course, you decide to get up and answer it.

Bottom Line:The ability to mount these cameras outdoors is a huge advancement in the Arlo line up.

2. Batteries and Other Power Options

Both versions of the Arlo run on batteries. These batteries, depending on use, location and climate, can last up to four months.

The Arlo Pro has a rechargeable battery pack that offers a quick charge, so your cameras aren’t down for extended periods while the batteries charge.

The standard Arlo cameras don’t come with rechargeable batteries, and the old batteries simply need to be replaced. However, you can purchase rechargeable batteries to combat this issue.

Each also offers a power cord that you can plug into a standard outlet. These cords allow you to use the camera without the use or need for a battery. This is a great addition to the Arlo Pro since you can plug in your camera while the batteries are charging and not suffer any downtime.

One advanced feature the Arlo Pro has over the standard Arlo is it also has the ability to connect to the optional solar panel power cell. This will remove the need for batteries and power cords altogether.

Bottom Line: The Arlo Pro gets a bonus point for having rechargeable batteries included.

3. Cloud Storage

Netgear offers cloud storage for all Arlo cameras. They will give you seven days’ worth of storage for free. This is unprecedented in the home security field, and when used correctly you can effectively never have to pay for a monthly storage plan.

They do offer monthly subscription plans if you decide you need more storage. The Arlo Pro takes it one step further and also provides you with a USB back up storage dongle. This will allow you to back up your storage of feeds in the event you need to save an image or video or to store your surveillance when the internet is down.

Bottom Line7 days of free storage is more than the competition offers and might be enough to allow you to have fee-free storage capabilities. Both models have this.

4. Two-Way Communication

Unlike the standard Arlo camera, the Arlo pro offers two-way communication. Each of the Arlo Pro cameras has a microphone and a speaker installed to allow you not only to see who is at the front door (or where ever you have the camera mounted) but to hear and respond to them as well.

With this technology, you can use your phone or computer to see who is ringing your doorbell and communicate with them if you can’t make it to the door right away.

Bottom Line: The Arlo Pro gets the win for its two-way communication. Possibly the best feature of the camera.

5. Motion Detection and Response Times

With the Arlo camera, you have constant monitoring and motion alert sensors. These will send an alert to your cell phone or computer and let you know there is motion on the camera. This response time can take up to 9 seconds to get to your device and tell you there is motion detected.

The Arlo Pro has drastically cut down the response time to an incredible 4 seconds (some reports also state it is 2 or 3 seconds). Another benefit is the advanced motion detection.

This advanced feature will allow the camera to go into a sort of sleep mode, like your computer. It won’t record or use up battery and if the PIR motion sensor detects movement the camera will wake up, begin recording and send you an alert.

Bottom Line: The Arlo Pro improves on the response time, and that is a win in our eyes.

6. Solar Panels

The Arlo Pro can also receive power from the optional solar panel. This add-on give you external mounting freedom if the camera is not in range of a power supply. If you also don’t want to bother recharging batteries, you can use the solar panel to power the camera when mounted outdoors.

This allows you to have mounts along your property line without the need for extension cables or expensive battery packs that need constant changing.

The standard Arlo camera does not offer solar power as an option.

Bottom Line: The optional Arlo Pro solar power add-on takes the win.

7. Backwards Compatibility

Netgear thought forward in their designs. While they have upgraded the base receiver, both the Arlo and the Arlo Pro will continue to work with the original system. Both cameras will also work with the new system.

This is great news for those that already have an Arlo system set up and are looking to upgrade to the new base or the Arlo Pro cameras. You don’t need to upgrade the entire system. Simply get the new camera you prefer and pair it to your system.

Bottom Line: A tie between the two models, either camera is compatible with either base station unit.

8. The Siren

The Arlo Pro has a 100-decibel siren that you can enable (or disable) through the app or during initial set up.

This siren will sound when there is motion detected by the camera. It is an instant alarm that will help alleviate any lag time with the notification alerts you receive on your phone.

Bottom Line: The Pro’s siren is a nice feature, but with cell phone and computer app monitoring alerts, it may not be completely necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

You undoubtedly have questions, and we hope we can give you all the answers. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular questions about these two cameras.

