“I did surveillance a lot, which sounds exciting, but it never was.” ~ Miranda Lambert
The Arlo Camera System is a favorite alternative to the Ring alarm system. It’s very easy to install since it takes literally 60 seconds to set up. It is a wireless system that can be synced up with your smartphone. If you have Alexa by Amazon, this can easily integrate into your existing Samsung family of appliances.
The pros of this system start with the ease of installation. The base plug looks similar to a router, so it is a familiar input, then turn it on. Place the batteries in the case and press the ‘sync’ button. That’s it.
The interface is very user-friendly too, I set up multiple cameras on a property and it was simple to rename cameras based on their location, like ‘garage’ or ‘back door’ and so on. From the app or the desktop website, you can relabel cameras, give preference like which camera is a priority first, adjust the motion sensor and record length once the sensor is tripped. The best thing, in my opinion, is that the camera will record once you open your notification, and it will record as long as you are watching the camera in real time. You can preset time lengths to record or do it manually from your mobile device. There are options for membership features, but the free subscription allows for 1GB of online storage and continuous weekly storage. Therefore, if in that seven-day span you have videos saved, the eighth day will delete the first video on the first day of that time span. This should be fine for most because it gives you the opportunity to select and save videos to a device or PC before the week resets.
The size of each camera is pretty small, like the size of a bar of soap comparatively. This makes it aesthetically pleasing and non-obtrusive when installing in the exterior of a new property. They usually sell in a 4 pack or you can add on to this package with an additional 2 pack of cameras. I found this moderately priced at Best Buy, but other places online have good deals when buying multiples as well. This is a simple screw mount, and it does well in extreme weather conditions like cold and rain.
The cons of this system are really minimal. The battery is a difficult model to find on the fly, so your best bet is to buy a backup set of batteries online. These cameras take multiple CR123 or CR123A batteries each. I think the best solution is looking for a rechargeable set of CR123 batteries. Other than the odd model number, the lifespan of these batteries is very good.
The system only provides one outdoor mount, so you might have to invest in additional outdoor mounts depending on how you would like to use the system. Another downfall is that there is no audio, but for general security use, this is not an issue for my needs.
The Arlo Camera System provides great picture quality with an easy installation experience. I love the cloud storage option so I can access it anywhere. Just be sure to mount these in areas that are easily accessible so you don’t need to break out the ladder every time you need to check the battery.