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Smart, user-friendly security products for your whole home

The wire-free Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight security camera and Arlo Smart deliver simple, intuitive security with hassle-free installation.

4 min read
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If you're like the millions of us trying to weather the pandemic as safely as possible, you're doing a lot of shopping online. In fact, consumers spent $10 billion more in April and May of 2020 than they did in the 2019 holiday shopping season, according to Adobe.


All of this shopping leads to packages being delivered to your doorstep at all hours of the day. It also leads to a rise in package theft, as reported by nonprofit news site The Crime Report. Companies are doing their best to avoid unnecessary contact, so delivery personnel are not ringing doorbells or asking for signatures. They're just leaving your goods outside and moving on to the next stop.

With more people staying home, there are also more vehicles parked outdoors for long stretches of time, tempting thieves who may take advantage of unlocked doors. CBS reports that vehicle larcenies are up significantly in major cities, compared to last year.

Now that the 2020 holiday season is getting closer, it's clear that homeowners need a smart and safe way to protect their property from criminals and mischief. As CNET has found year after year, Arlo delivers that solution with easy-to-install and easy-to-use outdoor cameras.

What to look for in a security solution

The first feature on which to focus when choosing a security camera is installation and setup. Arlo wire-free cameras have a key advantage here: With no need for wiring, you can install the camera anywhere that requires protection.

cnet arlo s61 custom article pro 4 spotlight wire free camera

Arlo offers magnetic mounts (that require just a single screw) that hold the camera in place securely and allow for easy adjustment. Included batteries can deliver months of uninterrupted service on one charge, so the system sets up in minutes and doesn't require any kind of technical expertise. 

The second consideration is versatility: You want a camera that works in low-light conditions and includes built-in features such as spotlight, siren, event detection, and two-way audio. The additional functionality takes the camera from a passive surveillance tool to an active security device, enabling you to respond when potential problems arise and engage from wherever you are.

The third important thing to look for is an easy-to-use app. Arlo app and Smart subscription stands out for its rich feature set and layers some truly impressive capabilities on top of the cameras themselves. 


The app brings all of your cameras together into one interface, and it provides an archive of clips so you can review past incidents. An 'activity zone' option lets you select which areas in a given view are alert-worthy and which aren't, so you can make sure you're alerted when a vehicle pulls into your driveway, but not when a vehicle pulls into the neighbor's driveway, for instance.

Arlo Smart also uses artificial intelligence to 'recognize' certain shapes and patterns, so it knows the difference between a package delivery and a cat snoozing on the front steps. You can set the app to keep a close eye on certain areas when you're away and to ignore (by muting notifications) certain areas when you know they will be busy. 

Here's a common example: If you're expecting a package, you'll get an alert when the camera detects the delivery. With one tap, you can converse with the delivery person using two-way audio and make sure it's placed out of sight, if you're not home. If a stranger comes up to the door and seems to be snooping around, you can access a menu of options right from the alert, including flashing the lights, sounding the siren, or notifying emergency services.

For U.S. customers, the Arlo Smart app integrates with e911, so it will notify your local emergency response agencies even if you're in another location entirely.

Integration is the fourth important element: You want a solution that will work smoothly with other smart home systems you may have in the house, including voice assistants, door locks, and connected lighting. Arlo products are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and a many other popular devices.

The right camera for the job

Arlo's latest camera models deliver the features we've discussed in a comprehensive and simple package:

cnet arlo s61 custom article doorbell

The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free provides a 180-degree viewing angle with night vision, two-way audio, and even plays pre-recorded 'away' messages. You can power it with a rechargeable battery or hard-wire it directly into your home's electrical system. 

The wire-free Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Security  Camera captures 2K video for exceptional resolution and clarity. It features color night vision, siren, two-way audio, and a spotlight that may be triggered whenever an event is detected.  The lower-priced Arlo Essential Spotlight Wire-Free Camera delivers all the functionality of its 'more advanced' siblings with 1080p resolution.

Finally, the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera combines a 2K camera with a blazingly bright, 3,000-lumen floodlight to illuminate even the darkest area, deter mischief, and provide ultimate protection. 

With wire-free power and installation, two-way communication tools, object recognition, and smart home integration, Arlo devices make a compelling choice for home security. Visit to learn more.