Arlo Security System - 2 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision (VMS3230)

Arlo Security System - 2 Wire-Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision (VMS3230)
From NETGEAR


8 new or used available from $285.00

Average customer review:
(4.5 stars, based on 11608 reviews)

Product Details

  • Color: White
  • Brand: NETGEAR
  • Model: VMS3230-100NAS
  • Released on: 2015-01-01
  • Format: CD-ROM
  • Dimensions: 4.77" h x 11.62" w x 9.26" l, 3.37 pounds
  • Battery type: Lithium Manganese Dioxide

Features

  • Works with Amazon Alexa/Echo Show/(Fire TV coming soon!) - View your live video with a simple voice command.
  • See in stunning clarity and sharper details with HD cameras and watch live streamed or recorded videos from your computer, smartphone or tablet using Arlo's free App
  • Patented 100% wire-free design and magnetic mounts let you discreetly place cameras where you want and monitor your home from every possible angle
  • Night vision cameras with HD clarity even in the dark
  • Motion activated cameras and customizable activity alerts provide real-time email or app notifications while home or away
  • Indoor/Outdoor weatherproof cameras install easily for DIY security so you can even monitor the exterior of your home

Arlo Smart Home Security Cameras are the world’s ONLY 100% wire-free, HD, Indoor/Outdoor video cameras for home monitoring. Motion activated cameras initiate automatic recording and alert you via email or app notifications. Free apps enable remote monitoring from anywhere and with the built-in night vision you’ll even see in the dark.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1793 of 1887 people found the following review helpful.
4How is Arlo compared to Dropcam???... Read here for a Non-Biased review from an actual owner of both.
By Amazon Customer
#### UPDATE #### UPDATE ####
#### UPDATE #### UPDATE ####

It has been a little over a week now and I wanted to take a moment to update you about my Arlo system.

I did absolutely forget to mention one more important aspect of the Dropcam, which is AUDIO. The dropcam offers very accurate and sensitive sound detection. You can customize the sensitivity and even hear the faintest sound. This means the dropcam can also be set to record audio constantly, or begin to record once sound is detected. The dropcam also features a basic low quality output speaker, which you can talk through using the Dropcam app on your mobile phone. I actually tested the feature and spoke with my wife who was at home, while I was overseas on a business trip using wifi and my mobile app. It works very similar to a walkie talkie. It does not work like a normal phone conversation, instead, only one person can speak at a time, like a 2 way radio with a delay. This feature may only be useful for monitoring a pet "OFF the Counter!!", lol or maybe reminding your child "Do your homework!". The Arlo does not have audio, but I knew this going in, so it is of no consequence to the Arlo system's score. I simply did not use the audio feature enough on my dropcams and forgot to mention audio in my original review. It's a great feature, but for my purposes, audio is not a priority.

Regarding the battery life, I have good and bad news. The bad news is the outdoor camera battery, only lasted around 6 days after installing a fresh set of batteries. The low battery warning appeared around the end of the 5th day, and the camera was dead by the 6th. I think this may be an issue due to the infrared sensors or maybe temperature? (its pretty chilly in the evenings ~38-40F). Again, I'm not an engineer so I have no clue what is causing this issue. For those like me who are price conscious, I am now on my third set of CR123A batteries. Again, the cost of the batteries could be justified somewhat due to the fact that the Arlo works well being FREE, you do not need to pay a monthly fee for cloud recording like dropcam.

Remember, battery life varies greatly for everyone on something like security cams. Just because I am getting 6 days of use does "Not" mean "you" will get the same. You have to take into consideration, settings, environment, ambient light, temperature, and many other various options. So please don't say "well I only got 2 days" or I got 2 months of use". Everyone's mileage will differ. This is why I cannot change the rating of my review.

Regarding reliability, I had to restart the app on my phone a few times. The app would freeze and become non-responsive. Rebooting my phone or restarting the app solved the problem every time. A very minor annoyance, and has only happened about 3-4 times. I have had no issues with the cameras operating as of yet. I am sure as the software is upgraded and improved, the issue with the app will be sorted out.

Besides the short battery life, I have nothing else to report. I have another week to decide if I will keep the Arlo system or return to my old dropcams and deal with the annoyances of wires. As of right now, I am leaning towards keeping the Arlo system as I really enjoy having the camera outside on my porch. It makes me feel safe to know that potential thieves/criminals would be recorded and stored in the Arlo servers "cloud". With dropcam, they can only be mounted inside the house, near a power outlet.

If anything else changes, I'll certainly report back with an update. Best Wishes!"

#### END UPDATE #### END UPDATE ####
#### END UPDATE #### END UPDATE ####

[[[[[ORIGINAL REVIEW]]]]]]

I have used Dropcams (2 were in constant use) in my home for over 6 months prior to purchasing the Arlo system. The dropcams have served me very well, but they also have limitations which I will explain throughout this review.

Let's start with the setup. The Arlo system did honestly take me longer to decide where to put them, compared to the time it took me to set up. 5 minutes using an iPhone app, checking a few options, and done! The dropcams, were also similar in ease to set up. I consider this a tie between Arlo and dropcam.

