It’s hard to forecast which industries technology will disrupt or when it will happen, but we are forever grateful for technological disruption in the home security market. Dealing with legacy security companies and their costly subscriptions is frustrating. Newcomers like Ring and Arlo are here to save the day. You might recognize the brands most because of their video doorbells, but they have so much more to offer.
Arlo vs. Ring Comparison
But which brand should you choose? Home security is a big deal, and if you plan to go with the DIY home security approach, it is worth researching which option is best for you. We reviewed Ring and Arlo to help you make the best decision possible. Check out our side-by-side comparison, or read the detailed reviews below.
Which Is Better? Arlo or Ring?
Since Amazon purchased Ring, it works most seamlessly with Echo and Alexa devices. On the other hand, the Arlo system is built for less exclusivity, working well with Amazon products, Ok Google, IFTTT, and SmartThings. Ring supposedly works with Ok Google too, but many users find that the list of compatible devices and usability is limited.
Since Ring’s devices and Arlo’s devices are relatively similar, at the end of the day, choosing between the two might depend on whether you intend to use a voice assistant. Nonetheless, Ring has a broader security platform, including video doorbells, floodlights, and additional cameras and smart lighting, such as pathway lights that turn on when they detect motion.
Its also worth noting that Ring offers professional monitoring options, while Arlo does not. This might be the most significant difference between the two platforms. Ring has turned into a full-fledged security solution, while Arlo still feels like a device maker.
We’ve included full reviews below, but based on experience and research, here are our recommendations:
Arlo is a little less known in certain markets, but they are a worthy contender for Ring. Some of the devices, including one of its video doorbells, were awarded CNET’s editor’s choice. The overall security portfolio isn’t quite as expansive, but it still might be the right choice for some.
Do You Need An Arlo Subscription?
Arlo offers two plans at are similarly priced to Ring’s options, though both plans have a maximum number of cameras included before the pricing goes up. One interesting option is that you can add Continuous Video Recording (CVR), which enables you to see any point in time, regardless of motion sensors being triggered (for 14 days or 30 days of history, depending on the chosen plan).
Their overall product portfolio isn’t as expansive as Ring’s, but Arlo still punches above its weight in many ways. You don’t necessarily need a ton of options if the options you have are packed with premium technology and functionality.
Like Ring before, Arlo has wired and battery-powered battery, but they only have those two versions of the same video doorbell model, so Ring has a few more choices. Of course, one well-designed model might be enough. Arlo doorbells are sleek, capture HD video with HDR, have night vision, and a 180 degree viewing angle. And similar to other smart doorbells sends motion detection alerts to your phone and has two-way audio.
Perhaps the most significant advantage Arlo has over Ring is that it is built to play well with others. Since Amazon owns ring, it makes sense that it would work best with Alexa; however, Arlo was built from the ground up to work well with multiple platforms, including Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, and SmartThings.
We also like that you can receive a call on your phone when someone rings the doorbell. I get notifications on my phone endlessly, but a call is much more likely to get my attention and provides a less awkward transition to duck out of a conversation if you need to talk to someone at your door. Not only that, but you can pre-record responses and send them with the tap of a finger.
While Arlo might have fewer devices platform-wide, they have an impressive list of cameras from which to choose. For instance, the Arlo Ultra camera series features 4k video, while the Arlo Pro series features 2k video. These outdoor cameras feature advanced wireless technology, and feature a rechargeable battery, with a wired option for complete versatility. The Arlo Pro is one of the most popular video cams sold by any platform.
They also feature mobile cameras that don’t need to rely on your Wi-Fi system. The Arlo Go camera series works with AT&T and Verizon LTE networks, which enhances your ability to have security across your entire property.
Of course, indoor cameras don’t need the same functionality, so Arlo sells the Arlo Q indoor camera series, which are all Wi-Fi enabled and are built to plug-in. These cameras feature the two-way talk capabilities we are all accustomed to from DIY security cameras.
