If you’ve been looking into home security options then it’s impossible to have missed the buzz about Netgear’s latest release; The Arlo Q. You’ve probably come across several similar home security cameras like Nest Cam on the Internet and wondering if the Q is a better camera. We’ll take a look at its benefits, features and how it compares with other home security cameras.
Use the table of contents below to skip to your most important question or read on for the full review.
- What’s in the box?
- What are the camera’s major features?
- What’s the difference between the Wire free Arlo and the Q?
- How does the Arlo Q store video?
- How easy is the camera to set up?
- How good is Arlo Q Mobile App?
- How does the Arlo Q know when to record?
- What makes the Arlo Q better than other security cameras?
- What do other reviews say?
- The Verdict
What’s in the box?
The box includes the quick start guide, an Arlo window decal, 4 mounting screws, a wall mount plate, the power adapter and cable and the security camera.In a rush? Click to view buying options on Amazon
What are the camera’s major features?
Here’s a quick rundown of the camera’s major features:
- True HD: the video quality is sharp at 1080p.
- 130-degree viewing angle – wide enough to see into the corners of your rooms.
- Audio: the Arlo Q has a built-in mic and speaker which gives you the ability to talk to people at home.
- Smart Alert: this is one of the most impressive Arlo Q security camera features as it provides you with an instant alert if sounds or motion are detected. The sensitivity of this setting is adjustable.
- Night vision up to 25 feet
- Cloud storage
What’s the difference between the Wire free Arlo and the Q?
The Arlo Q is very different from the wire free Arlo. The wire free was designed to be both an indoor and outdoor camera. This meant it sacrificed some of the image quality in order to maintain its sleek weather resistant, wire-free design. The Q, on the other hand, has been designed specifically for indoor use.
In terms of design, Q has a diamond shaped head and the original Arlo is more pod shaped. In terms of functions they’re just as different: unlike the battery powered Arlo, the Q is AC powered, and that’s actually a good thing because it saves you the trouble and money required for replacing batteries.
As far as camera features go the Arlo Q doesn’t lack in the specs department with 4MP still shots and 1080p HD compared the Arlo wire free at 720p camera definition.
Another important difference between the two is that the Arlo Q has a built-in mic and speaker, something the original Arlo doesn’t have (it’s video only).
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the lack of a mic on your home security camera, well now you’ve got one and it works just fine. It’s hard to emphasize just how important this feature is as it lets you remotely keep in touch with anyone you’re monitoring at home (i.e., keeping an eye on the kids as they play).
How does the Arlo Q store video?
Like the Arlo wire free, the Q does not have internal storage. Everything is streamed and recorded to the cloud. Every Arlo Q comes with free, 7-day cloud storage, so all the motion and sound event triggers are recorded and stored in the cloud. You can access the video either via the free app or by logging in online.
Every Arlo Q comes with free, 7-day cloud storage, so all the motion and sound event triggers are recorded and stored in the cloud.
This free plan is good for up to five Arlo cameras and data up to 1 GB. If you want more data storage you can upgrade to the Premier Service plan: Costing $100 a year or $10 a month. This gives you the ability to store up to 10GB of data for as long as 30 days, supporting up to ten cameras.
If you really need to keep a full record of your recording, consider the Elite plan: for a fee of $15 a month or $149 a year, you’ll be able to store up to 100GB of data from as many as 15 security cameras, and you’ll be able to store the information for up to 60 days.
Netgear also provides a continuous video recording alternative. This enables you to always be recording, not just when motion or sound is sensed. This plan costs $10 a month for the 1st camera and can be stored for up to 14 days. Adding additional cameras will add an extra 50% to the subscription.
How easy is the camera to set up?
One of the most common complaints with most home security cameras is the difficulty involved with setting up like using QR codes and so on. Fortunately, the Arlo Q is easy to use and set up as the quick start guide offers step by step instructions that simplify connecting the Q to your Wi-Fi system. All-in-all it should not take more than five minutes to set everything up.
Watch the below video to get a feel for just how easy it is to get up and running:
How good is Arlo Q Mobile App?
