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Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit : do you need subscription?

Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system - 3 camera kit
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Do you need subscription for Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit? See clearer details and colors with 160° Viewing Angle. Privacy is becoming an increasing concern as we buy more and more smart home devices. The Pro 3 offers optional cloud and local storage options if you’re concerned about your footage going to a remote server. Arlo also claims that its required hub offers added security benefits. Here’s an excerpt from an Arlo support page:

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In the box

  • Arlo Pro 3 Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Magnetic Charging Cable
  • Magnetic Wall Mount

Pros & Cons

OR

  • Quality daylight video
  • Optional color night videos
  • Clear audio
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-use software
  • Rich set of motion-and-sound-detection tools

AGAINST

  • Subscriber-exclusive features
  • No ongoing free cloud plan
  • High price
  • Blurry night videos
  • Login that’s limited to one device at a time

Specifications : Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit

  • Max Video Resolution: 2560×1440 resolution
  • Image Sensor: 4 megapixels
  • Video Modes: 2k, 1080p, 720p
  • Video Features: Auto Track and Zoom, HDR, H2.64 and H.265 Encoding
  • Lens Field of View: 160 degree diagonal
  • Sensor Size: 1/3″
  • Spotlight: 6500K, [email protected]
  • Motion Detection: Single Motion Detector, 130 degree horizontal
  • Night Vision: High powered Infrared LEDs (850nm) with IR Cut Filter
  • AC Adapter Output: 5v 2A
  • AC Adapter Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both – outdoor UV and weather-resistant
  • Digital Zoom: 12x
  • Microphone: Single Microphone with noise and echo cancellation
  • Audio: Full Duplex 2 way Audio
  • Status Lights: 2x LEDs (blue and amber)
  • Networking: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Compliant Standards: 128-bit SSL, AES-128, TSL, 2 factor authentication
  • Battery Life: 3-6 months
  • Charge Time to Full (via camera): 3.5 hrs
  • Charge time to Full (via charger accessory): 2.9 hours
  • Operating Temperature: -20 to 45 degree Celsius
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi Connection. Working broadband connection with at least 2Mbps upload speed
  • USB requirements: USB 2.0 compliant devices
  • Min home upload speed: 2-4Mbps; optimized for 2 simultaneous 2k streams
  • Dimensions: 316g; 89mm x 52mm x 78.4mm
  • Regulatory: FCC, CE, IC, EU RoHS compliant, EU-REACH compliant, EuP1275 compliant, WERCS

Key feature – Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit

  • HDR. See a clear picture in every detail through your Pro 3 Camera?s high performance lenses.
  • Enhanced night vision. See what?s lurking with color night vision that allows you to see video in color rather than traditional black and white. 
  • Integrated spotlight. Light up the night and ward off unwelcome guests using your camera?s integrated spotlight.
  • 160 degree view. See a full panoramic view with auto image correction that reduces the fisheye effect. The camera has an 160-degree diagonal field of view with a matching wide range for motion detection. Auto Zoom and Tracking. Auto-focus on moving objects with clarity and detail
  • Magnetic charging. Quickly charge your camera and easily snap the connecting cable into place.
  • Built in smart siren. Trigger your siren remotely or automatically during an event.
  • Rechargeable battery. Take the expense out of security with the convenient and long-lasting battery.

Price

Arlo Pro 3 pricing by kit

Arlo Pro 3 buying optionsPriceCamera quantityIncludes hubLearn more
Add-on camera$185.271
No
View on Amazon
2-camera kit$391.002 + base station
Yes
View on Amazon
3-camera kit$459.003 + base station
Yes
View on Amazon
4-camera kit$769.104 + base station
Yes
View on Amazon
6-camera kit$1,279.006 + base station
Yes
View on Amazon
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera$199.001
No
View on Amazon

Compare Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit vs Arlo Pro 4

Arlo Pro 3Arlo Pro 4Arlo Ultra 2
Maximum Camera Resolution2K2K4K
Maximum Camera Field of View160°160°180°
Power SourceRechargeable BatteryRechargeable BatteryRechargeable Battery
Motion Range DetectionSingle Motion SensorSingle Motion SensorDual Motion Sensors
Night Vision TypeColorColorColor
2-Way Noise Canceling AudioNoise and Echo CancellationNoise and Echo CancellationWind & Noise and Echo Reduction
Weather resistantYesYesYes
Connects directly to Wi-Fi?NoYesNo
SirenBuilt-in to CameraBuilt-in to CameraBuilt-in to Camera
Compatible Base Station/Smart HubVMB4000, VMB4500, VMB4540, VMB5000VMB4000, VMB4500, VMB4540, VMB5000

Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit review

Design

Following the usual Arlo form factor, the Pro 3 is a white, ovoid device measuring approximately 3.25 x 3.25 x 2 inches, with a flat, black faceplate. The speaker is on the front, below the lens, and the microphone is above the lens. As with previous Arlo cameras, the Pro 3 has no legs. When it’s attached to the magnetic mount (which measures 2 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches tall), the Pro 3 can be positioned in any orientation.

