Traditional IP-based wireless security cameras for the home often require you to plug in a power cable, which can lead to limitations in terms of where you can place them. Since Netgear's Arlo Smart Home Security cameras use common replaceable batteries, they don't need to be placed anywhere near a power outlet in order to work, making them a 100 per cent wireless solution to the problem of messy wiring.
They are suitable security cameras for those of you who are renting your home and can't mount cameras in a traditional manner on the walls, or even for those of you who just don't have power outlets in the places that you wish to install security cameras. Four lithium 123-type batteries power the cameras, with Netgear claiming that this can give the cameras a life between 4-6 months with 5 minutes worth of recording per day, 50 per cent during the day and 50 per cent during the night.
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Instead of releasing different models of cameras, Netgear has only released one camera (in kits of one, two and three cameras) and only the features that its customers want in an IP camera (according to its research) have been included. This means that the cameras record in HD (720p), they can function both during the day and at night, and they are weatherproof (with an IP65 rating for water ingress). They can be installed outdoors, in addition to anywhere in the home. They don't have any audio functions.
Powerful magnetic wall mounts are provided in the box, and they can be affixed to the wall either with a screw, or with robust double-sided tape (plugs and screws are provided). These mounts allow the cameras to sit securely at any angle without falling, at the same time allowing them to be easily removed so that you can place them anywhere else in your home on a whim when they aren't needed in their primary position. Optional tripod and roof mounts can be purchased.
The only wiring that's needed in this home security set-up is for the base station. It's the base station that allows the cameras to get on the Internet in order to upload their recordings to Netgear's Web server, and you need to plug it into your router using an Ethernet cable. Once it's connected to your router and switched on, you'll have to visit the arlo.netgear site to create an account. You could also create an account through the mobile app on your phone or tablet.
Connecting the cameras to the base station is a matter of pressing the sync button on the base station, and then pressing the sync button on the camera. A blue light on the camera will blink quickly once the sync has been completed. You must repeat the procedure for each camera on the network, and you must do it while the camera is in close proximity to the base station.
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