Recently, Arlo wire-free security cameras have become extremely popular in New Zealand.
They are marketed as a simple product with a quick and easy installation.
For example, being “wire-free”, you can mount them anywhere. This ease of install is great for houses where installing a hard-wired system is problematic.
But And here is the but. And you’ll notice it’s a big but. A really big but…
“The batteries in your Arlo Pro Wire-Free… camera last for about four to six months with normal usage, which is about five minutes of recordings a day…”
Let’s break it down:
Firstly, Arlo wire-free systems only output a 720p definition image1. Youtube now streams in 1080p, or even 4K ultra high definition – and 720p security cameras have been on the wane for a number of years.
Secondly – and more importantly – you need to change and recharge batteries. So when your cameras die, what do you do – take them down and recharge the battery.
If you wanted to run the cameras while you’re charging the batteries you’ve just taken out, that’s going to cost you an additional $109.99 each camera, to have a spare.2 So if you don’t have spares, then no recordings for 2 hours (the time it takes to recharge a camera).3
Third, the specified normal usage of an Arlo is five minutes of recording a day. 5 minutes.
No camera has yet been able to master the same rejection rate as an alarm sensor, for example. Cameras rely on pixel movement to pick up on motion. Cats, dogs, birds, spiders, people, cars, bees flying close to the lens, spiders… you name it – the camera will likely record these events at some point.
When we put in a CCTV system, we allow enough storage for 2 hours of recordings a day… With Arlo, you’ve got a maximum of 5 minutes a day just to ensure the batteries will last you 4-6 months.
A camera also needs a pre-record ability. That is, an ability to store 10 seconds of video before the motion is detected to capture anything the camera didn’t pick up in the preceding 10 seconds.
So if each event was 45 seconds long – 10 seconds of pre recording and 35 seconds of footage… the maximum number of events Arlo can support is 6.6 a day. That’s it. That means your camera can only activate once every 4 hours. Is that really realistic?
If your camera picks up any more than 6.6 events a day, then your battery life will start to diminish.
Many people who have put an Arlo “wire-free” system subsequently come to us to put a hard-wired system in.
Based on our experience, we estimate your Arlo “wire-free” system would need recharging every 4-6 weeks. That’s about 28 events a day or one every hour (which is still highly conservative, particularly at night).
While the Arlo wire-free systems may seem like a cost friendly, simple alternative to a professional system (coming in at about $1500 including GST), the limitations are painful.
Our residential CCTV systems start at about $1700 including GST (for two cameras) however they are hard-wired, 1080p definition, and includes 1 TB of hard-drive space. Our residential CCTV systems also include a generous 3 year warranty.
If you’re after a free quotation for a residential CCTV system in Auckland, feel free to get in touch with us here: https://www.crosbies.co.nz/contact-and-free-quotes
2. 2. https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/CAMNGR4400/Arlo-Wire-Free-VMA4400-Rechargeable-Battery-Design?qr=GShopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzfqZ9_T73wIVESUrCh2xpwBmEAQYASABEgLe8PD_BwE
3. 3. https://community.arlo.com/t5/Arlo-Pro/arlo-pro-how-long-does-it-take-to-recharge-a-battery/td-p/1288447