Quick answer: No, a monthly subscription isn’t required to use Arlo’s security devices. However, many features are restricted to paid plans only.
Arlo is one of many brands offering modular security systems that are (for the most part) meant to be installed by homeowners. Its DIY approach saves users money while empowering them to manage their own systems. When it comes to indoor and outdoor home security devices, ensuring that you feel safe is a priority.
Arlo’s dynamic product range allows users to choose whatever scale of system makes them feel most secure, whether it’s Pro 3 Floodlights on every corner or a simple Essential Video Doorbell to safeguard the front stoop. As invaluable as it is, what’s the cost of home security? I’ll run you through your monthly Arlo subscription options ahead, so stay tuned.
Do Arlo devices require a subscription?
In short, no, you do not have to pay a monthly fee to use Arlo products. Your cameras and mobile app will still operate without a subscription. The free Arlo plan doesn’t restrict your home security system to just a couple of devices, either. It supports unlimited cameras in the following models: Ultra Series, Essential Series, Video Doorbell Series, the Pro 3 Floodlight, and the Pros 3, 4, and 5S. Up to five cameras from these models are supported in the free plan, too: Go, Baby, Q and Q+, Pro and Pro 2, and Arlo Wire-Free.
Most Arlo device purchases come with a 3-month free trial of its lowest-tier paid subscription, Arlo Secure. The trial kicks off when the device is set up in the mobile Arlo app.
Which Arlo mobile app features are free?
There are a few key features made available to free Arlo plan users: livestreaming, two-way audio, and cloud recording. A few device models will still auto-zoom and track detected movement on the free plan. Some Arlo devices can also store a small video archive locally without a paid plan. However, cloud recording is only available for certain devices, is restricted to 1080p video, and is only stored on a rolling 7-day schedule.
Without a plan, Arlo users can still tune in to their security camera feeds in real-time and will be notified when motion is detected but lose the ability to designate detection zones, detect packages, or access the AI feature that distinguishes human movement from animals and cars.
What are the Arlo subscription tiers, and how much do they cost?
Beyond the free option, Arlo offers three paid monthly plans: Arlo Secure, Arlo Secure Plus, and Arlo Safe and Secure Pro. The first tier subscription, Arlo Secure, is available for a single camera at $5 per month or $13 per month for unlimited devices. This subscription unlocks 4K video recording, animated notification lock screen previews, and priority customer service. The price of the second tier, an Arlo Secure Plus subscription, is one $18 monthly rate for any number of cameras — and this groups in all the previous subscription’s features, plus 24/7 emergency response availability.
The top tier subscription, Safe and Secure Pro, is the most expensive at $25 per month for an uncapped number of Arlo devices but brings white-glove professional support and monitoring to a fully optimized home security system. This plan introduces Arlo Safe, a comprehensive personal and family safety mobile app that provides family check-in options, vehicular crash detection, and the ability to dispatch emergency services to your location, whether it’s inside or outside the home.
Are there cheaper home security options than Arlo?
Arlo’s monthly subscriptions are among the more affordable options for home security, even considering that Arlo locks away most of its attractive features behind a paywall. A couple of Arlo’s most prominent competitors, Cove and SimpliSafe, don’t offer single-device subscriptions, and both have a minimum monthly cost of $18. Cove asks for an additional $28 per month just to control home security systems via their mobile apps. Brands with professional installation, like ADT and Vivint, will cost around $30 per month on the low end.
While no one likes to add another subscription to their budget, the monthly price to keep your home safe and secure is arguably a worthy expense. After testing many Arlo products firsthand, we believe that the middle-tier subscription, Arlo Secure Plus, covers the needs of most households. You don’t need a subscription to power an Arlo home surveillance system, but the access to higher-resolution recording, AI-driven motion filtering, and cloud storage may prove to be worth it after your Arlo free trial runs out.
Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
What’s the first building block in an Arlo home security system? The Arlo Essential wireless doorbell is an excellent starting point for beginners. Easy to install with no wire hassle, Arlo’s smart doorbell detects packages, people, and vehicles in its 180-degree field of view.