Before diving into the differences between the Arlo Pro, Arlo Q, and Arlo Q Plus, it’s helpful to take a look at what exactly these models have in common. Knowing the features that all three cameras share ensures you have a well-rounded understanding of what each of these models has to offer.
All three cameras have a 130 degree viewing angle and feature two-way audio so that you can hear and be heard. They also have 7 days of cloud storage for motion and audio-triggered recordings included — free of charge. And one aspect that makes Arlo cameras shine is their compatibility with the Amazon Echo Show, the new Alexa device with support for video content. Unfortunately, the Arlo products don’t work with other Echo devices, but the integration with the Echo Show is a nice perk.
So while there are a lot of similarities among the Arlo Pro, Q, and Q Plus, there are a good amount of differences too. Let’s take a look at them below to help you choose the right device for your home.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Q vs. Arlo Q Plus — Differences
Difference #1: Power – One of the ways in which these cameras differ is in the way that they’re powered. The Arlo Pro features flexible powering options. You can use it wire-free and run it off of rechargeable batteries, or plug it in so you don’t have to worry about charging. If you do opt for wire power, consider taking advantage of the Arlo Solar Charger, available for Arlo Pro cameras.
The Arlo Q is capable of being powered only by a usb cable and power adapter. The Arlo Q Plus, on the other hand, has more robust options for power and connections.
Connecting the Arlo Q Plus to your home network is easy, and there are a variety of methods that are sure to suit your needs. You can connect your camera to the internet using WiFi or ethernet and use the micro USB adapter to power the device, or you can use an Ethernet cable to power the device using the handy Power over Ethernet (PoE) feature. In case you’re looking to use a PoE feature, you’ll need to have a PoE switch.
Difference #2: Base – Many smart cameras need additional equipment to function properly. The Arlo Pro requires the Arlo Base Station. The Arlo Q and the Arlo Q Plus work right out of the box, connecting to your home via your WiFi router. Just plug the Q or Q Plus in and sync with the Arlo app — it’s super simple!
Difference #3: Siren – A siren can be an important consideration for extra peace of mind. It helps alert you to suspicious activity, and also acts as a theft deterrent. The Arlo Pro has a 100+ decibel siren that sounds through the base station that the cameras connect to. The Arlo Q and Q Plus, though controllable through the Arlo app, don’t feature any siren functionality because they can’t connect to an Arlo base.
Difference #4: Video Quality – Video quality may also be a specification to keep in mind. After all, how useful is a smart camera if you can’t actually see what’s going on? The Arlo Q and Q Plus record in 1080p, while the Arlo Pro is only capable of a 720p resolution.
Difference #5: Local Storage – Local storage is an important feature in case of an internet outage. With local storage, if your connection happens to drop, your recordings can be saved as long as there’s no power failure.
With the Arlo Pro, all video recordings are stored to the cloud by default. You can, however, connect a USB device to the Arlo base station and use it as a second location to store Arlo Wire-Free and Arlo Pro Wire-Free recordings. The local storage is an additional feature, meaning you can’t disable the device’s cloud storage.
There are some cool ways in which the device interfaces with usb storage, like the Arlo app notifying you if the device is low on storage space or full. There’s an option for automatic overwrite, meaning that the oldest recorded footage will be overwritten when storage space is filled up. Rest assured that the device won’t touch any other files on your USB storage, just the Arlo recordings.
The Arlo Q has no local storage. Although all of your cameras will appear on the Arlo app, only those actually synced to your Arlo base will have local USB recordings. The Q cameras connect via your wifi rather than through the base, so they don’t support USB storage.
The Q Plus, on the other hand, has support for an SD card. Files are saved both to the cloud and the SD card, and footage will automatically be saved to the card by default when inserted. If you lose internet, the camera will continue to record to the SD card, ensuring you don’t miss any important footage. When the storage card reaches 20% of its maximum capacity, the oldest recordings will be overwritten. No SD card is included by default, and only microSDHC or microSDXC card class 10 or higher are supported, with a maximum capacity of 128GB.
Difference #6: Motion Sensors – Many smart cameras trigger recording based off of sensors, and these three models vary in the way in which they handle motion sensing.