The video quality on the "balanced (middle)" Arlo setting, is about the same as the Non-HD setting on a Dropcam. (my dropcam only has the option of HD or non-HD) This resolution is fine for my use of home monitoring, without killing your internet bandwidth.. (don't forget to take this into consideration). (wifi video monitoring and streaming uses a lot of data, so make sure your home internet provider doesn't have a cap on your data usage).

The greatest advantage to the Arlo system compared to the Dropcam system is:

1. Wire free, no cables whatsoever attaches to the camera. This is the very reason I eagerly purchased this system! I hated having to compromise with the placement of Dropcams because of the power outlet requirement. With Arlo, you can easily get creative in the ways to mount the wireless cameras, which is a huge plus. Dropcams can be easily "unplugged" by anyone. If the Arlo is mounted on a ceiling or high up, this would make it much harder to disable.

2. Arlo provides SEVEN days of FREE cloud storage of your video stream! Dropcam charges $10/month! or $99/year for 7 days of storage for the 1st camera!! (more for additional cameras!!) For 30 days of recording, it costs even more! If you don't know, this is where they will store the video in their servers for 7 days, so you can access the videos online or on your phone app, and save them onto your computer. In case you need to share the video with police, friends, etc.

3. The Arlo system is also weatherproof. But only time will reveal how it stands up to humidity, moisture, condensation, dust, sand, HEAT (im in Texas)! Until this is an issue, it is a clear advantage compared to dropcam. Dropcams are only for indoors! You cannot mount them outside as they are not weatherproof and require a power outlet.

The Arlo system truly shines because of those three reasons, especially when compared to DropCam!

I love the magnetic mounting, I have one pointed straight down the largest portion of my living area/kitchen to monitor my beloved dog when I am out. The other is pointed outside in my patio so I can record deliveries, solicitors, potential burglars, etc.

The DropCam system is greatly disadvantaged because it must have a power source nearby to plug in. That forces you to live with long or short, exposed cable, or breaking sheetrock and repairing the walls to hide the cables. This really limits the placement of dropcams.

Now here are 2 Advantages of the DropCam system (again, I am being fair and non-biased).

1. Rock solid stability. In the 6 months I've used both dropcams on my wifi system. I have NEVER had a single problem. I can view livestream, recordings, get notifications, change settings, etc all on my phone in an instant. I understand the Arlo system can do the same, but only time will tell if the Arlo system is as solid and reliable as DC. (this does not influence my rating, because the Arlo system has worked fine (surprisingly)...so far)

2. The field of view on the Dropcam is superior to Arlo's very very wide view. I find the dropcam view a much better compromise of size and wideness. (People are larger in size, everything seems more normal, and not "fisheye'y on my dropcams)
(I take away half a star on the Arlo system because of this) The Field of view on the Dropcam really is better. The Arlo view makes everything look small and the slightly rounded fisheye effect is not desirable for my needs. Is this an absolute deal-breaker? no. But the next topic may be...

For my final topic of discussion, it will be about battery life.
I have used my Arlo system for 2 days now, I purchased at a local electronics store in Houston called, Fry's)
My indoor camera in the living room/kitchen is still running on the first original fresh set of batteries. whew.
The outdoor camera however is now on the 2nd set. Like the other reviewer, within 10-12 hours, low battery warning was showing. This is not good. Either there is something wrong with the IR sensor for night vision, or maybe the temperature is affecting the battery life? Im not sure, I'm not a electronics guru or anything. But I replaced the battery and things are looking good "so far", but it hasn't been long. This really concerns me as the batteries are expensive. CR123A, check it out yourself and see if you are willing to risk needing to constantly replace these batteries...even if it's every 2 weeks. These batteries are expensive!

That is where the Arlo system lost another half star.

I would rate the Arlo 4 stars for its excellent design, ease of use/setup, quality, price, weatherproof feature, and most importantly No Wires and FREE!!! cloud recording.

My biggest complaints are the field of view, and the potentially unacceptable battery life... (I will try to update in a week or so)

Yes, you can argue that the battery costs, are offset by the free cloud recording.. but do you want to risk being on vacation and the battery dies and renders the camera useless?

I hope this review helps. Please know that I am not affiliated with either company. I used my dropcams for 6 months and I am merely offering a non-biased comparison explaining each systems own pro's and con's. The deciding factors between the two, DEPENDS on if You must have wireless, want free cloud recording, and if you're willing to spend $$$ on CR123A batteries. Or a combination of those factors.

The Arlo is a great product, I really hope the battery issues are sorted out. I will try the Arlo system for 3 more weeks and decide if I will keep it or return it before the 30 day return period ends. I will update in a week or so.

Best wishes to you all.

184 of 195 people found the following review helpful.
4Thank you, Arlo.
By Al Parramore
I bought this exact set up because in 12/2015 I had the tops on my two convertibles sliced and things taken from the cars. My cars sit close enough to my home that I can place a camera on the dash of the car and it will record if anyone enters my car. I live on the edge of a good area and we get people that are not so good coming into the area at night to steal. I have now recorded 2 different break ins to my car. The latest one was last night. Argo woke me, I called 911, and the two men were arrested yards from my home. The police are armed with a video of the crime! Thank You Arlo.

