Doorbells used to be simple, merely a way to know when someone was at your door. They have become a lot more complicated in recent years, however. These days, they can often include cameras and other technology to not only tell you when someone is at your door but also show you who it is.
In this Arlo video doorbell review, we will be taking a look at one of the best models on the market in both its wired and wireless forms. This will involve looking at the benefits, drawbacks, and features of each one to help you decide which is right for you.
- A look at the Arlo Essential brand, showing why they make some of the best video doorbells on the market.
- Having a video doorbell is important for security, as it allows you to be more prepared when a stranger is at your door.
- A brief look at the Arlo brand as a whole, how they started and a look at why they have such a stellar reputation.
- A breakdown of the key features and benefits you can enjoy with the wired and wireless variants of the doorbells. This will include the design, setup, pros and cons, and differences between the variants.
- We will pit the wired and wireless variants against each other so you can weigh up the differences and see which is best for you.
- Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions you may have about Arlo and its products.
Overview Of The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Series
The idea behind the Arlo Essential video doorbells is simple. These products allow you to see who is at your door and react accordingly. That’s the basic idea, but they also include HD video capabilities for clarity as well as two-way audio so you can communicate with whoever is at the door.
These doorbells come in two variants, a wired and a wireless version. The main difference is obvious, as one requires a wire connection and the other is battery-operated. They also share a few feature differences which we will cover later in the review.
Importance Of Having A Video Doorbell For Home Security
The front door is likely the first place someone will attempt to break into when wanting to access a house. When it comes to a break-in, the faster you can know the situation and react, the better. You certainly don’t want to be caught off guard, and that’s where this product line comes in.
As we have seen before, video doorbells can also be great for specific occasions such as safety around Halloween.
You will get alerted to anyone at your front door and see them before they see you. This will help you to assess the situation and call for help as soon as possible. Video doorbells are one of the best first lines of defense you could hope to have for home security. We have previously looked at some of the reasons why video doorbells are such a great security addition.
They’re also really helpful if you’re away from the house and someone tries to take advantage of it. You will see the break-in happening instead of coming home to a ransacked house or apartment, allowing you to act fast.
A video doorbell fits well into any home security setup, and we go into more detail on this subject in this article on 4 ways to improve home security.
About The Arlo Brand
Arlo is a company that has been making quite a name for itself in recent years. They specialize in products such as various forms of security cameras that can be used to help make your home safer. While that may be their specialty, they have a wide range of products covering different needs.
These products can also be paired with their optional subscription service to get the most out of them and provide additional protection and services.
In the past, we have looked at some of the best video doorbells on the market, and we show some more reasons why Arlo is such a strong contender.
We have also compared Arlo directly to Eufy, one of its main competitors, to further highlight some of the benefits Arlo features.
Arlo Video Doorbell Reviews
Now that we have introduced what Arlo has to offer, we will now give an overview of both the wired and wireless versions of this doorbell. Both of these products are fairly similar with a few key differences, and we will be sure to highlight these differences when applicable.
For now, let’s take a look at what is on offer.
Key Features And Benefits
First, we shall see the features and benefits shared by both variants.
HD Video With HDR
Both cameras have HD recording resolution with HDR capabilities. This ensures clear recording, and the HDR will make seeing things in different light conditions much easier.
180 Degree Viewing Angle
There’s not much use in having a video doorbell where you can hardly see anything, and that’s why both models include a 180-degree video angle, meaning fewer blind spots that intruders can exploit.
Connect Directly To Wifi
Both models can connect to your Wifi for easier monitoring and connection to Arlo’s subscription service.
Arlo Secure Trial Included
Arlo Secure is an optional subscription you can sign up for to get additional features such as cloud storage and activity zones. You can get a taste of this service with a free trial that will help you decide whether you want to commit to it.
Wireless Extra Features
These are the features shared by both, but the wireless version has a couple of extra features that are as follows.
As the name suggests, this version requires no wiring, meaning setup is quick and easy. If you want the extra features and prefer it to be wired, you can connect it to an existing connection if you wish.
Longlasting Rechargeable Battery
While having to worry about battery life could turn some people away, it does come with a rechargeable, long-lasting battery so it shouldn’t be a problem.
The two-way audio of the wireless version is a huge benefit, as it allows you to communicate with whoever is at your door. This could be speaking to a guest, or you could try to deter an intruder.
The wireless model also includes night vision, which is a great feature for monitoring in the dark.
