Arlo vs Ring: Which Security Camera is Best in 2018?

Two of the biggest names in the world of security cameras are Arlo and Ring. But between the two, which one has a better range of products?

First Up: Ring Video Doorbell

Ring made its name from offering video doorbells. You can still get the original Ring Video Doorbell for only $179, but there have been several other models that have been introduced over time.

There are currently four Ring Video Doorbells available: Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 2, Ring Video Doorbell Elite, and Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

These video doorbells all feature motion detection, a wide field of view, HD video resolution, and a wide range when it comes to operating temperatures. They also have a built-in microphone and speaker, allowing you to talk to whoever is at the door. This is perfect for telling the delivery guy to just leave the package at the doorstep especially when you are not home to receive it, or for asking a caller you do not know or are not expecting what he needs without having to open the door.

All of these have their own set of faceplates, allowing you to use one that would match your door’s designs. You can get anywhere from two to four faceplates depending on which Ring doorbell you buy. They also allow you to view the camera’s live feeds using the companion app.

There are differences, of course, with how each of these doorbells work. The main difference is in how these doorbells are powered. Some may be hardwired, while others use batteries. The Ring Elite also draws power from Ethernet. Motion detection is also handled differently. For the original and the second-generation Ring doorbells, you only have five selectable preset zones and you can set how sensitive the motion sensors are. However, with the more expensive Elite and Pro models, you can actually use the mobile app to specify which areas to monitor for motion.

Another advantage of the Ring Pro and Elite over their more affordable cousins is that they can work on 5.0 GHz networks, making sure that your video feeds are up for streaming without having to worry about network congestion.

All Ring video doorbells come with all the things you need to wire or install them. For instance, the Ring Video Doorbell 2’s package includes a micro USB charging cable, faceplates, bits, screws, level, screwdriver handle, the user manual and installation guide, wire nuts and extensions, and other tools and pieces necessary to put it up your door.

The Ring Video Doorbell Elite also has the bits and screws, as well as the Ethernet cables needed to power it.

A side-by-side comparison of all four Ring Video Doorbells

Model  Ring Video Doorbell  Ring Video Doorbell 2 Ring Video Doorbell Elite  Ring Video Doorbell Pro 
Price  $179  $199  $499  $249 
Video resolution  720p HD  1080p HD  1080p HD  1080p HD 
Advanced motion detection  Choose from five preset zones with customizable sensitivity  Choose from five preset zones with customizable sensitivity  Motion detection zones  Motion detection zones 
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Compatible networks  2.4 GHz  2.4 GHz  2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz  2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz 
Two way communication   Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Dimensions (inches)  4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87  5.05 x 2.5 x 1.08  4.80 x 2.75 x 2.17  4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 
Field of view  180° horizontal  160° horizontal, 90° vertical  160° horizontal, 90° vertical  160° horizontal, 100° vertical 
Finishes  (4) Polished Brass, Venetian Bronze, Satin Nickel, and Antique Brass  (2) Satin Nickel and Venetian  (4) Pearl White, Venetian, Satin Black, and Satin Nickel  (4) Satin Black, Satin Nickel, Dark Bronze, and Satin White 
Live view available  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Motion detection angle  180 degrees  180 degrees  160 degrees  160 degrees 
Camera analyzes motion   Infrared detection only  Infrared detection only  Yes  Yes 
Weather resistant  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Operating temperature (°C)  -20.5 to 48.5  -20.5 to 48.5  -20.5 to 48.5  -20.5 to 48.5 
Can run on rechargeable battery  Yes  Yes  No  No 
Hardwired to existing doorbell  Yes  Yes  Power over Ethernet  Yes 
Battery life (maximum)  12 months  12 months  N/A  N/A 
Recommended download and upload bandwidth  1 MB per second  2 MB per second  2 MB per second  2 MB per second 

Other Ring offerings

Aside from these video doorbells, Ring also offers security cameras to help you beef up your home security.

There is the Ring Spotlight Cam that can be powered by solar energy ($229), by battery ($199), or through wires ($199). These spotlight cameras are high definition with wide fields of view and two-way communication. They are able to shine a bright light when they detect something moving, allowing you to see things very clearly even at night. The spotlights can also be manually turned on using the app. It also comes with a loud 110-decibel siren.

Ring also offers the Floodlight Cam, which sells for $249. The camera illuminates a particular area with a brighter light using its two very bright LED floodlights. These floodlights are likewise motion-activated and you can view the live stream at any given time.

