It’s fully wireless because the cameras use batteries and they need periodic recharging. I have always preferred to use cameras that are set and forget with a power cable and either Wi-Fi, CAT, or RG6 cable. Having to charge batteries didn’t seem like something I wanted to do. However, these cameras have some unique qualities that really change what home security can do for you. Can Arlo pull off a fully wireless camera? Let’s find out!
Install and setup was very easy, but a bit more time consuming than I expected. Download the app and start the setup with the base station that needs to be hardwired to the network and plugged into power. One thing that really bugged me about the setup was after installing each device, there is a four to six-minute firmware update You must wait for it to complete and it doesn’t run in the background. Annoying, but moving on I was able to mount the cameras anywhere I liked, provided they were within Wi-Fi range. I mounted one in the middle of a parking lot, for example, a place that’s normally difficult or impossible to feed a cable to. These cameras break all the rules that limit wired cameras and I’m starting to really like them.
There are many good things about the Arlo Pro cameras, starting with their surprising battery life. I expected them to last a week at best, but they kept working for several months. The app is clean and easy to use and the free seven days of recording to the cloud was a big win. I used to own Nest cameras, but with only three hours of free recording time, I quickly switched them out for something that came with more time. If you have many cameras installed, the recording fees can quickly exceed the original cost of the cameras. Arlo offers more free recording time than most. I found that seven days was all I really needed. The two-camera kit I bought was on sale for $275, that’s a great deal for a siren and two cameras. And of course, you can change the camera placement any time without running new wiring!
The included mounting hardware for these cameras is just so-so, I wish more versatile options were bundled so I wouldn’t have to buy them separately. They only work for mounting into thin wood or sheet metal with the included screws, but if you pick yourself up some Tapcon concrete and brick screws, you can mount them right into a block wall as I did. The included mounts also limit your camera angles. I found the two-way audio to be a bit hit and miss, the mic picks up audio incredibly well, but the speaker is very quiet, even indoors. The cameras take a good bit of time to load into a live a view, this is to be expected, but I wish it were a little zippier. You also need to make sure to mount them high enough that people can’t just grab or knock them down, but also in a spot where you can access them to charge the batteries; some things to think about before installing them.
Tough question, but I would say yes, if Wi-Fi is your only option to reach a particular location, they are a perfect choice. I was worried about battery life, but it really isn’t an issue. Being able to change the location of the cameras at any time is amazing. Set one by your desk at night to see if anyone is snooping around, no power needed. The app is easy to use, and the included siren is ear-shatteringly loud. It’s a good value system that offers plenty of flexible installation options, with the only real downside being the need to charge the camera batteries.
The Arlo Pro VMS4230 Wi-Fi Camera System is the best fully wireless camera system I’ve tested to date. If you are limited by wiring but have great Wi-Fi, this is the camera solution for you. Just remember to check those battery levels, you don’t want to leave town for a few weeks and have your cameras die while you’re away. The upside is that you can always swap their locations, as long as you stay in Wi-Fi range. I suspect this technology will only get better as batteries and Wi-Fi improve. The system was far better than I had expected, and I suggest you give it a look for an easy to install and use camera system to protect you and your home.