Do you want your smart cameras to use local or cloud storage? Or, maybe both? In this article we’ll do an in-depth comparison between the Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 to help you choose the right one for your home. Feel free to navigate this article with the links below, though in this case you might miss out on some peculiar details that we bring up about the cameras in other sections. So, buckle up!
About Reolink and Arlo Cameras
Reolink offers a wide range of cameras, starting from the PoE cameras to security camera systems to smart wire-free security cameras — you can find a simple, yet efficient solution for your home setup.
When it comes to smart home cameras, Reolink has Argus, Argus 2, and the Reolink Go camera. All cameras offer 1080p full HD vision with 130-degree field of view and two-way audio. Though, there are a few differences. For more information about the Argus cameras check out our take on the Reolink Argus vs. Argus 2. And for the Reolink Go visit its Indiegogo page where you can subscribe for updates and early-bird discounts since the crowdfunding campaign starts in late April 2018.
Arlo is one of the leaders in the smart home camera market. From wired (Arlo Q and Arlo Q Plus) to wireless smart cameras (Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Go), you can definitely find the perfect one for your household. They even offer an all-in-one smart baby monitoring camera with air sensors and baby crying alerts — the Arlo Baby.
And even though Arlo cameras are quite pricey compared to Reolink cameras, their higher-end price is totally justified by the features they have to offer. So, let’s check what the two cameras, Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2, have in common before we get to their differences.
Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Things in Common
Beside the fact that the two cameras start with the same letter, they actually have a lot in common. Both the Argus 2 and the Arlo Pro 2 feature a 1080p full HD video resolution with the 130° viewing angle. You can use the cameras to listen in & talk back interactively since the cameras have a built-in mic & speaker.
With the Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2 cameras you’ll never miss a visitor. The cameras will send you an email or push notification to alert you about any motion activity. And if your cameras are put in armed mode, a siren will fire off.
You can place the cameras either inside or outside your home, it’s up to you. Both the Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2 are weatherproofed and wire-free cameras which contributes to their flexibility location-wise.
The cameras use rechargeable batteries which will last you from 2 to 3 months on one charge. Though it really depends on how you use the cameras — live streaming takes a lot of power. So, we’d recommend checking out an alternative green energy source of power. You can use the Arlo Solar Panel for the Arlo Pro 2 camera and the Reolink Solar Panel for the Argus 2 camera to provide your cameras with constant green energy.
A big difference between the two solar panels is their price: [amazon_link asins=’B0721PJYTY’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’637121a1-47f8-11e8-b183-8b825ee6cce1′] for the Arlo Solar Panel vs. [amazon_link asins=’B0798MV7NS’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”] for the Reolink Solar Panel. And since we’ve already started talking about differences, let’s jump to our next section.
Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Differences
Difference #1: FPS – Even though both cameras shoot at 1080p full HD resolution, they differ in their FPS (frames per second) rate. The Reolink Argus 2 features 15 FPS whereas the Arlo Pro 2 offers 30 FPS. How important is that? Well, the lesser frames you have the harder it is to get a smooth, sharp video clip.
With the Reolink’s 15 FPS it might be harder to identify people if they move quickly, unlike with the Arlo Pro 2 which offers an overall better view to the action.
Difference #2: Motion Zones – Both the Reolink Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2 offer motion detection. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor from the app to reduce the number of false alarms.
In addition to this basic motion detection, the Arlo Pro 2 offers advanced motion detection features like motion zones and a 3-second preview. The advanced features are only available when the Arlo Pro 2 camera is plugged in.
With the motion zones, you can highlight the area in your camera’s view from where you want to receive motion and sound alerts. You can create up to three motion zones with the Arlo Pro 2. It’s especially handy when you have lots of street motion in your camera’s view angle. And with the 3-second look back you’ll get to know what happened just before the motion took place.
The Reolink Argus 2 doesn’t offer advanced motion detection as of now.
Difference #3: CVR – Since we’re talking about advanced camera features, the Arlo Pro 2 also offers a continuous video recording option. However, this option takes a lot of power, which is why it’s only available when the Arlo Pro 2 camera is plugged in.
Besides power, the 24/7 CVR requires a lot of storage space and thus comes as an upgrade feature at additional cost. Arlo offers 14 days of 24/7 CVR storage for $99 per year and 30 days of 24/7 CVR storage for $199 respectively.
