There really is no shortage of security web cameras. Especially these days. Logitech just jumped on board the bandwagon with the Logitech Circle Cam. And then there is of course the Dropcam, now known as Nest Cam, which was bought by Google not to long ago for $555 million. And then there is Netgear’s Arlo Wireless cameras, which took the segment by storm thanks to their 100% wireless nature.
And now entering the fray, is Netgear’s Arlo Q, which aims directly at the Nest Cam. But unlike Nest, which requires that you pay for in the cloud DVR service, the Arlo Q offers a 100% free DVR service that is good for up to 7-days of continuous recording. Yes, free.
Now, for clarity’s sake, the Arlo Q is designed to be complementary to that of the Arlo Wire-Free Security System. How so? Well, the Arlo Q can capture both audio and video and is not 100% wire-free like its sibling product. And like the Dropcam, audio is two way, which is to say you can capture audio as well as speak through the Arlo Q.
Setup wise things are pretty simple. Included in the package is a basestation that connects to your home’s router. The Arlo Q then connects to that basestation – just hit the pairing button on both the Arlo Q and the base station – allowing you to access the camera from any where in the world, provided you’ve got an Internet connection. And like the Arlo Wire-Free cam, the Arlo Q is completely mobile friendly, compatible with all browsers, with apps on iOS and Android.
Connectivity wise, Netgear says they’ve spent a great deal of time addressing the wireless portion of the Arlo Q (just to be clear, the Arlo Q needs to be plugged in for power only). Netgear, says their products will go farther and with less hassle than that of the competition. Though they were quick to note that your home and its contents will impact wireless reception, which can be said for any wireless product. Nevertheless, 150-300 feet shouldn’t be out of the question.
Other features you should be privy to include:
- 1080p video capture at 30FPS via a 4MP sensor + with sound
- A magnetic base station for placing on metal surfaces as well as a mounting bracket for walls
- A 130 degree lens for a wide field of view
- Easy to arm/disarm button in the app (for privacy)
- Integration with IFTTT (coming December 2015)
- Dual band capable
- Night vision
- 8x digital zoom
And about that DVR service. As mentioned, your Netgear Arlo Q will come with a DVR service that can record video on a 7-day loop completely free of charge. This package, the $0 package, will support up to 5 cameras. If you add 6-10 cameras you’ll need to pay $10/month or $100 for the year, though this will get you 30-days of rolling storage. Drop an additional $5 month, so $15/month or $150 a year and that doubles the recording capacity to 60-days. And for those with 1-3 cameras there are plans for those as well, albeit for less money.
That being said, the Arlo Q can be set up to record only if there is motion or audio detected. Moreover, if there are constant false positives, say from a moving tree branch in the field of view, you can designate certain areas of the frame to ignore movement. Geofencing and scheduling is also an option. So if you’re kids come home, you can set the cameras to turn on or turn off when you get home, though this feature may not be available at launch.
And speaking of which, the Arlo Q Security Camera will launch sometime in the first two weeks of December and sell for $199.99 (for now, it’s on preorder for $219.99). Like the Arlo Wire-Free Security Cameras, Netgear will likely offer multi camera packages, though as of now they haven’t said what those look like. They also haven’t said if their router’s will begin to ship with the necessary components to connect their Arlo cameras sans base station, but they said it’s a strong likelihood.