Arlo Pro Vs Arlo Pro 2
If you are more concerned about running a security camera system that is battery powered, and at the same time 100% wire-free, perhaps it is time to give Arlo security camera system a thought. Arlo security camera system does not only offer you maximum security, but it also doesn’t require any professional installation.
From the recent survey conducted by SCR, we were able to understand that only a few potential users would go for a wired security camera system. This is due to the level of complications they run into during the installation of the cables. Arlo security camera system has long been the talk of the town in the entire security market.
Dated back to 2016 when Netgear announced the release of Arlo Pro, the camera system has continued to stay at the forefront of the smart home security product.
In 2017, it got even better when Netgear introduced Arlo Pro’ successor which is the updated version. Arlo Pro 2 was designed as an upgrade to its predecessor to reflect the missing features.
In today’s article, we shall throw some light on the two security systems. We will analyze the similarities and key differences between them.
With all that being said, let’s get right into it.
- Arlo Pro by Netgear uses one of the best hardware in the industry which made the product worth every penny spent.
- The cameras are very easy to mount.
- Arlo Pro camera is backward compatible with ordinary Arlo Base Station.
- Has an extremely loud 100+ Decibel siren in the Base station which can deter intruder before they do any damages.
- The cameras are 100% wire-free, you can change the installation point at any time.
- Arlo Pro two-camera system is affordable when compared to Arlo Pro 2 which has a cost difference of $125.00. Arlo Pro will be the best deal for potential user who is on a tight budget.
- Has a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 6-months depending on the level of usage and temperature.
- Arlo pro does not have the best image resolution (720p) compared to the second version (1080p).
- It is not the cheapest solution.
- You can’t access your Arlo security system without internet.
- Only records a maximum of 2 minutes which is not sufficient.
- Camera can easily be stolen if you use the magnetic mount for an outdoor application.
- This is not a self-monitored system.
- The night vision image looks a bit grainy.
- If you are looking for a system that can record a continuous video, then Arlo Pro isn’t the solution you should look for.
Arlo Pro 2
- It is a complete wireless security system.
- It’s a do-it-yourself system.
- The cameras maintain a stable connection to the Base Station within 300 feet regardless of the walls.
- You can easily move a camera from one location to another.
- Compared to its predecessor, the full HD resolution (1080p) provides a better image quality.
- Records 24FPS when there is enough light.
- Dual USB storage option for local video backup just like the Arlo Pro Base station.
- Additional features are available when Arlo Pro 2 camera is plugged-in.
- The Arlo Pro 2 is backward compatible with Arlo Pro Base Station
There is no contract agreement.
- It is more expensive.
- Additional features are not accessible when the camera is running on battery.
- The outdoor fixed mount is not included in the package, you have to buy it separately.
- The night vision is fine but not the best quality as it drops to 15FPS.
- Pro 2 lacks the artificial intelligence. Can’t tell the difference between pets and human-being. So also is Arlo Pro.
- When you lose internet connection to the Base Station, it does not stream or upload video data to the cloud afterward.
Common Features of the Arlo Pro and the Pro 2
In as much the Arlo Pro 2 is built on the success of the original Pro, there are huge similarities between the two systems which are listed below.
- Weatherproof rating of IP65 – The IP65 certified weather resistant rating ensures both cameras are able to work in extreme weather.
- Field of View of 130° – This provides a great overview of an area without missing the side to side angle.
- Rechargeable Battery of 2440mAh – This considerable amount of current will deliver up to 6-months of operation before recharging, except if there is a big activity and the camera has to operate a lot.
- 2-Way Audio – This allows bi-directional audio communication between you and the package delivery man for example.
- 100% Wire-Free – This is one of the major selling points of Arlo security system. This allows easy and smooth installation. It shouldn’t take more than 10-minutes for a beginner to completely set up your system.
- Advanced Motion Detection – You will never miss a moment as long as your Arlo camera is set on the armed mode. You will get push notification of anything that crosses the camera’s field of view. You might need to adjust the sensitivity to get accurate motion detections.
- Night Vision of up to 25 feet – Night vision within the 25 feet range is great, both cameras deliver good pictures quality without the image being washed out by the infrared LED.
- Free 7-day Cloud Recording – Find solace in the cloud if anything goes wrong in your home or with your equipment. This is where we gave Arlo a thumbs up for allowing users having a rolling 7 days free cloud storage for up to 5 cameras.
- Optional USB Local Backup Storage – Asides from the free 7-day cloud storage, you can still extend the storage if needed by connecting a USB drive to one of the available USB port.
- 100+ Decibel Siren – The siren is extremely loud that it could freak out your pets. You wouldn’t expect such a small Base Station to have an alarm as loud as this. A really handy feature that can deter the intruders before they steal anything in your home.
