arlo-pro-camera-reviewI may never have tried Arlo webcams had I never had a break in, but I can honestly say that bringing home these cameras is the one good thing that’s come from it.

After we moved from a nice, normal house in the suburbs to a 12 acre farm a year and a half ago, we had definitely had a lot to adjust to. The steepest curve wasn’t just fixing up the house or getting used to not having neighbours; it was dealing with the fact that people were walking around our yard and trying to break into our storage containers when we were asleep.

It happened to us twice before we realized it was something that wasn’t going to stop simply because we had extra lighting or a big dog. That meant we had to overcome a huge problem. Because of where everything was located here, we needed cameras without wires or plugins; something that would connect to our Wi-Fi and that would alert us if someone was out there.

It turns out, those cameras were easy to find. Netgear Arlo wireless web cameras covered all the bases, and from the moment we connected them to our storage container and outside our house, I felt like I could sleep at night again knowing that if someone was trying to steal something or break in, I’d know in an instant.

I’ve used Arlo for a year and have been extremely happy with these cameras, so when I heard Netgear was releasing a new version of Arlo with updated features, I was lining up for these new cameras. The new Arlo Pro HD cameras cover every issue I’ve had with Arlo and then some, and after using them for two weeks I know I have to add these cameras to my security setup.

Here’s my Arlo Pro wireless camera review.

arlo-pro-wi-fi-camera-reviewFeatures of Arlo Pro cameras

    • Completely wire-free, so you don’t have any cords or cables to connect to
    • HD resolution configurable up to 1280 x 720, 720p with 130 degree field of view
    • Connects to your Wi-Fi from 300 feet away
    • 8 x digital zoom so you can zoom in on something you’d like a better look at
    • Arlo’s cloud saves 7 days of clips you can view and review
    • Weather proof and water proof
    • Night vision shows you 25 feet in front of the camera
    • Two way audio so you can listen in and talk if someone is there
    • Includes 100+ decibel siren that’s also the base unit, so you can control the siren and scare off intruders via the app
    • Motion and sound alerts via the Arlo app
    • Rechargeable batteries included and they last up to six months with regular use
    • Easy set up and install

 

arlo-wi-fi-camera-reviewInstalling Arlo Pro wire-free cameras

Because I was already familiar with how Arlo security cameras work I was able to set them up in under 10 minutes. Even if you have never had Arlo cameras, the set up process is very easy.

Arlo Pro and the original Arlo cameras look almost exactly the same, but the main difference is the rechargeable battery packs that come with the Arlo Pro cameras. This is a great feature because it saves you from having to rush out and buy new batteries when they run dry, and I’ve found the battery life on both types of Arlo cameras to be fairly long lasting as long as you don’t have sound and motion triggering your camera to record all day long. Although I only used Arlo Pro for two weeks, the documentation states that the batteries will last for six months with normal use.
To install the rechargeable battery pack you just pop open the back door of the Arlo Pro and put the battery in. They come pre-charged, so you don’t have to plug them in to use them. When you do need to charge there’s an included cable and plug you can use.

Before you install your cameras where you’d like them you need to set up the base station. The base station on the Arlo Pro cameras is a small cube that plugs into your router, and this is where the 100 decibel siren is located. You use an Ethernet cable to plug in the base station, and sync your Arlo cameras one by one until they are connected. It’s a very easy process, and I had my cameras synced on my app and ready to go within 5 minutes.

Once your cameras are synced and you can see the live feed on your Arlo app, you’re ready to install the cameras. That part is easy too: just take the magnetic base, drill one of the included screws into wherever you’d like to put your Arlo, and mount the camera. For the purposes of testing the Arlo Pro I installed a camera over my back door so I had a clear view of my driveway and one out in my back field.

I choose my back field as a place for install for a few reasons: to detect wild life coming onto the property because we have a pretty nasty coyote problem, and to keep an eye on that large, open space in case anyone was out walking there at night or during the day. It’s happened before, so I have loved having eyes on the back end of our house.

arlo-pro-camera-review-pictureTesting Arlo Pro Wi-Fi cameras

The camera feed from the Arlo Pro is perfectly clear at 720p, and you can adjust your video settings for better video or better battery life. The night vision works really well too, and the night range is definitely better than the original Arlo cameras in that you can see a wider swath of the area you’re focused on.

There were two main things I wanted to check during my test of the Arlo Pro Wi-Fi cameras: sound and siren. As we have one of our Arlo cameras about 300 feet away on a storage container and others on our house, my main issue with Arlo was what I’d do if I actually spotted someone. It’s great to watch a live feed, but what do you do if you need to deter a potential thief and you’re not at home?

I’m happy to report that the Arlo Pro Wi-Fi cameras have taken care of this concern. The two-way audio lets you hear and talk to whomever could be out there, and as you can see in my video review, the audio is very clear both ways.

arlo-pro-camera-siren

The siren is a great addition if your cameras are near your router, and it made perfect sense having it where it is for that specific reason. To use it you have to tap a button on the Arlo app, so if you see someone all you have to do is login, view the video, and hit the siren.

If your camera is far away from your router, as ours is in one case, I’m not entirely sure having the siren would be all that beneficial. Take a look at my video to see my test of the siren. You’ll hear it very faintly because I was outside the house, but it’s so shrill when near it that I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s ears by recording it.

If I was someone sneaking around the house and I heard that siren, however faint, I’d probably leave pretty quickly. If you actually spot someone on your video feed, my opinion would be that you’d be better off using the two-way audio to let whomever is there know you were watching.

Overall thoughts on the Arlo Pro wireless cameras

I was a big fan of Arlo before I tried out Arlo Pro, and now I’m ready to line my yard with these amazing new cameras. I feel like they’ve covered all of the bases with the two-way audio and siren, and I’m even more comfortable with my security now that I have them in my yard.

The new Arlo Pro cameras don’t render my original Arlo cameras obsolete either. All I have to do is have one or two extra Arlo Pro cameras and I can use the siren with my existing camera while enjoying the two-way audio on the Arlo Pro.

If you’re interested in home security cameras to help you have eyes and ears on your home and property, I can’t recommend Arlo cameras enough. Find them on bestbuy.ca right now.

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Editor Appliances and Lifestyle
I'm a Vancouver freelancer, tech enthusiast, and one of the biggest home appliance fans you'll ever meet. When I'm not wearing through keyboards writing for Best Buy, The Globe & Mail, and The Vancouver Province, you'll find me on my farm with my llamas, chickens, and ducks. Visit my website Survivemag

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