If you like the idea of a security camera that is completely wireless in every way, the Netloar Arlo Pro system is worth considering. Here’s how to do it and start keeping an eye on your home while you’re away.
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Wi-Fi cameras have their issues — at least compared to wired cameras — but they certainly offer easier installation. One thing that sets the Arlo Pro apart from other Wi-Fi cameras is that it is battery powered, meaning you don’t need to plug it into an outlet to stream and record video. Most other Wi-Fi cameras need to be connected to some kind of power source, even if they connect via Wi-Fi to transfer data.
Arlo Pro also uses its own central hub (called a base station) to which all of your Arlo cameras connect. This is because the cameras use Z-Wave for wireless communication and not Wi-Fi like most other custom security cameras (like the Nest Cam). For this reason, Arlo cameras must connect to a base station, which in turn communicates with the Wi-Fi network in your home.
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Step One: Download and Set Up the Arlo App
Even though you need to use a base station, the installation process is pretty painless and only takes about 10 minutes. To get started, download the Arlo app on your smartphone. This is a free app that is available for iPhone and Android devices.
Then open the app and click the «New to Arlo» button.
On the next screen, select which Arlo product you are setting up. In this case it is «Arlo Wire-Free».
The app will then tell you how to install the Arlo base station hub. To do this, connect one end of the supplied Ethernet cable to the base station and the other end to an available Ethernet port on the router. Plug in the power cord, and then press the on/off button next to the power connector on the back of the hub.
After setting up the base station, click «Continue» in the app.
Wait for the hub to turn on. The app automatically searches for a hub on your network.
Once you’re done, click «Select Time Zone» in the app.
Select your time zone, click Save in the top right corner, and then click the back arrow in the top left corner.
Click «Continue» to continue.
Then give the name of the base station. You can be as creative as you want, but something simple will work just fine. Click the «Continue» button when you’re done.
Step Two: Create a Netgear Account
Next, you need to create an account with Netgear. Start by entering your email address and click the «Continue» button.
Step Three: Sync Your Arlo Cameras to the Base Station
Now it’s time to sync your Arlo cameras to the base station. You will be doing this one camera at a time.
Make sure your cameras are within a few feet of the base station during the sync process (you can of course move them further back). Click «Continue» on the app.
If the camera battery is not already installed, open the back cover of the camera and insert the battery.
Start by pressing the sync button on top of the base station for about two seconds. The rightmost green light will flash.
Then press the sync button on the camera itself until the blue LED on the front of the camera starts flashing.
When the base station and the camera are in sync mode, they automatically connect to each other. Once the camera and base station are connected, tap Continue on the app until the Sync Complete screen appears. You can then click «Done» or «Add more cameras» if you have multiple cameras to connect.
Step Four: Update Base Station and Camera Firmware
Once you’ve finished syncing all your cameras and hit Done, you’ll be taken to the main screen of the Arlo app, where you’ll be quickly informed that an update is available. Click Update Base Station and wait for it to update.
You will then do the same with the cameras after updating the base station.
Step Five: Test Your New Security System
Once everything is updated, you can click the «Live» button to see the live view from the Arlo camera.
In the app, you can turn on an alarm, manually record a video, take a photo, enable or disable audio capture, and even adjust the brightness of the camera.
You can also arm or disarm the system manually, on a schedule, or based on your location by selecting the Mode tab at the bottom of the app.
From there, select Arlo base station.
From this screen, you can arm or disarm the system, which is really nothing more than turning motion and sound detection on or off.
You have to jump through a few hoops to set up the Arlo system — mostly because the cameras connect to a base station rather than Wi-Fi directly — but setup is easy enough. And once you have everything set up, the system works well.