Net­gear Arlo Pro .....................................................

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

T he Arlo Pro takes a di˜er­ent ap­proach than most. While all the other cam­eras on test con­nect di­rectly to your router, the Arlo in­cludes a base sta­tion in the pack­age. This then con­nects, via the supplied Eth­er­net ca­ble, to a port on your router, which means your cam­eras’ video streams don’t con­sume your net­work’s wire­less ca­pac­ity.

And note the plu­ral there, be­cause Net­gear thinks of the Arlo Pro as a cam­era sys­tem rather than a cam­era or two. You can con­nect up to six cam­eras to each base sta­tion, but don’t start think­ing you’ll get economies of scale: each add-on cam­era costs around $320, and even the four-cam­era ver­sion costs $720.

Each cam­era only mea­sures 7cm high, and while the white plas­tic fin­ish looks vul­ner­a­ble, in re­al­ity they’re all de­signed to with­stand out­door con­di­tions. You could leave it out in the rain for days and not need to worry about it. They work at night too, with the in­frared cam­era do­ing a re­spectable job of cap­tur­ing the ac­tion – al­beit not as well as the D-Link pair.

Net­gear even sup­plies fit­tings in the box, so you could mount one on an ex­ter­nal wall and two on in­ter­nal walls. Then, you only need re­move the cam­eras when you need to recharge them – the fix­tures are mag­netic, so that’s far sim­pler than it sounds. I found they lasted for a cou­ple of weeks be­tween charges if ac­tion was min­i­mal, and around a week if they were ac­ti­vated mul­ti­ple times per day.

Most of the time you’ll prob­a­bly use the app to view the footage, with the Arlo typ­i­cally record­ing in ten-sec­ond seg­ments when it de­tects mo­tion; you can se­lect what’s recorded and when in the app. The ac­tion shows a thumb­nail im­age of who or what was caught in mo­tion, so you then click play. The video isn’t recorded lo­cally but to the cloud, and you get free stor­age for seven days – if you want to hold on to them for longer, you need to man­u­ally down­load it or pay for ex­tra cloud stor­age.

Au­dio is recorded too, and it’s even pos­si­ble to have “live” con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple re­motely: in the Live view, press the mic but­ton and it acts like a walkie-talkie. The cam­era records at 720p at 30fps, and im­age qual­ity is re­spectable. You’ll have no trou­ble recog­nis­ing faces, even if colours are rather sat­u­rated and com­pres­sion is ob­vi­ous. What it doesn’t o˜er is ex­tra fea­tures such as face recog­ni­tion.

But this isn’t re­ally a ri­val to the Ne­tatmo Wel­come. In­stead, the Arlo Pro should be thought of as a ri­val to a fully fledged se­cu­rity alarm.

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