1175 of 1251 people found the following review helpful.
5Initial impressions after 1 day
By Ivan
I was very excited to receive my 2 camera Arlo system when it finally was released. Previously I've had a four camera wired system with DVR and a two camera Logitech Alert system. We just bought a new house and I didn't want to run camera wires in the attic and I was never really happy with the Logitech system which has now been discontinued.

Setup

I had the system up and running in five minutes. Super easy, you simply connect the base station to your router using the supplied cat5e cable. I had a shorter cat6 cable so I actually used this instead. After it is plugged into the router you go to the Arlo website and create your account. The final step was to put batteries into the cameras and pair them to the base station. Both cameras were paired almost instantly! Compared to running camera wires or dealing with powerline networking (Alert) this was a breeze.

Cameras

Nice looking little cameras and they have a bit of weight to them. They aren't heavy by any means but feel like quality little units. They can sit on any flat surface or you may use the supplied magnetic mounts to install on a wall. They also have a tripod type adapter on the bottom which may open up some additional mounting possibilities.

Video quality

There are three options for video quality:

High quality (reduced battery life)
Balanced (compromise of image & battery life)
Best life (reduced image quality)

I used the suggested balance mode and found the image quality to be comparable to my old non-HD wired system and a bit lower in quality than my old Alert cameras. I changed the mode to high quality and the image improved to be comparable to the Alert cameras. For my purposes the balanced mode is fine. I've attached some pictures of my patio to compare the two.

Night vision

The cameras automatically switch to night vision mode when it gets dark. I found the image to be clear and sharp. I attached an image of my garage so you can see the clarity. This was taken during the day with only a small amount of light coming in through the door to the garage.

Website

The website is easy to navigate but there are not as many options available as my Logitech Alert site had. You may schedule when your cameras will record on motion or just have them record on motion at all times or never at all. There are some rules and modes that you may create but I haven't explored those options yet. One missing feature seems to be being able to define the motion detection zone for each camera. You can adjust the image itself using pan & zoom controls (which may in itself adjust the detection zone) but with my old Alert cameras I could zoom the image all the way out but set specific areas that would trigger recording. You can setup the cameras to email specific addresses when they detect motion. In testing these seem to be sent within 10-30 seconds after movement occurs, pretty good in my opinion! The email contains a snapshot from the camera and you can click a link to play it without having to log into the Arlo site. This is much improved over the Alert emails that I used to receive.

Website compatibility

I used the site successfully on my Windows 8.1 PC, a Windows 8.1 tablet & a Windows RT tablet. My biggest complaint with the website is that when accessing from my Windows 8.1 phone it defaults to a mobile page directing you to download the IOS or Android app. Of course neither of these works with a Windows phone so you are out of luck if you were hoping to monitor your cameras from a Windows phone. To be fair, I already knew there was no Windows phone app when I bought the system but I hoped there would be a mobile optimized site that would work with my phone. When will manufacturers stop ignoring Windows phone users? Fortunately the email that is sent when motion is detected does allow (even on a Windows phone) you to play the video that was captured. So from a Windows phone you can play videos after they are triggered (when they are emailed to you) but you cannot stream your cameras in real time.

Video playback (from website)

You may view your videos from the website and they are categorized by the date and time they were recorded. It's easy to delete both single videos and multiple videos at once. You may also choose to download a video, share it and mark favorites. I have not tested these three functions yet though.

Live streaming (from website)

The site basically gives you static images of each camera's view with a play button. Once you click the play button it connects to the cameras and within a few seconds live playback occurs. This is comparable to what I experienced with my Alert cameras and being 100% wireless totally acceptable to me. When you are live streaming you can adjust the image to play in small windows, a medium sized window or full screen. You may also take a snapshot of the image as well using a camera button.

Apps

As I have recently decided to move to a 100% Microsoft (PCs, tablets & phones) environment I have not tested the Android and IOS apps so I cannot speak to their functionality. I hope that Netgear decides to release a Windows phone app so I have live streaming functionality from my phone someday. I'm sure all of you Android & IOS folks are well supported though!

Subscriptions

The free subscription enables you to manage up to five cameras. There are different subscription levels that provide more cloud-based storage and the ability to manage more cameras. I have not explored these as I only need five cameras.

Overall impression

I've had my system up and running for about 16 hours and haven't experienced any dropped cameras. The ease of setup and excellent video quality (for a completely wireless system) have left me impressed. The biggest disappointment is the lack of support for Windows phone but I'm definitely in the minority with that concern. I would like to see Windows phone support (either an app or a mobile optimized site) and the ability to specify detection zones. I want to expand my system to five cameras but the add on cameras are not available until the end of the month. Even with the few disappointments I'm giving it five stars because it is the best that I've used to date.

Anyway, this is the first review that I've ever posted on Amazon so I hope you find it helpful! I'll update if I have any issues, challenges with more than two cameras or discover any new features!

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