The NETGEAR Arlo Pro 2 is an update to its successful Arlo and Arlo Pro security cameras.
I use the term ‘successful’ because NETGEAR is a master marketer. They have smick marketing material, lovely point-of-sale, copious positive blogs, and multiple nice websites. You buy because of the brand recognition – not because it is superior to other offerings.
GadgetGuy got his ‘tiny whities in a twist’ over the Arlo Pro 2 press release jam-packed with more marketing BS per square centimetre than even we could stomach.
We asked NETGEAR for an Arlo Pro 2 review unit, and this is our objective, unvarnished, and unapologetic review.
GadgetGuy’s review paradigms – security cameras
We use the following review paradigms for security cameras. We test them in real-world situations for at least a couple of weeks.
Our test setup includes using NBN 100/40MB/s connection and a D-Link AC5200 DLR-895L tri-band router and/or a Telstra Wi-Fi AC router. Remote viewing is via an NBN 100/40MB/s link. In short, these are pretty much ideal conditions.
- Ease of setup – is there just an app or is a base station needed
- Day and night video and still image quality including zoom
- Motion detection and zone setup
- Two-way speech (microphone/speaker)
- Battery life
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Video/still storage – cloud, SD, USB, NAS or a mix
- App – ease of use, information required
- Cost – we don’t comment on price, but we do assess the value
- Usage recommendations
We don’t read the marketing BS or other reviews until we have finished our review. Then we often laugh that many reviewers take marketing information at face value and frankly too much of that hyperbole appears in so-called independent reviews!
Please don’t confuse this with the Arlo Pro, 2-pack camera – it is the older Pro version.
|Video||[email protected] and frequently drops to 480p||[email protected] video and frequently drops [email protected] or lower|
|Stills||1280 x 720p, about 75kb file size.||Same|
|Field of View||110° (less fisheye)||130° more pronounced fish eye|
|Recording time||Eight minutes recording
|Continuous video recording (CVR) if you have the paid cloud package and only if on AC power|
|Look back||No||Three seconds if on AC power|
|Zones||No – motion record only||Three rectangular zones if on AC power|
- Need the Base unit
- Weather resistant
- Similar dimensions
- Similar rechargable battery
- IR LED night vision
- PIR motion and sound detection
- Amazon Alexa, Google Home, SmartThings, Wink, IFTTT, etc.
- Free seven-day basic cloud storage (overwrites all content every seven days)
In the box – Arlo Pro 2 VMS4230P two camera and Base A$799
- Arlo Base unit and proprietary charger.
- Ethernet cable connected to the router.
- 2 x Pro 2 cameras and removable batteries
- 2 x magnetic bases (with screws)
- 1 x USB Charger 5V/1.8A or 9V/1A (9A total) – indoor use only
- 1 x flat USB-A to micro-USB cable
- Brief manual and documents
- Warranty is one year only if purchased from an authorised NETGEAR reseller – not third-parties
Options (Prices from JB Hi-Fi )
- VMC4030P one camera only $349
- VMB4000 Base only
- VMS4330P three camera/base $1099
- VMS4430P four camera/base $1199
- VMA4400 spare battery $99
- VMA4400C dual battery charger $99
- VMA4700 weatherproof USB charger
- VMA4600 Solar panel charger (does not enable additional features) $149
- VMA4200B and VMA4200 three skin packs $39
- VMA1100 table magnetic mount $29
- VMA4000 outdoor ¼” mount $19
Ease of setup – Arlo app and Base station needed
- Download the Arlo iOS or Android app
- Create an Arlo account (if you don’t already have one)
- Select free basic 7-day storage or a paid cloud account
- Plug the Base into power and Ethernet cable to the router
- Use the app to discover the router and connected it to the internet
- Pair cameras by placing them one at a time near the Base.
- It is easy and foolproof.
NETGEAR suggests a camera Wi-Fi range camera up to a 100m (outdoor line-of-sight), but we found it is closer to 20-30 metres inside a typical home. We did try 50m line-of-sight, but the connection was patchy at best.
Arlo Base station
It is a Wi-Fi N 2.4GHz station connected by Ethernet cable to the Wi-Fi router. Three lights in front indicate it is on, you have an internet connection, and at least one camera is connected. If one or more lights are orange or off – it is not working.