Arlo vs Nest

If quality cameras with smart home integration options are a high priority, you may be interested in both Nest and Arlo products.

Nest is best known for its smart thermostat, but it also offers Nest Secure, an alarm system that allows you to burglar proof your home and enjoy an array of automation options.

Arlo focuses more on its state-of-the-art wireless camera options. Video quality, including a 4k option, cloud storage, and night vision are what set Arlo apart from the rest.

SecurityNerd has taken a good look at the offerings from both companies and we’ve got all the information you need to make an informed final decision between the two.

Overall3.5 out of 53.5 out of 5
Monthly Monitoring CostNo professional monitoring$29/month or $19/month with 3 year agreement
Upfront Cost$199 and up$399 and up
MoneyBack Guarantee10 days if equipment is faulty30 days
Contract LengthNoneNone or 3 years
InstallationDIYDIY or Pro using Nest Pro Finder
Basic equipment$199 and up$399 and up

Our pick: Nest

While both systems are a solid choice for your home security needs, Nest offers a wider variety of smart home options and the ability to rely on professional monitoring for an added layer of security.

Nest vs Arlo: What do they have in common?

While the companies are very different, they do have some similarities in what they offer in a home security package.

  • Simple installation: Both companies promise simple installation, and everything you need to get both systems up and running is in the box. (Although technically you need a screwdriver for Nest.) You won’t have to worry about drilling any holes into walls either with wireless cameras.
  • No contracts: There is no need to sign a contract with either company, so it’s perfect for renters or homeowners who don’t want to commit to any services.
  • Indoor/outdoor cameras: Both Nest and Arlo offer indoor and outdoor cameras with 2-way communication features to make sure you can both see and hear what’s happening at your home. (Check out out picks for the best indoor cameras.)
  • Price: Both companies are considered to be on the higher end of the pricing tier when it comes to DIY home security. There are other companies who offer similar packages for less money.
  • Home automation options: Both Nest and Arlo offer options that allow you to turn your home into a smart home. It’s important to note that Nest has a wider range of options, including smart locks and environmental monitoring.
  • Continuous video recording: Both offer continuous video recording, instead of a camera that only records motion.

Nest and Arlo: What are the differences?

While these DIY companies have a lot in common, there are some major differences in what they offer.

  • Professional monitoring: Only Nest gives you the option to purchase professional monitoring, which will automatically call authorities in the case of a break-in.
  • Environmental monitoring: Nest offers CO2 and temperature monitoring along with smoke detection. Arlo’s baby monitor does have some environmental monitoring, and some of the smart cameras can alert you to the sound of a smoke or CO2 alarm.
  • Camera quality: Arlo’s camera features and quality are more advanced than Nest. Arlo offers a camera with 4k resolution and AI technology that can tell the difference between a person, pet or package.
  • Video storage options: Arlo offers 7 days of video storage for free, while Nest does not have a free option, and you must pay to be able to save any of your footage.

Nest: What you need to know

Nest is a reliable security option with a ton of impressive smart home options. There are some pros and cons to consider before deciding to purchase.

Nerd Pros

  • Customization: You aren’t tied to a one-size-fits-all package when you purchase Nest. The basic package with the Nest hub, two key fobs and sensors can be expanded to add a doorbell camera, CO2 monitor, smoke detector and security cameras based on your needs.
  • Simple installation: Nest is easy to get up and running and also portable. Nest cam is great for renters, but also homeowners who don’t want to worry about drilling holes in the wall to install security.
  • Smart home options: This is perhaps the best security system for someone who wants a wide array of home automation options. Nest is known for its revolutionary thermostat, but you can add cameras, smart locks, lights and environmental monitors that will work together seamlessly.

Nerd Cons

  • Price: There are definitely less expensive options out there that can give you more bang for your buck. The basic package costs around $400, and adding additional features will only make it more expensive.
  • Third party compatibility issues: Nest recently announced users can no longer add new devices to its Works with Nest program after August 31, 2019. Users are wondering which devices will continue to be compatible outside of the Nest ecosystem, so it’s something to think about if you plan to use automated products that aren’t in the Nest family.

Arlo: What you need to know

With Arlo, you get the most crisp and impressive home security cameras on the market. Here are the pros and cons to purchasing this as your security system.

Nerd Pros

  • Video quality: All of Arlo’s cameras will give you crystal clear HD quality video. The Ultra has 4k resolution, which is a rarity with security cameras.
  • Advanced AI: Arlo’s cameras can tell the difference between a human and a pet, and can even alert you when a package is delivered to your door thanks to package detection.
  • No contracts: If you want to steer clear of contracts, Arlo is a great choice. You pay up front, and only pay your subscription month to month.
  • Intgration: Arlo cameras are compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant.

Nerd Cons

  • Price: Arlo is considered one of the more expensive options when it comes to DIY home security. There are other options with a lower price point that may give you features Arlo doesn’t have, like door and window sensors.
  • No professional monitoring: Although Arlo has announced plans for a beefed up security plan, there is not currently an option for customers to purchase professional monitoring. You’ll have to be comfortable keeping an eye on things yourself.
  • Mediocre battery life: Users report the battery life on Arlo cameras could be improved when compared to other options that last longer.

Arlo or Nest?

We picked Nest because of its impressive home automation features and the option to get professional monitoring. When deciding Nest vs. Arlo, the two companies are very similar when it comes to price and quality.  You’ll get state of the art hardware and the freedom to go without a lengthy contract in both cases. However, Nest provides added smart home features including smart locks and environmental monitoring that Arlo does not currently offer. The bottom line is, you can do more with Nest if you want to.

Arlo is still a solid choice, with powerful camera options with quality that can’t be beat. You can still customize your own security system with up to 60 cameras with advanced AI technology. In the end, you won’t regret going with either company for your home security needs.

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.