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HOME / Smart Home / Arlo Pro 2 vs Nest – Best Security Camera Comparison
Arlo Pro 2 vs Nest – Best Security Camera Comparison
See which is the best home security camera system in this Nest vs Arlo Pro 2 comparison...
The Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor and Arlo Pro 2 are considered by many as the best two home security cameras on the market. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the major differences between the two. If you want the full details about these cameras, be sure to check out our full reviews:
Now, there’s a reason why both Nest and Arlo are mentioned among the best security cameras on the market – they both share a lot of the same features. Really, there’s only a few key differences between them. But before we jump into the differences, here’s a short summary of what they have in common:
– 1080p video quality
– Easy to use mobile app
– 130 degree field of view
– Night vision / zoom capabilities
– Livestream and two way audio
– Audio and motion detection alerts (email, push, IFTTT)
– Optional paid CVR and advanced alert plans
Arlo Pro 2 Advantage 1: Wireless Capability and Long Battery Life
Arlo Pro 2s biggest advantage over Nest is that it can be used wire-free. That’s right, with Arlo, you don’t have to worry about where you have outlets or how you’ll run power cords to the cameras. This gives you a lot more flexibility in where you can place or mount the Arlo Pro 2 cameras and it also saves on install time. With Nest (especially the Outdoor Cam), you’ll most likely need to drill holes and run the power cord to the nearest outlet, which can end up being a pain (and look bad aesthetically as well).
We Love That The Arlo Pro 2 Cameras Are Wireless
Logically, the next questions you might ask – what about battery life? Am I going to need to charge the cameras every week? Well, good news here too – Arlo claims you will get around 4-6 months on a full charge, which is pretty darn good. And so far, from what I’ve seen with my own Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 cameras, the company isn’t blowing smoke. I’ve been using two Arlo Pro cameras for about 3 and half months now and they are still at 48% battery life.
Advantage 2: Seven Days of Video Storage Free
You just bought your security camera, you get it all setup, you’re feeling good and then you realize you need to pay more in order to view your footage. That’s the case for a lot of people who purchase security cameras these days – they often overlook the video storage aspect. Most companies charge a monthly fee for you to watch or download the recorded clips from previous days/weeks. For example, with Nest, you only get access to the previous three hours of footage for free. If you want more, you’ll have to shell out $10 per month (or $100 per year) for 10 days of video history or $30 per month (or $300 per year) for 30 days of video history. Although to be fair, with the paid Nest plans, you’ll also get intelligent alerts and the ability to setup activity zones.
Arlo, on the other hand, offers seven days of video history for free, which should be more than enough for most people. Arlo is the obvious winner here – 7 days vs 3 hours. Without a Nest paid plan, if you didn’t have your phone with you for three hours, you could miss an alert and not be able to go back and watch it. Arlo also allows you to back up the footage locally – all you have to do is plug an external hard drive into the base station. Of course, if you needed more than seven days, Arlo also offers paid subscription plans as well.
Advantage 3: Base Station Siren
The Arlo Pro 2 cameras come with a base station that is connected to your modem/router – this is how the cameras communicate with each other. But the base station provides other benefits as well. It comes equipped with a 100+ decibel siren that can be controlled remotely or triggered to go off when one of your Arlo Pro 2 cameras detects sound or motion.
The Arlo Pro Base Station Siren is LOUD!!!
And the siren is loud, really loud – I turned it on one time and it almost blew out my ear drums. There’s no doubt in my mind that the siren going off would deter potential burglars from your home.
Advantage 4: Activity Zones
As I mentioned above, with both Nest and Arlo Pro, you can setup activity zones. Basically, within the cameras view, you can set up small, rectangular zones to keep an eye on a particular object or area. If any motion or sound is detected within the zone, you’ll receive an alert. If something is detected outside the zone, it is ignored. This is helpful for people who have a camera setup in a busy room where there is a lot of foot traffic. The only difference between the two though is once again…money. In order to use activity zones with a Nest camera, you’ll have to upgrade to one of those paid subscription plans that I mentioned above. With Arlo Pro 2 cameras, it’s free as long as you have the cameras plugged in.
Nest might be the most well known smart home company out there. They’re owned by Google and their learning thermostat took the market by storm a few years back. But when it comes to security cameras, although the Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam IQ are all solid options, we still think Arlo has them beat. Really, Nest only has one major advantage.
Nest Advantage 1: Price
The Nest cameras are all quite a bit cheaper than the Arlo Pro 2 system and since they’ve been out quite a bit longer, we regularly see them on discount. Here’s what they go for:
Also, it’s worth noting that if you don’t already have an Arlo Pro base station, you’ll have to purchase the entire system. A two camera Arlo Pro 2 bundle will run you $480 [see on Amazon].
Nest Cameras Are Quite A Bit Cheaper Than Arlo Pro 2 Cameras
However, don’t forget about the monthly subscriptions plans. With Nest, you’ll most likely need to purchase a subscription plan – that will run you $100 per year if you go with the 10-day storage plan. That’s $100 you wouldn’t need to spend with Arlo (7 days free).
What About the Nest Cam IQ?
The Nest Cam IQ is basically the Nest Cam Indoor, but with three major improvements:
– The Cam IQ has a built-in 4K sensor that allows you to zoom-in without any loss of clarity. With the Arlo Pro 2 and other Nest cameras, when you zoom-in, it can get a little pixelated and it can be tough to make out people and objects.
– The Nest Cam IQ also has facial recognition technology. You’ll have to get a Nest Aware subscription to take advantage of this but basically the camera can distinguish between different faces. This is supposed to make alerts a lot more relevant. In theory, say you mark your best friend as an approved person, when the camera detects him/her in your house, the camera will know there’s no threat and will not send you an alert. However, we found that this feature is not perfect yet. A lot of times, it had trouble recognizing that it was me and would still send an alert.
– Lastly, the Cam IQ is a lot louder than the Nest Cam Indoor and Arlo Pro 2 cameras. This helpful when you’re trying to talk to someone in your house via the camera in real time.
On the downside, the Nest Cam IQ costs quite a bit more than the other Nest cameras. A two-pack will run around $430-$470 [check price on Walmart], which is about the same price as a two-cam Arlo Pro 2 bundle. Also, keep in mind, like the Nest Cam Indoor, the Cam IQ is wired (it can’t be used wire-free) and must be used inside (it’s not weatherproof).