Connectors

The Pro 3 requires a base station. The 5 x 6 x 1.5-inch SmartHub that’s sold in many Pro 3 packages can support up to 20 cameras and other Arlo security devices depending on your network’s bandwidth. Three ports on the back connect to the included 79-inch Ethernet cable and 70-inch power cable, and there’s also a port that supports a USB 2.0 external storage device up to 2TB (not included).

2K quality clips

The Pro 3’s 2K (1440p) resolution is significantly higher than the Pro 2’s (1080p) but not as high as the Arlo Ultra’s (4K). In my tests, I used the full 160-degree field of view, rather than stepping it down to 125 or 110 degrees.

The Pro 3 has excellent, crisp 2K streaming and saved clips. I was able to easily make out details, like people’s faces, types of cars coming and going — and even three different cats that wandered near the cameras.

My daylight videos were well exposed, with good color, but the details were not crisp. The outdoor daylight videos had acceptable exposure, even on cloudy days. Motion blur was insignificant.

The Pro 3 (like the Ultra) can capture color night videos when the spotlight feature is enabled. The camera will turn on this feature in low light when it senses motion. You can set it to be constant, flash or pulsate. I preferred the constant-light setting so the entire period of motion would be illuminated and in color. You can also turn on the spotlight manually from the Live View to better see who or what is in the frame, as well as use a slider to adjust the brightness.

Alerts

Arlo Smart includes motion detection zones, which also worked well for me during testing. I created a “Driveway” zone for the Garage camera and it successfully sent me alerts only within that zone, ignoring everything else. 

As far as the smart alerts go, the Pro 3 did pretty well. It correctly identified a person roughly 80% of the time and it did decently well with animals. It identified the three cats as animals in all but one of the clips, although it misidentified a neighbor’s dog as a person. Unfortunately, it didn’t do as well at vehicle detection. Despite dozens of cars coming and going over the five days I tested this camera, it only ID’d a vehicle correctly once. Otherwise, it just classified it as a generic “motion” event. 

The Pro 3’s built-in spotlight also successfully illuminated when it detected motion, making it even easier to see what was happening. This doubles as a security feature, since it could scare away a potential intruder just like any motion-activated spotlight. 

Audio

The Pro 3’s two-way audio is full duplex, which means it works like a phone rather than the half duplex of a walkie-talkie-like device. When I spoke to someone standing in front of the camera through the Arlo app on my phone, the audio wasn’t loud, but it was audible and clean.  Audio from the camera to the phone was very soft, but it was clear when I held the phone close. 

Smart Home integration

The Pro 3 works with Alexa and Google Assistant. View your camera’s live feed on Alexa- and Google-Assistant-enabled smart displays.  Siri support is forthcoming. With HomeKit, you should be able to view the live feed in the Home app for iOS. Apple hasn’t yet released HomeKit Secure Video, an upcoming feature that’s supposed to analyze your security camera’s video footage locally on your Apple TViPad or HomePod and store 10 days of video clips. LogitechNetatmo and Eufy are the initial partners for HomeKit Secure Video, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Arlo ended up joining in at some point.

Accessories

The cable’s USB power block is about 1.75 x 1.75 x 1 inches and doesn’t obscure adjacent outlets. An optional 8-foot indoor cable costs $24.99, and a 25-foot outdoor cable is $49.99. You can also buy an external dual-battery charging station ($49.99), extra batteries($49.99 each) and a solar panel for outdoor power ($79.99).

Arlo also sent me a 25-foot outdoor extension cord adapter for $50 and a solar panel accessory for $80 (both sold separately). I set up the solar panel accessory with the Garage camera and the battery is holding steady around the full charge line after five days of active use. 

Do you need subscription for Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit?

Happily, you’ll get a three-month free trial to see if the storage is worth the Benjamins. You’ll also have the option for local storage through your base station, but if you don’t have a paid plan, your footage won’t save in 2K. And unfortunately, without the paid plan, your object detection won’t work, which kinda kills the point of going with Arlo.Arlo Pro 3 cloud storage plans

One feature this camera doesn’t have: free storage. The Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 came with seven days of rolling cloud storage at no cost. But starting with the Arlo Pro 3, you have to get a paid Arlo Smart plan if you want to store recorded footage.

FeaturesArlo Smart (no plan)Arlo Smart Premier
PriceFree$2.99/mo. for 1 camera; $9.99/mo. for up to 5 cameras
Max resolution1080p2K
Cloud storage
None

30 days
Live video streaming
Yes

Yes
Push notifications
Yes

Yes
Custom activity zones
No

Yes
Advanced object detection
No

Yes
Call a friend
No

Yes
E911 emergency call service (with multi-camera plans)
No

Yes
Learn moreView Arlo Pro 3 on AmazonView Arlo Pro 3 on Amazon

Data effective as of 04/13/2021. Offers subject to change. 

