household tech Arlo vs. Ring: Which is Better? (2021 Review)
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Arlo vs. Ring:
Which is Better?
(2021 Review)

What is the best DIY security solution? We compared Arlo vs. Ring to help you determine which brand fits your needs.

📺 Household Tech

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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!

Our Take:
Arlo Logo
Arlo Product Image
4.25

thumb_upPROS


thumb_downCONS

  • check Continuous recording optionality
  • close Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
  • check Multiple models and price points
  • close No professional monitoring options
  • check Cloud storage is cheap
  • check Works with Amazon Alexa
  • check Works with Google Home
  • check Functional phone app
The Bottom Line:Arlo offers a robust DIY security system that works with various platforms such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Arlo doesn’t offer professional monitoring, but you can alert authorities with Arlo Secure Plus.
Jump to: Full Review

Ring Logo
Ring Product Image
4.5

thumb_upPROS


thumb_downCONS

  • check Industry pioneering video doorbell
  • close Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
  • check Compatible with smart lighting
  • close Limited Compatability
  • check Multiple models and price points
  • check Cloud storage is cheap
  • check Works with Alexa
  • check Functional phone app
The Bottom Line: The Ring ecosystem offers a large spectrum of integrative devices, including smart lighting. Still, Ring is under the Amazon umbrella and thus does not work with Apple HomeKit. Ring offers professional monitoring.
Jump to: Full Review



Full Review:
Arlo vs. Ring - Cover Image

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

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 compatible devices and usability are limited.

We’ve included full reviews below, but based on experience and research, here are our recommendations:

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.

Which Is Better? Arlo or Ring?

But which brand should you choose? In comparing Arlo vs Ring, there is plenty to consider. 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.

Arlo vs. Ring
Comparison Table
Best DIY Security Solution
Arlo Logo
Ring Logo
PriceaddArlo💲💲Ring💲💲
Biggest Selling PointaddArloPre-recorded responsesRingOptional professional monitoring
Best UseaddArloExtra visibilityRingFull security solution
Optional Professional MonitoringaddArloRing
Environmental SensorsaddArloRing
Long-term Contract RequiredaddArloRing
Works With AlexaaddArloRing
Works With Google HomeaddArloRing😐
WebsiteaddArloRing

Arlo Review

Arlo is a little less known in specific 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 Arlo smart home security portfolio isn’t quite as expansive, but it still might be the right choice for some do-it-yourself types.

If Wi-Fi connectivity is of concern, the Arlo system is compatible with both 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Arlo’s design increases range and should result in fewer connectivity issues.

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 exciting 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). Arlo provides you with plenty of storage options, and the monthly subscription for the cloud storage service is very affordable.

The Arlo Secure Plan includes 2K video resolution, 30 days of video history, motion notifications, live video streaming, and a call-a-friend feature. The Arlo Secure Plus Plan takes this a step further and includes the new emergency response feature. The emergency response feature, combined with impressive cloud service, is a significant step in the right direction for DIY home security that isn’t professionally monitored.

Arlo Products

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 many options if the options you have are packed with premium technology and functionality.

Arlo vs. Ring - Products

Video Doorbells

Like Ring below, Arlo has a 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.

Regarding the battery power, assuming compatibility, you can connect to the existing doorbell power supply for continuous power. If electrical wiring makes you nervous, and you don’t want to bother with professional installation, you can opt for the doorbell that relies on battery power.

Sidenote: Those motion alerts help keep you safe, but they can also be amusing. You can submit exciting videos to be featured on Arlo’s social media platforms.

As you would expect, the Arlo video doorbell features a built-in siren to deter bad actors. Depending on your settings, the built-in siren can be triggered automatically or manually from the Arlo app.

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.


Cameras

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 and advanced features like dual motion sensors, while the Arlo Pro series features 2K video and a single motion sensor. The Arlo Essential series features 1080p for comparison. These outdoor cameras feature advanced wireless technology and 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. It can connect directly to Wi-Fi without a SmartHub, while the Arlo Ultra connects to the SmartHub. The SmartHub creates a secure, personal network on your router, protecting your data and video footage. The SmartHub is optional for the Arlo Pro, but it can connect directly to your home router.

One notable difference between the models is that the Arlo Essential cameras feature a 130° full camera view. In contrast, the Arlo Pro features a 160° view, and the Arlo Ultra features a 180° view. Still, all three Arlo models feature color night vision, which is a nice win.

The Arlo Essential, Arlo Pro, and Arlo Ultra feature six months of battery life per charge. Some of the models feature extended battery packs that will last up to a year or connect to an optional solar panel if you prefer not to worry about recharging.

For your system to work properly, you need to have a compatible base station or smart home, so be sure to double-check compatibility, particularly if you have older equipment to which you are adding.

The Arlo Go camera series works with AT&T and Verizon LTE networks, enhancing your ability to have security across your entire property. This works well if you have a large property and can’t rely on Wi-Fi to connect your devices universally.

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
...👇

Show moreexpand_more

Arlo vs. Ring - Learn More

Floodlight Cams

Floodlight cams and spotlight cams are an essential 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 plugin 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?

