As Arlo cameras increase in price, they gain higher video resolution—while the core features such as wire-free installation and color night vision remain mostly the same. This is different from competitors like Ring and Google Nest, which tend to standardize resolution across cameras, regardless of cost.
By offering plenty of video resolutions, Arlo can cater to specific customer tastes. For example, a techie might buy an Arlo Ultra for access to stunning 4K video. But a new parent can save a little cash by opting for the lower resolution of an Arlo Essential in nurseries and playrooms.
We have a love/hate relationship with Arlo’s hubs. We absolutely love that they improve battery life compared to security cameras that use only Wi-Fi. They also enable local video storage by connecting a storage device to the hub.
But base stations have a major drawback: cost. An Arlo Smart Hub accounts for around $100 of Arlo’s starter kits’ price—the same amount as the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery. This extra expense makes most brands a better value than Arlo since you can buy more cameras for less.
The number of cameras a base station supports depends on the camera type and subscription plan you have.
Here’s a quick list of Arlo cameras that require a base station (not including many discontinued models):
- Arlo Pro 3
- Arlo Pro 2
- Arlo Ultra
Fortunately, Arlo sells some stand-alone cameras that don’t use a base station:
- Arlo Essential Spotlight
- Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight
- Arlo Video Doorbell
- Arlo Q
We recommend choosing a stand-alone camera if you want to save some cash. But the base station is the best way to record local video without a cloud subscription, which saves more money over the long run. Depending on the local storage capacity you have, you can start saving money in 2–4 months (compared to cloud storage).
While most Arlo cameras use a battery for wire-free operation, some models also use an optional solar panel or power cable to supplement the battery. Two Arlo cameras don’t use batteries at all: Arlo Video Doorbell and Arlo Q.