It’s on our list of the best home outdoor wireless security cameras and it might be a little pricier security camera system than some of the others, however the Arlo Pro 2 system is quite possibly the best all-around home security camera.
- Completely wireless – none of that “wireless wifi but need a power cord” stuff – allowing setup anywhere you need a camera
- Cameras work both inside and outside – system can monitor inside while you’re away and outside while you’re home
- System can be expanded to work with 6 cameras – can buy all 6 with the base station or add them as you go
- Some features are not found on other security cameras.
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT
These cameras operate off a rechargeable battery that will last 4 to 6 months under normal operating conditions. You can increase that time if some of the camera settings are changed so that the camera is not activated as often.
This security camera system is completely wireless and only records when motion or sound activates the system. However, you can set it to continuous 24/7 recording but it must be plugged into a power source. And a solar panel won’t do it, the strength of the electric current won’t be enough. It needs to be a direct to AC power.
Where you choose to place these cameras is completely up to you and easy to do. Because they’re wireless they can be mounted anywhere where surveillance is needed. But there are two things to be aware of when deciding where to place them:
- Motion Detection Traffic Direction
- Camera to base station distance is 300 feet
When installing the cameras the best location for the cameras to pick up motion detection is where the traffic crosses the camera’s path and not directly at or away from the camera. So a camera right above the front door might be better mounted on an adjacent wall or under the eave. This allows for traffic going towards the door to cross the camera’s pass.
The other thing to consider is the camera needs to be within 300 feet of the base station for the best reception. 300 feet is optimal so things like walls, appliances or fixtures might affect and reduce the signal.
Methods of mounting
There are 2 different ways to mount the cameras which will allow their placement anywhere inside or outside. Either mount is attached with screws, for drywall mounts use the included plastic anchors. Or if you wanted to set it on a shelf or table it does have a flat bottom for that.
You can either use a magnetic wall mount. This is probably more suitable for an interior wall or a flat vertical surface like a fence.
There is also a post mounting bracket which is more suited to an exterior wall or less typical location such as the ceiling or a tree.
This is not a standalone camera
The camera system comes in 2 parts. There are the actual cameras and then there is the base station. The base station must be connected directly to your network with the included ethernet cable for it to operate properly. The base station allows the video feed to be available to you remotely and for videos to be uploaded to the cloud.
Unlike some other wireless security cameras that connect directly to your network through WiFi, the Arlo Pro system requires you to have the base station, without it the cameras will not work.
If you already have the Arlo base station from the previous Arlo Pro camera system you won’t need the new base station. The newer Pro 2 cameras will work with your existing base station.
Connecting Camera to Base
Connecting the camera to the base station is a very easy process. To begin the camera needs to be within 3 feet of the base station. Press the button on top of the bases station for about 2 seconds and the sync light on the base station should turn green. Then you press the sync button on top of the camera for 2 seconds, release it and it should begin to blink and the green camera button on the base station will be solid green.
So, to review, press button on the base station, then button on camera and then it’s synced. Pretty simple right? Luckily, for those of us with 5 or 15 cameras to sync, you repeat the process for every camera. It shouldn’t be more than a 5 minute process even with 15 cameras.
Arlo Pro 2 Night Vision needs some TLC
While video during daylight or under lighted conditions is 1080p HD and looks pretty clear, the night vision picture is a little lacking. In fact, the night vision of the original Arlo Pro appears better and clearer than on the Pro 2. Arlo has said that they are working on providing a solution to the problem.
The cameras are IP65-certified meaning they are rated for indoor and outdoor use. They will work in the rain, wind, sun and cold. The camera can withstand temperatures from -4F to 113F so unless you’re in those few spots in North America where the temperature gets any more extreme than that, this camera should work for you.
Arlo’s unique features
The Arlo Pro 2 security system base station has a USB port and a 100 decibel siren. The USB port can be used to download the videos locally onto a flash drive to share or keep for record. The siren can be set off manually through the Arlo app to scare off trespassers or can be set to automatically come on when motion is sensed.
The system also has geofencing. The system can be set to begin monitoring when you leave and stop monitoring when you’re there. Or it can be set to monitor only for certain hours while you’re there and monitor all the time when you’re not.
Not without power
The Arlo Pro 2 does have a few features that put it in the upper tier of outdoor wireless security cameras. Unfortunately, those can only be used if the camera is plugged in to a continuous power source.
The system has what it calls a 3-second lookback. This means the video is pre-recording so that if a triggering incident does occur you will get the preceding 3 seconds of video. This is especially helpful if there is vandalism or a break-in because it might capture the offenders face. This is a good feature but it will only work if it is plugged in to a power source.
The Arlo security system also has the ability to be set up with motion detection zones. This allows you to set viewing areas to ignore so that a passing car or a dog walker doesn’t start the recording. This can be useful but you only have that option with the camera plugged in to a continuous power source.
If you want to have continuous power to an outdoor Arlo Pro 2 camera I would recommend the Wasserstein outdoor quick charge power adapter. It is an extension cord for outdoor ll-weather use, made for the Arlo camera system and will allow 24/7 operation.
For those that want all that this Arlo Pro 2 security system can offer…
The Arlo base station will support up to 15 cameras. If you need to use more than 15 cameras you will need another base station. 15 cameras will cover the entire exterior of the house and the yard, interior included.
For those wanting to get more than 5 cameras there are some limitations on what you will be able to do.
While the base station will support 15 cameras you can only view 5 camera views at one time with one base station at the basic subscription level. Apparently this is a limitation of the hardware and not a restriction by Arlo.
You can view more than 5 camera feeds if you add an additional base station and upgrade your subscription level.
Theoretically, if you have the Elite subscription plan you can use 3 base stations with 5 cameras each which will allow you to view 15 camera views simultaneously. But the quality and speed of the video will be dependent on your WiFi capabilities.
|Access to Recordings||7 days||30 days||60 days|
|Number of Cameras|
Accessories for the Arlo Pro 2
There are a lot of Arlo Pro 2 accessories that are available. I’m just going to discuss the ones I think you’ll find the most helpful.
You can get extra rechargeable batteries and the battery recharging dock. This will provide continuous fully charged batteries for your cameras for zero down time. Otherwise you will need to remove the batteries or connect the battery charge cable to the camera where it is mounted. Neither one of these options sounds convenient.
There is a gutter mount for the camera that attaches to the gutter with clamps. It even comes with a roof to protect your Arlo Pro 2 camera from direct sunlight, rain or snow. It can swivel 180 degrees and tilt 90 degrees allowing full coverage of the area it is mounted in. And it doesn’t just work on gutters. It can be mounted wherever a flat surface that is less than 5/8 of an inch can be found.
The Arlo Pro 2 security system cameras come in white. This stands out pretty well against a darker background or in a tree. But there are skins available that go over the cameras to disguise them and camoflauge the camera if you want to monitor an area without anyone being able to see them. You can get them in camouflage, black, dark brown, and a forest green. They are UV, weather resistant and made of silicone to easily slip over the camera.
Arlo Pro 2
Ease of Use9.5/10
- Completely 100% wireless
- Free Access to videos for 7 days
- 3-second lookback
- Fully weather resistant
- Easily mountable anywhere
- 2-way audio
- Little pricier than other options
- Continuous power source needed for the best features
- Night vision clarity could be better
- Some users reported getting the run around with customer service