Netgear Arlo Totally Wireless Camera Tested

By John Scanlan, Published Feb 22, 2016, 12:00am EST

Wireless cameras almost always still need a wire for power. Given that, many argue to just used wired cameras anyway.

Recently, IPVM bought and tested Blink, a new entrant offering a totally wireless camera system.

Now, we bought and tested Netgear's Arlo, a product that has been around for many years (previously under Avaak), to see if it would beat Blink. One area Blink had problems with was low light, where it flashed a jarring bright white LED anytime it needed low light video. By contrast, Arlo has integrated IR.

Arlo

We tested Blink against Arlo for:

  • App/Mobile features
  • Day time recording
  • Night time/IR performance
  • Motion Detection
  • Battery Performance
  • Storage Capabilities

Summary **********

*************, **** *** ************ serious *********** ******** ***** in *** *******. ** such, ** *********** ************ it ***** **** ** fixed. ******** **** **** resolve **** ** *** future, **** *** **** advantages (** *****, *** interface, ****** *********, ******* specified).

Key ********

**** *** * *** advantages **** ******** ** Blink:

  • ** ******* ** ***** light: **** **********, **** ******** includes illuminators ******* ** ***** light ***** ** *****. While **** *** **** to ********** *****/****** ***** (up ** **'***'), *****'* white ***** ***** **** its ******** *** ***** it ******* ** * baby *******/***** ***. **** provided ***** *** **** details ** ******* ****** at *****.
  • *** ********* ** ******** to ******:******* ******** * *** interface *** **** ** addition ** *** ****** apps. ***** *** ****** live *****, *****, *** setup **** ******. ***** offers **** ****** ****.
  • ****** *********:**** ****** ***** ** manually ****** ***** **** live ****. ***** ****** motion ********* ****, **** motion ******* ***** **** view ** ****.

*******, ***** *** *** disadvantages ** ****:

  • ********** ***** *******:****'* ***** ******* *** unreliable ****** *** *****, with ******* *****, ****** sent * ***** ***** the ***** ********, *** the ******** ********* ** view **** *****. *****, tech ******* ************ ***** issues **** ***** *** simply **** **** **** working ** ********** ****** capacity, **** ** ***.
  • ******* ********* *****:**** *********** ******** ****** up ** ******* ******* on ****, **** *** able ** ****** ****** at **' ***** ***** was **** ** ****** that, ********* ****** ** far ** **'. 
  • ****** *****: * * ****** **** is ~**% **** ********* than * * ****** Blink (~$*** ** ~$***).

*******

*** **** ******* ******* sells ***~$*** - $*** *** online*** ******** *** ****** and *** **** *******. Up ** ** ******* may ** ***** ** each **** *******. ********** ******* sell ***~$*** ****, **** ********* (** to $**/**) **** ********* in *****-*****. ** ********, *** Blink ******* *** ********** *** *** *** one ****** ***** *** $99 ******. ********** ******* (** to ** *** ***) cost $**. **** ***** *** ********* ** at ******* ****** ****** as **** ** ******** from*****.

****'* ******* **** ******* puts ** ** *** range ** ******* ******** DIY/home *******, ********* $***-***.

******** ********

*** ***** *** **** **** similar ********** **** ******** orientations:

**** ** ******* * physical ******** ** *** Arlo **** **** ****** as **** ** *** associated **** *******: 

 

Cloud ******/*******

****'* **** **** ****** up ** * *******, with 7 **** ** *******. Paid ***** ($**/$**) ***** for **** ******* (** to **) *** ** ** 60 **** ** *******.

  • ***** (****): * *******/* days
  • ******* ($*.**/**): ** *******/** days
  • ***** ($**.**/**): ** *******/** days

******** ** **** ***** providers, ***** ****** *** ******, ****'* ********* ** multiple ******* *** *** price ** **** *****. For *******, *** **** Nest *******, ***** ***** pay $**/***** *** ** days ** ******* ($** initial + $* *** each ********** ******). 

Cloud Stability ******

****** *** *****, ** frequently ******** *** ******* error: "***** *** * problem ************ * ********** to *** ***** ******."

************, ***** ***** **** testing *** **-** *******, and ******* ********* ******** motion ******, ***** **** these ***** **** *** saved ** *** *******. Even ******** ******** ***** (initiated **** *** **** view) **** ******* ** times. ****** **** ********** were **** ****, **** some ******** *** ***** after *** ***** *** already ********. 

** ********* **** ******* about ***** ****** *** they ****** **** ***** servers **** ********** *** they **** ******* ** adding ****, *** **** gave ** *** *** when **** *** **** place.