- Compatible with Smart Home devices and apps – Nothing is more fascinating when you only have to use a voice command to view who is knocking at your front porch. You can just ask Alexa to show the front door, and your Arlo camera will stream to your echo show or fire TV. That is the power of a good Smart Home integration.
Key Differences between the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2
Although there are only a few differences between the two versions, they are very noticeable. In order to make the differences between the two clearly understood, we decided to separate this from the main features.
Arlo Pro – 720p
One of the factors surrounding the Pro being cheaper than the Pro 2 is its resolution.
It is important to note that Arlo Pro camera does not stream directly to the cloud server, video compression is expected to take place via the Base Station before uploading to the cloud.
The final image quality is crushed and makes it incomparable with footages from the Arlo Pro 2.
Nevertheless, if this is your first home security installation, Arlo Pro would still be a good battery-powered setup that can monitor your home for up to 6 months.
Arlo Pro 2 – 1080p
The last version can record way more information due to its full HD resolution and more detailed picture frame it provides.
The video compression is not noticeable on the Pro 2, unlike the first version. One could easily read a license plate from a few distance.
Arlo claims that both systems have 130° field of view, but this seems to be a misinformation on their part. After testing the two cameras from the same location, it was revealed that Pro 2 has a slightly wider angle than the Pro.
Only for the Arlo Pro 2
The look-back feature is I think the main upgrade from the first version to the second one. Netgear includes this as an additional feature on Pro 2 to address the major concern raised by users from the first version. They were complaining about not being able to view the short video clip pre-recorded before the actual motion detection starts.
The look-back prerecords 3 seconds video before a motion is triggered. This way, you can watch the full sequence of the event that led to motion detection. This is a great feature especially if you don’t want to miss any important part of the video clips recorded or if you need a little bit more information concerning recorded footage.
Unfortunately, this feature will not work while the Arlo Pro 2 works on battery. Look-back requires the camera to be plugged in.
If you really need the look-back feature, then you need to provide a power adapter for the camera.
Furthermore, the included power adapter is not intended for use in outdoor condition because it is not weatherproof. You will need to spend an extra dollar to buy an outdoor power adapter.
3. Custom Activity Zones
Receiving lots of push notifications can be annoying sometimes. With the introduction of this new feature, the custom activity zones, your smartphone won’t be flooded with unwanted notifications from falling leaves, swinging trees, passing cars and so on.
Once this feature is activated, you will only receive notifications from your predefined areas.
While this feature is not free on the Arlo Pro, it is totally free and accessible on the Pro 2. This sounds cool because you won’t be locked to a subscription in order to enjoy the feature on Pro 2.
All you have to do in order to enjoy the activity zones on Pro 2 is to provide AC power for the camera.
While many users complained about the activity zones not working properly on Pro 2, Arlo clearly stated that Pro 2 must be used indoor to ensure the activity zones’ accuracy.
Conversely, Arlo Pro neither needs to be plugged in to use the activity zones nor limited to indoor use.
However, Arlo Smart, which is an add-on service, is needed on the Pro version to successfully capture motions in predefined zones.
Arlo Smart is an add-on service that provides lock screen notifications, person detection, and adjustable camera motion zones that help to reduce unwanted and annoying notifications.
The add-on service fee is based on the country or region. You can only sign up for Arlo Smart if your country is under the list of supported countries.
|Arlo Smart (Per Camera)||Arlo Smart Premier (Up to 10 Cameras)||Arlo Smart Elite (Up to 20 Cameras)|
|United States||USD 2.99 /Mo USD 29.99 /Yr||USD 9.99 /Mo USD 99.00 /Yr||USD 14.99 /Mo USD 149.00 /Yr|
|Canada||CAD 3.49 /Mo CAD 34.99 /Yr||CAD 12.99 /Mo CAD 129.00 /Yr||CAD 18.99 /Mo CAD 189.00 /Yr|
|U.K||GBP 1.99 /Mo GBP 19.99 /Yr||GBP 6.49 /Mo GBP 64.00 /Yr||GBP 9.99 /Mo GBP 99.00 /Yr|
4. Continuous Video Recording (CVR)
If you could see the above add-on plans, none of them include a continuous video recording, you can only have triggered motion videos with the Smart plan.
But if you wish to make more out of your Arlo security system to work just like a traditional video surveillance system, continuous video recording plan will be ideal.
If you have your Arlo Pro 2 camera set up in a high traffic area, you might want to consider the CVR add-on to record non-stop videos.
You must also note that CVR can only work if your Pro 2 is permanently connected to a power outlet, via a power adapter.
CVR is not supported on the Pro version, but it is reserved for Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Q, and the Arlo Q Plus cameras.
This feature allows you to watch all the 24/7 recorded videos, unlike the smart plan which only records videos triggered by motion or sound.
