Is an Arlo Subscription Worth It? How To Finally Decide

Smart home technology has made it easier than ever to keep your house safe.

Arlo is a home security firm that provides cameras and doorbells to keep an eye on your house, with the option of a monthly subscription plan for extra features.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in a paid Arlo membership vs. using the free version, you may be struggling.

Arlo’s pricing for its subscription options is competitive. Users can access 30 days of video archives, live streaming, and push notifications, among other benefits. When you subscribe to Secure Plus, you get access to an emergency response system. Arlo’s subscription plans work with all of their devices, including cameras and doorbells.

Overall Rating 96/100
Services Provided 95/100
Compatible Products 92/100
Ease of Subscribing 99/100
Affordability 99/100

Pros of the Arlo Subscription Plans

Due to Arlo’s three membership tiers, it’s possible to find an option that works within any budget. The Smart, Secure, and Secure Plus packages are all available.

In an emergency, you can use Arlo’s Emergency Response Activation, which is only available with the Secure Plus plan, or you can just tap “Call a Friend” from the notification itself, without having to unlock your phone.

Infinite camera access is included with Arlo Secure and Arlo Secure Plus.

Incorporate real-time video capture into your plan for a more bespoke experience (CVR). You can choose between biweekly and monthly payments for this service. To record all the time with an Arlo camera, though, you need a CVR for each camera.

Cons of the Arlo Subscription

Arlo’s most expensive membership package, Secure Plus, is the only one that includes access to the Emergency Response System. Moreover, the United States is the sole region where emergency response can be accessed.

Arlo’s smoke and CO2 detection is limited to specific items and alerts you only if it “hears” your existing smoke or CO detector sounding.

Arlo Ultra cameras can only stream to the Arlo Cloud in 2K and record to local storage in 2K (but both in 4K) without the Arlo Secure Plus plan. This means that the full benefits can only be seen when using Arlo Ultra products with the Arlo Secure Plus plan.

Who Should Buy This?

In order to determine which Arlo plan is best for you and your house, it is helpful to learn more about the various options available.

It’s also a good idea to evaluate the paid membership services against the freemium alternatives.

In the table that follows, we compare the many options available to you.

Services Free Plan Arlo Smart Arlo Secure Arlo Secure Plus
Number of Cameras 5 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Arlo Discount X X ✓ (10%) ✓ (10%)
High-Resolution (1080p)  (up to 2K)  (up to 2K)  (up to 4K)
30-Day Video History X
Live Streaming
Motion Notifications
Animated Preview X
Interactive Notifications X
Specific Motion Detection X
Smoke/CO2 Alarm Detection X
Activity Zones X
Call a Friend X
Emergency Response X X X
Priority Support X

If you spend most of your time at home and only need the most fundamental level of home protection, the free plan may be all you need.

Live video streaming and motion recognition are its main features.

If someone walks up to the entrance or comes into view of the cameras, an alarm will go off.

But if you only need one camera but want to use all of Arlo’s features, the Arlo Smart plan is the best choice.

Everything is included in this plan except for an emergency response system.

Only one Arlo camera can benefit from these capabilities, though.

Even so, for the vast majority of people who merely employ a doorbell camera, this is an excellent strategy.

One might want a more robust security system if they reside in an area with a high crime rate or frequent property crimes.

Both the Arlo Secure and Arlo Secure Plus plans are quite reasonably priced.

The only distinction between the two is the resolution of the stream; Secure streams in 2K, while Secure Plus streams in 4K and includes an emergency response system.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Sadly, the Arlo Secure Plus emergency response system is only available within the United States, so international customers will be out of luck if they try to buy it.

The only way to get 4K video resolution is with the Arlo Secure Plus package, because the hardware can’t handle it.

It’s also worth noting that Arlo products aren’t meant to be used as your sole means of smoke and CO2 monitoring.

The cameras won’t save your life by themselves; they’ll only sound an alarm if they “hear” another smoke or CO detector in the house.

Therefore, it is possible for the cameras to misinterpret environmental sounds as an actual warning.

Subscribing to Arlo could be a good idea if you’re interested in smart home technology and would like exact control over your house’s security, even while you’re not there. Arlo is a great addition to any home, but if you already have a security system, it may not be worth the additional cost.

Why the Arlo Subscription Is Worth It

Now that you know who an Arlo membership is for, let’s discuss why it’s money well spent.

