Arlo Home Security System 2024: Tested & Reviewed

Arlo’s user-friendly equipment and competitive pricing make it one of our top picks for a home security system.
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Written by Dalia Ramirez
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Arlo Security System
Arlo Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$199.99
Base kit includes one keypad sensor hub, two sensors, and a free three-month pro monitoring trial.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Some sensor features not available without subscription. Self monitoring for cameras starts at $7.99 per month.

Hazard detection
Sensors can detect water and temperature and alert you when a smoke/CO detector goes off.
No actual smoke/CO detector, and you'll need a paid monthly plan to use the sensor's alarm listening feature.
View details

Arlo is a budget-priced home security provider that offers self-installed home security alarm systems, cameras and doorbells that have fewer features than competitors such as Ring and Vivint.

The company offers several self- and pro-monitoring plans at reasonable monthly prices, though you can still use the alarm system’s basic features without paying for a monitoring plan. The systems are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, plus a host of other smart home integrations, such as Samsung, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT, giving you dozens of options for automation and connection.

We tested an Arlo alarm system and found the products to be functional and customizable. As mentioned, its features aren’t as rich or complex as some competitors such as Ring and Vivint, but it’s a great affordable pick that for many people will check all the boxes.

Pros

Cons

Multifunctional sensors can perform eight different types of detection, including motion, open/close, water leaks, freezing, tilting, light and listening for sounds from smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms.

Won’t work when the power is out unless you pay for an added device and a monthly plan to get cellular and battery backup.

Integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Samsung, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT.

Only differentiates between people and other motion if you have a paid subscription starting at $7.99 per month for a single camera.

Deciding factors

One-time costs

$199.99 for basic equipment.

Monthly fees

None required.

Installation

DIY. If you don't want to DIY it, Arlo partner HelloTech will install Arlo doorbells for you. That service starts at $99.

Video monitoring

  • $0 to self-monitor without advanced features.

  • $7.99 per month for self-monitoring with camera recordings and smart notifications (one camera only).

  • $12.99 per month for self-monitoring with camera recordings and smart notifications (more than one camera).

  • $17.99 per month for self-monitoring with advanced features plus 24/7 emergency response.

  • $24.99 per month for all advanced features plus 24/7 professional monitoring.

Contract

None.

How much does Arlo cost?

Arlo offers two security alarm system bundles. We found that the company often discounts them by up to 50% and provides a free 30-day trial of an Arlo Secure Plan.

Doorbells, cameras and other accessories are sold separately, though you can “build your own bundle” and get up to 25% off the entire order. The prices below are list prices.

Package

Price

What you get

Home Security System (2 sensors)

$199.99.

Keypad hub and two sensors.

Home Security System (5 sensors)

$299.99.

Keypad hub and five sensors, plus a yard sign.

Arlo sensors, keypad and battery backup

Arlo devices

There are quite a few versions of Arlo cameras and doorbells, with a wide range in price, and it was somewhat difficult to identify differences and choose between them. We opted to sort by bestselling items on the website; these are Arlo’s most popular picks.

We found that Arlo often discounts individual items up to 30% and provides a free 30-day trial of an Arlo Secure Plan. The prices below are list prices.

Item

Price

Description

Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera- 2nd Gen

$99.99.

2K resolution battery-powered camera with built-in spotlight and color night vision. Available in HD for $49.99.

Video Doorbell

$129.99.

2K resolution video doorbell with built-in siren, night vision and motion detection. Available in HD for $79.99.

Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera

$299.99.

4K resolution camera with HDR, built-in spotlight and premium two-way audio. Requires a SmartHub.

How does Arlo work?

Setup pros

We found Arlo’s setup to be mostly straightforward. Some of the app features were clunky, but all the sensors were functional once installed, and there were several helpful customization options. Here are a few features we liked:

  • Comprehensive layout. See all the sensors in one view once they’re set up as app widgets.

  • Shareable. Easily add another user to the system to monitor devices on their own account.

  • Speedy. Receive sensor alerts as app notifications almost immediately, noticeably faster than those we received with our previous alarm system, Nest Secure (now discontinued).

