Arlo Pro 2 Review

Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, & Go Wire-Free Review

Hardware Criteria8.3
Software Criteria9.3
Video Storage9.6
IP Rating / Weatherproofing10
Hands-on Authority and User Reviews7
8.8
Reader Rating: (91 Rates)4.9

Netgear pioneered the concept of indoor/outdoor cameras. Their first camera concept, Arlo, was an instant hit. Other companies followed their lead like Flir, Ring, and even Canary. Not to be outdone, Netgear has uped their game with Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and Arlo Go. So what’s new?

GOOD

  • Wired, Wireless, and 4G Options
  • Local and Cloud Storage

BAD

  • Pro Requires Base Station
  • Go Requires Cellular Plan

Hardware and Installation

Arlo Pro Review

Base Stations

Like Arlo, Arlo Pro and Pro 2 require a base station to work. And while the cameras are cordless, the base station requires power and internet. Arlo Pro's base station is different from Arlo's, but Pro and Pro 2 work with both base stations. However, it's highly recommended that you buy the Pro base station as it adds local storage and a siren.

Arlo Go does not have a base station. It works alone and only requires an activated SIM card.

Choosing a Package

 ArloArlo ProArlo Pro 2Arlo Go
Cost of Add-On Camera (No Base Station)$150.00$179.07 $219.99$429.00
Resolution720p720p1080p720p
Night Vision850 nm LEDs: illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
850 nm LEDs: illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
850 nm LEDs: illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
850 nm LEDs: illuminates up to 25 feet
IR cut-off filter
ZoomYES
YES
YES
YES
Motion and Sound DetectionMotion OnlyYES
YES
YES
Two-Way AudioNO
YES
YES
YES
Field of View110°130°130°130°
Battery TypeFour (4) Lithium CR123 Photo2440mAh Rechargeable Battery2440mAh Rechargeable Battery3660mAh Rechargeable Battery
Arlo Plan CompatibilityArlo Cloud Storage and Arlo SmartArlo Cloud Storage and Arlo SmartArlo Cloud Storage, Arlo Smart, CVR if Plugged-InArlo Cloud Storage and Arlo Smart
Compatible AccessoriesQuadpod Mount, Security Mount, Table and Ceiling Mount, Wall MountBase Station, Pro Base Station, Solar Panel, Arlo Skins, Rechargeable Battery, Arlo Charging Station, Quadpod Mount , Outdoor Mount, Security Mount, Table and Ceiling Mount, Wall MountBase Station, Pro Base Station, Solar Panel, Arlo Skins, Rechargeable Battery, Arlo Charging Station, Quadpod Mount , Outdoor Mount, Security Mount, Table and Ceiling Mount, Wall MountSolar Panel, Arlo Charging Station, Quadpod Mount, Security Mount
Activity ZonesNO
NO
If Plugged-InNO
Bonus FeaturesNO
NO
Activity Zones, Pre-Buffering4G
Weatherproof14° to 122°-4° to 113°-4°to 113°-4°to 113°
Wire-FreeYES
YES
Yes, though some features require that the camera remain plugged-in.YES
Works WithEcho Show, Echo Spot, SmartThings, IFTTT, StringifyEcho Show, Echo Spot, SmartThings, IFTTT, StringifyEcho Show, Echo Spot, SmartThings, IFTTT, StringifyEcho Show, Echo Spot
Requirements1Mbps Upstream, Available Ethernet Port1Mbps Upstream, Available Ethernet Port1Mbps Upstream, Available Ethernet PortActivated mobile account and data plan (SIM included)
Buy Now

Once you've figured out which base you want, you will need to choose a camera package. Pro has packages ranging from one to four cameras, and they all include a base station. Prices for a starter kit start around $250.00. You can add more Arlo Pro cameras (without the base station) a la carte for $180.00.

Arlo Pro 2's first package includes a Base Station, two cameras, and two rechargeable batteries for around $480. You can purchase an add-on camera for $220.00.

When purchasing Arlo Go, you have two options.

1. Purchase From Verizon

If purchased from Verizon, Arlo Go retails for $399.99. If you sign a two-year contract, they will lower the price to $349.99. Of course, you also need data.

If you have an existing plan with Verizon, you simply add Arlo Go just like you would add another phone line. If you are on an unlimited plan, adding Arlo Go will add $20 per month to your bill. If you are on a shared data plan, Arlo Go will add $5 per month to your bill. Keep in mind that Go will also share in your allotted data. Netgear estimates that the camera will use about 1GB per month.

