Arlo – The truly wireless monitoring cameras

We have been using home cameras for many years for everything from seeing what our cat was up to while were at work, security, and now for baby monitoring. Arlo has developed a true wireless product that is making me sing their praises! We purchased the Wire-Free Security System with 2 HD Cameras (VMS3230) for $329.

https://www.arlo.com

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I do not know why these require a base unit; the wired versions use your existing network.  Most cameras are considered “wireless” when they have a wireless internet connection, but they still require a power outlet. The Arlo cameras use batteries, four (4) Lithium CR123 Photo, so no outlet needed!   Also thanks to the crafty bases that attach magnetically, they can be used in practically any location or configuration.  Ours came with the flat bases, but we purchased additional ones.

We have a few different bases, all great for different purposes.  You can purchase each separately at Arlo’s website for around $20 each.  This camera is designed for indoors or outdoors, which makes it great for security!

Here’s our outdoor camera on the adjustable mount.

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Since it is magnetic, we have also attached it to metal without the base, see below attached to a ceiling fan base in the nursery so we didn’t have attach a mount to the ceiling.

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It has infrared so it looks great in the dark, which is handy for checking on the girls or for outside at night.  It also has notifications that you can setup, which is great for security.  We have one on our front door that notifies on motion and records a defined length video segment for you to view. Ours is also set up to email a single image to multiple email addresses and provide an iOS notification message to my iPhone and Apple Watch. Here’s the watch notification below.

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The emailed image and iOS notifications are very quick; I usually get the notification before someone can knock. The iOS app is also very user friendly; no need to log into a web-based site.

So, there are a few improvements that I would love to see.
– You can set up multiple devices on the same account, but only one user can access the account at a time. This has been a problem a few times when we both tried to check the notifications.
– Also, it has about a four-second time delay during the live feed.  Although this hasn’t been an issue, I would still love to see that lag shaved down a bit.
– Our cameras do not have sound, only visual.  Depending on the application this might be a deal breaker.  For our nursery cam, we already used a cheap sound monitor, which is enough monitoring most of the time.
– The biggest complaint I have is just battery usage for the nursery cam, but to be fair, we use it ALOT. The infrared especially consumes lots of power. The outdoor camera batteries lasted almost 10 months, but the nursery cam that I move around the house gets new batteries every month.

Arlo has  recently released a wired version but it’s very pricey at $219. It allows two-way talking so obviously does have audio. It might be a good mix of wireless and wired in the same system/app.

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https://www.arlo.com/en-us/products/kit/VMC3040.aspx

Overall I have been very happy with the Arlo cameras, and much prefer them to any of the many others we have used.

~Kristen

 

 


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