It might seem like a waste of money because why would you pay for hours of continuous video footage with unknown people/cars just passing by? However, you might actually make money out of it in the not-too-distant future.
There’s a company that’s working on setting up a national network of eye witnesses to share their surveillance data for money — which could be one of the potential benefits of having CVR on the Arlo Pro 2 cameras.
The Reolink Argus 2, on the other hand, doesn’t offer 24/7 CVR.
Difference #4: Base Station – The Reolink Argus 2 is very simple to setup right from the box. It works as a standalone camera. There’s no need for a base station, just connect the Argus 2 straight to your WiFi network via the Reolink app and you’re all set.
The Arlo Pro 2 uses the Arlo Pro Base Station to work. Once you get the Arlo Pro 2 Kit that already comes with a base station, you can then add Arlo, Arlo Pro, or Arlo Pro 2 add-on cameras. All Arlo wire-free cameras are compatible with the Arlo Pro base station, so you can mix them however you want. Though, the maximum number of cameras is limited by your subscription plan (up to 5 cameras for free).
Difference #5: Siren – Both the Reolink Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2 will trigger a siren in the event that there’s motion detected while in armed mode. The only difference is that Reolink has a siren built into the Argus 2 cameras, whereas Arlo uses the Arlo Pro base station to store the siren.
The Arlo Pro base station’s siren is pretty loud, however it might not be loud enough to be heard outside or by neighbors. Whereas if your Reolink Argus 2 camera is placed outside, everyone around the camera will hear it.
Difference #6: Storage – The Reolink Argus 2 features only local storage for now (with the cloud storage on the way for 2018). The camera has an SD card slot to record and store motion events. No Internet is needed to capture videos, though you can always check the video clips via the Reolink app assuming the camera is connected to your WiFi network.
Storing video clips locally allows for better control of privacy and secures from potential breaches that might happen when using cloud storage. However, having an SD slot on a camera itself makes it vulnerable to intruders and with no cloud storage to backup the recordings, your camera might be stolen with all the traces erased. So, we’re really looking forward for Reolink to add a cloud storage option sometime soon.
The Arlo Pro 2 camera offers cloud storage with optional local storage. Arlo uses the Arlo Pro Base Station to provide local storage, so in case the Arlo cameras get stolen, you’ll still be able to access your video clips to see what’s happened. For the local storage, just plug in a USB drive into the Arlo Pro Base Station and set up the drive from the Arlo app.
By default, the Arlo Pro 2 will use cloud storage, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The local storage is a second, optional storage which implies the video clips will be saved both to the cloud and local USB drive. Only in the case of an Internet outage, the Arlo Pro 2 cameras will record directly to a USB drive, assuming the cameras and base station stay powered on.
Difference #7: Subscription Plans – The Reolink Argus 2 doesn’t offer cloud storage, thus there are no subscription plans or any hidden fees to worry about.
Arlo, on the other hand, has a few subscription plans available. Whether you need one or not mostly depends on how many cameras you’re planning to use and how long you want Arlo to cloud-store the video clips from your cameras.
From the start, Arlo offers an absolutely free 7-day cloud storage for up to 5 cameras. From there you can extend to 30 days of storage with up to 10 cameras for $99 per year (or $9.99 per month) and to 60 days of storage with up to 15 cameras for $149 per year (or $14.99 per month). These are the plans for a home setup, so if you’re looking to set Arlo cameras for your business, make sure to check the Arlo For Business Subscription Plans.
From our experience, the 7-day free cloud storage is more than enough to keep track of the recordings, though it’s nice to have the option for upgrade if needed.
Difference #8: Color Night Vision – The Reolink Argus 2 offers Starlight Night Vision aka colorful night vision. Thanks to the improved CMOS sensor, the Argus 2 allows you to see everything in its true color even at night. You can swap back and forth between black & white and colorful night vision from the Reolink app.
The Arlo Pro 2 uses an IR cut-off filter, so it can only offer black & white night vision, unless you install the Arlo Security Light to support your Arlo Pro 2 setup.
Difference #9: Easy-to-Navigate Video Clips – The Reolink Argus 2 camera has a darkable line on a video clip track making it easy to identify events within a video clip. It helps you save time when going through camera footage by navigating from one event to another in a fast and simple manner.
