Arlo VMS3130 Indoor/Outdoor Night Vision Security System with 1 Wire-Free HD Camera
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|Netgear Arlo VMC3040 Q-1080P HD Wired Security Camera with Audio and Cloud Storage
|3 x Silicone Skins for Arlo Smart Security - 100% Wire-Free Cameras by Wasserstein (Arlo HD, Black)
|3 x Silicone Skins for Arlo Smart Security - 100% Wire-Free Cameras by Wasserstein (Arlo HD, Black/Brown/Grey)
Arlo Smart Home Security Cameras are the world’s FIRST 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 dark.
Most helpful customer reviews
602 of 614 people found the following review helpful.
Great for police
By Steven J
This is a unique review in that I don't own an Arlo system, but it truly helped me do my job... Lock up a burglar. I'm a police officer in AZ. Last week I responded to an emergency call of a burglary in progress. The call was placed by the homeowner who was on his way to work. The homeowner got an alert while driving that his motion cameras were activated. He pulled over and reviewed the video. He called the police while driving back home. He was able to give an exact description of the suspect. We arrived a few minutes later in the alley. No one was in the yard but my partner, standing on top of our patrol car's trunk, could see over the side yard wall to the street and saw a person matching the suspect description walking down the street away from the house. We contacted and detained the suspect. The homeowner had just arrived as well. He was able to show me his phone and I immediately had access to HD video showing the suspect taking items from the victim's back yard. We had solid probable cause to book the suspect into jail for burglary of a fenced residential yard. The victim was able to e-mail the video in 10 second clips in mp4 format which I burned to a CD and impounded as evidence. This system worked well for what we needed to lock up a thief. I will be buying my own system when I have the money.
1702 of 1791 people found the following review helpful.
How is Arlo compared to Dropcam???... Read here for a Non-Biased review from an actual owner of both.
By Amazon Customer
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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!"
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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.
865 of 920 people found the following review helpful.
Pretty software, lackluster functionality and critical design hardware flaw.
Honestly I hate to be frank, but really these cameras should have never been released, they have a critical design flaw and some lack-luster software support. I will elaborate, however here are my minor complaints.
1) the 2nd day my app said my base station was offline, it however had green light to cameras and internet. While i had the app open i power cycled the base unit and low and behold it all came back to life. Having a cloud only unit that does not properly reconnect to the cloud on problems is unacceptable. I have my entire network battery backed up including the Arlo base unit, power wasn't an issue. Needless to say this does not instill confidence in me as a reliable product when I need it.
2) The software while looking pretty is almost functionally useless. Only 10 seconds to 120 seconds recording option? Really why not record X seconds after motion stops. If you leave it at 10 seconds (factory setting) it's just garbage since the clips are not consecutive. IE lag, 10 seconds record (of UPS truck driving in), another maybe 10 second gap (where important stuff happens like UPS guy throws package down that you missed), 10 seconds recording (of UPS driving away). So as a user your forced to select 120 always making the other settings useless. Related note on Android you can't even scrub the video playback, you see a play button that you can toggle between playing and pausing but you can never go back in time. The only way to do it is to force refresh the chrome page. If you're going to use built in web pages to play the video make sure the actual player web pages work. I have a Google Nexus 5 so it's not like this is a custom setup.
3) Last and by far the most critical. Motion detected to camera recording lag. Wow this is bad, and I mean REAL bad. This product should have never gotten made if this is indeed a physical design problem. I have the camera over looking a large area, so lets say a person walking is like 20 feet away, they are able to walk anywhere from 1/2 the frame to 3/4 of the frame before it kicks into video mode. So basically you're forced to put the cameras so far back to give adequate boot up time for camera recording that the video quality is useless. People have reported online anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds of lag, mine was definitely over 5. The solution posted on your forums is to use 2 cameras to over lap an area and daisy chain the detection of one to start the next one. At $150 a camera that is NOT acceptable. You've gone and said, look that base station, really is a 2, maybe 3 camera max, at 300 a camera. WOW, and hopefully you have enough space to not care about the initial 5 to 20 seconds of video.
Sorry to sound harsh but I'm just amazed that this product is on the shelf at major stores and costs this much for these major holes. As soon as another company makes a weatherproof battery powered wireless camera you're going to have some serious problems.