Nest Cam Outdoor vs. Ring vs. Canary Flex vs. Arlo Pro

Nest Cam Outdoor vs. Ring vs. Canary Flex vs. Arlo Pro

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2016 was the year of the outdoor camera, with everyone from Nest to Canary to Ring to Oco announcing outdoor versions of their popular security cameras.

I’ve been using the indoor Nest Cam to film through my window for quite some time. It’s a makeshift outdoor camera setup supplemented by my Ring Video Doorbell. With the recent updates, I couldn’t be more pleased by the camera’s software and features. So it should come as no surprise that when Nest Cam Outdoor launched, I jumped at the opportunity to buy it. Since then, my search for an outdoor solution has continued to Canary Flex, Arlo Pro, and Blink XT.

(Disclosure: I received Ring for free in November of 2015. I purchased Canary Flex, Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and Blink XT on my own. Arlo Pro was provided to me for testing courtesy of Netgear. Obviously, this does not impact my opinion, but I thought you should know.)

  Arlo Pro Ring Doorbell V2 Ring Doorbell Pro Nest Cam Outdoor Ring Stickup Cam Canary Flex
arlo pro ring ring pro nest outdoor stickup cam Canary Flex
Price $249.99
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$249
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$199
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Resolution 720p 1080p 1080p 1080p 720p Capable of 1080p, Streams in 720p
Night Vision
Field of View 130° 160° 160° 130° 80° 116°
Zoom
Two-Way Talk Members Only
Livestream
Power Battery, Solar Panel, or Hardwire (Requires Outdoor Power Adapter If Used Outdoors) Hardwire or Battery Hardwire Only Power Outlet Rechargeable Battery or Solar Panel Battery, Power Outlet, or 4G (Extra Fee)
Notifications Email, Push, IFTTT Doorbell Chime, Push Notification, Optional Ring Chime, IFTTT Doorbell Chime, Push Notification, Optional Ring Chime, IFTTT Email, Push, IFTTT Push Notification, IFTTT Push
Device Theft Optional Wall Mount Screwed in using proprietary screws, optionally hardwired, Ring will replace stolen devices. Screwed in using proprietary screws, hardwired. Ring will replace stolen devices. Easier to steal. The power adapter twists off and the Nest Cam can be removed from the magnetic base by pulling. Depends on the Mount – Quick Mount easier to steal, Security Mount is a more permanent solution. Secure Mount (Sold Separately)
Arlo Pro Ring Doorbell Ring Doorbell Pro Nest Cam Outdoor Ring Stickup Cam Canary Flex
Free Storage 7 Days Free Cloud, Pro Base Station Supports USB 3 Hours of Snapshots 24 Hours
Cloud Storage Starting at $9.99/month or $99/annually $3/month or $30/year Starting at $3/month or $30/year Starting at $10/month or $100/year Starting at $3/month or $30/year Starting at $9.99/month or $99/year
Multi-Camera Discount Price Includes Shared Storage for 10 Cameras (Free Plan Supports 5.) $10/month or $100/year for Unlimited Ring Cameras $10/month or $100/year for Unlimited Ring Cameras Each Additional Camera Costs $5/month or $50/year $10/month or $100/year for Unlimited Ring Cameras 2-3 Cameras $14.99/month or $149/year, $4.99/month or $49/year for Additional Cameras
Advanced Motion Detection Features Arlo Smart: Detects People, Animals, and Vehicles (Requires Paid Plan) Motion with Customizable Zones and Distances. Motion with Customizable Zone Shapes and Distances. Person Detection, Zones (Both Require Paid Plan) Motion with Customizable Zones and Distances. Computer Vision Using Algorithms
Monitors For Sound & Motion Doorbell Rings & Motion Doorbell Rings & Motion People ($), Sound, and Motion Motion Motion
Continuous Recording No. Records based on event. No. Records based on event with a paid subscription. No. Records based on event with a paid subscription. Yes, will record 24/7 with paid Nest Aware plan. No. Records based on event with a paid subscription. No. Records based on event.
Minimum Required Upload Speed 1MBPS 2MBPS 2MBPS 2MBPS 2MBPS 1MBPS
Other “Family” Devices Arlo Wire-Free, Arlo Q, Arlo Go, Arlo Baby Stickup Cam, Solar Panel, Ring Chime, Floodlight Stickup Cam, