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(Pocket-lint) - Arlo has a growing range of security cameras, each offering something slightly different.

Originally you got free cloud storage of HD video for up to five cameras for 7 days, although that's changed with Arlo pushing its Smart subsciption instead on its more recent models.

The Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 2, Pro and original Arlo camera all need a hub to connect to and all run through the same Arlo app, meaning you can mix and match your system, alongside Arlo's standalone cameras - the Q, the Ultra 2, Pro 4, Arlo Essential and Arlo Essential Indoor - which will connect directly to Wi-Fi.

Then there's the Arlo Go and Go 2 which also include LTE connections, so they can work totally independently.

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Arlo Ultra 2

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  • Camera: 4K, HDR, 180 degrees, colour night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The latest version of the Arlo Ultra comes in to update the Ultra with the big change being that it will connect directly to Wi-Fi with no need for a hub. That provides a little more freedom for installation, as you can connect to any available Wi-Fi network.

It offers 4K HDR video capture, 2-way audio, along with a siren and a built-in LED spotlight. It offers IR night vision too. 

It uses a rechargable battery so is otherwise a wire-free installation, but to get the most out of this camera you'll need an Arlo Secure Plus plan which will allow 60-day online storage of 4K video that's captured. Although it will work as a standalone camera, it can still be used with a SmartHub or as part of a wider Arlo system.

There's also an Arlo Ultra 2 XL with a bigger battery for longer life.

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Arlo Ultra

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  • Camera: 4K, HDR, 180 degrees, colour night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

Arlo Ultra is the top of the range, although it's now been updated with the Ultra 2. It offers 4K capture, with HDR, features a microphone and speaker, as well as a light built-in, which can illuminate and act as a security or convenience light. To get some features, you'll need an Arlo Smart subscription.

The camera has a wide 180-degree field of view and offers the highest quality for video capture from the range. It really does make other cameras look poor in terms of the quality it captures.

However you need the SmartHub to get it connected, so if you want any Ultra cameras in your system, you need to get that hub too - or buy an Ultra kit to get you started and then add other cameras. To store 4K content in the cloud for 60 days you'll need a Arlo Secure Plus plan, but otherwise you can store 4K locally on microSD card in the SmartHub. To store 2K content for 30 days, you'll need an Arlo Secure plan.

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Arlo Pro 4

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  • Camera: 1440p, HDR, 160 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The Arlo Pro 4 is an update to the Arlo Pro 3, offering pretty much the same spec with 2K video capture, 2-way audio and an LED spotlight and IR for night vision.

The big difference to the Arlo Pro 3 is that the Pro 4 offers Wi-Fi so it can connect directly to the network without the need for a SmartHub. That gives loads of freedom for installation, considering too that the battery is rechargable, so there's no need for wires. 

You'll need an Arlo Secure plan to get 30-days of 2K video storage in the cloud. There is also an Arlo Pro 4 XL model with a larger battery for greater endurance.

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Arlo Pro 3

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  • Camera: 1440p, HDR, 160 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? Yes

The Arlo Pro 3 has a unibody design with internal battery that you can charge through a magnetic connector, rather than having to plug in a cable - which is a lot more versatile than older Pro cameras.

The Pro 3 steps up the quality over the Pro 2, offering HDR and 2K video capture (2560 x 1440 pixels), it offers motion and audio detection, a speaker and LED light too - so it's very much the Ultra in a more affordable state. It has a 160-degree wide-angle lens which is slightly narrower than the Ultra, but a step forward from the Pro 2.

You'll need an Arlo Secure plan to access all the smart functions it offers, along with a SmartHub.

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Arlo Essential and Essential XL

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

The Arlo Essential is the entry-level device from Arlo, offering 1080p video capture, 2-way audio, IR for night vision as well as an LED floodlight. There's an integrated siren.

It can also be a standalone camera, as it will connect directly to your Wi-Fi with no hub required. It has a rechargable battery and offers wire-free installation.

If you want video storage, you'll have to have an Arlo Secure plan and that will give you 30-days storage for anything that the Essential captures.

There is also an Arlo Essential XL, which has double the battery life.

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Arlo Essential Indoor

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: No, mains powered
  • Hub required? No

The Arlo Essential Indoor replaces the Arlo Q, with a fresh design and the inclusion of a privacy shutter that will close so you have a 100 per cent guarantee that no one is watching you. It connects directly to Wi-Fi so there's no need for a SmartHub - although it can act as a standalone indoor camera or as part of a larger Arlo system. 

It sticks to 1080p video capture with 130 degrees, but also offers IR night vision, although there's no LED illuminator here. 

It offers sound and motion detection and will offer wider smart features via an Arlo Smart plan. For online storage you'd need an Arlo Secure plan.

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Arlo Go 2

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  • Camera: 1080p, 130 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

Arlo Go is designed to be used where there's no connection to Wi-Fi, using the 4G/LTE connection instead.

It's an upgrade from the original Arlo Go, with a design to match the rest of the range, but incorporating a microSD card slot for local storage and SIM card slot to provide that connection.

Otherwise it offers all the features you'd expect from Arlo, with LED illumination, a siren, motion capture, sound detection, 2-way audio and a lot more. The pack comes with 2-years of Arlo Secure, which you'll need to access online storage of captured video.

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Arlo Go

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  • Camera: 720p, 110 degrees, night vision
  • Battery: Rechargeable
  • Hub required? No

Arlo Go is also a standalone device, battery powered with its own LTE connection, so it can be remotely placed and connect to the mobile phone network.

It offers two-way audio so you'll get both motion and audio notifications from it. You can storage recordings locally on microSD, as well as the normal 7-day cloud storage. 

However, it works within the same Arlo app as the other devices, just with that option to have to completely out of range, so it could make it ideal for gate or garden security.

Other things to consider: Arlo Secure plans

As we've said a couple of times, one of the great things about using Arlo as a system is that you can build it as you go, buying the cameras you need for each area. There's 7 days of cloud storage on some of the older devices, so you can access video from your phone, and refer back to it if you need to - including downloading for permanent storage. However, on the newer cameras, this is no longer offered.

Previously called Arlo Smart, the subscriptions have rebranded as Arlo Secure, with two tiers - one offering 30-days of 2K video storage online, the other offering 60-days of 4K storage online. Arlo Secure also enables some of the AI functions, such as person or package detection. The basic Arlo Secure plan has the option for a single camera, or for unlimited cameras. The Arlo Secure Plus is for unlimited cameras and comes at the highest cost. 

Those on existing Arlo Smart plans will retain that plan (some with lower prices but cover for five cameras), while new subscribers will have to use the new Arlo Secure plans. Most new devices come with some sort of free trail, giving you access to the service to help you decide if you want to subscribe. 

If you choose not to subscribe, you'll still get access to notifications and be able to access live video streaming, but there's no online storage. For those cameras connected to a hub, local storage may be an option, but for newer cameras offering direct Wi-Fi connection, if you don't have a hub, then you won't get storage (except for the Arlo Go with its microSD card slot). 

On balance, an Arlo Secure subsciption really is a necessary part of having an Arlo system.

Writing by Chris Hall.