Netgear fired a shot across the bows of both Nest and Canary today (Oct. 11), introducing the Arlo Pro, a compact Wi-Fi security camera that works both inside and outdoors, and is powered either by a rechargeable battery or a USB power cord.
The Pro weighs 4.8 ounces (8.3 ounces with a battery), and measures 3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 inches. It will be available Oct. 23, priced at $189 for a stand-alone camera and running up to $649 for four Pros and the required base station. It goes head-to-head with the Nest Cam Outdoor, already on sale, and the Canary Flex, due later this month.
Like the Arlo Q, our current choice for best Wi-Fi security camera, the Arlo Pro will have motion detection, night vision and an intercom function. Like the original Arlo, which it greatly resembles, the Pro will be weatherproof, and it also has a 130-degree field of view and 720p video resolution.
The base station itself is getting an upgrade with the Arlo Pro Base Station, which will have a built-in 100-decibel siren and will support USB-connected outboard storage drives. It ships with the Pro, and will be available as a stand-alone replacement for older Arlo base stations already in use in the winter of 2017.
The Pro comes with a battery, a power cable and a magnetic wall mount, but Netgear plans to have a whole host of optional accessories. They include a charging station that can recharge two batteries at once; a swiveling screw-in security mount in either black or white; a magnetic ceiling mount; black skins, designed to keep condensation off the lens, for outdoor use; a flexible "quad-pod" that can stand on or wrap around almost any object; and best of all, a solar panel for hard-to-reach outdoor cameras far from any outlet.
The Pro's batteries are meant to last six months on a charge, but most owners will have more than one unit. The Pro is compatible with the existing Arlo base station, and works will with the original Arlo and Arlo Q cameras, both of which are still being made and sold.
Netgear's cloud-storage subscription plans remain the most affordable in the industry. All Arlo users get 7 days' worth of footage (up to 1GB) for free, for up to 5 cameras; 30 days of footage (up to 10GB) costs $10 per month, or $100 per year, for up to 10 cameras; and for big spenders, a $15 monthly/$150 yearly plan gets you 60 days of footage (up to 100GB) for up to 15 cameras.
The above subscriptions let you view clips triggered by motion or sound. There are also continuous-footage plans that go for $10 per month for camera for 14 days of footage, and $20 per month per camera for 30 days of footage.
The Pro's abilities and environments are almost an ideal match for the Canary Flex, which also works inside and outside and can be powered either by batteries or a power cord. The Flex doesn't need a base station, however, and an optional accessory due in winter 2017 will let it connect directly to the internet, using LTE instead of Wi-Fi.
Stay tuned for our Netgear Arlo Pro review.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. He has also been a dishwasher, fry cook, long-haul driver, code monkey and video editor. He's been rooting around in the information-security space for more than 15 years at FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily and Tom's Guide, has presented talks at the ShmooCon, DerbyCon and BSides Las Vegas hacker conferences, shown up in random TV news spots and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference. You can follow his rants on Twitter at @snd_wagenseil.