The Ultra represents the way forward, and I am sure Arlo will release future SmartHub devices that will have superior performance.

Our sage advice is to plan, plan, plan and plan again. The placement of the SmartHub is critical to success. In our case with a two-level home, we will use the older Base Station on the ground floor closer to the Security Lights and Doorbell/Chime to control them and the SmartHub on the top floor to control Ultra cameras. We have not done that yet, but the app supports multiple hubs, so it is a project for the future.

And I learnt a lot from the Arlo Community and a huge range of support material. You are buying into a well-established ecosystem.

Before this review, we had two dislikes.

First, was the use of a SmartHub (or base station).

Had we tried to do this with Wi-Fi devices (camera’s, lights, doorbell etc), we would have had to use a Mesh Wi-Fi system or extenders. I doubt that would have been as reliable or convenient as the Arlo Ultra.

The SmartHub keeps unnecessary traffic off the home Wi-Fi, and that is a good thing as I suspect four cameras, two lights, doorbell and chime would have used my precious bandwidth.

Second, is ongoing cloud recording costs

In truth, my hesitance here was due to my Scottish nature, but over time, we have succumbed to Spotify, Netflix, and more so I can see the need for a subscription economy.

Arlo now offers

  • Basic cloud – free for up to 5 cameras and seven days cloud recording
  • Premier plan is $12.99 per month ($129 per year) and supports up to ten cameras and 30-days/10GB recording
  • Elite plan is $18.99 per month ($189 per year) and supports up to 15 cameras and 60 days/100GB

Plan extras

The above plans only cover ‘event’ recording – short clips when motion or a doorbell sets it off. The recording is at 1K maximum resolution – 4K is via live stream or microSD card only. Premium video add-on per camera is $2.99 per camera per month to allow 4K cloud record.

You must add $12.99/24.99 per month ($129/249 per year) per camera for 14-day/30-day rollover CVR (continuous 24/7) recording.

And from what we can see Arlo Smart (person/package/animal/vehicle detection) is an extra $3.99 per camera per month as well and part of the Elite plan.

If you are aware of the need for a paid plan, then we have done our job.

Arlo Ultra home security system
Name: Arlo Ultra Price (RRP): $from $1049 plus a range of accessories and plans Manufacturer: Arlo
Arlo is a system comprising a hub, cameras, light, doorbell, and chime all wrapped in a single appEasy set-up via the app or a browser (needs Adobe Flash)When set up properly it should be more reliable in terms of accessing cameras more quicklyIt has remote viewing capability via a smartphone and local microSD storageArlo 4K is clearer, has better colour and detailsAnd there is the future expandability of “Works with Arlo”
Sorry its damned expensive so practice arm twisting at your favourite retaillerDon’t complain if it does not work – it is likely a hub placement issue and you will get it rigth eventuallyThings like lag and poor two-way audio are signal strength related due to building materials and hub placement
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
4.4Overall Score
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