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Netgear Arlo review for totally wireless video surveillance

We have to tell the truth, when two years ago at CES in Las Vegas we saw the first example of Arlo cameras we were a little doubtful: fantastic idea of ​​battery cameras to be placed anywhere, but how they could work decently if not for a few hours since they were based on a wireless system and did they have to transmit large amounts of data through video?

Then we saw the new models finally on the market and even more we had a long conversation in the past few months with Lionel Paris, Director of Product Marketing, Consumer Products, EMEAdi Netgear who explained in detail the product philosophy that is unmatched in the panorama of wireless surveillance systems and which has had great success for a year now in the connected home sector.

Netgear Arlo review

First of all Arlo is based on Netgear's great experience in the field of Wi-Fi network and the ability to develop a dedicated system, with its own gateway that relies on the home wi-fi network as regards your phone or desktop computer but otherwise, it uses its own 2.4 GHz protocol which optimizes the transmission capacity according to energy saving.

Then forget the classic cameras to be used to continuously monitor an entrance or a critical point of your home or fence on a screen: here the cameras have their own intelligence that records data locally, short 10-second videos in the basic version of the service, to be transmitted to the cloud and uses it as a backup to be kept (in the basic version) for a week: for a correct management of consumption it is necessary to use its services with a certain criterion. In any case it is a real "on demand" system.

The other part of the camera's intelligence related to the sensors that detect movement, as soon as they come into operation, they signal to the camera that something is happening and the video is activated immediately by recording only a small portion that minimizes the power supply of the camera itself. It deals with

Since then the whole system is based on a wireless transmission that brings the field of action of the gateway to about ninety meters outdoors from the cameras you have the possibility to place them without problems, thanks to the batteries that make them autonomous, in a wide range around your home . When we say around we mean placed outside so that they point not only towards gates and fences but also that they face the garden towards the entrances and windows without any need for wiring.

But let's see what is in the box of 2 cameras + base station.

Let's install …

Since the manual is not currently available in the Italian version, here is a complete analysis of the screens necessary to install the device.

Positioning and versatility

In the instruction manual (unfortunately in English as the first installation advice – download from here) there are interesting indications on how to best manage the positioning of the chamber: sensitivity to adjustable movement but attention must be paid to animals that could stress the sensor more than necessary and therefore frame the areas of the house or its surroundings that perhaps do not see the frequent passage of cars or a constant coming and going of people. The cameras were created to manage and detect extraordinary events and can be activated as we have seen from the interface gallery even at ad hoc times or, thanks to geofencing, in the absence of one or more occupants of the house.

To better frame the subjects to be detected there is also a positioning mode that reduces the normal lag of a cloud-based system.

If we want the batteries in the cameras to last 6-8 months we should consider about 8 detections per day. Another caution is not to place them behind a glass (senseless enough since they are made to be outdoors) because the activation of the night mode would cause a huge consumption of batteries.

In any case, the fixing system is very convenient: thanks to the magnet we could "attach" them to metal objects both inside and outside and in any position it is possible to plant a nail or use a double-sided tape we could use the very versatile half-shell system in provided. Let's not forget the 1/4 inch thread on the bottom: any system that supports cameras such as universal ones for action cameras will be able to support the camera.

This flexibility makes Arlo a very versatile system to be used not only for surveillance but also for impromptu monitoring operations: do you want to check if the fireplace fire goes out while you are in another room? Cooking lasagna in the oven? If the dog gets all in your children's paddling pool? Just detach the Arlo from their original position, position them and then return them to their place once the provisional task is finished.

The camera is so beautiful and efficient that it could tempt the same thieves that you want to locate: if it goes outside, position it in an out of sight or inaccessible point or camouflage it in the middle of the vegetation. After all, since you can even hang it on a stick stuck in a vase or at the top under a balcony, the operation should not be difficult. In addition Netgear has thought of a whole series of covers that can help you in the business and add an additional degree of protection to the beautiful surface of the camera.


At work

We have installed the two cameras of the package in different points of the house and garden to find an optimal location and at this moment we need a main entrance and a service door that are outside, point towards the house and are respectively 6 meters and 19 meters from the Netgear gateway: the second with 4 main walls 2 floors away and about 6 meters from the external walls.

The cameras are one inside a vase of flowers and the other attached to the head of a wooden gazebo. As we said, the decision on how to manage the reports is important: to avoid finding your phone and email full of alerts, you need to adjust sensitivity and maybe use geofencing with all the family members or take advantage of the times when you need to safety. Also create a rule in your e-mail program to direct camera reports to a folder.

coherentinterface "width =" 1311 "height =" 705 "srcset =" 1311w, wp-content / uploads / 2016/11 / interferecoerente-480x258.jpg 480w, 1024w "data-lazy-sizes = "(max-width: 1311px) 100vw, 1311px" src = "" /> The interface on desktop perfectly consistent with that on smartphone.</figure></p><h3><b>Conclusions</b></h3><p>The installation and the first use of the cameras immediately and the access to the recordings really very comfortable. Thanks to the interaction with IFTTT we have also managed to build some scenes through the Philips Hue lamps that signal us when someone approaches the entrances or passes through a certain area of ​​the garden.</p><p>Establishing the actual battery life at the moment impossible, we will report the results in a few weeks of standard use with the cameras positioned on two discreetly trafficked entrances taking care to manage the detection (or better the lack of it) of our pets. For the moment we can be satisfied with the versatility and readiness of detection of the cameras.</p><h3><b>Pro</b></h3><p>The cameras can be positioned anywhere and up to 80-90 meters as the crow flies, alerts arrive quickly and even on smart watches, excellent management of video clips, consistent interface on smartphones and desktops, free basic recording mode. IP 65 protection. Possibility of fast data access with Touch ID on iPhone and iPad.</p><h3><b>Versus</b></h3><p>A good setting is needed to optimize battery consumption, Flash is needed for live video on a computer.</p><h3><b>Retail price</b></h3><p>the tested configuration costs 379 Euros to the public including VAT but easy to find it at a discounted price. <strong>Currently in the Amazon Netgear store </strong> on offer at around 320 Euros but there are interesting configurations and add-ons of all kinds to expand the system, camouflage it or further protect it from UV rays and mistreatment.</p><p>The batteries cost 24.50 Euros for a pack of 10 (Duracell brand always on Amazon) and therefore you must consider an expense of about 50 Euros to add another 2, 2.5 years of autonomy for each camera if you run it with consumption optimal: the price to pay for versatility but there is no comparable product in terms of features.</p><p></p><!-- WP QUADS Content Ad Plugin v. 1.8.17 --><div class=