Arlo has one more paid plan, the Arlo Smart Elite. It’s the same as the Premier plan, but it streams in 4K and costs more. We didn’t include the Elite plan in the table because it isn’t compatible with an Arlo Pro 3.

The Arlo Pro 3 records in five-minute, event-based clips. If you want continuous recording, that’s a separate service altogether. You have to spend $9.99 per month for 14 days of continuous recording. And if you want the whole month, the cost jumps up to $19.99.

Altogether, that makes Arlo’s camera plans rather pricey.

Arlo App usage

The Arlo app allows you to define up to five rectangular Activity Zones that the camera will monitor for motion. I would have preferred to create irregular, polygonal zones, as you can with Ring security cameras. Ezviz and Wyze cameras also have an innovative approach that lets you select numerous small squares on a grid.


Arlo guides you through the process of editing the Armed mode or creating a custom mode. First, you select which attached camera will be the trigger and decide whether the trigger should be motion and/or sound. Then, you can set the motion and sound sensitivity level. The next screen directs you to decide what will happen: nothing, record video (until activity stops up to 300 seconds or for a customized length of time), sound the siren on the SmartHub, send push notifications to your mobile device and/or send alert emails to one or several recipients.Advertisement

I was unable to select sound as a trigger in either the edit or custom mode definition on my Android test phones, though it worked on my iOS test phone. Arlo says it hasn’t encountered any similar problems.

Arlo Pro 3 wire-free security system – 3 camera kit customer review

Quality Camera System

I must say I was excited to test out this system. I currently have an off brand, 4 camera system and Guardzilla 360. The off-brand cameras tend to lose WIFI connection quite a bit and is very frustrating. The 360 is a nice camera, but the software interface for my android phone really needs an upgrade.

This unit comes with a base unit, and in my case 2 camera’s. Setup was pretty straight forward. Simply plug in the base unit to power and Ethernet, then download the app to your phone and follow instructions.

You also must install the batteries into the cameras. Mine were both around 50% full.

The kit came with one magnetic mount and one screw mount, both worked well.

First think I noticed once I fired these up was the clear picture. These offer 2K image quality and it looks really nice. 2K sits in between 1080p and 4K. (Alro Pro 2 is 1080p and Arlo Ultra is 4k) Phone interface also works great.

Camera features:
-2K Video with HDR – Great picture and color
-Integrated spotlight – This light’s up your subject when they are triggered by motion.
-160 Degree Viewing angle
-WIFI – Stays connected and works well
-2 way audio – Listen and talk to people. (short WIFI Delay)
-Color Night Vision – Works well, however, my areas are lit so I turn the night vision off for even a better picture.
-Magnetic Charging
-Built in Smart Siren

Battery life will be hard to comment on as I have been using for only about 3 days. I would say I am losing about 1.0 – 1.5% each day on the more active camera and less with the other. With that being said I predict no more than 3 months from a full charge for the more active camera, half of the 6 months they state you could get. So the battery drain will definitely depend on how often the camera is activated and probably ‘live’ viewed. My second camera which is activated much less should last much longer, but Even 3 months for an active camera I feel is pretty good.

Smart phone App:
Live View – You can also active the sound and spotlight though the app.
Global Access
Voice Controls

picture is clear and smooth, Not choppy like my other units.

I do hear wind in the audio occasionally in my case. Pretty windy area, perhaps they could work on providing a little wind protection on the mic.

The other feature I want to point out is the Activity Zones. You can draw a square or rectangle in the area you want the camera to detect. This feature works really well. No more false alerts.
Another feature in the software is the Auto Zoom & Tracking. This will see a person walking up your driveway let’s say, and zoom in on them and track their movement.

You get a 3 month ‘Arlo Smart’ trail with your purchase. After this you would have to pay $2.99/mo. Per Camera or $9.99 / mo. For up to 10 cameras. If you don’t subscribe you will have to use an external USB connection to your hub and the only way to view the images is to connect that USB to a computer. So you really lose all the online features etc.

I know I did not cover every feature, so please view the Arlo website for the, but I wanted to provide an overview on the features I have used to date.

Overall a good quality security camera system that performs very well.

By Mukman at Best Buy

Recommended internet plans

Check out these unlimited data internet plans. They aren’t the only plans out there, but they do cover some of our top Wi-Fi recommendations.Recommended internet plans for Arlo Pro 3

ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Xfinity Internet – WestBlast! Pro$80*300 MbpsView Plan
Verizon Internet – Fios GigInternet 400/400$59.99/mo.†400 MbpsView Plan
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$60/mo.‡940 MbpsView Plan

Data effective 11/04/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.† w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges‡ Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req’d. $10/mo equip. fee applies.

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