CVR plan varies according to the country, and it is charged per camera. You get a 50% discount when you buy more than 1 plan per account.
|14-Day of 24/7 CVR (Per Camera)||30-Day of 24/7 CVR (Per Camera)||60-Day of 24/7 CVR (Per Camera)|
|United States||USD 9.99 /Mo USD 99.00 /Yr||USD 19.99 /Mo USD 199.00 /Yr||Not Available|
|Canada||CAD 11.99 /Mo CAD 119.00 /Yr||CAD 23.99 /Mo CAD 239.00 /Yr||CAD 34.99 /Mo CAD 349.00 /Yr|
|U.K||GBP 6.99 /Mo GBP 69.00 /Yr||GBP 12.99 /Mo GBP 129.00 /Yr||Not Available|
Continuous video recording is a very good feature, especially when Arlo security camera system is used for a business. However, it important to note that Arlo does not currently support downloading CVR videos or share them.
Downloading CVR videos
Although Arlo does not support downloading CVR video, there are many practical ways you can get your videos from Arlo cloud.
When you file a lawsuit, you might need to have a piece of video evidence to support your claim. This is where getting your video off Arlo proprietary server will be a plausible idea.
There are numbers of third-party apps in your respective app store. To help you narrow your search, AZ screen recorder is considered one of the best app in that category. It has a great user interface and it’s easy to control.
Remember to give AZ the necessary permissions to your internal or external storage, because this is where the screen recorded videos will be exported.
Then launch your Arlo app and play the intended video clip, AZ will capture the video for you.
You can use any reliable screen recorder program like screencast-o-
The Arlo Smartphone Application
With the Arlo App, you can control all of your Arlo different devices from your smartphone with just a fingertip.
We like the fact that Arlo has only one mobile app controlling all its devices in the app stores. Users won’t lose any time looking for the correct application for their devices.
The Arlo App can be downloaded through the Google Play Store and the App store from Apple. Arlo releases software update periodically to keep their app free of bugs, which is an important point knowing that it’s rarely the case for other security camera providers.
Let quickly see how the App is working. It is functioning around Modes and Rules, let’s have a look.
It let you set instructions for your Arlo devices on what to do in different situations.
For example, you probably don’t want to receive useless motion detection notification when you are mowing your lawn.
Modes give you total control over how your cameras respond to motion or sounds. You can also create your own custom modes, even if predefined modes are available automatically.
There are four modes on Arlo app which are Armed, Disarmed, Schedule and Geofencing.
- Armed – With this mode, all your cameras are set to trigger on motion or sound. They will record 10 seconds video clip by default while you receive alerts by email, and push notifications to your smartphone whenever cameras are triggered.
- Disarmed – Cameras do not trigger on sound or motion. No videos are recorded, and you receive no notifications. This mode is great when you or your family are in the house. You wouldn’t want to forget leaving the mode to Disarmed when no one is at home, except you have already setup scheduling or geofencing.
- Schedule – Schedule mode allows you to set your own custom instructions to be followed by Arlo system. You can use this mode during nights or when you have recurrent events. For example, you can set a schedule to turn off all the indoor cameras, while leaving the outdoor cameras on all the time, or for a specific period of time.
- Geofencing – This is a virtual fence that helps to discover when someone enters or exits a predefined zone. This provides you a supplement security layer in case you forget to turn on the cameras as you leave the house.
This is similar to schedule mode. It’s more advanced and it relies on GPS-enabled mobile devices to work. Geofencing simply lets you instruct your Arlo system when to switch modes.
Geofencing works with location service turned-on. Whenever your mobile phone is more than a certain distance from your home, your Arlo system automatically switches modes. You can have your system switch to armed mode every time you leave your house.
Simply give the Arlo app the permission to use your location, by selecting yes when the prompt displays on your mobile device.
Search your address by tapping the address field and select medium as your radius. Any time you go out from this radius, your Arlo system will be set to the Armed mode.
Each mode consists of one or more rules that provide comprehensive instructions for your Arlo security system. For each mode, the following Rules can be set:
- Triggered device – The triggered device is the camera that detects the motion or sound.
- Triggers – Triggers can either be motion detection, sound detection or both. To minimize false alarms, the camera’s sensitivity to motion and sound can be adjusted from the Arlo app.
- Devices – Motion or sound detection on one camera can trigger another camera to record video. For example, you might want to have your driveway camera triggers your front porch camera to start recording.
- Action – Each device that responds to motion or sound can record video, take a snapshot, or do nothing according to the rule received.
You can adjust the length of the video recording from ten seconds to a maximum of two minutes on Pro, while the Pro 2 can be from a minimum of ten seconds to a maximum of five minutes.
You can also set your Arlo base station to turn on the siren in response to specific triggers.
Notifications – When a trigger is detected, Arlo can send you
pushnotifications, email alerts, or both. You can choose to add friends and family members to receive email alerts and act on your behalf as well.
