Netgear Enters the Smart Home with Arlo

One of the big drawbacks with IP cameras has always been power, as in the case, you typically need to plug the device into an outlet for it to work. That is not the case with Netgear's Arlo Smart Home Security Cameras… they use common replaceable batteries. And that means you can place them anywhere you have a wireless signal, even outside. Smart move for Netgear in our opinion.

So what do you get with Arlo?

Netgear sells Arlo in kits of one, two or three cameras. They record in HD (720p) and function in both daylight and the dark. And yes, they are waterproof, so if your wireless reaches outside, they there should be no problem placing them outside of the home.

Kits come with magnetic wall mounts and can be affixed with either a screw or double-sided tape (included). The mounts allow the camera to be positioned in any angle with the fear of it falling off the mount, as well as providing the ease so that you can place them anywhere you wish if the need arises. Netgear allows offers roofmounted tripods; however, this is not included in the basic kit.

The cameras record video based on motion using passive infrared sensors that fire off once there is any temperature change in the camera’s 130 degree field of view. The video saved to Netgear’s storage server in the cloud making them available to you from any platform, anywhere there is an internet connection.
And yes, Arlo sends text alerts with a screen shot once video has been captured, as well as an email with a directly link to download the video. Naturally, you can always log into your Arlo account via your mobile device to see all recorded videos.

The implications for Arlo are pretty robust. Obliviously, there is the assurance of home security. And with that being the case, they work pretty well for Business and Vacation Home security too. In addition to that,  they also work pretty good for pet, baby and elder monitoring.

All sound pretty much right on the mark… but what do not get with Arlo?

One of the drawbacks to Arlo is that in its current release, there no audio recording. This may or may not be a deal breaker. If you are wanting to capture video AND audio, this might not be the IP camera(s) for you.

Arlo is only as effective as its proximity to it necessary base station that serves as it hub for the camera management. Although Arlo is a purely wireless camera solution, it does need the base station to upload video to the internet and this base station needs to be directly hardwired to your router. This could be problematic in homes where the signal from the base station does not extend to where the cameras ultimately need to be position. So, if you have a lot or real estate, Arlo may not be for you either.

Lastly, there is the issue of all of the video that is being caputured by Arlo and what to do with it on the Netgear storage server. This means that you have to sign up for a hosting plan with Netgear, as well as manage your data so that your use of the storage falls within the plan. Arlo does provide a basic hosting plan that is free, which gives you either 7 days of recording or 200 MB, whichever comes first. At this time it is unclear if you effectively manage that basic plan, you can use the service for free. If you have a lot of movement where the cameras are located, this could become rather costly. So, again, Arlo may not be the cameras for you.

Or they could?

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