While your residence’s security is essential, nothing is more important than the well-being of your children. After all, they are the most precious parts of your life. Arlo Baby is the cutest all-in-one baby monitor on the market and it is quite advanced too. Notably, it features air sensors in addition to the Apple HomeKit compatibility, a smart music player, 1080 HD video quality, a multi-colored night light, and 2-way talk.
All Arlo cameras have wide 180 degree fields of view, which makes quite the difference, and when you consider the Arlo Ultra has 4K video, any video storage you need to review will be second to none.
Floodlight cams and spotlight cams are an important part of the home security equation. The Arlo Pro floodlight camera is a top-notch device with 2-way audio and even a built-in siren. The siren can be triggered automatically, or manually from the brand’s signature app, based on your chosen settings.
Not only can you change the siren settings from the Arlo app, but you can also adjust brightness, video, and audio settings based on the floodlight’s locations and your specific needs. The floodlight also comes with multiple power options, including an optional solar panel or outdoor charging cable. The floodlight camera pairs excellently with the Arlo video doorbell. Arming your residence with various motion detection devices is an excellent way to increase safety and peace of mind.
Is Arlo Worth The Money?
These devices have some great features and work well with their mobile app. We particularly like the ability to respond to the doorbell with pre-recorded messages. While Arlo doesn’t have compatible smart lighting features like Ring, their system is still worth the investment. This is especially true if you already use Google Assistant or have other Google Home devices.SUMMARY PROS
- Continuous recording optionality
- Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
- Multiple models and price points
- Fewer device options
- Cloud storage is cheap
- No professional monitoring options
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- Works with Google Home
- Popular and functional phone app
Ring has come a long way and grown its product portfolio considerably since the founder first appeared on Shark Tank to share his new video doorbell. Back then, the company was called DoorBot, only sold a video doorbell, and believe it or not, all of the sharks passed on the opportunity to invest. Now the company is under the Amazon.com family and sells an entire suite of home security devices.
Do You Need A Ring Subscription?
No subscription is required to view Ring in real-time; however, you will need a reasonably-priced subscription if you want video recordings. The standard features you can use without the subscription include instant alerts, live view, and two-way talk.
If you’re not convinced, Ring offers a 30 days trial of Ring Protect Plan, the basic cloud subscription that works with up to one device. The basic plan is only $3 per month, so not that expensive for peace of mind. The Ring Protect Plus Plan covers unlimited doorbell and camera video history for only $10 per month. If you only have the video doorbell, the basic plan is probably sufficient, while you will want to consider the higher service plan if you have multiple security cameras.
So, why would you want the recordings anyway? Well, I can say from experience that if you wake up to find a motion at your door at 2:00 am, you will want to know why. Another time the police contacted us through the Ring app and asked if we would be willing to share a video from a night when someone broke into our neighbor’s car. At first, we weren’t sure we needed the subscription, but honestly, it is cheap and well worth the price for cloud storage.
We mentioned that Ring had expanded their device line-up well beyond video doorbells, and we weren’t kidding. They even have smart lighting now, but not just spotlights and floodlights. They have smart pathlights and steplights too. Ring is developing one of the most sophisticated networks of home security devices ever assembled.
A few years ago, it was hard to envision a video doorbell revolutionizing home security. And honestly, when we first bought our Ring several years ago, I was less convinced about the functionality and more interested in the novelty. Years later, it’s a staple in our daily routine, and we will always have one in the future.
The Doorbell Pro features 1080HD video and infrared night vision. The quality of the video is great. Of course, there are still limitations. Most events you would want to catch with the video are done by people smart enough to wear hats and keep their heads down. The few times we have had individuals pull on our car door handles, etc., we could clearly see the perps, but they kept their faces fairly well hidden.
Still, the video is reassuring to have, and it is nice to take a live look at activity outside your door or check out the recording later on. It gives you a sense of awareness and can be reassuring.
