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As homes are getting smarter and more connected so have the number of cloud-connected home-surveillance webcam offerings on the market. Until recently, customers had to choose between cheap hardware and awful user interface or expensive hardware and better interface. Admittedly, there were also some awful-everything.

Arlo is a refreshing take on a market currently dominated by products like Dropcam Pro, which has been acquired by Nest, which was acquired by Google… Arlo does not compete directly with Dropcam however, on the contrary: Arlo is meant to be an outdoor camera which is just as easy to use. This addresses a market that has been glaringly ignored by Dropcam, despite a huge demand from its user base.

Arlo is battery operated, so that makes it extremely easy to install and operate around your house. We took a couple of cameras for a real-world spin over the past few months, and here’s our take on the whole system.

Hardware

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Arlo has a very cute and well thought-out design. The pack comes with two white cameras. At this time, there are no other colors available. The really interesting part in their design is that the back of the camera has a power magnet – powerful enough to easily hold the camera’s weight.

Because it’s an outdoor camera, it can withstand rain and sun without a problem. In fact, we used it during the “Rainpocalypse” in California, and there was no downtime or damage. The smooth plastic is easy to clean, and after wiping them, they looked as new again.

You have guessed it: it also comes with attachmentsthat can be screwed to a wall (or tree) then the metallic balls shown below let the user orient the camera very precisely. It is also possible to use a screw similar toa tri-pod connector, so there are plenty of options, including DIY ones, at your disposal.

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In terms of design, I thought that the plastic used for the Arlo camera is high-quality. It doesn’t feel at all like the cheaper D-Link or no-brand webcams that you frequently find in this market segment.

arlo-security-camera-07Arlo comes with its own WIFI base station, which acts as a central HUB for the many cameras that you may have around the place you want to keep an eye on. I had one camera at 8 Feet with minimal obstruction (3” of wood) and another one at 40 feet with a couple of walls in between. Both worked well and had 4/4 bars or ¾ bars of WiFi reception, according to Arlo’s data.

Filed in Home. Read more about Netgear and Webcams.

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