Q.  How do I know if the batteries are dead?

If your cameras ever stop working altogether, it would be a safe bet to check the batteries first. However, Netgear thought about this for you. When looking at your camera feed, you will see a battery icon in the top left. This will give you a visual representation of the approximate battery charge remaining.

Also, in the top right is a gear/settings icon. Pressing this will show you the numerical percentage of the battery life left.

Q.  Is there a serious lag time in starting the recording?

It all depends on your definition of serious. Reports have stated there is a 3 – 5-second delay in recording, while others say that they can activate the camera for a full 10 seconds before it begins recording.

The lag time is going to be present in any wireless camera and will be shorter or longer depending on set up, interference and mounting place. However, with firmware upgrades and software enhancements, Netgear is working on improving this flaw and will hopefully have a solution in the near future.

Q.  What if someone steals my camera?

Then you will be without a camera. If you install the camera outdoors using the included magnetic mount, it is fairly easy to remove the camera. The included mount is designed for indoor use.

There is an outdoor mount that has a mounting base with screws and a screw lock that holds the camera. It is possible to unscrew the camera from the mount and take it, but it will take some time, and you will have video feed of the culprit.

Q.  Will Netgear send me a new camera in the event mine is stolen?

No. Not unless you send them enough money for a new camera first. You will probably get one faster by going through your local dealer though.

In the event your camera is stolen, Netgear is not responsible. However, you may be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, if the system is covered.

Q.  How many cameras will the base station support?

It depends on your plan. If you stick with the free plan, you can run up to 5 cameras. If you go with one of the paid subscription plans, you can support up to 15 cameras. If you need more cameras, you will need to tether base stations together with ethernet cables.

Q.  The default recording time is 10 seconds, can I change this?

We won’t stop you. You can enter the settings during the installation and change the default recording time between 10 seconds and 120 seconds.

You should note though, that the longer you record each motion, the faster your batteries will drain. We suggest you stick with the 10 seconds until you are comfortable with the system and see if you actually need the increase in recording time.

Q.  Can multiple people view the motion feed?

Of course! How many will depend on how many can cram around your cell phone to view it. You can also give other people the access to your feed if they have the app on their phone or computer. Once logged in, they will all receive the feed alerts.

This may be useful in an office setting or a dorm room where multiple people would need access to the system.

Q.  Is the app free?

Yes. The app is available on Android and iTunes for free. You can install it on as many devices as you like.

Q.  Will automatic lights activate the motion sensors in the cameras?

The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: yessssss.

It may not always happen, but there are reports that automatic lights, especially lamps, will activate the motion sensors and send an alert. Most users state they learn that when this does happen just to ignore the alert and delete the saved feed.

Q.  Will my dog set off the motion sensors?

Yes, it will. Even small dogs will unless they move exceptionally slow. You can adjust your alerts, and you can also purchase the Arlo Smart upgrade.

The Smart Upgrade will tell you the difference between human, animal, vehicle and many other items that set the sensor off. If you have pets, it is a good idea to make this purchase, so you don’t spend all day worrying about your alerts.

Q.  Does the recording also record the audio?

It sure does. As long as the cameras are connected to the WiFi network, you will be able to pick up and record all audio within about 20 feet of the camera.

The recordings are reported to be very clear and easily identifiable within the 20-foot radius.

That’s a Wrap

When it comes to smart home security integration, you will be hard-pressed to find better options than the Arlo line up from Netgear. Solid cameras that deliver what they promise are the baseline for this amazing system.

The ability to link up to 15 cameras with a single base station and use wireless technology to connect with the cameras is a great feature. Weatherproof and water resistance allows for external mounting.

Temperature operating ranges can withstand high heat and serious cold, which makes these cameras great for any region of the country.

If you are budget conscious and looking to save a few dollars, you can choose the standard Arlo system. This system will do pretty much everything you need it to do. You can also start with the standard Arlo set up and add Arlo Pro cameras to your existing system later on.

If you want to test out the features without the added expense, you can. The standard Arlo will give you a taste of what the Arlo can do.

If you want the full set up right off the bat, then we suggest you go with the Arlo Pro. The added features you get with the pro version far outweigh the higher price tag. You will receive the added benefits of the siren, the USB storage, the alternate power supply options and the two-way communications.

The hands-down winner here is the Arlo Pro.

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