The Arlo Pro 2 stores video clips of motion without highlighting when exactly the motion took place. You might end up with a lot of 30-second-long video clips that’ll take quite a while to sift through to find the motion.
Difference #10: Geofencing – Unlike Reolink Argus 2, the Arlo Pro 2 features geofencing. Why would you need it? It’s actually a really convenient feature to arm or disarm your Arlo setup automatically based on your mobile device location.
So, whenever you’re away from your home, the Arlo system will go into an armed mode, and once you come back, the Arlo cameras will be disarmed. Though, keep in mind that geofencing works only if Arlo can locate your mobile device.
Difference #11: Price – The Reolink Argus 2 doesn’t offer advanced motion detection or 24/7 CVR, but it also doesn’t cost as much as the Arlo Pro 2 cameras.
You can get the standalone Reolink Argus 2 camera, which will work straight out of the box, for $130 on the Reolink website. The two camera kit will run you for $250 and one camera plus the Solar Panel is $150.
The Arlo Pro 2 cameras come in starter kits: the two camera kit with a base station runs for [amazon_link asins=’B075P84FH2′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’88083270-47f8-11e8-ac8d-0dcdb27a33ce’]. And in case you already happen to have the Arlo Pro base station, you can get add-on Arlo Pro 2 cameras for [amazon_link asins=’B075P84FH9′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7bcf619d-47f8-11e8-9a02-29269aad36c4′] each. You can check for more Arlo Pro 2 Kits options here.
As you can, tell the price is probably the biggest difference between the Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2.
Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Comparison Chart
|Argus 2||Arlo Pro 2|
|Frames per Second||15 FPS||30 FPS|
|Motion Triggered Live Stream||Yes||Yes|
|On-Demand Live Stream||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 CVR||No||With subscription|
|WiFi Frequency||2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n||2.4GHz 802.11n|
|Night Vision||Color/Black & White||Black & White|
|Requires Base Station||No||Yes|
|Siren||Built in the cameras||Built in the base station|
|Local Storage||Yes, SD slot in cameras||Yes, USB slot in base station|
|Free Cloud Storage||Not available yet||7 days|
|3rd Party Integration||Not yet||IFTTT, SmartThings,|
Alexa, Google Assistant
|Power||Rechargeable battery||Rechargeable battery|
|Solar Panel Option||Yes||Yes|
|Operating Temperature||14° to 131° F|
(-10° C to 55° C)
|-4° to 113° F|
(-20° C to 45° C)
|Dimension||4.6 x 2.5 x 2.3 in|
(119 x 65 x 59 mm)
|3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in|
(79.3 x 48.6 x 70.5 mm)
|Price||One Camera Kit|
[amazon_link asins=’B0786XGM8M’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a8281ef7-47e3-11e8-934b-0d4ffde93ad3′]
|Two Camera Kit|
[amazon_link asins=’B075P84FH2′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bdafbf4a-47e3-11e8-8818-0941b7185ac1′]
Reolink Argus 2 and Arlo Pro 2 Cameras Accessories
You’ve probably noticed that the two cameras have quite a lot in common. Well, the accessories are not an exception.
The Reolink Argus 2 goes well with the Reolink Solar Panel which you can get separately for [amazon_link asins=’B0798MV7NS’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’justclickappl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’99193e31-47f8-11e8-85b3-bf67181f1bb4′], or as part of the Argus 2 Kit. Reolink also offers different mounting options as well as skins for the cameras to help blend them into your home design. Make sure to check all Reolink Argus 2 accessories when buying the Argus 2 camera to have everything shipped in one package.
Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 — Our Thoughts
The choice between the Reolink Argus 2 vs. Arlo Pro 2 pretty much depends on what features you want your smart cameras to have.
The Reolink Argus 2 is a budget-friendly camera with a solid basic set of features that include 1080p video with 130-degree viewing angle, two-way audio, a siren, color night vision, motion alerts, SD card local storage, and cloud storage underway.
The Arlo Pro 2 takes it not one, but a few steps further by topping it with 30 FPS rate, advanced motion detection, cloud storage, geofencing, and an option for CVR. It’s a great system to have in place, but it also comes at a higher price accordingly.