Arlo Doorbell Camera Review

Arlo offers a wide array of smart wireless cameras to increase your home’s security. The company was owned by Netgear until 2018 when it went public and turned into Arlo Technologies. From indoor cameras and baby monitors to the Arlo doorbell, customers can choose from feature-rich cameras that can cover the entire home.

Arlo is known for its video quality, and the Arlo video doorbell is no exception. It delivers a simple way to keep tabs on who’s coming and going from your property without any long-term contracts. (Check out our overview of other Arlo cameras.)

The best customer for the Arlo doorbell is someone who is looking for a crisp picture without monthly fees and professional setup. If you’re looking for a network of solid cameras for your home, the Arlo video doorbell works seamlessly with the company’s other cameras, and even offers Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility for voice commands.

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Nerd Rating: 4 / 5

Nerd Pros

Crisp video

The Arlo doorbell comes in a small package, but the video packs a big punch with HD resolution so you won’t have to wonder what you’re looking at, day or night.

Alexa compatibility

Customers can use Alexa to control the Arlo video doorbell. Ask Alexa to show you the video from the doorbell camera on the Echo Show or Fire TV. Users can also create routines and get an announcement from Alexa when someone is at the front door, or if the Arlo doorbell senses motion.

Smart notifications

The Arlo video doorbell doesn’t just activate when someone rings the doorbell. It’s just as smart as other Arlo cameras, and can differentiate between people and objects, and even let you know when a package has been delivered.

Nerd Cons

Subscription required for key features

If you’re really interested in the Arlo doorbell detecting the difference between people, packages and other objects, you’ll have to pay for one of the smart plans to utilize those features. The e911 feature is also worthwhile, but you won’t be able to utilize it without a monthly fee.

May need professional installation

If you aren’t comfortable with DIY security, the setup for the Arlo video doorbell may be more involved than you’d like. It might require you to find professional help because wiring is involved.

Arlo Doorbell Camera Features

Here are some of the features Arlo offers that stood out to our SecurityNerd.

  • HD video: Arlo cameras are known for their sharp pictures, and the Arlo doorbell is a stand out too. You’ll get a clear view of who’s at the front door no matter the time of day.
  • Motion detection: The Arlo video doorbell can alert you when motion is detected outside the front door, and you can customize the sensitivity to fit your own security needs.
  • Night vision: Night vision allows you to see someone at the front door or in the front yard even if the sun isn’t shining.
  • Activity zones: Create customized activity zones if you only want the camera to pick up motion in certain areas. This, however, does require a subscription plan.
  • AI technology: The Arlo doorbell camera can tell the difference between a person, object and even a package. You won’t only be getting notifications about motion, but you’ll know exactly what the camera sees without even checking the video feed.
  • Wide viewing angle: The 180-degree viewing angle and 1:1 aspect ratio means you can see a person from head to toe at your front door. Many other smart video doorbells don’t offer that type of bird's eye view.
  • Two-way audio: When someone knocks on the door, you’ll be able to talk to them and see them. They can also communicate with you even if you aren’t home.
  • Alexa, Google, IFTTT compatible: Ask Alexa or Google Assistant  to bring up the Arlo video doorbell feed on your television or let you know when someone’s at the door. IFTTT can also open up a whole host of smart home options.
  • Live streaming: Get a glimpse of your front door with the camera’s live streaming option. Some doorbell cameras only let you view recorded videos from motion events.
  • Pre-recorded messages: Whether you’re too busy to get to the door, or you don’t really want visitors, just pre-record messages for whoever is knocking.
  • Weather-resistant: Whether you live in hot or cold weather, windy or wet, the Arlo doorbell is weather-resistant and made to withstand the elements.
  • Built-in siren: Whether it’s an emergency situation, or you just want to scare off an unwanted person in your front yard, Arlo doorbell offers the user a siren option from inside the app. The doorbell will give off a siren, and hopefully the unwanted visitor gets the message.
  • 12x zoom: Is something going on in your front yard, but you'd really like to see something a little closer up? Arlo video doorbell provides 12x zoom, which gives you the chance to examine what’s going on with clarity.
  • E911 feature: This is perhaps one of the best features of the Arlo doorbell. In an emergency, you can press just one button and you’ll have authorities headed to your home. It’s  important to note, however, that this is only available with the multi-camera subscription plans.
  • Free 7-day cloud storage: The Arlo video doorbell gives users a generous amount of storage. You’ll get a week of video recordings without having to pay a dime.
  • App: You’ll get a highly-rated app to use along with the Arlo doorbell where you can see a live stream of your home and download and share videos across all your Arlo devices.
Arlo doorbell app
Source: Arlo