There are different access levels that you can set to every users you add under your Arlo account.
Setup & Installation
Arlo security system is easy to install. You do not need any professional installation to get you going. Arlo is one of the easiest DIY security gear on the market.
You can set up your own security system within 10-minutes depending on the numbers of cameras you purchased.
Just download the Arlo App from your respective app store and you will be guided through the whole installation process, really easy!
However, we recommend that you choose a high place to mount your camera to prevent equipment theft even if there is an Arlo Theft Replacement program in place.
Apparently, the magnetic holding force is strong enough to hold the camera, but could still be tilted or disoriented in the field of view if a big bird decides to perch on the camera.
Therefore, it won’t be a bad idea to replace the magnetic wall mount with a sturdy fixed outdoor mount as shown it the picture.
Arlo said you can get up to 6 months longevity from a single recharge. This information might be true in some situations whereby the camera only senses a few motions.
If your camera is placed in a high traffic area such as near a busy road, you tend to lose power on the battery pretty quickly.
There are many factors that are responsible for the battery drain:
- When Arlo camera is placed in temperature below 0°C.
- When the camera uses more of infrared light in low or no light condition.
- When there is a weak signal between the Base Station and cameras.
- Also when the camera is placed in a high traffic zone, where the camera detects spontaneous motions.
Tips for maximizing your battery life:
- Set custom activities zone on your Arlo Pro 2, you will only receive notifications on the desired areas.
- You can also save a lot of energy by reducing the video resolution from 720p to 360p. We recommend doing this only if you don’t have any other opportunities to increase your battery life.
If you need to keep your battery active or you don’t like popping out your camera whenever it needs recharging, installing a dedicated solar panel would be a nice idea.
Keep in mind that solar panel only charges the battery, and does not activate additional features. Unlike power adapter, solar panel does not offer plugged-in features such as CVR, look-back and activity zones.
Whenever you go on vacation, solar panel lets you have peace of mind since you don’t have to do anything to keep the camera charged.
Smart Home Integration
Life has just become easier with smart home integration. This allows users to use voice control to operate their Arlo cameras.
For example, you can ask Alexa to “show the front door” when someone knocks at your front porch. The camera then streams live to your Echo show or to your Amazon Fire TV.
What Customers are Saying?
- “Cameras are offline”
While many customers complained about cameras consistently going offline, Arlo has addressed the issue that it was due to the recent camera firmware release. They further explained the other major factors that can cause the cameras from going offline.
- Cameras will go offline if the batteries are depleted, this is the most common cause.
- This could also occur if there is a weak signal between the Base Station and the camera(s), bring the affected camera(s) to the Base Station and watch the behavior for hours.
- If the Base Station loses internet connection, all the cameras will be offline.
- Arlo Base Station has been reported to conflict with other network equipment broadcasting on 2.4 GHz frequency, be sure to move the Base Station to a new location leaving at least 20ft behind.
- Bring the camera to Base Station and resync it.
- “The battery isn’t reliable”
There were numerous complaints about the battery life, that it died quickly than expected.
Arlo explained the factors that could be responsible.
- If the camera is exposed to a high traffic zone, it uses more battery than the average
- Too much sound triggered actions could deplete the battery.
Firmwareupdate could cause this but it is very unusual. All you can do is remove the camera and resync it to the Base Station.
- “Technical support sucks”
We didn’t’ really understand those customers complaining about the customer support from Arlo.
Arlo community is a helpful forum where you can get answers from experienced users to your question.
The knowledgebase is also helpful, just type your search query in the search box and related results will pop out.
Nevertheless, you can still send email to support whenever you need to get a resolution for a major problem.
About the Warranty
Arlo Pro and Pro 2 are backed by Netgear 1-year limited warranty, which covers 24/7 basic technical support provided for 90 days from purchase dates.
Product must be bought through Arlo’s authorized reseller, in order to benefit from this warranty policy.
If you buy Arlo security system that is certified refurbished, you will get a 90-day limited warranty and 90 days complimentary technical support.
Note: Customers must present their receipts as proof of purchase before RMA is obtainable.
Arlo security system is a great gear to have, whether you are just getting started with your first security system or you just desire to upgrade your existing system.
However, you can never have it all on an Arlo security system. The more add-on you select, the more your bills pile. Arlo is a great brand that offers a really easy to install and use security camera system, this is why it’s more expensive.
I will rather stay on the basic plan which accommodates five cameras, rather than be locked to any paid subscription.
If you run a business, adding Arlo cameras to your existing video surveillance system will create a perfect balance, and will definitely pay-off.
If Arlo security system is not anywhere near your budget, we also have reliable wireless security camera systems that you can check here.
Do you think Arlo security system is worth its price? Let us have your view in the comment section below.