2. Purchase From Amazon/Netgear

When purchased from Amazon, the camera sells for around $430. Using this option, you can pick one of the three Netgear plans powered by Verizon. Initially, all Arlo Go cameras come with a video upload capacity of 15 minutes for free. The upload capacity is distributed over 30 days, which means each day, the camera can send one 30-second clip to the cloud. Once you've used up the free data minutes, you'll have to choose from Netgear's three data plans.

 $4.99/month$22.99/month$32.99/month
Total Video Upload Capacity15 Minutes120 Minutes 225 Minutes
Length Of Each Clip30 Seconds
30 Seconds
30 Seconds
Allotted Video Upload Capacity 1 Clip/Day or 30/Month8 Clip/Day or 240/Month15 Clips/Day or 450/Month

Arlo Go also has optional accessories. First, you can buy skins. A set of two skins (black or green) sells for $19.99. A set of two camouflage skins sells for $34.99. Finally, you can purchase an additional rechargeable battery for $59.99.

Placement

Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Go are all easy to install thanks to their cordless design and magnetic mounts. The magnetic base allows you to quickly adjust the camera's view, or you can use the wall mount screw set (included in the package). And while all of the cameras are perfectly capable of running on battery, you can also keep them plugged in. Arlo recommends that you insert the battery into your camera even if you plan to keep it powered using the included power adapter.

When it comes to plugging in, there's a catch: the cord is not weatherproof. If you want to plug in outside, you'll need to buy the Outdoor Power Adapter. (A new adapter is coming soon, the old adapter was recalled.) Arlo sells the Solar Panel and the Outdoor Power Adapter separately. The Solar Panel is waterproof and it comes with a mounting stand. It also comes with a 6-foot cable, providing a long leash for placement and sells for $79.99.

All that said, don't be afraid to mount. Unlike the original Arlo, Pro, Pro 2, and Go use rechargeable batteries. Pro's battery life should provide 4 to 6 months of use. During testing, we found that it lasted more in the 2-3 month range. Pro 2's battery life is estimated at 3 months, and we are still testing it for a final verdict. On the other hand, Arlo Go's estimated battery life is 2.5 months. We do not plan to test Arlo Go.

So why did we get 2 months of battery life versus the promised 6? The answer is that there are a lot of factors that go into battery life. For one, placing the camera outside will shorten its lifespan. While you can use Pro and Go outdoors as they are both IP65 rated (operating temperature ranges of -4° to 113° F), things like cold weather or even the constant movement that takes place outdoors will zap the battery. Also, using live streaming will affect battery life as will the cellular signal strength for Arlo Go.

Image and Video Quality

Arlo Pro and Go have a resolution of 720p, which is the same as the original camera. However, the viewing angles have been upgraded to 130°. The cameras can pan and zoom digitally though they don't move like other pan-and-tilt cameras. Instead, they zoom into a particular area within their field of view so that you can get a closer look. At night, they provide up to 25 feet of night vision using 850nm IR LEDs. We found that after ten feet, it was hard to identify the person in the photo at night. However, we found that during the day, the HD quality video was high enough to identify a face from about 30 feet away.

Arlo Pro 2 offers a 1080p FHD experience. The higher resolution is one of the reasons why the camera's estimated battery life is shorter than Pro and Go.

Where Arlo Pro lacked audio, Pro, Pro 2, and Go all offer audio, opening up three new possibilities.

  1. Two-way talk. You can now use your smartphone to speak with someone near the camera and vice versa.
  2. Audio streaming in addition to video streaming.
  3. Sound detection.

Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Arlo Go to Enhance Home Security

Netgear added a couple of new security features to Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Go. First is sound detection. The cameras will send you an email or push alert if a loud sound is detected, like breaking glass or crashing objects. You can also set the cameras to record videos based on sound alerts.

Second is motion detection. Although Arlo can detect motion, it uses an analog motion sensor, which is more prone to false alarms. Arlo Pro and Go use a PIR motion sensor with adjustable sensitivity. During testing, we found that the ability to adjust sensitivity helped reduce, though not eliminate, false alarms.

Third, the Arlo Pro base station has a siren, which you can manually trigger using the Arlo app or set to automatically sound if motion or a loud sound is detected. The siren is extremely loud!

