Arlo vs. Canary

Arlo and Canary home security camera systems may seem similar, but there are important things to know before you purchase either of them.

Arlo is best known for its high-quality cameras packed with features like night vision and person detection. Whether you are looking to cover one entryway in an apartment, or an entire house and outdoor property, Arlo cameras provide multiple options to offer a fully customizable experience without a contract.

Canary is also known for its camera choices, which feature built-in environmental monitoring and two-way talk. Canary provides flexible options to allow apartment dwellers and homeowners alike a completely customizable home security experience.

While we feel Arlo has a slight edge over Canary, both security camera companies are solid for different reasons. If you’re trying to decide between Arlo and Canary cameras, the following comparison of these systems will help you move forward with your purchase.

 Arlo Canary
Overall3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars
Monthly Monitoring CostNo monitoringNo monitoring
Upfront CostStarting at $121Starting at $87
MoneyBack Guarantee30 days60 days
Contract LengthNone requiredNone required
Basic equipmentCamera; hubAll-in-one camera tower

Arlo and Canary: What do they have in common?

  • Reliable cameras: Both companies have tremendous camera quality. Arlo Q and Arlo Baby are indoor-only, but all other Arlo cameras are great for both indoor and outdoor use. Canary has fewer options, but they’re still powerful: The View and Pro are the indoor models, while the Flex is the company’s outdoor model.
  • One-touch emergency response: Both Arlo and Canary have camera options with one-touch emergency response. If there’s an emergency, you can simply press a button to have authorities notified.
  • No window and door sensors: Unlike full-fledged home security companies, these two brands really only offer cameras. So you won’t be able to purchase door and window sensors or other security gear that works in tandem with the cameras.
  • No contracts: One of the big plus sides for both companies is you won’t have to sign onto any contracts, which means you are free to use the cameras and pay for storage for as long or as short a time period as you want.
  • Larger upfront costs: Because neither company offers contracts, that means there is no way to spread out the equipment payments like a traditional security company. This means a larger price tag up front.
  • No professional monitoring: You’ll need to be comfortable keeping an eye on your own home, because neither Canary or Arlo provide professional monitoring options at this time.
  • Paid video storage: Both companies offer monthly payment options to allow users to store videos captured from the cameras.
  • Customer service: While both companies have decent customer service, you won’t find the same type of service as you would from traditional security companies. For example, a dedicated sales line.
  • Pricing: Both Canary and Arlo have very similar pricing structures for both cameras and storage fees.
  • Smart detection: Both Arlo and Canary cameras can tell the difference between an object and a person in view, and alert you to which it sees via a mobile app.

Arlo and Canary: What are the differences?

  • App rating: If the smartphone app is an important part of your decision, Arlo wins. It has much more favorable ratings in both app stores, while Canary app users complain of connection issues and lagging video.
  • Free storage availability: Arlo provides 7 days of free video storage, which can be enough for some users. Canary, on the other hand, requires you to pay for storage no matter what.
  • Built-in environmental monitoring: On environmental monitoring, Canary comes out on top. Its cameras offer the ability to check your home’s temperature, humidity, and air quality, whereas mostly all of Arlo’s cameras do not have that function. The only one that does is Arlo Baby, which is meant for use as a baby monitor.
  • Smart home options: Arlo has more in the way of home automation offerings than Canary does. It also has the capability of coupling with smart lights and locks, which Canary does not have yet.
  • 4K video vs HD video: Arlo is one of the only DIY camera companies to offer 4K, which is about as crisp as video gets. Canary has great video quality, but Arlo edges it out with the 4K resolution.
  • Fees for features: When you purchase an Arlo camera, you won’t have to pay subscription fees to use extra features like two-way talk and video downloads. But Canary requires you to pay for a subscription to use all cameras’ capabilities.
  • Variety of camera options: If having multiple cameras with different features is important to you, Arlo is likely the way to go. It has twice as many cameras to choose from with differing abilities and strengths, whereas Canary has three models to choose from.

Arlo cameras: What you need to know

If crisp video and intelligent cameras are your top priority for outfitting your home, Arlo is an incredible option. You can choose from indoor/outdoor cameras, indoor only and even a baby monitor complete with environmental monitoring. One of Arlo’s standout features is the ability to offer 4K video. You don’t have to purchase from a predetermined bundle or pay monthly fees like you would with most traditional security companies. Arlo is completely customizable and its cameras are compatible with many different third party smart home options.

Nerd Pros

  • Video quality: Many DIY companies do not offer 4K resolution video as an option. You’ll get the best video quality if you go with Arlo.
  • Advanced object detection: Arlo can tell the difference between people and objects, which can really cut down on false alarms.
  • No contracts: If flexibility is important to you, Arlo fits the bill It does not require you to sign onto any contract.

Nerd Cons

  • Higher upfront cost: No contracts means you’ll have to pay for all the equipment upfront, which could lead to sticker shock for some.
  • No professional monitoring option: You’ll have to be comfortable keeping an eye on your own home, because professional security monitoring is not an option with Arlo.
  • Battery life: User reviews says the battery life on the cameras are not quite as good as it is on competitors’ cameras, although it does depend on how often the camera is used and if it is placed in a high-traffic area.

Canary cameras: What you need to know

Canary is your ideal option if you like everything in one package. The camera, siren, and environmental monitoring come in one tower you can place in your home with very little setup. While there are only a few Canary camera options to choose from, you’ll likely find that one of them fits the bill of what you’re looking for.

Nerd Pros

  • Flexibility: You won’t be required to purchase any predetermined bundles, or any monthly services if you don’t want to.
  • Cost: Because you can purchase as few or as many cameras as you want, this company provides a cost effective way to outfit your home with high-quality security cameras.
  • All-in-one device: Some of the canary devices are all-in-one, so you don’t have to purchase a hub or separate features like environmental monitoring like you would with other companies’ equipment. Canary places them all in one functional tower.

Nerd Cons

  • Fees required to unlock features: While you don’t have to buy any monthly services if you don’t want to, you won’t be able to unlock features like two-way talk, full-length videos or video downloading without paying.
  • No door or window sensors: If you’re looking for a full-service home security system, this company might not be for you. It does not offer any window or door sensors.
  • App issues: Canary’s app has less than stellar ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, so if you think you’ll be utilizing the app a lot, this may make you pause before purchasing.

Arlo vs. Canary: Which should you choose?

We think Arlo is the better choice for a few reasons. First, it gives you more camera options, and also offers a 4K resolution that Canary does not. In addition, you don’t have to pay for extra features like two-way talk, where you would with Canary. Arlo’s app is also rated more highly than Canary’s, which we think is very important when using a self-monitored security camera system.

That said, we think Canary is still a great option for people looking for an all-in-one device where a camera, siren and environmental monitoring comes in one place. It has smart detection along with incredibly easy setup, which is ideal for not only apartment dwellers but homeowners alike.

When deciding between Arlo and Canary, you’re not likely to go wrong with either option.

Made your call?

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.

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