Recording plans

Ring gives you the chance to record your camera’s feeds so that you could access them anytime you want.

The basic plan allows you to record, review, or share videos. You can use their cloud storage to store your videos for 60 days. You would need to pay $30 per year per camera or if you are paying monthly, $3 per month per camera.

If you have several cameras, you might want to check out the Plus Plan, which gives you the ability to store, share, and view videos for an unlimited number of cameras for only $100 a year. The Plus Plan also comes with exclusive discounts for your future Ring purchases, as well as a lifetime warranty.

Next Up: Arlo Cam

Arlo is a line of security cameras from Netgear, but it will soon be spinning off on its own as Arlo Technologies.

Arlo’s range of cameras includes wire-free security cameras, mobile cameras, powered cameras, baby cameras, and security lights.

Wire-free cameras

In general, Arlo gives you 720-pixel cameras, with only Arlo Pro 2 having a true 1080-pixel resolution. All of these cameras have motion detection, and all of them except for the first-generation Arlo have sound alerts.

Arlo cameras have a respectable field of view of 130 degrees, except for the first Arlo’s 110 degrees. All cameras also have night vision.

The features for each of the wire-free cameras are as follows:

Model  Arlo Pro 2 Arlo Pro  Arlo  Arlo Go
Wire-free  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Video resolution  1080p  720p  720p  720p 
Weather-resistant  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Nonstop 24/7 recording  Yes  No  No  No 
Wi-Fi  Yes  Yes  Yes  Data plan 
Plugged in  Yes  Yes  No  Yes 
Solar powered  Yes  Yes  No  No 
Battery  Yes  Yes  CR123 batteries  Yes 
Two-way communication  Yes  Yes  No  Yes 
Free storage  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Motion alerts  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Sound alerts  Yes  Yes  No  Yes 
Supports audio?  Yes  Yes  No  Yes 
Field of view  130°  130°  110°  130° 
Night vision  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Smart siren  Yes  Yes  No  No 
Local storage  Yes  Yes  No  Yes 
Activity zones  Yes  No  No  No 

Aside from these wire-free cameras, Arlo also offers wired security cameras in Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus. Both offer 1080-pixel video quality and can only be used indoors. These cameras both have a 130-degree field of view and can give you sound and motion alerts.

The differences are that unlike the original Arlo Q, the Arlo Q Plus may be powered by Ethernet and includes local storage.

Arlo also offers a baby camera with Arlo Baby. This camera is designed with bunny ears, so it goes perfectly with the decors for any nursery. It has 1080-pixel HD resolution, two-way talk capability, and advanced night vision. Plus, it also has a music player that sings soothing lullabies for your baby. It can also monitor the temperature, humidity, and VOC level in the nursery and can alert you when your baby is crying.

Arlo will also come out with Arlo Light, a security light with bright lamps. We are talking 400 lumens bright. The Arlo Light can turn itself on when it detects movements.

Arlo vs Ring: How does one compare to the other?

Some people might be tempted to compare Arlo products with Ring products just because they are both in the business of making cameras. However, these two companies actually have very different offerings. Arlo gives you standalone security cameras that you can set up easily.

As such, some Arlo cameras are very affordable: Arlo sells for $100, Arlo Pro for $190, Arlo Q for $220, and Arlo Pro 2 for $220. Ring, on the other hand, sells security cameras with another purpose: as a doorbell, as a floodlight, or as a spotlight.

Bottom Line: Overall, however, Ring offers better cameras with 1080 pixels of video quality and is my preferred option available here.

Ring cameras are also better-designed and look more elegant and expensive compared to Arlo’s cameras, which have a plastic build. The only thing missing from Ring is the ability to record your videos for free. Arlo offers seven days of video storage for free, but you can upgrade to 30-day storage for only $99 a year, or 60 days for only $149 per year.

With Ring and Arlo filling different needs, choosing one over the other would be a matter of what you need. You cannot choose an Arlo if you need a video doorbell or a floodlight camera. You also cannot choose Ring to monitor what is happening inside your home.

The good news is that both Ring and Arlo work with IFTTT recipes, allowing you to get the camera you need while also making them work together. For instance, there is an IFTTT recipe that would tell your Arlo security camera to start recording if Ring Video Doorbell detects movement. In addition, there is another recipe that tells Arlo to start recording once the doorbell has been pressed. Aside from IFTTT, you can also use SmartThings app and other smart home platforms to bridge the two.