Fourth, Arlo Smart. Arlo Smart allows Arlo cameras to categorize motion events by category: Vehicles, Animals, People, and Other. With Arlo Smart, you can also choose which events you want to be notified of. For example, you can set your Arlo Pro or Arlo Go to notify you only if a person or vehicle caused an event. Arlo Smart also learns. If it isn't sure about an event, it will ask you to identify the cause via your mobile app. Over time, it will learn from your input and become more accurate. Arlo Smart is $3.99/month per camera.

Finally, Arlo Go uses 4G so it can protect areas without internet and power.

Arlo Pro 2 Offers More Security Features

Arlo Pro 2 pulls away from the crowd with the addition of three new security features. The catch? They will only work if the camera is plugged-in.

First, the camera offers Activity Zones. From the mobile app, you can create three rectangular shaped zones. The camera will only monitor activity within the zones while ignoring other events.

Second, the camera can pre-buffer three-seconds of video at all times. This addresses one of the major challenges facing battery-powered cameras: latency. Thanks to this feature, Arlo Pro 2 is always ready to capture an event. If motion is detected, the camera will record the event and include the three-seconds before the event.

Third, while plugged-in, Arlo Pro 2 offers continuous video recording. Starting at $9.99 per month, Arlo offers CVR plans. The plans also work with Arlo Q, Arlo Q Plus, and Arlo Baby. For $9.99 per month per camera or $99 per year, you will have access to 14 days of 24/7 video recording. The plans increase from there with an option to access 30 or even 60 days of footage.

Security Risks

Arlo has received positive marks from most security researchers, which means that your camera is less likely to be hacked than other less reputable brands. However, that doesn't mean it's perfect.

There are potential privacy risks if you're planning to buy Arlo cameras from a local dealer. An Arlo user in Kentucky found herself with a window to another family’s home after returning her camera to Sam's Club. According to Netgear, the retailer is at fault. All returned cameras are supposed to be sent back to Netgear to be reset before selling them again. By not doing so, the camera remained associated with the original user's account. If you plan to sell your Arlo to upgrade to Pro, Pro 2, or Go, beware.

Customization and App Access

Like Arlo, Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Arlo Go can be set with different modes. Modes affect how Pro and Go behave. For example, when armed, they watch out for motion and loud sound. But when unarmed, they ignore them. You can also tell the cameras to notify you of motion alerts but not sound alerts, or vice versa. You can swap between modes by manually using the app, or you can set the cameras to automatically change modes based on your location (thanks to geofencing) or schedule.

Whether you're an iOS or Android user, Arlo has an app for you. You can also take control of your Arlo cameras using their web app or Apple TV app. These apps allow you to watch live videos, access video history, and change the settings of your system. As Go does not work with Wi-Fi, I'm not confident that the camera will be as flexible as Pro. TBD.

Aside from your primary user account, you can give access to multiple users (friend access) to help you keep an eye on things. They will have limited access to your system but will be able to stream live videos, record clips, take snapshots, and access clips from your video library. You can also customize their access to limit them further or give them additional access. You can do all of this with the app.

Video Storage

One of Arlo's best features is free storage. They offer 7-days of free cloud recording that can save up to 1GB of clips. How does it work? It allows you to store event clips (clips triggered by motion and sound events) for seven days so long as you don’t surpass 1GB. To continue saving videos, you need to delete clips or wait for older clips to expire.

If you need more storage, you can subscribe to one of Arlo's paid cloud plans:

Basic Plan Premier Plan Elite Plan
$0
per month
$9.99
per month
$14.99
per month
$0 per year
$99 per year
$149 per year
7 Days Cloud Recording 30 Days Cloud Recording60 Days Cloud Recording
Up to 1GB Cloud StorageUp to 10GB Cloud StorageUp to 100GB Cloud Storage
30 Day Premium TrialUnlimited Premium AccessUnlimited Premium Access
Supports 5 CamerasSupports 10 CamerasSupports 15 Cameras
1 Base Station1 Base Station3 Base Station
Standard SupportUnlimited SupportUnlimited Support

Keep in mind that these plans are separate from the CVR plan that is only compatible with Arlo Pro 2.

Local Storage

In addition to cloud storage, you can use a USB drive for backup storage. Simply plug the flash drive into the USB port (located on the Pro 2 Base Station) and clips will automatically save even when your internet is down.

