Arlo vs Zmodo Cameras

If you're considering upgrading your home security system, security cameras should be one of your priorities. Most would-be criminals will move onto another house instead of attempting a break-in where there's a security system in place. Security camera systems, especially floodlight cameras, provide a significant deterrence.

If you've decided to purchase security cameras, choosing your provider is your next step. Zmodo and Arlo are two excellent providers. Zmodo is a Chinese provider that launched in 2009. Zmodo focuses on affordability and has some of the cheapest security cameras. Arlo was established in 2014 and focused on smart home security equipment and high-resolution cameras.

Arlo vs Zmodo: What do they have in common?

  • Warranty: All Zmodo and Arlo equipment comes with a minimum 12-month warranty.
  • Mobile app: You can monitor your home security system, including a live feed of footage, from your mobile app. You'll also receive relevant push notifications related to your security cameras.
  • Indoor security cameras: There are a variety of indoor security cameras available.
  • Weatherproof outdoor cameras: You'll also have access to a selection of weatherproof outdoor cameras, though Arlo has a larger selection.
  • DIY security: You'll be responsible for your own security systems.
  • Color night vision: Crisp color night vision is offered by each provider.
  • Doorbell cameras: Video doorbells are an affordable way to monitor who's coming and going.

Arlo vs Zmodo: What are the differences?

  • Two-way talk: Zmodo doesn't offer two-way audio, which is a pretty basic feature for most video doorbells.
  • Pricing: Arlo is affordable, but Zmodo is much cheaper.
  • Video resolution: Arlo's HD camera offers 4k resolution, Zmodo's best cameras offer 1080p HD video recording, but the majority offer 720p resolution.
  • Larger systems: Zmodo offers larger NVR systems, but Arlo sells individual cameras without much focus on package deals.
  • Pre-recorded messages: While it doesn't make up for the lack of two-way talk, Zmodo does offer pre-recorded messages with some of the doorbells. Arlo doesn't offer this feature.
  • App quality: Zmodo's app has poorer reviews.
  • Customer support: Zmodo's customer support is patchy; it can be hard to talk to them or get a response, which isn't ideal if you need troubleshooting assistance.
  • Advanced motion detection: Arlo offers smart motion detection, which can tell you what has been detected (e.g., an animal or person).
  • Smart home integration: Arlo offers superior IFTTT (If This Then That) smart home integration.

Zmodo: What you need to know

Zmodo, a China-based security company, was launched in 2009 to provide doorbell cameras, Wi-Fi extenders, and more. Zmodo's app is available on iOS and Android. Let's take a look at what Zmodo can offer you:

Installation

Regardless of your chosen camera, you'll need to self-install. Wire-free cameras are simple to install, but NVR (Network Video Recorder) and wired units can be more complex. If you require assistance, you'll need to seek out a tradesperson as professional installation isn't available.

Equipment

Zmodo offers a decent selection of cameras, including:

  • Video doorbells
  • Wi-Fi security cameras
  • Spotlight cams
  • Wired cameras for indoor use
  • Outdoor security camera NVR setups

You can create a complete home security system, and Zmodo has recently expanded its range to 1080p HD cameras, but the majority of its cameras are 720p cameras. They're reasonable for the price.

Home automation

Zmodo is decent enough for smart home options, with some purpose-built equipment, including Wi-Fi extenders and a smart thermostat. You can monitor your security features in the Zmodos app, and some cameras offer compatibility with IFTTT equipment, including Amazon Alexa.

Pricing

  • Equipment costs: Zmodo cameras start at $25 and rarely go over $100. The IP (Internet Protocol) cameras are the cheapest.
  • Monthly fees: You can purchase a subscription, including extra video storage, for $4.99-$9.99 per month.

Nerd pros

  • DIY installation: Since you'll install your system, you won't pay any install or activation fee.
  • Pricing: Arlo cameras start at $80, but Zmodo cameras start at under $30.
  • Night vision: Various Zmodo cameras offer color night vision.
  • Storage options: Zmodo has several local storage options, including a MicroSD card and NVR.
  • Pre-recorded messages: You can pre-record a message to be played for visitors when you're unavailable.

Nerd cons

  • Mobile app: The mobile app received some negative reviews. 
  • Professional monitoring: Zmodo doesn't offer professional monitoring; you'll need to monitor your own system fully.
  • Customer support: Some reviews report problems with Zmodo's customer support.
  • Two-way audio: There's no two-way talk feature with Zmodo, which seems like a basic skill to overlook.
  • Wi-Fi network: You need excellent Wi-Fi for your wireless camera setup; many customers complain that their usual Wi-Fi connection complicates their setup.

Arlo: What you need to know 

Arlo is a distinguished provider of home security and smart home products. If you're looking for a simple install without complex wiring and want a 4k resolution camera, you're looking in the right place.

Installation

Arlo's customers report straightforward DIY installation; the wireless cameras can be configured in no time. Arlo's video doorbells are the easiest product, taking just 5 minutes to get up and running. But all Arlo products are uncomplicated; you plug in the base station and open up the straightforward mobile app to start.

Equipment

Arlo doesn't offer some of the critical components of a smart home security system, but they do offer a variety of home security products, including:

  • Arlo Ultra indoor/outdoor cameras
  • Arlo Pro 2
  • Arlo Pro 3
  • Arlo Pro 4
  • Video doorbells
  • Baby monitors
  • Customizable floodlights

Some Arlo cameras offer a 180-degree viewing angle, 4K resolution, two-way talk, and excellent de-warping technology.

Home automation

Arlo provides multiple automation options, plus baby monitors and doorbell cameras. The new "Works With Arlo" promises more third-party integrations in the future.

Integrations include Telguard, Apple Homekit, Wink, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Pricing

Arlo offers individual doorbell cameras from $80, and indoor/outdoor cameras start from $129 for a basic camera. You can access discounts for buying in bulk and preplan what you need to get the maximum discount.

Nerd pros

  • Smart item detection: Arlo cameras offer advanced motion and smart item detection, lessening the risk of false alarms.
  • Brilliant video quality: Arlo's camera options have HD video quality, with at least 1080p HD resolution. The Ultra HD has 4k resolution, which is something most companies can't offer.
  • Weather-resistant cameras: With weather-resistant cameras and infrared night vision, Arlo cameras can keep your home safe in any weather, day and night.
  • Activity zones: Arlo allows you to customize your activity zones and receive personalized notifications.

Nerd cons

  • Battery life: Arlo doesn't have the best battery life compared to some competitors, which is a shame since they offer so much battery-powered equipment.
  • Higher upfront cost: Since you can't spread the cost, the upfront costs are higher than some providers.

Arlo or Zmodo?

Arlo and Zmodo are decent providers, but Zmodo's real selling point is in the price. Several areas suffer, corners are cut, and some important basics (two-way talk, advanced person detection) are missing from their home security cameras. Zmodo's field of view and other specs aren't the best. Still, they offer outdoor wireless security cameras and more local storage options, alongside more options for larger security systems.

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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