It Gives You Control Over Your Home Security

Live streaming and motion detection alerts are available under Arlo’s free plan, but that’s about it

High-definition video streaming and video playback history are both unavailable.

Some people might be fine with this choice, but others might want more safety precautions.

A membership to Arlo gives you 30 days of video storage, push notifications, smoke and CO2 detection, the ability to create “Activity Zones,” a live-feed “Call a Friend” feature, and priority customer service.

All of these benefits, plus an emergency response system, are included in Arlo’s Secure Plus package.

With the press of a button, you can contact emergency services like fire and rescue or the police in your area.

With a membership, you can also create Activity Zones.

Places that your Arlo camera has captured footage of

Large homes with many zones to watch may like being able to set different alerts for each zone.

The Arlo Secure app gives you greater control over your home security thanks to all of Arlo’s features.

You can check in, make changes, and get access to all of these capabilities from anywhere in the world.

If you see something is wrong, you can react quickly.

Discount on Arlo Products

Arlo’s subscription plans not only give you more control over your home security but also come with a price cut on the company’s devices.

All goods on the Arlo website are 10% off for Arlo Secure and Secure Plus subscribers.

You need to be a paying member to receive the special rate.

If you already have an account with us, just sign in before making a purchase, and you’ll see a discount of 10% applied at checkout.

The Downsides

Depending on what you need, the Arlo system’s many limitations may make you think twice about buying it.

Short Battery Life

Arlo is particularly proud of its wireless security cameras.

Although wired connections for some devices are available, most users prefer to go the wireless route for its convenience.

However, many Arlo subscribers have voiced their disappointment with the brand’s gadgets because of their limited battery lives.

If the device’s battery dies while you’re away from home, you can’t monitor it until you get back home and charge it.

Because of this, your home could be at risk, and your security systems wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on things while you were away.

Hardware Issues

Arlo is a company that can provide you with cameras and a doorbell camera to keep an eye on your home.

Some customers, though, say that Arlo cameras aren’t up to par with the competition.

Latency is the amount of time between the video stream and the live broadcast. This seems to be a common problem.

This is not necessarily a problem with the Arlo products, but it could be the result of a slow network connection.

It’s possible that the issue is related to internet speed or router distance.

Even more so, several customers have complained that Arlo equipment’s night vision is of low quality and has a small viewing area. This may create difficulties in obtaining high-quality photographs.

Poor App Experience

No one seems to particularly enjoy using the Arlo Secure app.

Those who have Arlo products and an Arlo subscription have a common complaint: they need to resync the hardware with the app rather often.

This isn’t just annoying; it might prevent you from getting the shot you want when capturing video.

Needs Specific Hardware for Certain Features

Individual Activity Zones can have motion detection enabled or disabled.

You can’t turn off motion detection for a certain area, though, unless you also buy the Pro Camera.

For example, you want to keep motion detection on for the doorbell camera but disable it for the garage camera.

You can’t accomplish it unless you have a pro camera.

Also, 4K streaming is only available on Arlo Ultra devices.

Because of this, people with older cameras and the Secure Plus membership package can’t get the benefits of streaming in 4K.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you record on Arlo without a subscription?

Arlo requires a membership in order to save recordings to the cloud. You can’t access recordings made using Arlo without paying for a membership. On the other hand, you need a VMB4540 (or later) smart hub to watch live feeds, get notified when motion is detected, and save recordings to a USB or MicroSD device.

Q: Do Arlo cameras record all the time?

Unless you add continuous recording to your Arlo plan, your cameras won’t always be recording. If you want to keep a continuous recording of your cameras, you’ll need a CVR for each one. Users can start recording at any time and rewind their videos at any time with this function.

Q: How long do Arlo cameras record?

Without a cloud video recorder (CVR), Arlo cameras can only record for up to 10 seconds at a time. However, you can set your Arlo cameras and doorbells to record anywhere from 10 seconds to 120 seconds. Some security cameras, like the Arlo Ultra, Pro, Pro 2, and Pro 3, can keep recording for up to five minutes when they sense motion.

Is an Arlo Subscription Worth It: Final Thoughts

An Arlo subscription could be a good option if you’re looking for a simple home security system that also gives you simple remote access to your gadgets when you’re not there. If you already have an Arlo product, you can use the many features that come with Arlo’s low-cost plans.

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