*** ********* ** **** live ***** ***** ******* turn *********** ** * production ******. ********, **** alerts *** ******* ***** make **** *********** ******* for **** ******** ********.

*******

*** **** ******** ****** claims "*-* ******" ** battery ****, ******** **** four ** ******* *********.  After * **** ** motion ********* ** *** office *** ******* ********* illustration ***** ***** **** charge. ***** ** ** way ** **** *** battery ****** ********** ******* the ****** *** *** the *** *********.

Nighttime *******

** ***** ****'* **' IR ************ ***** ** be ********. ** *** image *****, *** ****** illuminates *** **** **** of *** ****, ***** 25' **** *** ******. The *******, ** ***** 12', ** **** ******* illuminated.

*****'* ***** ***** *** illuminator ******** ***** *** same ********, **** ******** more ********** ** *** edges, ****** **** *** obvious ************ ** * white "*****" ***** *** camera ** ******.

******* ********* ** **** are ***** *** ****, with ***** ******* ** the ******* *** *** chart ******* ** *** same *****.

Detection ***********

****'* *** ****** ********* reliably ******** ******** ** about **' **** *** camera, **** ** ***** alarms ****** *** ****** of *** *******. **** is ************* ******* **** Blink, ***** ******** ******** subjects *** ** ~**' at *** ***********.

***/*** ********* ********

**** ****** * *** interface ** ******** ** mobile ****, **** **** functioning *********** *** ****. ***** may ** ************ **** viewed *** ****** *********, though **** **** ******* drain *** *******' *********.

** **** **** ***** home/DIY *********, ****** ** limited ** * **** of *****, **** ** way ** ***** * specific **** *** ****. Clips *** ** ******** to *** ****'* ****** device ** ***** ** PC ** ***** *** web *********.

** ****** *** *** interface ** **** *****:

*** ****** *** ** very ******* ** *** web ********* ********* *** look/feel *** *************. **** we ****** *** ****** app:

Comments (17)

I have Arlo at home, the battery usually last about 3~4 months, I have not been managed to get it longer than 4 months yet.

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Informative: 2
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Is your camera inside or outside and do you know what your power management setting is set to?

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inside of a baby crib, I will say motion is 25% through out the day (less than 6 hours), since baby only stay inside when he sleeps

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I have it at home too. Been fairly happy with it. My outside camera is set at the highest quality. It records about 4 to 5 minutes a day and has about 1/3 battery left after 3 months.

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Informative: 1
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Have you noticed a difference in battery life between indoors & outdoors cameras?

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Details delivered by both are about the same...

For me, color information helps a lot in identifying/describing someone, especially clothing color.

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Funny

Mine are both outside. Thry seemed to act a bit strange in really cold temps (below zero). The video was slow to upload and the notifications were slow. But as you mentioned this could be a cloud issue too and really nothing to do with the weather.

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Informative: 1
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Yes, we encountered the same delays indoors. The issues you are having most likely stem from the lack resources (media servers) that Arlo has.

Agree
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Another thing I noticed is there is a definite delay in motion detection. There is a 2 to 3 sec lag most times before the camera wakes up and starts to record video. For me it was a trade off versus the ease of installation. I had both cameras up in running in about a half hour.

Agree: 1
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Informative: 1
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I was able to trigger motion detection and, at a fast pace, avoid being recorded at ~20 ft from the camera crossing the 4 ft wide hallway shown above.

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Informative: 1
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Nothing is more frustrating than a motionless motion clip received when your not home.

This wake up delay seems to be an unavoidable consequence of finite battery power.

Average homeowner probably won't realize this is how it works til the first non-event. But then it's a confidence destroyer.

Thanks, but I'll wait for wireless power. ;)

Agree
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Unhelpful: 1
Funny

So basically you folks are saying you have the same issues IPVM points out?

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Cloud unreliable. Battery unpredictable. Motion latency unavoidable.

Netgear Arlo Totally Worthless Camera Tested

Agree: 1
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DM the Arlo burglar, see what he says.

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Tweeted the BurlglArlo:

but I don't think they are 'standing by', probably just 'standing in line', of the the unemployment type.

Hopefully they didn't quit their night job yet...

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Pretty much. I find they do the job fairly well but with some obvious trade offs. The cloud recording for me has been fairly reliable, but definitely has had down time. I've had the cameras outside for about 3 months and have had hundreds of clips and notifications work fine. With that said, anything that is crucial to record you should look elsewhere.

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OMG. That video is pretty funny. I definitely would not use them as the only security layer for my house.

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