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Those considering a smart security camera for home protection have more than likely stumbled across Arlo. Arlo has several impressive smart camera solutions and their device lineup just continues to grow. The company continues to produce better and more sophisticated options for monitoring the home via video.
The Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Q are excellent choices in the smart home security industry. It’s a challenge determining which of these cameras is the best, primarily because it depends on your needs. For example, if you need an indoor camera, then you’re probably better off going with the Arlo Q. However, for outdoor use, you’ll want to stick with the Arlo Pro 2.
These two smart security cameras have a lot of features and functionality in common, but they have their fair share of differences as well. One of the biggest differences between the two is that the Arlo Pro 2 needs a base station. We’ll get further into this as we discuss these two devices in more detail.
Of course, the best choice between these two is going to depend a lot on what you need in a smart security camera. Let’s take a deeper dive into the commonalities and differences of the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 What the Arlo Q and Arlo Pro 2 Have in Common
- 2 Differences Between the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2
- 3 Arlo Q vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Comparison Chart
- 4 Final Thoughts
What the Arlo Q and Arlo Pro 2 Have in Common
Of course, when it comes to your smart security camera, video is perhaps the single most important quality you want. If you don’t have a clear picture, what good are all the other features? Thankfully, both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Q have exceptional high-end 1080p resolution. You’ll also get a 130-degree viewing range along with a compression rate that allows for multiple streams without straining your network.
Both the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2 have built-in mics and speakers. These allow for conveniently checking on your pets, but it also adds an additional security feature. You can converse with visitors, address trespassers, and prevent your packages from being stolen. While audio might not be a feature you need every day, it is good to know you have it if you need it.
Both smart security cameras provide high-quality LEDs which offer illumination up to 25-feet. This gives you plenty of visibility during the night. With an infrared cut-off filter, these devices offer solid picture quality even in a low light environment.
The Arlo Q and Arlo Pro 2 both give you the option to view live video whenever you want. Users can also record videos at no charge. One nice feature about Arlo is that it allows you the ability to access nearly all the features and functionality of their cameras without paying extra fees. Keep in mind, however, that storage is limited without a paid subscription.
Cloud Storage and Subscriptions
The same subscription model is used for both cameras. Users get both recording and live video streaming free of charge, which means subscribing to Arlo Smart is entirely optional. Signing up does, however, include some additional functionality along with the option to add more cameras.
Your Arlo camera has seven days worth of cloud recording by default. Without a subscription, your account can support five different smart cameras. If you need more storage or want more cameras protecting your home or business, you’ll have to choose a subscription option. Arlo offers Arlo Smart Add-On, Smart Premier, and Smart Elite.
Smart Add-On is the lowest tier you can select. With Smart Add-On, users get all the features available in the subscription model, however, they pay a per camera fee of $2.99. This is the ideal choice for those that just need a few cameras. You don’t pay a lot in subscription fees and you still get everything Arlo has to offer with its smart security cameras.
Additionally, Smart Add-On gives you motion detection alerts. When the sensor trips, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone that activity is detected. With this feature, you can also set up specific zones that limit areas of detection. So, for instance, if you have an area of your home or business that is constantly busy, you can choose to have your camera ignore it.
Subscription services also provide an extra security feature called Rich Notifications. This feature allows you to interact with an alert by tapping on your smartphone to either trigger an alarm or contact emergency services. You can do all this without the need to unlock your phone or launch the mobile application.
Not only can you do this without unlocking your phone, but Arlo’s Smart features will ensure that first responders are sent to your home, even if you’re not there. That way, you don’t have to worry about your location when an emergency occurs. Even if you’re at work, emergency crews will go to your home, ignoring the location of your phone.
If you want more than five cameras, you’ll have to shell out for a higher tiered plan. While you get all the additional features for $2.99, you can’t add as many cameras as you’d like. The Arlo Smart Premier tier is $9.99 each month, gives you 30 days worth of recordings, and lets you add up to 10 Arlo cameras to your system.
The most-expensive tier is the Arlo Smart Elite option. You’ll pay $14.99 each month, but you can connect up to 20 Arlo smart cameras. You’ll also get 60 days worth of recordings, which is double what you get with Smart Premier.
With your Arlo smartphone application, you’ll have access to view all your smart cameras. The app is available through iOS, Android, and via a web client. Web support is a nice feature since it gives you the option to use your PC or laptop rather than limiting you to watching on your smartphone or tablet.
Both the Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Q have the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa. You can use many of Amazon’s Alexa enabled devices – like the Echo Sport or Echo Show – to check the live feeds on your cameras as well. Keep in mind that you won’t have the ability to use two-way audio through Amazon’s devices.
Stringify and IFTTT
One last item of note that these two cameras have in common is their ability to integrate with Stringify and IFTTT (If This Then That). These two programs are a big partof the brains behind some of the smart home automation you’ll see with more sophisticated systems. Connecting various devices together lets you create a platform that responds to your needs.
Arlo’s smart cameras fit nicely into this type of system. You can set up something as simple as flashing your living room lights when the cameras detect motion. Really there are no limitations to what you can have your smart home do when using Stringify and IFTTT.
Differences Between the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2
One of the biggest differences between the two cameras is their wifi connectivity support. The Arlo Q has the ability to connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz systems. That means it will work on both frequencies, which helps reduce the strain and stress placed on your network.
The Arlo Pro 2, on the other hand, only supports 2.4GHz connectivity. If you only have a few cameras, this may not be a problem, but if you decide to add more, you might start to see your network bog down due to bandwidth limitations.