The video doorbell is easy to install, and for most people, will take less than 30 minutes. The design is slim and sleek, so not only will the ring enhance your home security, but it will give your home a sophisticated look while doing so.
And since Ring is under the Amazon.com umbrella, the products have to work with Alexa, right? Yes, it does. The video doorbell can be set up to transmit updates to your Echo and Alexa devices when motion is detected, or someone rings the doorbell.
In all seriousness, once you’ve installed a Ring Video Doorbell on your home, there is a good chance you will want video access from additional angles. While the doorbell has a reasonably wide view, it still can only see what is facing the door. If you want a view from the sides or back, you need additional cameras.
And while additional security is the main reason one might want to add additional cameras, it is also just fascinating to see what goes on around your house. Not only can the motion zones be adjusted, but the motion sensitivity can also be adjusted. You can control each device individually, so you might set the doorbell for ‘People Only Mode’ but have higher sensitivity for other cameras.
The Ring Team has developed cameras for any need you might have. They now sell indoor cameras, stick up cameras that work indoors or outdoors, spotlight cameras, and floodlight cameras. There are both battery-powered and wired versions of most of the camera and a solar-powered spotlight camera.
The cameras pack all of the doorbell features, including motion sensors, live view, night vision, and two-way talk. If you are concerned about battery life on the non-wired versions, you can get a second rechargeable battery pack, which works with nearly all brand products.
Ring’s security system feels like an evolution of the company from a one-trick pony to a full security solution. The process for developing a DIY security system is straightforward and features a quiz from the Ring team that will help you choose exactly which devices you need. Of course, they also have some pre-designed kits designated for small, medium, or large houses.
As an example, the medium house package includes eight devices, including the Ring Alarm Base Station, Ring Alarm Keypad, four contact sensors, a motion detector, and a range extender. The contact sensors are enough to protect four windows or doors, and the motion detector can be used to focus on a critical room, entryway, or hallway.
With the Ring security system, you will receive notifications anytime sensors are triggered, and if your home if your system goes offline, it also has cellular backup. Here is another key part of the system: If you want to, you can add around the clock emergency support from a dedicated professional monitoring team.
There are two great things about this system. The first is that you can easily set it up yourself. You can pay for installation if you would like to do so, but everything you need comes with the kit. Just plug it in and get going. The second feature I love about this system is that you can add environmental sensors. You can add both flood and freeze sensors and smoke and CO listeners to completely connect your home’s safety to the overall Ring system.
Let’s start with this. What exactly is smart lighting? Imagine lights coming on around your house anytime motion is detected. That’s smart lighting connected to the Ring system. On top of this, you can turn your lights off and on if you are away from your house.
Ring’s smart lighting goes beyond merely keeping your home secure; it also makes your home safer. Ring’s pathway lighting includes solar pathlights and solar steplights. To connect the pathway lighting to the Ring app, you will need to add on a specific transformer; however, it seems a small price to pay for such an integrated system.
Beyond the pathway lighting, Ring also offers outdoor mounted lighting, including floodlights and spotlights powered by a designated solar panel. These devices include additional motion detection, improving the connectivity and functionality of the overall Ring security system.
Is Ring Worth The Money?
It’s incredible to manage your home’s security from a smartphone. While Ring started with a two-way talk video doorbell, they have expanded toward an entire suite of security solutions. We believe any of Ring’s devices are worth the investment, and the video storage subscription plans are dirt cheap. The viewing angles from the cameras are superb, and all of this works of your Wi-Fi, with optional cellular back-up for specific devices. Truly, the peace of mind alone is worth the money.SUMMARY PROS
- Industry pioneering video doorbell
- Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
- Compatible with smart lighting
- Multiple models and price points
- Cloud storage is cheap
- Works with Alexa
- System includes environmental sensors
- Popular and functional phone app
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