Comparing Security camera systems is no mean feat, there are so many to choose from. If you’re considering the best security systems, your choice is likely to come down to NetGear Arlo vs Nest. Even then, it may not be all that easy to decide which is the better security camera.
All the security camera manufacturers claim that theirs is better than all the others. On the face of things, they may all look very similar. Most will offer a wide range of products that compare well to one another – wireless and wired cameras, Wi Fi remote access, motion sensors, nighttime visibility, and they will often include a bunch of extra add-ons like cloud storage and 24/7 monitoring. These will come in the form varying subscription packages at an extra cost.
This article is going to help you negotiate the endless list of products available to you. I’ll be comparing two of the top brands in the business – Arlo vs Nest. The comparison will be based on my observations and the opinions expressed in customer reviews. Deciding which is the better security camera, is not as easy as it may appear. I’ve reviewed countless security cameras, and both Arlo and Nest have found their way to the top of list when looking for both affordable and high-end (more expensive) systems.
2 of the Best High Defenition Outdoor Security Cameras
Obviously, I have my own opinions on the matter. If I were to be frank, I’d come right out and say that the Arlo Pro 2 is my personal top pick as the best wireless security camera. That being said, the newly released Arlo Ultra takes the concept of HD security cameras to completely new heights. It’s not yet available for retail, and is bound to be quite expensive. So, for now, I’ll reserve my best security camera slot for the Arlo Pro 2.
This is not to say that the many Nest security cameras are not without their merits. In the end, you’ll be deciding which is the better security camera for your home. It’s only by comparing the products, side by side, that you’re able to make an informed decision. That’s the point of this review, to provide you with facts and a full comparison of what you’re getting.
For this review, I’ll be comparing the Arlo Pro 2 to the Nest IQ. Both are outdoor security cameras and are waterproof, designed to be placed anywhere around the exterior of your home. Both Arlo and Nest offer cheaper, indoor cameras. Though these are more likely to be used as pet cams or child monitor cameras.
Common Features of the Nest and Arlo Models
The Arlo Pro 2 is more expensive than the Nest IQ, so you’ll want to know what you’re getting for the extra bucks. Of course, there is the cheaper Arlo base model, but it doesn’t compare all that well to the Nest IQ. So let’s try compare apples to apples here. Before reviewing the choice of both Nest and Arlo cameras, I’ll simplify things by pointing out the common ground. There are some features that you’ll get as standard on both the Nest IQ and Arlo Pro 2.
So far, the common features between the Nest and Arlo cameras are pretty impressive. So why do I say that the Arlo Pro 2 is the better security camera? Check the review of both systems and decide for yourself if it’s worth paying more for the Arlo. You may find that the differences between these security cameras make the Nest a better option in terms of affordability.
Arlo Pro 2 Advantages
For DIY installation, the Arlo Pro 2 is the easiest to install as it’s a wireless system. If you’re installing several security cameras around your home, having a battery-powered camera system means no drilling through walls and running cables all over the place. A wired system not only takes more effort to install, but can be unsightly.
Of course, the disadvantage of using batteries is that they need to be charged. Though Arlo cameras don’t use much power and they claim up to four months usage from the batteries before recharging. By all accounts, this appears to be accurate. You will still need to be aware that your batteries need to be recharged though.
While both Arlo and Nest offer subscription services, which means incurring a monthly fee, the Arlo Pro 2 gives you longer video storage as part of their free lifetime service. The Nest IQ will only store your video for 3-hours. Basically, if you don’t check it almost immediately after receiving an alert, your video footage is gone forever. Arlo offer 7-day cloud storage for free.
The Arlo Wi Fi base station not only keeps you in contact through the internet connection, but also has a built-in alarm. This is loud, really loud. The 100dB alarm provides you with extra security when you’re not home. It will alert your neighbors instantly and probably scare away intruders before they can do any harm.
The Arlo 2 also allows you to set up activity zones. This means that you can focus the camera to ignore certain areas so it won’t alert unnecessarily - like when pets move through your house. Nest only offer this with their subscription service. Though it’s worth noting that the activity zone feature can only be used when the Arlo Pro 2 is connected to a wired system.
Arlo Subscription Service
As I mentioned, Arlo offer you a free service with when you buy the camera system. This gives you instant access to your video feed via the app, notifications when the sensors are activated, and 7-day cloud storage.
If you want more features, Arlo have three optional monthly or yearly subscription options.
If you pay yearly, instead of monthly, you’ll save a bit. The cheapest of these is the Arlo Smart Add-On. With this subscription, you choose how many cameras you wish to have advanced features. So each camera is subject to its own subscription fee. The additional benefits with this service are rich notifications, cloud activity zones, and person detection zones.
The Arlo Smart Premier can be used with up to 10 cameras on one subscription. Along with the services offered on the Smart Add-on, you also get unlimited customer support, and e-911 that will alert emergency 911 services for you.
The Arlo Smart Elite is the most expensive subscription service and supports up to 20 cameras. It also offers a longer 90-day cloud storage facility in addition to services offered with other Arlo subscriptions.
Nest IQ Advantages
The only real benefit in buying the Nest outdoor camera system is the price. That is, if you don’t mind the wires and extra installation. When comparing the prices, you need to consider that the Arlo Pro 2, being a wireless system, requires the additional base station. You can’t just buy the camera.
Nest Aware Subscription Plans
Without a paid subscription, you don’t get much extra with your Nest security camera. It has 3-hours cloud storage and instant alerts via the app. If you want any more than this, you’ll need one of the Nest Aware plans which means a monthly or (cheaper) yearly subscription fee.
All three Nest subscription services offer the same basic features, it’s only the cloud storage period that differ. You’ll get 24/7 continuous recording, intelligent alerts, clips and time lapses, and activity zones. Depending on the service that you choose, you will have 5, 10, or 30-day cloud storage.
It’s quite obvious that you get what you pay for when looking at Arlo vs Nest security cameras. Most of the features that are offered as a payed subscription for Nest cameras, are included for free when buy the Arlo Pro 2. In addition to this, the Pro 2 offers more in their subscription offerings, like even longer cloud storage and e-911.
In the end, both Nest and Arlo cameras are great products. The cameras themselves, are state of the art HD, day-night cameras of a very high quality standard. Arlo offers the option of wireless or wired installation and few additional services and, for this, you will be paying more for the system.