The Arlo Home Security System is excellent. I like its design, ease of set-up and installation, as well as the large number of Arlo devices that you can effortlessly add to the system. As it works with Google Assistant and Alexa and supports IFTTT, there is a huge selection of third-party devices that you can integrate and automate as desired.
- Smart and elegant design
- OK Google and Alexa compatibility
- Ease of installation and set-up
- Integration with Arlo cameras and doorbells
- Multifunction sensors
- No contract monthly plans necessary
- The price is not lower than the competition’s if you include the Cellular and Battery Backup accessory
- Some features require a monthly subscription
Arlo manufactures home security products, including a line of cameras and the Arlo Home Security System, a clever and thoughtfully designed security hub with related sensors. The version of the system tested here ships with a keypad security hub and two sensors. There is also a kit with five sensors instead of two, and also includes a yard sign.
The Arlo Home Security System integrates with all of the company’s cameras and doorbells and supports IFTTT (rhymes with “gift” and stands for “if this, then that”), a service that connects internet-aware apps, services, and devices.
The IFTTT website and mobile app allow you to create connections between software and hardware from different manufacturers, allowing you to create custom actions. You can even use Google Assistant and Alexa voice commands to arm and disarm the system.
What’s in the box:
- Keypad Sensor Hub
- Two all-in-one sensors with magnets, adhesive, and plastic wall mounts
- A USB power adapter
- Setup guides
- A window sticker
The Arlo Keypad Sensor Hub is a white square with rounded corners that measure 4.1″ wide by 4.1″ deep by 1″ high. On the top panel are 19 backlit buttons, including a keypad, buttons for arming (both home and away) and disarming (standby) the system, and a panic button that triggers the 90db siren and contacts the monitoring service.
There are also buttons for Fire, Police, and Medical that connect to specified local responders. Buttons marked with an “X” and a checkmark cancel or submit PIN entries.
The number pad can be used to submit PIN codes for arming or disarming the system, as well as triggering a silent alarm to alert the monitoring service. The front of the hub has sensors for motion detection and can listen for smoke and carbon dioxide alarms. A nondetachable 8-foot USB-A power cord extends from the back of the unit.
The bottom of the keypad sensor unit has a connector for an optional Cellular and Battery Backup accessory ($79.99). This accessory will use the cellular network to keep the security system online in case of loss of internet connectivity. It will supply up to 12 hours of reserve battery to the hub in case of loss of power. A subscription to Arlo’s Safe and Secure Pro plan is required to enable these features.
Some competitor’s products include battery backup and cellular connectivity. Both SimpliSafe’s Essentials system ($139.97 reduced from $279.95) and Ring’s second-generation five-piece system ($199.99) include these components (although on the Ring system, cellular backup is an option.) This may account for the current sale price of the Arlo Home Security System, as adding the $79.99 Arlo Cellular and Battery Backup accessory brings the price up to these competing systems.
The Arlo Keypad Sensor Hub connects to your home network through 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. It employs Arlo’s SecureLink wireless technology to create a more secure connection with a longer range for all compatible sensors and cameras. I recently reviewed the excellent Arlo Pro 5S 2K Wireless Security Camera, which is easily connected to and integrated with this system.
Arlo’s All-in-One Sensors follow the same rounded white aesthetic of the Keypad Sensor Hub and are quite modern-looking and elegant. They are 1.1″ wide by 2.3″ high and .5″ deep. They are paired with small white capsule-shaped magnets that enable them to be used as entry sensors.
Depending on your preference, the wireless sensors can be configured to detect door access, motion, ambient temperature, ambient light, detect water leaks, and listen for smoke and carbon dioxide alarms. They can also detect the angle of opening garage doors.
The sensors are powered by a single CR2477 coin cell battery that should provide a year of service and are easily replaced by sliding off the front face of the sensor.
As the entire Arlo Home Security System is wireless, installation and setup are quick and easy. Once you select the desired location for the hub, you’ll connect to your network and place the sensors. In my case, I selected the front and back doors and used the included tape strips to adhere the sensors and magnets to the door jambs.