The Arlo Pro has adjustable sensitivity, with automatic email alerts and push notifications upon detection of activity. It uses a wide-angle PIR motion sensor that makes sure no movement will slip through without your notice. However, as it’s using PIR technology, it’s not capable of detecting motion through windows, as the glass filters out IR.
The Arlo Q and Q Plus have adjustable sensitivity with a range of up to 50 feet. They also can send instant email alerts and push notifications for instant feedback when motion is detected. Both these models have support for three activity zones, focusing your motion detection on the areas that are most important to you for motion triggers that start automatic recording.
The Q and Q Plus use pixel based detection like many other smart cameras. This form of detection has a lot of advantages when compared to traditional infrared detectors, as it’s triggered by changes in what it sees and will work through windows.
Difference #7: Continuous Video Recording – Although motion-based detection is superior in most situations, some people may be interested in the option for continuous video recording.
On the Arlo Pro, the only way to use continuous recording is to manually start a recording — and even that will shut down after only 30 minutes.
The Arlo Q and Q Plus offer an option for 24/7 recording, but you’ll have to get a subscription plan to use this feature. There are three Continuous Video Recording plans: the cheapest one starts at $99 per camera per year for 14 days of 24/7 CVR. From there it goes up to $199 per camera per year for 30 days. And if you want to have 60 days of CVR, it’ll cost you $299 per camera per year. If you’re looking for a free CVR recording, check out Samsung SmartCam instead.
Difference #8: Usage – The Arlo Pro is the only model of the three that can be used outside, with weather resistance and functionality at a temperature range of -4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C). The Q and Q Plus are only usable indoors.
Difference #9: Accessories – If you’re looking to customize your system with additional equipment, your only option will be the Arlo Pro as the Q and Q Plus don’t support accessories.
The Arlo Pro offers skins to change the physical appearance of your camera, ensuring it blends in seamlessly with your home.
As mentioned above, one of the power options is a rechargeable battery that can be recharged in a variety of ways. The Arlo Charging Station allows you to charge up to two Arlo Pro batteries at the same time using quick charging technology, ensuring minimal surveillance downtime. A unique and convenient option is the Arlo Solar Panel, which lets you automatically charge your battery in a more “hands-off” approach. Alternatively, you can use an Outdoor Power Adapter to keep your devices charged and connected 24/7.
The Arlo Pro also supports several different mounting options such as Quadpod, security, table and ceiling, and outdoor mounts.
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Q vs. Arlo Q Plus — Comparison Table
|Arlo Pro||Arlo Q||Arlo Q Plus|
|Power||Wire-free or plugged in||Plugged in||Plugged in|
|Base ||Requires Arlo Pro Base||No base required||No base required|
|Siren ||100+ decibel siren||No||No|
|Local Storage||USB drive||No||SD card|
|Motion Zones||No||Up to 3 zones||Up to 3 zones|
|Continuous Video Recording||30 min max||24/7||24/7|
|Application||Outdoor/Indoor||Indoor only||Indoor only|
|Dimensions||3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in||2.75 x 2.8 x 4.5 in||2.75 x 2.8 x 4.5 in|
|Field of view||130°||130°||130°|
Arlo Pro vs. Arlo Q vs. Arlo Q Plus — Our Thoughts
The Arlo Pro, Arlo Q, and Arlo Q Plus are all from the same manufacturer, but they’ve got a decent amount of differences. There are a number of ways in which these models excel, and there are also certainly some drawbacks.
So, if you’re looking for an outdoor, weatherproof camera with flexible charging options, then the Arlo Pro is your best bet. For inside home use, you can use either the Arlo Q or Q Plus. The only differences between the two are their power options and local storage (which lean in favor of the Arlo Q Plus). The Q Plus model is capable of Ethernet and PoE connection, meaning you’ll get crystal clear 1080p video without a problem (as long as your internet provider is good). With an Ethernet connection, there’s no need to worry about dropping connection or experiencing lag. Plus, using an SD-card for local storage with the Q Plus is a huge benefit.
Which camera is right for you is going to be an individual decision, and there’s truly no “best overall’ option. Depending on your needs, any of these three smart cameras will suit you well and add the peace of mind with reliable video surveillance of your home or business.
- Arlo Pro
- Arlo Q
- Arlo Q Plus
Let us know what you think!
If you've already picked up the Arlo Pro, Arlo Q or Arlo Q Plus, let others know your experiences with them in the comments section below.