ARLO Security System Review

Published on April 25, 2023 at 10:35 am by LEW


I have been remiss in reviewing my ARLO system. The version I have  has been in place for many years, and has gone through several updates and upgrades. I can say with some authority that the ARLO Security System has some good capabilities. But I can also say that ARLO has its share of problems, price being one of them.

Just to be clear, I self installed my ARLO PRO system, and over the years (almost ten years now)  have used a small variety of components. Currently I have a combination of ARLO PRO and ARLO PRO 2 cameras which do their job. However I have removed ARLO Security Lights, Audio Door Bell, and Chime from the system.

I will be also be covering both the ARLO app (which can be a little quirky) and the ARLO web interface. Remote connectivity is one of the reasons you want a security system, so it is worth reviewing the available options.

Arlo Technologies Inc.

Arlo is a vendor of Do it Yourself (DIY) wireless home Security camera systems. Arlo started life as a subsidiary of NetGear in 2014. In 2018, it became Arlo Technologies Inc, an independent company. As of this writing, Arlo is a vender,  outsources all its manufacturing to Foxconn and Pegatron.

Arlo Wireless Network Overview

Arlo is advertised as being wireless (wifi), and it is. However, I have found many are somewhat confused as to what that means. Using this simplified diagram we will work through what it does mean, and what its limitations are.

ARLO Network

The basic home network in our example consists of a Modem, Router, Switch, and Wireless Access point. The routers wireless network is represented by the teal box around the components.

The Arlo base station (or smart hub) is hard wired to one of the Switch ports. The Arlo wifi network, represented by the red box, consists of a base station and a variety of wireless remote components.

Here is the important point to remember. Even though the Arlo Wireless network may operates in the same band space as your home wireless network, they are two separate networks and do not talk to each other. What this means is that even if you have WiFi in an area with an Arlo camera it will not attach to your home WiFi. It can only attache to the Arlo Base Station WiFi. So as of this writing, the only way to extend the range of the Arlo wifi network is to install a second base station in a different location, but still hardwired to the Switch.

Arlo Camera

The Arlo Pro 1 and 2 cameras have similar functionality for how I am using them. The pro 2 has a higher resolution (720p vs 1080p), but both models take very usable images. They have night mode, adjustable and two way audio.

Range Between Camera and Base Station

Arlo advertises a wifi range of range of 300 feet (91 meters). This is also under ideal circumstances. For example if we put a base station at one end of a football field and a camera at the other end with no obstructions between them, then in theory they should connect and work. Any obstructions (walls, floors, furniture) will reduce the range. When planning, I would assume a range of no more than 150 feet between components and the base station for reliable signal strength.

I am using two base stations because of the placement and distance between cameras. It is not hard to set up a second base station.

Battery Life

Arlo Pro advertises a camera battery life of six month under normal usage, before needing recharge. After using a system for several years, I find that I am currently getting around four to six weeks of life from my camera batteries under normal usage. Lithium batteries do not last forever, and mine are a few years old. But even when they were new, I was getting about half the advertised life. The cameras normally run in standby and are triggered by motion. The more they run the more the drain the battery.

For me normal usage is the caretaker coming around in the morning and evening. When I am living there, the batteries usually last about two to four weeks. Again I am using a combination of Pro and Pro 2 cameras.

Security Lights

I don’t currently use the ARLO security lights. I did use them initially during construction. The lights are useful when no other alternatives are available.

I had the lights programed to work at night only and paired with cameras. They are reasonably bright (400 lumens) and the color can be programed if desired. They are most useful for turning on when they detect motion, which acts as more of a deterrent than the actual illuminated area.

But now there are enough powered lights installed outside, so they are no longer needed outside. I used them inside on the stairwell to work when someone approached, but not paired with cameras. But installation of led lights made that unneeded there also.

Audio Doorbell and Chime

The doorbell and chime worked, albeit with a good deal of delay. To be fair, some of this was due tom the internet provider I was using at the time (when I have the chance I will test with my current internet provider). The big issue was the audio delay, which could be several seconds and make conversation through the device very difficult. Generally speaking most of the Arlo interactive functionality have a one to three second delay.

ARLO Application/Web Interface

Both the web application and the Android/IPhone apps are fairly intuitive. Setup has some specific steps, so it is best to read documentation before setting the apps up. But basically you connect to your base stations, then though them to your cameras.

One thing I have noticed about the IPhone app, if you change your iphone, you will have to completely delete your account using the web interface,and recreate it, or you will not be able to log in. This is an issue which Arlo has, to date, failed to address.

Other Observations

One good thing about ARLO, it can be used behind CGNAT, and still works.

While I am generally pleased with the performance of my ARLO system, I do thing they are overpriced, both in hardware and server usage. In many cases you can get third party products (battery, charger, USB cable) that are much cheaper than ARLO brand counterparts, and work just as good.

I am using the free plan that came with my ARLO Pro system, which limits me to five cameras, and a weeks worth of storage.  If I had to use their paid plans, I would probably look elsewhere.


While I am satisfied with ARLO performance, there is definite room for improvement, especially in the interactive side of their software. At some point in the future I will be redesigning my security system (I have a CCTV system in addition to ARLO). Home security has come a long way, and one is willing to do a little work and learn some technical skills, you can get equivalent functionality at a much better price. If you want plug and play, ARLO might work for you.

When I redesign my system, ARLO is a possibility, but I will have to look at their pricing.


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