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Netgear Arlo Pro 2 review:This battery-powered outdoor security camera duo goes where extension cords won't

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The Good The cameras and related Arlo app work well and allow advanced features like person alerts and motion zones (if you subscribe to the Arlo Smart cloud service).

The Bad $480 is pricey for a two-camera kit. It's difficult to angle the cameras unless you mount and attach them to the included magnetic bases (which requires a more permanent install). Alexa and Google Assistant integration didn't work well in our testing.

The Bottom Line If you don't need Alexa or Google Assistant support, the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 security cameras ably deliver reliable live streaming and prompt activity alerts packed in durable weatherproof housing.

7.6 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 7
  • Design 8
  • Performance 7

The Netgear Arlo Pro 2 kit ($480, £345 or AU$79) is the latest option for anyone looking for a pair of outdoor-friendly wireless security cameras that can operate without the need to be plugged in to an AC outlet. The set includes two rechargeable outdoor security cameras and a base station you connect to your Wi-Fi router. The battery-powered cameras are weatherproof and designed to go outside -- as far as your Wi-Fi network will allow. If you subscribe to an Arlo Smart cloud plan (at extra cost), you can get alerts when the cameras see a person (versus a car or your neighbor's cat) -- and motion detection zones to the mix for added security.

The Arlo Pro 2 cams offer 1080p HD live streaming, which improves on Netgear's already solid Arlo and Arlo Pro models that delivered lower-resolution 720p HD video. They're versatile and responsive cameras with a generous 7 days of free event-based cloud storage. But here's the rub: Despite support for Alexa and Google Assistant, I had a lot of issues getting the voice integrations to work, even after scouring support pages and trying every logical fix.

I like that the Pro 2 is battery-powered like the $200 Canary Flex, but you have to pay for person alerts (whereas Canary offers them for free). At the same time, the Pro 2's 7-day free cloud storage is much better than Canary's 24 hours. The Pro 2 doesn't have as many features as the facial-recognition-enabled $349 Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, but it requires a power adapter to work. Be sure to check out this roundup to learn even more about the other outdoor security cameras available today. 

Given my experience, I'd recommend that you give the Arlo Pro 2 cams strong consideration if you're in the market for durable Wi-Fi cameras that don't have to be plugged in -- but only if you don't care about voice commands. 

Strong feature set -- with voice control issues

Take a peek at the chart below to see how the Arlo Pro 2 compares to the Canary Flex and the $180 Logi Circle 2, all of which are indoor/outdoor cameras: 

Comparing indoor-outdoor security cameras


Netgear Arlo Pro 2 Canary Flex Logi Circle 2 (wired model)
Price $480, £345 or AU$799 (two-camera kit, plus required hub) $200, £159 or about AU$280 $180, £130 or about AU$230
Color finish White Black, white White
Type Indoor-outdoor Indoor-outdoor Indoor-outdoor
Power source Rechargeable battery, power adapter Rechargeable battery, power adapter Power adapter
Resolution 1080p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD
Expected battery life Six months Two months N/A (must use power adapter)
Field of view 130-degree viewing angle 116-degree viewing angle 180-degree viewing angle
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes
Continuous recording No No No
Cloud storage Free seven-day event-based video history. (Optional Arlo Smart cloud service subscriptions ranging from $3 to $15 per month.) Free 24-hour event-based video history. (Optional 30-day event-based video history for $10 per month.) Free 24-hour event-based video history. (Optional 14- or 31-day event-based video history for $4 or $10 per month.)
Local storage No No No
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone
Web app Yes Yes, with cloud subscription Yes
Night vision Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Motion, audio (person alerts wtih Arlo Smart) Motion and person (package detection with cloud subscription) Motion (person alerts with Circle Safe Premium subscription)
Activity zones Yes, with Arlo Smart No Yes, with Circle Safe Premium subscription
Two-way audio Yes Yes, with cloud subscription Yes
Operating temperature range -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 45 degrees Celsius) -4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 45 degrees Celsius) -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 50 degrees Celsius)
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa, Apple TV, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Apple TV, Google Assistant, Wink Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

All three of the cameras listed above have 1080p HD live streaming and integration with Alexa and Google Assistant -- these things are no longer considered "special" or "advanced" features. On the Netgear, that means you're supposed to be able to ask a Google-Assistant or Alexa-enabled device to show you your camera's live video feed on your Chromecast-compatible TV or on your Alexa-compatible TV. I unfortunately found both integrations very hit-or-miss.

I specifically tried voice control using a Google Home Max and a Chromecast-enabled Vizio TV. In the Google Home app, search for Arlo under the Home Control section. Enter your Arlo app username and password and it will connect. After that, you're supposed to be able to say: "Hey Google, show me the garden camera on the main TV (or whatever you've named your devices)." This integration is fast to configure, but I never actually got it to work. 

It alternated between pulling up random keyword searches for videos about gardens and telling me the live feed wasn't available to stream (even though it was). I tried everything I could think of, confirming that all of the devices were on the same Wi-Fi network, correctly paired and that I was using the correct names for the cameras and the Vizio TV. 

Connecting to the Arlo skill in the Alexa app was even worse. I entered my login credentials for Arlo, as prompted by the Alexa app at least a dozen times over a few days and got this response: "We were unable to link Arlo at this time. Please try again later." It should be much easier than this.

Netgear also has an Apple TV app, but no Siri voice functionality. Even so, you can use your Apple TV to pull up your Arlo Pro 2 cams. That worked fine, but again, it doesn't support voice commands. 

All three cameras also offer person alerts -- Netgear and Logitech charge for the feature while Canary offers it for free. 

What really sets Netgear's Arlo Pro 2 apart is its free cloud storage. Netgear gives you 7 days of free storage; Canary and Logitech only offer 24 hours of free storage. 

Pay a monthly fee for Arlo Smart if you want additional storage and features:

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. 

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