Netgear Arlo Go review: Netgear's Arlo Go LTE security camera doesn't need Wi-Fi

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The Good Netgear's $400 Arlo Go camera works over LTE, rather than Wi-Fi, so you don't have to worry about a spotty wireless connection. It comes with 7 days of free video clip cloud storage. The rechargeable battery lasts for weeks.

The Bad The motion sensor is adjustable, but overly sensitive -- and Netgear's cellular provider plan is based on the number of alerts you receive. I easily burned through dozens of notifications in an hour or two (and so will you). The base always feels like it's going to fall off.

The Bottom Line The Arlo Go is a solid camera, but Netgear's pay-by-alert pricing plan is a bad deal, so I'd opt for an AT&T or Verizon plan instead.

6.4 Overall
  • Features 7
  • Usability 5
  • Design 6.5
  • Performance 7

Update: Spring/summer 2018

Netgear in June introduced a new cloud service called Arlo Smart. Arlo Smart offers new features many Arlo security camera customers have been waiting for. They include person alerts, motion detection zones and e911, a way to connect with emergency responders from the Arlo app. Here's an overview of Arlo Smart's pricing tiers and options:

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. 

The original review of the Netgear Arlo Go posted on April 5, 2018. Read it in full below:

The Arlo Go by Netgear is a $400 HD live streaming outdoor security camera.  It runs exclusively on cellular networks, meaning no Wi-Fi, no Ethernet -- just LTE by way of AT&T, Verizon or Netgear's own Arlo Mobile plan. The Arlo Go is available in the UK for £339 and Australia for AU$599.

Designed like Netgear's Wi-Fi-powered Arlo cams, the Go comes with a rechargeable battery that's supposed to last for over a month. Mine's been running off and on for a few weeks now and the battery is currently around 50 percent. 

Consider the Arlo Go if you're searching for a camera that works where Wi-Fi can't, but sticking to an AT&T or a Verizon plan. The Arlo Mobile service is based on the number of alerts you receive, and while the Go's motion sensor is adjustable, you can receive dozens of alerts within just a couple of hours -- and the camera stops working if you reach your plan's max allowance. That's easier to avoid if you opt for AT&T or Verizon, since they log the amount of data you use rather than the number of times the motion sensor detects activity. 

Getting to know the Arlo Go

There aren't a ton of DIY LTE security cameras available today. In addition to the Arlo Go, there's the D-Link DCS-1820LH, which is supposed to be available some time this year and the Panasonic Nubo, which isn't currently sold in the US. That leaves the Link-U 4G LTE Smartcam, which got its start on Indiegogo back in 2014 and is actually out in the world and available for purchase.

Here's how the Link-U compares to Netgear's Arlo Go:

Comparing LTE security cameras

Netgear Arlo Go Link-U 4G LTE Smartcam
Price $400 $249
Color finish White Black and white
Weatherproof Indoor/outdoor Indoor only
Connection type Cellular Cellular; Wi-Fi; Ethernet
Power source Rechargeable battery Rechargeable battery, Power over Ethernet (PoE)
Resolution 720p HD 1080p HD
Live streaming Yes Yes
Continuous recording No No
Cloud storage Yes No
Local storage Yes (up to 32GB microSD card, not included) Yes (up to 32GB microSD card, not included)
Mobile app Yes Yes
Web app Yes No
Night vision Yes Yes
Alerts Motion and sound Motion and sound
Activity zones No No
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa; Google Assistant; IFTTT Works with Sigma Casa devices

So many alerts.

Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

Netgear's upfront cost is higher and its resolution tops out at 720p HD, compared to the Link-U's 1080p stream. The Arlo Go also doesn't offer the option to connect over LTE, Wi-Fi or Ethernet -- or to connect via a Power over Ethernet injector like the Link-U. The Go does, however, offer 7 days of free clip-based cloud storage, a web app and voice integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as a dedicated IFTTT channel. Just like other Alexa- and Google-Assistant-enabled security cameras, the Go works with screen-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo Show or a Google Chromecast TV. Simply say, "Show me the Garden camera" to pull up a live feed on your devices.

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