Best Spotlight Camera
Arlo Spotlight Camera
Arlo's wireless security cameras offer high-quality video in 1080p and color night vision to keep an eye of your home day and night.
Best for Smart Home
Ring Security Camera
Ring camera allows you to see, hear, and speak to your visitors outside your door with an option for Ring Protect Plan subscription. Works well with Alexa and other Ring smart home devices.
Keeping an eye on your home and property while you’re away is now easier with home security cameras. But not all cameras are created equal. Cheap quality cameras defeat your purpose of protecting your home and compromise your safety.
Choosing a good security camera can be exhausting since the market is flooded with so many brands. The challenge is how to make better choices that work best for you, considering the price, the quality, and the features.
We’ve identified two of the most well-known and trusted brands of home security cameras today - Arlo and Ring. We’ve put these two wireless cameras head-to-head to see which one is the best!
- Arlo vs Ring - Compare the Best Home Security Camera
- Arlo vs Ring Overview
- Must-Have Features We Love
- Best Spotlight Camera: Arlo
- Best Camera for Smart Home: Ring
- Our Verdict
Arlo vs Ring - Compare the Best Home Security Camera
Arlo vs Ring Overview
Both Arlo and Ring are a great addition to your home security system. The wireless cameras share common features that are vital to protect your home and key differences that may (or may not) fit with your preferences.
Here, we’ve outlined the similarities and differences of both cameras to help you choose the right one based on your preferences:
- Both cameras offer DIY installation. This means that you can install the camera on your own without the need for a professional technician.
- Both Arlo and Ring can be used as indoor or outdoor cameras. So if you plan to put a security camera outdoors, you don’t have to worry about your camera being exposed to harsh weather since it is designed to be durable and high-quality.
- Arlo and Ring can be purchased without the need to commit to long-term contracts. This means you don’t have to worry about missed monthly bills and are free to stop using it anytime.
- Both cameras offer smart home automation options.
- Arlo and Ring are both wireless cameras. You don’t have to worry about additional installation costs.
- Ring comes with environmental sensors, window sensors, and door sensors to protect your whole home. Arlo only sells surveillance cameras.
- Arlo can be paired with SmartThings hub for home automation integration. Ring works best with a Z-wave hub.
- Arlo comes with a lot of camera options while Ring doesn’t.
- You can mount the Arlo camera using magnetic brackets which is easier and more convenient to use. Ring cameras can be mounted by screwing the unit to your wall.
Must-Have Features We Love
The feature set is the biggest factor when it comes to choosing a security camera. One camera may have the desirable features suitable to your needs that others may not have.
Here are some of the features we believe are important in choosing a security camera:
Resolution and Field View
The resolution (quality . . . sort of) and field view are important factors for home security cameras that should never be compromised. Crystal clear footage and images help you capture the details of your home and its surroundings. And, it’s very helpful for the police to identify thieves in case of break-ins. Or at times you just want to know who’s outside your door right on your phone.
Overall, a video resolution of 1080p and at least a 130-degree viewing angle are recommended for general use. Resolution will be driven by how far away you want to be able to see small details. The viewing angle will depend on where you plan to mount it and how wide of an area needs to be watched.
Ease of Installation
Most homeowners prefer to have their security cameras wireless because they’re super easy to install. You can mount the cameras anywhere you want without the need to worry about running wires around your house.
Battery-operated cameras are more portable but may have limited power - so this means you need to monitor the battery levels regularly and replace (or recharge) the batteries when needed. If you don’t like replacing batteries from time to time, then you can consider cameras that come with an AC plug or solar panels (for outdoor installation).
It’s very important to continue monitoring your home and check out who’s outside even at night. Most high-quality cameras today have infrared night vision so you can see would-be intruders even at nighttime. If you can get a camera with a good sensor that doesn’t need additional LEDs, that’s great. Otherwise, on camera LEDs provide illumination at night for most models.
Just be warned, if your camera is mounted in a place where spiders can build a web in front of them, they will! Bugs will be attracted to even the infrared light, and the spiders appreciate the target-rich environment!
Motion and Audio Detection
Wireless cameras are designed to be low-power so they are not meant to record 24-7. This is where motion sensors come into play - your cameras only start recording when motion is detected. Some cameras even offer zoning features to fine-tune the trigger (so that moving leaves from trees in front of your lawn or passing cars don’t trigger recordings).
The only disadvantage for most cameras with motion sensors is that it would take some time for the camera to start recording after it has been triggered. For example, the camera will only start video recording two seconds after the motion sensor is triggered. The problem is that you might miss something important during the two-second lapse. If you think this feature is important, then you should consider cameras with the pre-buffered recording (such as Arlo Pro 3).