  • Programmable. Automate the system to turn it on and off at set times, such as at bedtime and in the morning, or at home and away (the system automatically detects when you and your device leave your property and arms the system in response).

Arlo's scheduling interface.

  • Simple setup. Install the sensors without drilling or tools — they come with adhesive to stick on a wall or door and connect wirelessly to the hub.

Setup cons

Arlo's setup wasn’t as seamless as SimpliSafe, which had a very user-friendly setup process. With Arlo, we had some issues scanning the hub’s QR code, aligning the sensor magnets and adding the sensors to the app. These are a few of the frustrations we had:

  • Sensor stress. We had to set up the sensors again to add them as widgets in the app. Depending on how many sensors you have, this can be frustrating.

Arlo's dashboard.

  • Expandability controls. If you purchase an extra hub to extend the range of your sensors, it can’t communicate with your original hub. The systems would have to be run separately.

  • Paid plans required for full functionality. Most advanced features, such as cloud storage, person detection and emergency response, and even some built-in sensor capabilities, such as smoke and CO alarm listening, require a paid monthly subscription. This isn’t unique to Arlo — competitor Ring’s features work similarly — but it’s something to keep in mind if price is a main concern.

Monitoring

With Arlo, you’ll have four monitoring options, with prices ranging from free to $24.99 a month. You can get basic alerts without any paid plan, but there are a few features available at each level that may make the added cost worth it. Here are our favorite features, by plan:

Secure, starting $7.99 per month

  • 30 days of cloud video storage (higher-priced plans don’t increase in storage amount).

  • AI detection, which can differentiate between people, pets and vehicles.

Secure Plus, $17.99 per month

  • 24/7 emergency response, which lets you contact fire, medical or police from the Arlo app (you can add important details about your home and family in advance, such as if there are pets, children or a hard-to-access entrance).

Safe & Secure Pro, $24.99 per month

  • 24/7 professional monitoring, which can dispatch emergency services to your phone if an alarm is triggered. Arlo’s monitoring agents will verify the event with images and video before sending emergency services. You can enroll in either of the other plans if you just have the cameras, but you’ll need an alarm system to use professional monitoring.

  • Cellular and battery backup. This requires buying a cellular and battery backup device, though, which costs $79.99.

  • Smoke and CO alarm listening, which can alert you when a sensor hears the alarm go off. All Arlo sensors have this capability, but you’ll need this plan to use it.

Alternatives to Arlo

SimpliSafe Security System
SimpliSafe Security System

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Get started

on SimpliSafe's website

View details

5.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$249.96
Base kit includes one base station, one keypad, one entry sensor and one motion sensor. Sometimes you can get a free Smart Alarm wireless indoor security camera and a free trial of professional monitoring if they're running a promotion.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$19.99
Self monitoring available for $9.99 per month. You can also access basic features with no plan.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector, water and temperature sensor.
View details
Ring Security System
Ring Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Read review

on NerdWallet

View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$244.95
Base kit includes alarm base station, keypad, door/window contact sensor, motion detector, alarm range extender and free 30-day trial of Ring Protect professional monitoring. Pro starter kit comes with a Wifi router.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$20
Other features/self monitoring available with plans starting at $4.99 per month. You'll need at least the basic plan to arm and disarm your system remotely.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke/CO detector and listener, flood and freeze sensor.
View details
Abode Security System
Abode Security System

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
View details

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Equipment cost
$159.99
Base kit includes security hub, key fob and mini sensor for door/window.

Professional monitoring monthly cost
$24.99
Self monitoring with extra features is $7.99 per month, but you can also use basic features for free.

Hazard detection
Add-on smoke alarm monitor and leak detector.
No actual smoke/CO detector.
View details

Methodology

We collect data from providers and do firsthand testing as necessary. Our process starts by gathering information from providers and contacting providers for further information where needed. This information, combined with our specialists’ hands-on research, makes up our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance. The final output produces star ratings from poor (1 star) to excellent (5 stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star. Learn more about our ratings methodology here.

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