Arlo 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.

While Arlo has purpose-built indoor security cameras, the Arlo Ultra and Arlo Pro are designed to work indoors or outdoors, even though they are sufficiently rugged to serve as outdoor security cameras. And the Arlo Ultra’s 180-degree field of view shows you everything you need to see.

And naturally, it provides significant peace-of-mind, that push notifications are sent to the app on your phone as soon as an alarm is triggered.

Since most of Arlo’s products feature rechargeable batteries, that means you don’t worry about electrical installation unless that is what you prefer. The ease of installation is a big deal in our book. Anytime you are drilling holes in walls or dealing with electricity, you need to be careful. Eliminating the risk and intimidation associated with a wired installation lowers the barrier to entry.

We also expect the Arlo smart home security ecosystem to continue developing. And if you would prefer professional installation, Arlo provides installations services from OnTech, a third party that will install your Arlo products and shows you how to use them.

SUMMARYthumb_upPROS
thumb_downCONS
  • check Continuous recording optionality
  • close Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
  • check Multiple models and price points
  • close Fewer device options
  • check Cloud storage is cheap
  • close No professional monitoring options
  • check Works with Amazon Alexa
  • check Works with Google Home
  • check Popular and functional phone app

Arlo vs. Ring - Explore Now

Ring Review

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. Since Ring is under that Jeff Bezos umbrella now, you know the devices work well with Amazon Alexa.

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.

Ring Products

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, and it all works nicely with Amazon Alexa, which further enhances its convenience.

Ring vs. Arlo - Products

Video Doorbells

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 Ring Doorbell Pro features 1080HD video and infrared night vision. The quality of the video is excellent. 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 see the perps, but they kept their faces reasonably 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. The doorbell camera might be the best invention since sliced bread and provides you with a sense of awareness and comfort. A doorbell camera is undoubtedly an upgrade over the old-school doorbell chime.

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.

Security Cameras

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 comprehensive view, it 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.


Security Systems

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. In comparing Arlo vs Ring, this is a big distinction. For many, this is a worthwhile subscription service.

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 ultimately connect your home’s safety to the overall Ring system.

Ring vs. Arlo - Learn More

Smart Lighting

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. Keep in mind the Ring system works well with Amazon Alexa.

The viewing angles from the cameras are superb, and all of this works with your Wi-Fi, with optional cellular backup for specific devices. Smart features such as the ability to adjust motion sensitivity are second to none. Truly, the peace of mind alone is worth the money.

SUMMARYthumb_upPROS
thumb_downCONS
  • check Industry pioneering video doorbell
  • close Some might be overwhelmed by DIY
  • check Compatible with smart lighting
  • check Multiple models and price points
  • check Cloud storage is cheap
  • check Works with Alexa
  • check System includes environmental sensors
  • check Popular and functional phone app

Alternative DIY Security Systems

If you aren’t quite sold on Ring or Arlo, Google has also built out an impressive line-up under their Google Nest brand. The Nest Cam Outdoor requires that you plug it into a power outlet. This might be convenient, and you won’t have to worry about dead batteries; however, it might also limit where you can put the camera. If we are honest, the long cord running to a power outlet is also a little unsightly.

We have no doubt they will improve over time, but for now, the Google Nest ecosystem isn’t as developed as Ring or Arlo. On the positive side, you can subscribe to Nest Aware, which provides person alerts set up in specific activity zones, and you can create and share clips based on your desire to do so. Still, before you sign up for an Aware Subscription, just know that Google Nest has limited equipment and functionality that you can implement at this point.

Ring vs. Arlo - Explore Now

Arlo vs Ring Comparison Summary

Both Arlo and Ring have a growing portfolio of security products that will work with your smart home. That said, we are impressed with Ring’s addition of smart lighting that works in conjunction with the overall

Ring ecosystem.

On the other hand, Ring doesn’t work with as many platforms because it is under the Amazon umbrella, and they obviously want you to use Alexa-enabled products. Ring doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit, for instance. Regardless, both platforms provide rich notifications with a preview of any motion detected.

If you are looking for an area where Arlo might hold the edge, there are two things that come to mind. First, Arlo has designed their system to work most on rechargeable batteries or with solar-power accessories. Most Rings products have battery-powered options, but Arlo is part of the ecosystem’s intentional design to avoid electrical wiring unless the user wants it. The removable battery system is straightforward to use.

The second thing that comes to mind is the prerecorded message feature. It’s an under-the-radar smart touch on Arlo’s behalf to allow you to play prerecorded responses with your voice in response to any triggers. In a meeting at work, but want to tell the delivery man to leave the package at the front door? No problem. You can do so with the touch of a button. It’s a simple but impressive feature.

For these reasons, we really like Arlo, and suspect they will catch up with the number of devices offered by Ring at some point in the future. Given Arlo plays nice with more platforms than Ring, there is a compelling case Arlo is the way to go. Still, at the end of the day, it might come down to whether you desire professional monitoring and a broader spectrum of devices. If those considerations are a top priority, go with Ring.


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