I received this product for free in return for my honest opinion. This review isn’t biased and this is on my honest opinion on Netgear’s Arlo Smart home product. I was not paid to write this review.
Those who read my reviews will know how much I am in love with Netgear’s Vuezone system, the predecessor of Arlo. “Unfortunately” Vuezone was discontinued but Netgear is still offering service and support for Vuezone systems. Before we start the review, I did get the Arlo product from Netgear in return for my honest opinion for this review. This review as well as the rest of my reviews are not biased and never will be biased, even though I am a Netgear Ambassador.
When I heard Arlo was coming out, I was jumping up and down like a little schoolgirl in a candy shop because I know how innovative Netgear products are and especially the feature set and functionality of Arlo can make your mouth water. I have never ever seen anything as simplistic to setup and use as Arlo and it’s predecessor VueZone. Every aspect and attention to details was taken when developing Arlo. From visual aesthetics on the Arlo cameras, to the Hub, to the absolutely sexy visual packaging, to their website and the application, every bit of detail was taken into consideration.
Setting up the Arlo system can’t get any easier, the only thing I do suggest Arlo to do it make taking the cameras out of the packaging a tad bit easier. I do understand they did this for security purposes but, once it’s yours, you really should have an easy way of removing the product. Not to say it’s that difficult because it isn’t, but it almost feels like you are breaking the bottom of the camera trying to remove that screwed in stem thing.
All you really have to do to setup your Arlo system is plug it in to power and your Ethernet network. Unfortunately the Arlo system does not have Wifi capabilities, (I wish it did), but you are required to plug it into a router or hub. Then of course you are required to plug it into power. Then turn it on. Next you are going to take out the cameras and remove the back and insert 4 CR123 batteries (supplied by Netgear (thank you <3)) into the Arlo cameras. CR123 batteries are a bit higher in price than normal batteries so supplying all of these CR123 batteries was really appreciated.
Once the batteries are inserted, you are going to then take the magnetic mounts and screw them into your wall where you want the cameras to be. The magnetic mounts are very similar to the ones from VueZone. I wish it was easier to secure the magnetic mount to a surface. The other thing I wish Arlo had was an exterior mount. The Arlo systems are weatherproof, so they don’t require a shell casing to hold the camera into which I found was an added security benefit with the VueZone system. It just looks a bit too easy for me to someone to just grab a long stick and kick down the camera from it’s magnetic mount and steal the camera or proceed in activities that they don’t want to be on camera for. It would be beneficial for Netgear to produce a similar casing like they had for VueZone for those customers that want the added security of ensuring their camera will remain in place and protected against any severe weather.
The coolest thing I like from Arlo’s system is it doesn’t require that huge IR lamp for night vision like VueZone did and it was clumsy to find a place to put it and where to put it. Night vision technology is built right into every camera. You don’t have these different model cameras for indoor and outdoor like VueZone had, but rather you have everything you need built into each camera. There is no audio recording in VueZone’s cameras (something that would be beneficial for a hardware revision).
To sync the cameras with the system it can’t get any easier, pop those batteries in and then hit the sync button on your hub and camera and everything with start synching. You do have to sync each camera individually, but the process is very quick.
I’ve been using Arlo for a few weeks and I’m absolutely in love with it. If only I could view my Arlo streams from my Apple Watch, oh if only. Arlo, please make that a feature enhancement for the app, that will be a game changer!
I have never ever seen a system as easy as Arlo. I tell everyone about them and how they just have to get a set. I would highly suggest this system to anyone who lives in a house, so practically everyone. Just love them!
Oh my gosh! Arlo is just fantastic! I just can't wait to see what improvements they make because the system is already fantastic. Totally recommend it!
Jonathan is the founder and editor-in-chief of TrustedNerd.com. Covering major tech shows such as CES, Jonathan is always there for the latest tech news. Want your gadget to be reviewed or have a release you'd like to be considered for publishing? Send Jonathan an email, jonathan [at] trustednerd.com