Arlo Security Cameras Review

Updated by Alexia on

Arlo's wireless security cameras pack a big punch under any conditions—indoors or outside and day or night.

Arlo was one of the first companies to release battery-powered security cameras way back in 2014, and its years of experience show in its latest products. We think that Arlo's wireless security cameras are a great choice, whether you want to keep an eye on package deliveries, check in with your pet, or welcome the kids home after school.

This is good news for a brand that tends to be otherwise too pricey for most folks (but getting more affordable). Arlo backs up the cost with beautiful hardware that's easy to use and install. And it has some of the best video quality among security cameras.

pro Pros con Cons
pro Attractive equipment
pro Easy to install indoors and out
pro Tons of battery-powered options
pro Cloud and local video storage options
pro Many affordable options
con 4K models are pricey
con Required base station for some models
con No one-pack starter kit for Arlo Ultra 2

Arlo security cameras in this review

  1. Arlo Pro 4: Best overall
  2. Arlo Essential Wired: Best video doorbell
  3. Arlo Essential Spotlight XL: Best value
  4. Arlo Ultra 2: Best video quality
  5. Arlo Essential Indoor: Best indoor camera

Compare Arlo cameras

Camera Best for Price Cloud video storage Video resolution Field of view Weatherproofing Learn more

Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Pro 4

Best overall $199.99 Starts at $2.99/mo. 1440p (2K) 160º Icon Yes  Light Yes View

Arlo Essential Wired

Arlo Essential Wired

Best video doorbell $149.99 Starts at $2.99/mo. 1536p (square) 180º Icon Yes  Light Yes View

Arlo Essential Spotlight XL

Arlo Essential Spotlight XL

Best value $148.68 Starts at $2.99/mo. 1536p (square) 180º Icon Yes  Light Yes View
Arlo Ultra 2 Arlo Ultra 2 Best video quality $580.64 (2-pack) Starts at $2.99/mo. 2160p (4K) 180º Icon Yes  Light Yes View
Arlo Essential Indoor Arlo Essential Indoor Best indoor camera $99.99 Starts at $2.99/mo. 1080p 130º Icon No Light No View
Packages price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.


What to expect with Arlo security cameras

Arlo's core features

While there are slight variations in the execution of Arlo's core features, every Arlo camera can do these things:

  • The Arlo app allows you to access and control your cameras using your smartphone.
  • Night vision uses infrared light so your Arlo cameras can see and record in the dark. Models like the Arlo Essential Spotlight, Arlo Pro 4, and Arlo Ultra 2 also have a bright LED light for color video at night.
  • Motion detection allows Arlo cameras to save battery power by recording only when there's motion in front of the camera.
  • Two-way audio allows you to speak with people near the camera, which is perfect for checking on the kids during your lunch break.

Arlo camera similarities

Wire-free installation

Battery-powered cameras are the rule at Arlo, not the exception. This means that the majority of Arlo wireless cameras have a battery that lasts up to six months between charges—the Arlo Essential Spotlight XL lasts up to 12 months. Only the Arlo Essential Indoor and Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired require a power cable.

By using a battery, there are practically endless places you can install an Arlo security camera outside your home, like fences, trees, and sheds. We also like that the mounting hardware for Arlo cameras is easy to install, so you don't need to spend more than a few minutes positioning your security camera.


All of Arlo's wire-free cameras are weatherproof. You can install them anywhere indoors and outdoors.

Arlo Secure plans

You can view live video in the Arlo app anytime without a subscription, but Arlo gives you extra features and higher-quality video storage with its paid Arlo Secure plans. Here's a quick overview:


Plan Price Number of cameras Cloud storage Basic features Icon Tooltip Interactive notifications and smart motion detection Icon Tooltip e911 emergency calls Learn more
Arlo Without a plan Without a plan $0.00 5 None Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure (Single Camera) Arlo Secure (Single Camera) $2.99/mo. 1 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure (Unlimited Cameras) Arlo Secure (Unlimited Cameras) $9.99/mo. Unlimited 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon No Light No View
Arlo Secure Plus Arlo Secure Plus $14.99/mo. Unlimited 30 days Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes Icon Yes  Light Yes View


Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.


A fascinating feature in Arlo Secure Plus is the emergency response service. This clears a path for a quick police response to your home instead of your smartphone location during an emergency. It's not a substitute for professional security monitoring but can streamline 911 calls.


Arlo smart home compatibility 

Arlo boasts top-tier smart home compatibility with the best smart home platforms:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant†
  • If This Then That (IFTTT) 

Some Arlo cameras also work with Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomeKit.


Arlo camera differences

Video resolution

As Arlo cameras increase in price, they gain higher video resolution—while the core features such as wire-free installation and color night vision remain mostly the same. This is different from competitors like Ring and Google Nest, which tend to standardize resolution across cameras, regardless of cost.

