I first reviewed the Arlo home security camera system from NETGEAR in March 2015, and I still use it on a daily basis. I love the versatility of the wireless cameras, the free online storage and the ingenious magnetic mounting system. For the cameras I use really frequently it would be nice to have a wired option to cut down on battery usage. NETGEAR has just launched the Arlo Q, which makes that option a reality. Arlo Q is a wired camera, so no more batteries, and includes 2 way audio. It can be used as an add-on to an existing Arlo system or it can be used independently. I have been testing out Arlo Q with my existing Arlo system and it is a great addition to the Arlo family!
Set up is very easy. If you already have an Arlo system you can add Arlo Q as an additional camera via the app. If you don’t already own an Arlo system, Arlo Q can be used as a standalone, to start simply download the Arlo App and set up a free account. Arlo Q connects directly to your home WiFi network and does not need a hub.
Connect the included micro USB cable and wall charger to the Arlo Q, and plug in. The cable for Arlo Q is almost 10 feet long, much longer than the cables on other cameras I have tested. I really appreciated this as I’ve experienced how short cables can limit installation options. I could put Arlo Q on top of a high shelf and still reach an electric outlet.
Follow the instructions in the app to connect Arlo Q to your home WiFi network. The camera scans a QR code in the app to complete set up so you don’t even have to type in serial numbers, it took me about 3 minutes to have it up and running. I have the Arlo app installed on all our family’s smartphones and when I added the camera on one phone it automatically appeared in all the others linked to our account.
Unlike the wireless Arlo cameras Arlo Q is permanently attached to its base. The base can sit on a shelf or other flat surface or be mounted on a wall using the included bracket, the base is also magnetized so it will stick to a metal surface. One of the things I love about the wireless Arlo is how its magnetic ball and socket style mount allows easy adjustment of the viewing angle, Arlo-Q has a totally different mount but still includes a ball and socket joint making it easy to adjust the angle on this camera too.
From the Arlo app you can arm or disarm the camera and set up recording to be triggered by either motion or sound or both. You can also set a weekly schedule so that the camera is only armed during certain times and the schedule can vary on different days. You can also view the camera live stream at any time. You can choose to record still images or video and you can opt for push notifications or email alerts when the camera is triggered.
You can adjust the sensitivity level for both sound and motion detection and can set up separate motion detection zones (by zooming in on different parts of the room.) For video recording you can choose to record clips from 10-120 seconds long.
There are a variety of storage plans available, the basic plan is free and allows free cloud storage of a week’s worth of video clips (maximum 1GB.) For my families needs the free basic plan is as much storage as we need, but there are also paid upgrade options available including the option to have continual video recording from your Arlo Q. You can easily download or share video clips from your online library.
The Arlo Wireless cameras are weatherproof and designed to be used inside and out, but the Arlo Q is strictly indoor only. Arlo Q is ideal for situations where you want to be able to view a live video feed or make frequent recordings without worrying about batteries. I find it very useful for keeping an eye on my pet dog and cat when I am away from home. With the 130° camera angle I can watch pretty much the whole living room on live feed, and I can set up motion detection recording to keep an eye on their food and water bowls to make sure they are eating. It is also great for keeping an eye on my teenager to make sure he is getting his homework done when I am out of the room or even out of the house. I love that the 2- way audio means that I can gently remind my son to get back to work and that if he wants my attention he can just speak and I’ll get sent an alert. I do notice a slight lag in the video and audio feed- for me the live feed is about 10 seconds behind real life. For most situations this doesn’t matter but if you are having a 2 way conversation you need to remember to allow time for the other person to respond. I have noticed similar lags with other live feed cameras in my home.
For families with younger children it can make a great baby monitor – you can watch your child to see they are settling down to sleep and then set an alert to send you a notification if there is any sound or movement. I wish it had been available when my kids were younger. When my twins were babies I had a video monitor but the video quality was poor, I could only see one crib at a time, and unless I constantly watched the small fuzzy screen I couldn’t tell if they were awake but quiet, or sleeping. Arlo Q works so much better- good quality video streaming, wide enough angle to get both cribs in view and push notifications if the child moves or makes a sound. It would also work well for elder care with families being able to watch and speak to elderly relatives from afar.
In Camera you can view live feeds of video from all your Arlo cameras,and add new devices.
In Library you can look at your stored video clips and download or share any clips you wish to save.
In Mode you can also set up or change your schedule, create new “modes” and customize their rules and switch between modes. For each mode you can customize what triggers it – sound, motion or both; what action to take- record video, take snapshot or do nothing and how you wish to be notified if it is triggered- email, push notification, both or neither. You can also choose the length of video recording from 10-120 seconds. You can have different schedules for your Arlo Q and Arlo wireless cameras.
In Settings you can choose from 5 different video resolution options varying from 240p up to 1080p, switch the microphone on/ off, switch the speaker on/ off and adjust the speaker volume. You can also set up different zones within the camera field of view by zooming into certain areas. You can have up to 3 zones for each camera.
You can access the Arlo app on both Android and iOS devices as well as on your desktop. Currently you can only be logged in on one device at a time- so if you are viewing your cameras on your phone and your spouse also decides to view on their laptop or phone you will get kicked out. The newest log-in gets priority. In a future updates I would like to see the ability to view from multiple devices at once and integration with other connected home accessories.
Overall, I think the Arlo Q is a great addition to the Arlo family. I think it is a very versatile indoor video camera, it is very quick and easy to set up and needs no hub. It adds an Arlo option that has 2 way audio and needs no batteries. With no monthly fee for the basic storage plan this is a considerable saving over other systems that require a monthly fee. I love the 2-way audio, high definition video, night vision, long cord, easy camera angle adjustment, zoom capability, sound and motion detection and free cloud storage.
Arlo Q is available from Best Buy, Amazon, Wal-Mart and other retailers RRP $219.99
Arlo is the worldwide leader in Smart Home Security, and the creator of the world’s first ever 100% wire-free, weatherproof HD security camera.
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).