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If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the past few years, you already know that with Google’s purchase of Nest and similar pickups by Cisco and Samsung, the smart home, and in this case smart home security, is the wave of the future for gadget makers everywhere. So, you better get the best home security camera installed.
Of course, smart homes need smart cameras to watch over all your new devices and make sure they don’t get stolen while you’re away, which is where Netgear’s Arlo Q camera comes in to help complement of our best home security picks.
Read on in my Netgear Arlo Q review to find out what sets this IoT IP camera apart from the rest of the pack!
Summary: The Netgear Arlo Q is a reliable, if somewhat standard entry into the growing market of smarthome IP security cameras.
Price: $219 on Amazon
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The design of the Netgear Arlo Q camera is much in like with the “Apple-ization” of many other smart home security cameras, with clean rounded lines and a blank white matte finish.
The camera is made to blend into the background, not draw attention to itself, which it does with flying colors (so to speak). The adjustable, mountable base makes it easy to install the camera in almost any configuration you can think of, or simply sitting it on a desk or sturdy bookcase if you don’t feel like breaking out a power drill to get it attached to the wall.
The Netgear Arlo Q features a 1080p, HD resolution camera with 130-degree field of view lens and night vision capability, a micro-USB plug in port, and an onboard two-way microphone speaker combo.
Setting up the Arlo Q was an absolute breeze, with only a few quick steps between plugging the camera in, registering it to my home’s wifi router, and getting online. With the help of QR codes, one only needs to register an account on the Netgear Arlo website, enter the name and password to their home network, and scan the code from the camera itself.
After that, you have the option to either record all activity 24/7 (with a bumped up monthly plan), or motion-activated activity only based on predetermined “activity zones” that we’ll get into a bit later. You can also read our Annke home security camera system review for a camera system with 100ft night vision and easy remote access.
The software of the Arlo Q is handled entirely by the Arlo website and smartphone application, which you can log into and manage from any desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This sort of ubiquity across all platforms is incredibly helpful when you’re setting up the camera, as well as when you’re using it during the day or night.
The picture quality of the Arlo Q while viewing either in the web app or on a smartphone was superb, allowing us to see even the most minute details during the day. The night vision feature was nice as well, although it was much harder to see faces or the exact motions of what people were doing until they were much closer to the light emanating from within the house.
One sorely missed feature you’ll find on competing cameras like the Nest Cam was integration with other apps or hardware like IFTTT. Without the option to create recipes (like ringing a neighbor’s cell phone when motion is detected, for example), there’s not a lot that the Arlo Q can do besides giving you a window into your home while you’re away and notifying you through the app when something is up.
The available features on the Netgear Arlo Q aren’t exactly revolutionary in any major way, but mainly improve on much of the groundwork laid by its predecessors like the Nest Cam.
Read More: Petcube Camera Review
The Arlo Q is able to record motion based on activity windows that you set for it in its field of vision, which will prevent it from turning on every time a car passes by or the mailman shows up, if you so choose. The Netgear Arlo Q will save up to 7 days of recordings (motion-only) in its cloud storage service absolutely free of charge, which is more than we can say for other similar camera setups. This is the same amount of storage found in the Netgear Arlo Wireless cameras.
Lastly, perhaps our favorite feature was the two-way microphone and speaker, which not only allows you to hear what’s going on around the camera, but also talk back either through your computer’s microphone or your paired smartphone. This means you can ask the UPS delivery driver to “leave it on the doorstep”, or yell at your dog to be quiet if he won’t stop barking at said delivery man.
As far as IP cameras go, the Netgear Arlo Q is fairly basic; but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It does exactly what you need it to (watch your house/kids/pets while you’re away), and immediately alerts you to any danger via email or text.
The price might be slightly prohibitive if you’re planning on setting up two or more stations in your home, however for just the one doorstep camera and one indoors, it’s still within most smart home enthusiast’s budgets.
If you want a camera that can integrate with more smart home devices, you’re better off going with something like the Nest Cam with its IFTTT integration. If that’s not important to you however, the Arlo Q will get the job done thanks to its easy setup and rich breadth of available online features.
Read Next: Netgear Arlo Wireless Camera Review