The market for smart cameras is growing rapidly and one player seems to stand out from the crowd: Netgear. After a few weeks of use, here is my review of the Arlo Pro 2.
Design & hardware
The Arlo Pro 2 is an improved version of the Arlo Pro at Netgear. The basic kit consists of two cameras and one station, the latter being mandatory for operating the cameras. If you want to add cameras later on, it is possible, and you can even switch to older, cheaper models if the resolution is not important in some rooms.
The design of the cameras is meticulous and the aim is to be able to install them from anywhere, either via the magnet or the 3/4″ screw thread at the back. Still on the rear part is the microUSB port which is used to connect it to the mains or to recharge the battery.
On the upper part is the button to synchronize, but also the one to open the Arlo Pro 2 and access the battery and under the camera are the microphone and the loudspeaker.
The camera is waterproof (IP65 certified) so you can use it either inside or outside. The announced range is several meters I was able to test at the bottom of my apartment (4th floor) and the flow was still going well. The announced autonomy is a minimum of 4 months, depending on your use. I’ve been reviewing the Arlo Pro 2 for about 2 months, and the battery shows 57%.
It is connected to Arlo box via Wi-Fi, and the latter is not too large, I hid it behind the sofa for my part. The Arlo box must be connected in RJ45 to your router, so take it into consideration if you want to equip yourself.
The real difference between the Arlo Pro 1 and Arlo Pro 2 is the definition, which goes from 720p to 1080p. The difference is really visible to the naked eye, but in my opinion, the quality of the Arlo Pro 1 is sufficient in a majority of cases. We don’t want to do livestreaming, but just to know if there’s an intrusion, and to sound the alarm if necessary. Even if a USB port allows videos to be recorded on a dedicated hard disk, everything first has to go through the cloud.
Night vision is amazingly accurate, both in detection and live view. The loudspeaker and microphone have a medium to poor quality, but it’s enough for the use: frighten the intruders or make a joke to his half.
Once the box is connected in RJ45 to the internet, you must start (as usual) by downloading the Netgear application that is available on iOS and Android.
Once your account is created, you must choose the product, then follow the steps, namely press the SYNC button on the box for 2 seconds and then the camera button for 2 seconds.
During this process your camera must be less than one meter from the Arlo station. You can then give a name to each of your cameras and set all their features in the application.
Features & Application
Netgear Arlo Pro 2 allows you to monitor your home or office and be alerted in case of intrusion. The Arlo station includes an alarm that can be triggered remotely.
In the application you can access the feeds of each of your live cameras, but also your recordings of the last 7 days. This is a real plus compared to Nest, for example, which requires a subscription to review alert images.
The Netgear Arlo Pro 2 is based on a high-performance motion and noise detection system. In the application you can define modes (Present, Absent, Planning or Geolocation). The geolocation mode is activated when you leave your home (it is based on the location of your smartphone in relation to the address you define). When you return to the area, detection is disabled.
In each camera you can define the video quality, motion detection level, microphone and speaker level. The Arlo Pro 2 also allows you to define up to 3 detection fields, which can be useful in some situations. This feature is only available when the camera is connected to the mains, as is the caching of three seconds of video before detection.
An advanced feature is continuous recording, which is the only paid option of the Netgear Arlo Pro 2. Small addition, the Arlo range is compatible with IFTTT and Alexa.
This Arlo Pro 2 review is more than positive. The two strong points for me are the battery life, and the fact that I don’t have to take out an annual subscription to access the videos of the alerts. Many criticize Netgear on their price positioning and indeed, the Arlo Pro range has not been given since its launch.
Much cheaper products exist on the market (notably Chinese products), but none combine intelligence, access to videos of unsubscribed alerts, the presence of an alarm and such autonomy. For me the Arlo range is the best compromise, and you can combine the station with Arlo Pro 1 if you want a more reasonable budget. In time, it is much cheaper than equipment at Nest, for example, which requires you to go to the checkout as soon as you want to access the video recordings.