The Arlo Home Security System sensors have a button on the bottom that pairs with the hub, enables setting changes, and resets to factory settings. A hidden LED on the front of the sensor blinks blue when in pairing mode and turns solid when it detects motion. The LED will blink amber when out of range of the hub.
Arlo sells many wireless products compatible with this system, including a wide range of cameras, video doorbells, and floodlights. The products range in cost related to their capabilities.
The cameras, for example, range from $49.99 to $299.99. Additional sensors can be purchased for $29.99, which seems quite reasonable considering their 8 detection functions.
There are two ways to monitor the Arlo Home Security System. You can self-monitor using the free Arlo Secure app (available for Android and iOS) or subscribe to one of Arlo’s monthly plans. There are three plans: Secure ($4.99/month for a single camera), Secure Plus ($17.99/month), and Safe & Secure Pro ($24.99/month.)
The Secure plan includes one-tap interactive notifications, up to 4K video recording resolution, and Priority care and support. Secure Plus adds up to 4K recording and 24/7 emergency response. Safe & Secure Pro also adds 24/7 professional monitoring and the Arlo Safe Plan.
This last plan includes a wide variety of benefits, including video verification and escalation, 24/7 professional monitoring, and cellular and battery backup. It also includes extended features such as Guardian Mode, One Tap Safety, alerts to emergency contacts, Cloud Witness Incident Reporting, crash detection & response, family place Alerts, family check-ins, and family safety monitoring. These extended features allow users to communicate with responders and family members in several ways to alert them of dangerous situations.
The Arlo Secure app is also very easy to use, and I had no issues connecting to the Keypad Sensor Hub. The same app connects to other Arlo devices, such as their cameras. In some of the screenshots below, views from the camera will be shown in the app. Purchase of the Arlo Pro 5S 2k Wireless Security Camera is separate but included here to show the app more fully.
The top of the dashboard screen features buttons for changing the system’s status: Arm Away, Arm Home, and Standby. Below this space, users can configure widgets for various devices on the system.
In the case shown here, I have created widgets for the camera and the two included sensors, which I have used for the front and back door set to indicate whether the doors are open or closed only and the status of the keypad.
The icons at the bottom of the app provide links to the Dashboard where you install widgets for your linked devices and the Feed, Emergency Links, Devices, and Routines.
The Feed screen shows activity arranged by date and type. The Emergency screen allows instant access to prespecified fire, police, and medical responders.
The Devices screen allows access to all linked devices and their status screens and settings, and the Routines screen provides access to the settings for the three system modes: Arm Away, Arm Home, and Standby. Here, you can specify which devices perform which functions under each system mode. You can also create automations to schedule the system settings.
The Arlo Home Security System worked well in my tests. Sensors detected whatever they were set to detect quickly, and the response from the system was equally quick with sounds and push alerts. The siren is very loud and can easily be heard throughout the house and surrounding area. Both the hub and app respond immediately to input and changes. The system is solid and intuitively designed.
The Arlo Home Security System is excellent. I like its design, ease of setup and installation, and the large number of Arlo devices you can effortlessly add to the system. As it works with Google Assistant and Alexa and supports IFTTT, there is a huge selection of third-party devices that you can integrate and automate as desired.
The app provides excellent access to many functions, and if you need it, the monthly subscriptions add layers of functionality without a contract. Especially at the currently reduced price, the system is recommended.
If you are looking for cellular and battery backup, you can add the $79.99 accessory, but this makes the Arlo Home Security System’s total price similar to competitors’ products. I agree with making this functionality optional, thereby reducing the price for those who do not feel they need it.
The Arlo Home Security System sells for $199.99 (on sale for $179.99 at this writing); it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Smart and elegant design; OK Google and Alexa compatibility; Ease of installation and setup; Integration with Arlo cameras and doorbells; Multifunction sensors; No contract monthly plans necessary
What Needs Improvement: The price is not lower than the competition’s if you include the Cellular and Battery Backup accessory; Some features require a monthly subscription