The design of these two doorbell cameras is pretty similar in both cases. Each camera features a sleek, elegant vertical design with a black-and-white color scheme. The button on the front is easily visible, and the design as a whole will not draw too much attention to itself while still being visible to guests.
The setup of either model is quick, easy, and convenient. Once attached, you merely need to connect it to your wifi and then to the Arlo app and you’re good to go.
Naturally, the wired connection will need a power connection, but the wireless version can just be charged up and attached.
Performance And Reliability
The performance and reliability of either model are excellent, as you would expect from a company as well revered as Arlo. the cameras offer clear recording capabilities so that you can identify people easily.
The features offered with the subscription also give you even more control and ways to monitor your property. Reliability is important with any security product, as you don’t want it to fail at the worst moment.
You can count on either model to give you reliable service for years to come thanks to the excellent design and build quality.
Pros And Cons
No product is perfect, and that is true for these cameras as well. That being said, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and most negatives come from choosing the less feature-rich wired model.
In terms of pros, we have seen that they feature HD recording, security features, and a sleek, elegant design. The 180-degree viewing angle gives you a great view, and both can connect easily to wifi and the Arlo app.
For negatives, the wired version does have a few drawbacks. For starters, setting it up to a wired connection will require more time, tools, and materials. Also, it lacks two-way audio and night vision capabilities, making the wireless option a much more comprehensive option.
Smart Home Integrations
These days, many homes have smart home ecosystems that can be used to manage anything from dimming the lights to managing security systems. Having parity to one ecosystem with all of your products is always a benefit, as having a device that is the odd one out and requires its own interface can get cumbersome.
Luckily, the Arlo cameras are compatible with services like Alexa, OK Google, SmartThings, and IFTT. This means it will fit nicely into most smart home ecosystems, which is hugely convenient.
Customer Service And Support.
Arlo features fairly comprehensive support and customer service. On their contact page, you will be able to access tons of great resources focusing on common questions and issues. You can also ask questions via the Arlo community forum to get help from fellow customers.
One thing to note is that while support from live Arlo agents is available, you can only access this particular feature if you have a subscription or trial active.
Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell Vs Wired
Throughout this review, we have seen the differences between the wired and wireless models. There is a difference in price, too. The wired version retails for $149.99 while the wireless model is a bit pricier at $199.99.
So, the big question would be whether the wireless version is worth the extra $50 or if you can stick to the wired version and save some money. To answer this, we think that the wireless version is definitely worth paying extra for, given its benefits.
It’s much easier to set up, and it has some great features such as two-way audio and night vision. As far as we’re concerned, these are some deal-breaker features that are sorely missed on the wired version. Plus, the wireless version can function as a wired model if you prefer that.
The wired version would still do the job and would be a great choice on a budget, but if you can go for the wireless version then we think it is worth it.
If you want some more information on the subject, we have an article comparing wired vs wireless doorbells to make your decision easier.
How To Reset Arlo Video Doorbell
Each Arlo video doorbell has a reset button on the back that can be held for 15 seconds to reset.
How Long Does The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wireless Version Last?
This can vary depending on usage scenarios, but you can expect up to 6 months of battery life on a single charge. The battery is rechargeable, making this a very minor inconvenience.
How Loud Is The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Chime?
The chime can be customized to various volumes so that you can make sure it’s audible while not being loud enough to disturb neighbors.
Is There A Monthly Fee For The Arlo Video Doorbell?
While the doorbells can be used without a subscription, the subscription is definitely recommended to get the most out of your devices.
Does Arlo Record Video Without A Monthly Plan?
While you will be able to monitor a live feed and get alerts without the monthly plan, recording is only available with the subscription.
Are Arlo Subscription Plans Worth It?
While perfectly functional without the subscription, we do think the subscription plans are worth it for people who wish to have optimum security. Subscriptions for home video devices are rather common, and they can offer increased peace of mind.
If you’re considering an Arlo video doorbell, we recommend additionally considering the paid subscription.
Arlo Essential Doorbell Installation
As we have touched on previously, installing the Arlo video doorbells is quick and easy. To show you how easy it is, you can check out this video by Arlo that shows you how you will install your doorbell camera.
Throughout this Arlo Essential video doorbell review, we have seen that both models offer some great features. Having a video doorbell can help to keep you, your family, and your property much safer.
Either option would be a great addition to your home security setup, but our recommendation is to go for the wireless version paired with the paid subscription for maximum security.
Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that you will have a lot more control over your security and home protection!