The Arlo Q app available for the Android and iOS and is free to download. Arlo has developed a good reputation for creating solid apps and this is no exception. Both apps have live feed windows so you can see what’s happening in real time, plus there are controls to start a recording, take a screenshot and adjust the audio.
If you look at the bottom of the app’s screen you’re going to see an option for multiple camera toggling, and there’s also an option to check your video clip library. Another important feature in these apps is you get access to the camera controls, so from the app, you can fine tune the adjustments.
How does the Arlo Q know when to record?
The Arlo Q comes with three modes, schedule, armed and disarmed, and essentially they tell you how the Q will respond to motion and sound once they are detected. Armed and disarmed allows you to turn the motion and sound detection on and off. The schedule option lets you run the unit at specific times, great if you’re the type who likes to customize home security.
The default modes run fine and should suit most users, but there is an option to create custom modes. If you have several security cameras at home, you may configure the Arlo to start recording videos whenever motion is sensed by a particular camera. When any activity is detected you will be sent an email notification.
While the default modes run fine it’s the custom modes that provide the maximum flexibility as it gives you full management control over the audio sensitivity, change the motion sensor setting and tweak the activity zones.
Other settings on the Q that you can adjust are the kind of alert you will receive (email or push notification), the duration of the recording and how the Arlo Q should respond (take a picture, video record or not take action).
What makes the Arlo Q better than other security cameras?
The features set given above should give you an indication of how good it is, but now’s a good idea to look at the many ways the Q is better than other cameras.
If you’ve used other security cameras before, one of the things you would have had to put up with is the number
The Activity Zones feature is another element that extends the security camera’s functionality. It lets you set the motion and sound detection zones by specifying the areas you want to monitor. You do this by creating a square using your finger on the image via the app. By drawing the area and concentrating the camera’s sensor on a particular area, the chances of triggering false alarms are reduced.
To put it another way, you can set up the Activity Zone so it focuses on say, the patio door rather than the entire area, so even if your pet dog passes by the Q’s field of view, the alarm won’t be triggered.
Speaking of the field of view, the Arlo Q is one of the best in its class with a view of 130 degrees. The night vision works as well as advertised, good for up to 25 feet and these features work seamlessly with the sound and motion notifications. The streaming feed runs smoothly and can be accessed from the Arlo website or the mobile app.
More than anything else, what really impresses about the Q is the way it performs: this is one of the security cameras that actually lives up to the hype and even exceeds it. The video playback and live streaming provide clean and crisp feedback whatever the time of day is, and the notification alerts arrive on time.
The Q also manages to combine ease of use with the option to customize it, and while a lot of homeowners will probably be content with the default settings, it’s good to know there is a way to change the settings if it’s necessary.
The Q is an impressive piece of home security equipment, and its long list of benefits is indicative of how good it is. However if we need to highlight specific benefits it would be the following:
- Awesome camera specs: at 1080p, 4MP the camera quality is right up there with the best security cameras available today.
- The free cloud storage plan is nice and should suit most users, and the more advanced and paid plans means you have the option for longer and more extensive storage.
- The two-way audio: this is one of the most significant upgrades over the original Arlo. You could set the Arlo Q for your home office and if your pet dog comes in, you can call him out, and it’s also a good option to monitor your kids.
What do other reviews say?
The Arlo home security system has received a lot of positive reviews online. One reviewer says the video output is great and the sound sensitivity option runs very well. Another customer who bought the Arlo says it is ideal as a security camera and setting up was simple and straightforward and that it’s very effective as a means of home security measure.
A look at the reviews shows the majority of customers are happy with it. While not all consumers are happy with it, most of them say the Arlo Q is an effective indoor HD camera and that it gets the job done. One of the things that you as a customer needs to look into is how consumers rate it, and this one is solid by most accounts.
Should you buy the Arlo Q camera? Yes, it’s a good buy. The camera is right up there with market leaders NestCam. The specs are top of the line and considering how easy the Arlo Q is to use, we recommend this without reservation.