Arlo Doorbell Installation

If you’re comfortable with the average DIY project, chances are installing the Arlo doorbell won’t be too much of a challenge. You don’t need any specialized skills in order to set up the Arlo video doorbell, but if wiring makes you nervous, it may be a job for a professional.

You start by removing your existing doorbell and attaching Arlo’s provided mounting plate. You’ll pull the doorbell wires through the center of the plate and connect them to the new doorbell. Once the new doorbell is in place, just run through the final steps to connect it to your Arlo app.

Arlo Doorbell Pricing

The Arlo video doorbell is $149.99, and it can certainly be used without any subscription plan. However, if you want to utilize the doorbell to the best of its ability, you can choose from one of the two subscription plans below.

  • Premier plan: $9.99 per month for 5 cameras, $2.99 per month for one camera. This plan comes with 30 days of rolling video storage, person/vehicle/animal/package detection, smoke and CO detection, cloud activity zones, rich push notification and the e911 feature (this feature is not available in the single camera option).
  • Elite plan: This plan is the same as above, except the 30 days of cloud storage is in 4k resolution. The premier plan is in 2k resolution.

Home Automation Options

While there are definitely home automation options that work with Arlo, the Arlo doorbell only has the following smart home options: Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.

Even though the smart home options aren’t necessarily as robust as its competitors, what you can do can be pretty useful. You can do things like ask your Alexa or Google Assistant to pull up the video feed on your television, or have them announce when someone is at the door or when a person is detected in your yard.

IFTTT allows you to create your own smart home “recipe” and link third-party home automation products with your doorbell camera. For example, if you have IFTTT-compatible smart lights, you can create a rule that whenever someone knocks on your door, the lights turn on. IFTTT opens up a world of options to create a smart home ecosystem exactly the way you want it.

Arlo Doorbell Cams: The Bottom Line

If you’re in the market for high-quality cameras, but not in the mood for steep monthly fees and contracts, Arlo can be an ideal choice for your home security needs. You can create a network of top-notch cameras across your home that all work together. The Arlo video doorbell is the first line of defense, letting you know when someone is at the front door, and even giving specific alerts as to what the camera sees.

You do have to pay a subscription fee for some of its most useful features and you may have to pay for installation if you’re not comfortable with simple wiring. Overall, however, Arlo provides a clear, convenient way to keep track of what's happening around your front door and is a strong contender in the video doorbell camera arena.

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Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired - HD Video, 180° View, Night Vision, 2 Way Audio, Direct to Wi-Fi No Hub Needed, Easy Installation (existing doorbell wiring required), White - AVD1001
  • See more at your front door - See a person from head to toe or a package on the ground with 180-degree view.
  • Get a clearer picture - Detailed video in HD with HDR ensures you see the details even in low light or bright conditions.
  • No hub required, connect directly to Wi-Fi.
  • Smarter alerts, quicker action - Receive notifications for people, vehicles, and packages so you can take quick action such as sound the...
  • Never miss a moment - See what triggered a motion event before it happened. With Arlo Foresight, the video doorbell captures video prior to...

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About the Author

Erin MaloneyErin Maloney
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).