By offering plenty of video resolutions, Arlo can cater to specific customer tastes. For example, a techie might buy an Arlo Ultra 2 for access to stunning 4K video. But a new parent can save a little cash by opting for the lower resolution of an Arlo Essential in nurseries and playrooms.


Power sources

While most Arlo cameras use a battery for wire-free operation, some models also use an optional solar panel or power cable to supplement the battery. Two Arlo cameras don't use batteries at all: Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell and Arlo Essential Indoor.


Arlo security camera reviews


1. Arlo Pro 4: Best overall

Best overall
  • Arlo Pro 4
    Arlo Pro 4
  • SecureScore™: 9.2 / 10
  • pro 1440p video (2K)
    pro Wide field of view
    con Short battery life
View Packages

While the battery life on the Pro 4 can last up to six months, we think the Arlo Essential XL is a better wireless camera with a bigger battery and a lower price. Overall, we think the Arlo Pro 4 is perfect for folks who want a happy medium between average and overkill.

Check out our full Arlo Pro 4 review to learn more.


2. Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell: Best video doorbell

Best video doorbell
View Packages

The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell has the fewest placement options of any Arlo security camera, but it's one of our favorite smart doorbells because it comes with a wide field of view and a quick reply feature that helps you chat up visitors more easily. It also doesn't require a base station unless you want local storage.

It's not as affordable as the Ring Video Doorbell or as advanced as the Nest Doorbell. But it still manages to fill a niche between its two biggest competitors by offering e911 emergency calls and video with a square aspect ratio.

Check out our full Arlo doorbell review to learn more about the Arlo Video Doorbell.


3. Arlo Essential Spotlight XL: Best value

Best value
View Packages

The Arlo Essential Spotlight XL is our new favorite camera from Arlo because it's a battery behemoth that lasts up to 12 months on a charge. Few wireless cameras match to this kind of performance—and the ones that do, like the Blink Outdoor, record short video clips instead of capturing an entire event.

This camera is also one of Arlo's most affordable, at around $150, since the camera doesn't require a base station, which adds a lot to the overall price of Arlo's high-end cameras like the Ultra 2 and the Pro 3.

Arlo Essential Spotlight XL isn’t as affordable as the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery or Wyze Cam Outdoor. Still, it comes with everything we love about Arlo cameras like a spotlight for color video at night, easy mounting on practically any surface, and Arlo's outstanding support for smart home devices.

The Essential XL doesn't have any wired power options to enable continuous video recording, but we think the trade-off of a bigger battery is worth it—though the big battery makes for a big camera.


4. Arlo Ultra 2: Best video quality

Best video quality
  • Arlo Ultra 2
    Arlo Ultra 2
  • SecureScore™: 9.1 / 10
  • pro 2160p video (4K)
    pro Ultra-wide field of view
    con Expensive
View Packages

The Arlo Ultra 2 is the best 4K Ultra HD security camera on the market. It's the only completely wireless camera that records 4K video that we've come across so far. This gives it an edge over competitors because it's just as easy to install as Arlo's other battery-powered security cameras.

We're also big fans of its ultra-wide 180º field of view which pairs perfectly with the 2160p video resolution to capture more detail. This means you can zoom in on the video to identify intruders or spot discrepancies without the image getting too pixelated. Arlo also uses some clever programming to remove fisheye distortions caused by the 180º lens.

The biggest disadvantage of Arlo Ultra 2 is its price. Because this camera requires a base station, you need to already own a compatible Arlo Smart Hub or buy a kit that includes the base station. Sadly, the base station only comes in a kit with a two-pack of cameras instead of a single camera.


5. Arlo Essential Indoor: Best best indoor camera

Best indoor camera
View Packages

The Arlo Essential Indoor lacks the wireless portability of the company's best cameras but outperforms them in one key area: privacy. The Arlo Essential Indoor has a privacy shield that slides closed to block the camera lens when you don't need it.

We also like this camera because it's very affordable, you don't need a base station, and you don't need to charge a battery. Unfortunately, it doesn't have local storage without a pricey base station, making it almost wholly reliant on an internet connection and cloud storage to work properly.

This camera is a long overdue update to the Arlo Q, which released in 2015. It's a bummer to lose free cloud storage, but the privacy shield makes the Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera a worthy sucessor.


Other Arlo cameras we considered

Arlo camera Price* Video resolution Field of view Weatherproofing Learn more
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight $249.99 1440p (2K) 160º Icon Yes  Light Yes View
Arlo Essential Wireless Arlo Essential Wireless $199.99 1536p (square) 180º Icon Yes  Light Yes View
Packages price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.


  • Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight: This stand-alone camera is much less discreet than the Arlo Pro 4 because it sports a super bright LED floodlight that's perfect for outdoor locations.
  • Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell: We like the battery on this unit because it gives you more installation flexibility without ant wiring. The $50 price premium is a bit much considering Ring's cheapest battery-powered option costs just $100.



Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

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