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Netgear Arlo cameras get person detection, motion zones

Netgear introduces new service plans for Arlo home security cameras.

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Netgear's Arlo cameras get access to person alerts, motion zones and an emergency response service.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Netgear's security cameras just got access to a cloud subscription plan that adds a host of new features.

The company's lineup of home security cameras, which includes the Arlo Pro 2, the Arlo Pro, the Arlo, the Arlo Go, the Arlo Q and the Arlo Q Plus, gained access to Arlo Smart today.

Arlo cameras still offer 7 days of free activity-based cloud video storage, as well as motion and sound alerts. They also support Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands without a Netgear subscription required. 

Netgear's new cloud subscription plan adds person detection, motion zones, "rich" notifications (meaning the alert includes images from your camera's live feed), as well as a feature called "e911" designed to connect you quickly to emergency responders. The e911 feature only works in the US. The monthly fee varies depending on your package.

Here's the overview of Arlo Smart, including pricing:

Arlo Smart Add-on: $3 per month (per camera) for person detection, motion zones and rich notifications.

Arlo Smart Premier: $10 per month for person detection, motion zones, rich notifications and e911. The Premier service also extends the video storage period from one week to 30 days. It works with up to 10 Arlo cameras. 

Arlo Smart Elite: $15 per month for person detection, motion zones, rich notifications and e911. The Elite service extends the video storage period from 30 days to 60 days and it works with up to 20 Arlo cameras. 

Arlo Smart plans are optional and available on a month-to-month basis without any contract terms or termination fees. Read more about them here.

Given that Canary offers person alerts and motion zones for free, I'm not sure Netgear is doing us any huge favors with this update. Even Nest, which historically over-charges for features, now offers free person alerts on its IQ cams. At least Netgear is updating its features to stay competitive with what's in the DIY security camera market today. 

Its most compelling addition might be e911, which Netgear claims "guides emergency responders directly to your home, no matter where you call from."

We plan to test out these features in short order, so check back soon for updates on the Arlo Smart service.

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