Another feature worth considering is the audio detection feature. The two-way audio feature allows you to talk to people or visitors outside your door, or even hear their conversations through your phone. You can even set a push notification to your phone whenever audio is detected.
Smart Home Integration
Are you a big fan of home automation? Then it’s recommended to get a security camera compatible with smart home devices. Cameras that feature smart home integrations offer better options to control your devices and optimize your home security system.
Devices that come with an app offer convenience when it comes to accessing cloud recordings, setting hot-spot zones, sharing videos, monitoring your surroundings, communicating with visitors, and many others. The user interface also allows you to do customizations such as sensor sensitivity and timers to meet your preferences.
Storage plans are another great feature if you want to save recordings in the cloud. Camera manufacturers can have varying options - some offer monthly subscriptions while others have annual storage plans. Choose a plan that works well for you.
In the past, some security cameras have been under the weather due to privacy issues and lack of security controls and policies. Recently, more and more camera companies are including privacy-centric features in the app as well as end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of homeowners.
With this, make sure to choose a camera provider that includes privacy security as one of their top priorities. Some camera companies offer two-factor authentication, a big plus to prevent data breaches and discourage hackers from accessing your network and online accounts.
Best Spotlight Camera: Arlo
High-quality spotlight camera with bright LED lights for a clear view. Comes with color night vision to see details even at night time. Arlo's camera can record a 1080p video and 130º viewing angle to monitor every corner of your home.
"This camera is perfect for what it does. It gives you all the benefits of having an Arlo camera (battery powered, great app, reliable smart alerts, etc) without needing a base station."
Arlo is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to entry-level, DIY security cameras. The company’s years of experience in the market show through their high-quality and robust cameras, making it a great choice to keep an eye on your home.
Although the brand is a little bit pricey compared to its competitors, it’s justified not just for the quality but also for the beautiful design.
Here are some of the core features of Arlo which love:
- A user-friendly app that allows access and control of your cameras through your phone.
- Colored night vision with bright, infrared LED lights so that you can see and record details even in the dark.
- Highly-sensitive motion detection feature to trigger the camera and record only when someone is in front of your door or within your property.
- Batteries are long-lasting (up to 6 months).
- The cameras are weatherproof so you can install them anywhere that needs monitoring.
Overall, Arlo cameras are the best option if high-quality video is your top priority. Arlo cameras come in diverse models, each having its own feature set. You can even avail the plans for cloud storage which is almost the same price as Ring.
Best Camera for Smart Home: Ring
Ring helps you monitor your home with 1080p video and infrared night vision to capture clear details. You can hear, talk, and see your visitors in front of your door through your smartphone. Ring camera also works flawlessly with other Ring devices and Alexa for a complete smart home security set-up.
“I have a Ring pro on my front door and loved it so much that I wanted something for the back patio since I have contracts (lawn, pool, trees, etc) in my backyard. My challenge however is that all the walls on the patio are either stucco or rock, which makes it near impossible to run a hidden power line. So I opted for this option and so far it works great. The lights are pretty bright and the motion detection works as expected.”
Amazon’s Ring cameras are one of the top picks for DIY, entry-level cameras. The high-quality cameras come at an affordable price so you can secure your home without breaking the bank. Ring also offers a full suite of cameras that are perfect for both indoor and outdoor installations.
The great advantage of Ring cameras is that they are designed for home automation. So if your direction is to set up a smart home, then you can easily integrate your cameras to your existing devices. Take note that Ring also offers other devices with smart sensors for a full home automation system.
Ring cameras are completely DIY and wireless. The units come with AC plug-ins while other models can be recharged with a solar panel for continuous monitoring (no need to worry of dying batteries). It also comes with a user-friendly app for control and customization, infrared night vision, two-way audio, live video streaming, and many other great features. But take note that some features can only be enabled depending on your subscription plan. You can get the Ring Protect Basic at $3 per month or the Ring Protect Plus at $10 per month to unlock features such as professional monitoring, video sharing or storage, and an extended warranty.
Alexa works best with Ring but may not be compatible with other smart home devices (although it is said that Ring can be integrated with Google home, some users complain about compatibility issues).
Although Ring has its own flaws and limitations, it is still the favorite pick for DIY security cameras because of its overall performance, feature set, and competitive price.
While Arlo offers a diverse selection of high-quality cameras, they are not mainly designed for a full home automation system (although they do have something to offer for smart homes). Arlo is mainly focused on camera systems and has its own unique feature set that makes it popular in the market.
Ring, on the other hand, offers not just a camera but a full home security system. Ring cameras are smart home integration-ready and come with great features and performance at a competitive price.
This wraps up our comparison of Arlo vs Ring. Each camera offers its own strengths. We hope this review will help you make the right choice!
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.
Last update on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API