An area of significant advantage with the Arlo Q over the Arlo Pro 2 is in regards to the range of its motion sensing. The Arlo Pro 2 offers a range of up to 23-feet when detecting motion, even though it is one of the better outdoor cameras on the market.
The Arlo Q, however, has a range of nearly 50-feet. While this indoor camera won’t typically need that much range in a residential home, it might come in handy for a warehouse or large business. Either way, the Arlo Q has the decided advantage when it comes to motion detection range.
Additionally, if your Arlo smart camera has power – which we’ll get to – you’ll have the ability to customize up to three different activity zones. You can use these zones to detect motion in certain areas. This might be areas that need additional security or to avoid false alarms in areas that have heavy foot traffic.
From a pure power perspective, it’s the Arlo Pro 2 that gives you the most flexibility. Where the Arlo Q only works while plugged into a power outlet, the Arlo Pro 2 have the option of using both AC power and a rechargeable battery.
If you choose to add on the optional solar charging pack, you have a device that basically generates its own power. The Arlo Pro 2 can be installed essentially anywhere you want, and even if you don’t purchase the additional solar panel, you’ll only have to change the battery every six months.
The Arlo Pro 2 is the clear winner in terms of power, especially given that you have so many options from which you can choose. However, the Arlo has a Q Plus version which provides charging by Power Over Ethernet. If you want to have power and a steady internet signal at the same time, this might be a device to consider.
Another big difference between the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2 is a piece of hardware the company refers to as its base station. If you choose the Arlo Q for your smart security camera needs, you’re ready to go right out of the box. This camera requires no additional pieces or setup.
On the other hand, the Arlo Pro 2 requires a base station to work properly. Unfortunately, this is an additional expense, and something you’ll want to weigh as you decide between these two cameras.
While the base station might seem like it’s a disadvantage – and because of the cost it somewhat is – but the Arlo Pro 2 does have the capability to use some additional features with this piece of hardware that aren’t available on the Arlo Q.
A few examples of these features include additional camera range, increase battery life with your Arlo smart cameras, and access to the built-in siren and local backup storage available in the base station itself.
Of course, how you feel about the base station might depend on your needs. If you prefer the additional features, then you might go with the Arlo Pro 2. However, for those that prefer to get started right out of the box without any additional purchases, then the Arlo Q is the way to go.
One large disadvantage of selecting the Arlo Q is its lack of support for a siren. As mentioned in the base station section, the Arlo Pro 2 has a built-in siren which will go off in the case of an emergency. This is a nice feature to have to keep your family and home protected.
If you’re planning on using these smart cameras for security, a lack of a siren is a significant drawback. With a siren, you’ll know when there’s a problem so you can alert your family and contact the appropriate authorities.
Since you’ll have a base station with your Arlo Pro 2, you’ll have the advantage of using its local storage capabilities. This won’t serve as a valid substitute for cloud storage, however, it’s nice to have in case an outage occurs. When your local storage is getting close to capacity, the Arlo mobile app will let you know. If you happen to run out of space, you can have the camera record over older footage.
With the Arlo Q, you don’t have a base station, so you don’t have a way to access or store local backups. There is, however, an updated Arlo Q, the Q Plus, which offers a local storage SD slot on the camera itself. With the Q Plus, you’ll have the option to store additional backups in the event of an outage.
The Arlo Q is only meant to be used indoors, which means if you’re looking for a security camera to put outside, you’ll probably want to go with the Arlo Pro 2. Speaking of, the Arlo Pro 2 offers an IP65 rating, which means it’s weather resistant. You can mount this camera both indoors and outdoors, so you have a little more flexibility with it.
Arlo Q vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Comparison Chart
Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the Arlo Q and the Arlo Pro 2:
||Arlo Pro 2
|Field of View||130 degrees||130 degrees|
|Record Live Streaming||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Detection||50 feet||23 feet|
|Wifi Support||2.4 and 5 GHz||2.4 GHz only|
|Siren||No||Yes, via base station|
|Mobile Application||iOS, Android, Web||iOS, Android, Web|
|Weather Resistant||No||IP65 rating|
|Voice Command Integration||Amazon Alexa, Google Home||Amazon Alexa, Google Home|
Deciding whether to go with the Arlo Q or the Arlo Pro 2 isn’t an easy thing to do. With many smart cameras, there is a decidedly noticeable upgrade when moving from an older model to a newer one, however, these two devices have areas in which they are markedly superior and others where they simply far short of the target.
Overall, it might make the most sense to go with the Arlo Pro 2. This is largely due to the greater amount of flexibility you get with the device. Additionally, it helps that you can run the camera off both AC and battery power. One other big advantage the Arlo Pro 2 employs over the Arlo Q is its siren.
Of course, having said that, the downside to the Arlo Pro 2 is that it requires a base station to work. This means more equipment lying around in your house, plus the added cost that comes along with it. While the increased range, additional battery, and local storage are nice, are they enough to justify spending more money?
However, it is nice that you can just take the Arlo Q out of the box and get going in a matter of minutes. Sure, you have to plug it into an outlet, and you can’t use it outdoors, but if you’re looking for an indoor only smart security camera, then this might be the one you want.
While there’s really no clear-cut winner between these two devices, you might think of them in terms of choices. For all-around performance and options, the Arlo Pro 2 is probably your better selection. But if you want a camera that you can just plug in and start monitoring, then the Arlo Q is the smart security camera for you.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!