The market for the best security cameras is currently very competitive and two of the leading companies are Arlo and Ring. Ring was acquired by Amazon in 2018, making it part of the world’s largest retailer and provider of storage and cloud services (and a stable partner of another Amazon-owned security brand, Blink). Arlo might not have such a monster behind it, but in 2019 it was the leading home surveillance camera brand in Europe and the leading internet-connected camera brand in America.
Both companies have a range of indoor and outdoor security cameras that work well with your digital home assistant and smartphone, and while they’re not the only suppliers, check out our guide to the best cheap security cameras for more. low price. options – their products are among the most convincing.
As we’ll find out, however, there are some important differences between the two companies’ products – not just in terms of specs or price, but also in terms of what else they can hook up to and where their footage might end up. .
Arlo vs Ring: price and range
As you would expect from an Amazon company, Ring pricing is very aggressive. Ring’s cheapest video doorbell, the Video Doorbell Wired, costs $ 59.99 / £ 49 / AU $ 119, as does its cheapest wired security camera, the Ring Indoor WiFi Camera. A single Wireless Outdoor Spotlight Cam costs $ 159.99 / £ 159 / AU $ 329.
The Arlo camera lineup is very impressive, although the specific models available vary from country to country. In the US, there are two indoor cameras, the Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus, and four indoor / outdoor cameras ranging from the entry-level Arlo Essential to the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2 with higher resolution video. There’s an LTE smart mobile camera (the Arlo Go) and the incredibly cute Arlo Baby to keep an eye on your little one. Arlo also offers two video doorbells and a super bright projector security camera.
Arlo products are generally more expensive. Its wired video doorbell costs $ 129 / £ 109 / AU $ 199, and its cheapest security camera, the Arlo Essential, is $ 129 / £ 109 / AU $ 199, while a single Arlo Ultra camera with base station costs $ 399 / £ 449 / AU $ 599. Again, there are options between these two.
Arlo vs Ring: subscription fees
To get the most out of home security cameras, you’ll need to subscribe to a storage plan, which also unlocks more advanced features like people detection and parcel detection. Arlo’s Premier plan, the cheapest Arlo Smart option, costs $ 2.99 / £ 2.49 / AU $ 4.49 per month for a single camera or $ 9.99 / £ 7.99 / 14 , AU $ 99 for up to 5 cameras. This gives you 30 days of cloud storage, along with smart recognition features. CCTV-style continuous recording starts at $ 9.99 / £ 6.99 / AU $ 12.99 per month.
If you have a lot of devices and cameras, Ring’s ongoing costs are lower. It offers two plans: Basic, which costs $ 3 / £ 2.50 / AU $ 4 per month or $ 30 / £ 24.99 / AU $ 40 per year; and More, either $ 10 / £ 8 / AU $ 15 per month or $ 100 / £ 80 / AU $ 150 per year. Basic is for one device and Plus is for all your devices and includes 24/7 remote monitoring if you have a ringing alarm. Storage here is 60 days, not 30.
If smart doorbells are your thing, Ring has tons of them: the Ring site currently lists seven wired and wireless video doorbells. The rest of the camera lineup is simpler with wired, wireless, and solar options: there’s the wired indoor camera, the indoor / outdoor wireless Stick Up Cam, and an outdoor Spotlight Cam and Floodlight Cam.
Amazon also unveiled a flying Ring security drone, the Always Home Cam, which will cost $ 250 and only in the US, as well as the Ring Car Alarm, Ring Car Cam, and Ring Mailbox Sensor, although these products did not not yet launched. Ring also offers a selection of smart home alarm devices, such as alarm panels and window sensors that integrate with cameras.
Products from both ranges can be used without cloud storage. In the case of Ring, that means you can only view live footage and not store it at all. This is also true for Arlo, except that if you have an Arlo Smart Hub with USB storage attached, you can record footage on it.
Arlo vs Ring: Battery life
Arlo wireless outdoor security cameras are designed for six months between charges, and you can purchase an additional solar panel to keep them filled and extend their life.
Ring promises six to twelve months on its fully wireless cameras between charges, depending on the number of activations. It also has solar versions for less frequent recharging.
Ring doorbells are more likely to last around a month, again depending on settings like motion detection and how often it goes off.
Arlo vs. Ring: app
Both platforms have very stylish mobile apps for iOS and Android that let you get a live view from your cameras and interact with visitors via two-way audio. Arlo’s iOS app also features rich notifications with image previews and quick actions, an Apple Watch app, and HomeKit integration.
Ring also lets you get crime alerts from your neighbors, a feature that has proven to be somewhat controversial in the United States. The apps will alert you when motion is detected, whether it’s outside your home when you’re away from home or when baby moves while you’re on the couch.
As you might expect, Ring is very tightly integrated with Amazon’s Alexa (including the ability to request to see the video on your TV with an Amazon Fire TV stick or on an Amazon Echo Show device), but there is no has no integration with Apple HomeKit.
It is worth mentioning here that Ring has drawn criticism in the United States for his ties to law enforcement: he has partnered with hundreds of law enforcement agencies to give them potential access to camera footage in the United States. a sort of high-tech neighborhood watch. In January 2021, Amazon had partnered with more than 2,000 U.S. law enforcement and firefighters, raising concerns about creating a surveillance network that would mean many people are being watched by a system accessible by outsiders. without realizing it: According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “You may agree to be near a Ring’s camera and microphone, but your neighbors and nearby pedestrians cannot. “
Ring’s Control Center in its app gives you some control over this. You can turn off all video requests to turn off this sharing, and you can also see what other devices are connected to your system to make sure you’re not sharing your Ring cameras with devices you don’t want to share with. You can also specify which users should have access to which Ring devices.
Arlo vs Ring: overall
Both companies offer products for complete home coverage, from your front door to indoor and outdoor wireless cameras. Both offer people and audio detection, cloud storage, and motion detection.
If you want to buy or start building a full home security platform, Ring is the best option because it expands outside of the cameras. It’s also cheaper to enter, which means you get more devices for your initial investment.
But if it’s just the cameras you’re interested in, Arlo’s can offer much better video quality with models capturing video above HD or even 4K with HDR.
The Ring lineup is more extensive than Arlo’s and is part of Amazon’s drive to be absolutely anywhere: its plans include Sidewalk, where neighboring devices would share connectivity to create a mesh network for everything, from security devices and car alarms to lost keys. regular.