Home security is growing in the IoT space. You want to keep tabs on your home when you are away, then have anything bad get recorded for police, insurance, and maybe that occasional viral video.
The Arlo Security Camera system from Netgear can help. Let’s go over the Pros and Cons, then I’ll give a more in-depth review after. This is a review of the Arlo Security 2 portable camera system with Arlo Q Plus indoor camera.
PROs – Arlo Camera System
The 2 camera side of this system is portable and weatherproof. The cameras can be set anywhere you choose indoors and out. With an additional magnetic base or ability to place on a tripod mount, you can get video from anywhere and have it sent back to the base-station via WiFi.
Once joined to the base station, these cameras record only when motion is detected. The video is instantly pushed to the base, then sent to a cloud storage device where you have 7 days to review and retrieve the video.
With a 130 degree viewing angle and night shot, you can get a good view of what’s getting recorded. You can record in HD video, up to 1080p 30 fps.
The portable camera, even in higher-traffic areas, will go months before a battery replacement is needed.
The additional Arlo Q camera allows for an overall view of your home indoors. You can plug into a wall or USB device for power. This camera also adds two way audio so you can hear what’s going on, and talk to your loved ones as well.
As most IoT security systems, you can control video and settings all through your iOS or Android device. You can also call up the app via the website to view, take a photo, change settings, get email or text alerts if a camera is activated, add devices, and more.
The Arlo Q also can be upgraded to CVR status – Continuous Video Recording.
CONs – Arlo Camera System
Although you can affix the camera with a mount, there is really no security lock system on it. A thief can turn, or unscrew and take the camera without effort.
NEUTRAL – Arlo Camera System
The batteries on the portables are the branded “CR123a” series. 3 Volt batteries meant for digital cameras. It takes 4 batteries to run each unit. Most stores sell this battery in limited quantities for higher prices. You can go on Amazon and get multi-packs for more reasonable prices or get rechargable CR123a versions. Nonetheless, someone with knowledge of this system could easily remove the batteries from the portable if placed in certain outdoor situations.
Taking a photo or video is an option, but keep in mind if you are doing it from computer or smartphone, the latency might miss the event you are looking to photograph or record.
I have been keeping my home secure for a couple months now with the Arlo Security system. The portable cameras and stationary Arlo Q with event recording and cloud storage at Netgear for 7 days.
In the last couple months I had a few events happen. What is really nice is the ability to move the cameras to where I need them. For example, the neighbors were having some trees removed. The workers were using my driveway because of this. I was able to place an Arlo portable outside to overlook the process and to video any events that could have affected me – such as a tree falling on my car or house.
The portables are also nice because I can set them almost anywhere without the mounts to monitor a view. They are weatherproof and have multiple options for how to record.
If you don’t like the white case, you can get silicone skins for your portables to not only change the look, but also protect the cameras even more. No “hood” though, so if you want to keep the lens from getting rained on, you’ll have to either put it under some cover or make your own hood.
The magnetic base is surprisingly strong. I am still a little concerned an event could knock the camera to the ground. That is why I recommend getting an adhesive cable clip for additional protection.
The website and app are both easy to use. All settings at your fingertips, and the iOS app is fingerprint logon ready so you don’t have to remember that long password.
This is a product I highly recommend if you need a more portable security system. The setup is easy and the 7 day cloud option allows me to get events even if I didn’t know they happened.
Keep in mind you should place the cameras in areas where you can get to for battery changes. With the additional Arlo Q indoor camera, you have an event recorder that covers when your portable units run out of battery life. The Q can also be upgraded on the Cloud for CVR functionality.