And though Arlo Go doesn't work with a base station, it still has a secret storage feature too. On the camera itself, there is a microSD card slot for local storage. What's cool about this is that the card will record even if your camera loses its cellular signal. The camera can support a card with up to a 32GB capacity. If the card is full, you can set Arlo to automatically delete older clips to make room for new ones.

Compatibility

Arlo Pro, Pro 2, and Go will work with existing Arlo devices. This is good news if you're an Arlo user as you will be able to control all of your Arlo cameras using one app. The same holds true for the Arlo Base Stations. The original Arlo, Pro, and Pro 2 are all compatible with the Pro Base Station. Other Arlo cameras including Go, Arlo Q, Q Plus, and Baby do not require a Base Station.

Arlo Pro and Pro 2 also work with third-party devices through both IFTTT and Stringify. Through IFTTT, you can integrate Arlo Pro with other smart home brands and automate your home using rules. For example, you can tell your Philips Hue light bulbs to turn on when Arlo Pro detects motion. You can also trigger Arlo Pro to start recording an event clip if, for example, your August Smart Lock is unlocked. With Stringify, you can create even more complex rules.

The original Arlo also works with SmartThings as does Arlo Pro and Pro 2. Finally, Arlo Cameras (including Go and Pro) are compatible with Amazon's new Echo Show.

A Quick Summary

Arlo Pro is a lot like Arlo Wire-Free, but better.

  1. It Offers Audio Detection and Recording
  2. Has a Rechargeable Battery (estimated 4-6 months battery life, tested at 2-3 months).
  3. The Arlo Pro Base Station Adds a Siren and USB Port
  4. Has a PIR Motion Sensor

Arlo Pro 2 adds four new features.

  1. FHD 1080p Resolution
  2. If Plugged-In: Optional CVR Recording
  3. If Plugged-In: Activity Zones
  4. If Plugged-In: Pre-Buffering

Arlo Go is just like Arlo Pro but adds an option for 4G communication through Verizon and does not work with WiFi or require a base station. Finally, it does not work with SmartThings but will work with Amazon Echo Show.

7 comments

  1. K2prod 28 December, 2017 at 11:01 Reply

    These cameras and set up are easy for the novice. However, after having the unit for about 6 months it required a firmware update. The firmware update is advertised as being able to conduct it via laptop or your arlo acct. After 1.25 hours on the phone with tech support, and then another 2 hours trying to download the firmware, the unit would not update. It would repeatedly give an error: firmware file unable to download, please try again later.
    The resolution to the issue, was to now send me a new base station. Aside from this firmware update the product(s) work well. Video quality is great, and expansion of system is easy.

  2. dean leoanrd 13 December, 2017 at 12:22 Reply

    one omission and very frustrating fact i discovered after i bought the Pro 2 cameras is that they market the enhanced features regarding activity zones to hone in on specific areas to reduce false activation’s, the 3 second pre-activation recording and the 24/7 recording option all requires the cameras to be plugged in as your noted and is what i researched. however Netgear omit to tell you that they not supply power codes for the cameras to use externally or even offer them as an accessory purchase. This is a big false advertising ploy as how on earth can i use the new features i just paid over $500 inc tax for when you dont provide me with the hardware to use them. I am now stuck with trying to research whether i can buy a long micro USB lead with the right amps and voltage to not blow the cameras. I spoke with technical support and customer services and they were not apologetic and just admitted yes we didnt supply those cables which is disgusting

        • Vanessa Stanley 28 December, 2017 at 16:12 Reply

          They had an outdoor power adapter that they pulled due to quality issues, but they are still planning to launch a new one. I don’t have a date yet, unfortunately.

  3. Paul Farmer 10 December, 2017 at 15:04 Reply

    You’re wrong when you say “Instead, they zoom into a particular area within their field of view and provide a more detailed look.” The ‘Zoom’ feature is a digital zoom, not optical, so no additional detail is revealed. I have tested it on a Pro camera zoomed in and zoomed out (and the subsequent frame examined in a Photo app) and the level of detail remains exactly the same. In fact the level of detail overall is particularly poor for such an expensive product, and a UK vehicle number plate cannot be determined, or even guessed at, at a distance of 10 metres in broad daylight with the picture quality set to ‘Best’.

    • Vanessa Stanley 11 December, 2017 at 10:25 Reply

      Poor wording choice on our part. It’s not like Next IQ where superzoom kicks in backed by the 4K sensor to tighten detail. Instead, we were trying to imply that you could zoom in on details within the camera’s field of view. I’ll try to come up with a new way to word this!

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