Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera Review

Arlo Q HD Home Security CameraThe Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera was introduced by Netgear’s Arlo division in late 2015.  They already had a very successful line of wireless cameras that we discussed in a prior article.  The Arlo Q is a more traditional camera – it’s wired in terms of power.  There are limits to truly wireless cameras.  Most notable of which is the batteries run out.  As a result, you’re always careful in not using it too long.  Not an issue with the Arlo Q.  Use it all day and night.  Lots of enhanced features.

Let’s take a closer look at the Arlo Q.

Software

You can access the Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera System with your smartphone or via their web portal.  For those with other cameras made by Arlo, it’s the same application.

The IOS and Android apps are fairly typical for security camera applications.  You can view all the cameras in one view.  It provides displays for signal strength, battery power remaining.  You can perform most of the basic settings from here.

The Arlo Q offers sound and motion alerts.   Not a fan of sound alerts on any camera.  They never work right because there’s always some background noise that sets it off like the air conditioner or even the guys picking up the garbage.  Don’t bother with it on any home security camera.

Motion is a different story.  The Arlo Q supports what they call Activity Zones.  These are areas where you want to monitor any motion.  The Arlo Q supports three of these per camera.  An example of prudent use would be to only monitor activity above three feet so that a pet doesn’t set the motion event off.  Another example would be to exclude a tree to remove the movement of leaves from generating an alert.  A lot of other cameras support this and it’s a very effective way to reduce false alerts.

You can establish a schedule for motion or sound detection based upon time of day.  Motion is detected with the use of Infrared technology (body heat).  The software allows establishment of a sensitivity setting.  Putting it in the middle is typically the best advice but something you need to play with.

The Arlo Q offers free seven day cloud storage or motion and sound alerts.  That’s a terrific feature.  There are paid upgrades to allow Coninuous Video Recording (CVR) as well as 60-day retention of alerts.  These subscriptions can get expensive.  Be aware of the amount bandwidth consumed by CVR’s 24×7 recording as some ISPs limit the bandwidth you can use in your home or office.  Keep in mind after the retention period is over, the video is deleted so write anything important to your phone or computer.  I like the free plan and think this will be sufficient for most.

Email and alerts to your phone are provided when a motion or sound event is detected.

Connectivity

The Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera System connects to your wireless router at 2.4GHz and 5Ghz using 802.11 n.  I like dual band connectivity.  Use the speedier 5GHz at closer distances and the slower 2.4GHz at further distances.  I have found 5GHz starts to become less effective at distances of around 40-50 feet.

Hardware

That’s the Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera in the photo that accompanies this article.  Typical footprint for a home security camera.  It measures 2.75 x 2.80 x 4.50 inches and weighs in at .37 pounds.

The video camera records at 1080p at 30 frames per second.  Typical for a higher end HD camera.  The 130 degree wide angle lens is sufficient to cover most of the room when placing the Arlo Q on a corner shelf.  There is 8x digital zoom and like all cameras, the more you zoom, the less detail you will see.

For night vision, there is an 850nm LED and that’s enough to see up to 25 feet from the camera.  The night view was clear but not as clear as some of the other cameras, most notably the Canary All-in-One Home Security System, which is my favorite for night viewing.

There’s an integrated microphone and speaker for two-way communications.  However like almost all home security cameras that support this feature, it’s difficult to have a good two-way conversation with someone.  I suppose that’s because of the latency inherent to a wireless connection.  I think that Nest has this figured out the best, and that camera is far from perfect.

There is no on-board storage with the Arlo Q (but there is an SD slot with the Arlo Q Plus, see the Fun and Different section of this article).  All events are written to the cloud.

Mounts

The Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera comes with a typical stand for a flat surface such as a desk or table.  Arlo also includes a wall mounting plate so that you can attach it to a vertical surface.  This is typical mounting hardware for a home security camera.  Unaware of any third party mounts for this camera as it doesn’t have a tripod mounting screw like the Arlo Wireless cameras.

Fun and Different

You can get an Arlo Q Plus HD Camera.  The included PoE accessory adds direct Ethernet capabilities to the Arlo Q.  This is useful for anyone that can’t get a solid wireless signal or doesn’t have a wireless router.  The Arlo Q Plus also provides the ability to record to an SD Card.

Summary

The Arlo Q HD Home Security Camera is a good choice for monitoring a room in your home.  It has all of the features you would expect to find in a good home security camera.  Good software features coupled with higher end video hardware.  A good choice measuring up well to a Nest Cam or the Samsung HD SmartCam in features as well as performance.

Quick Specs:

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1920x1080130 DegreesYesNo (Plus Model Only)YesYes/YesYesNo

Manufacturer Link:  Arlo

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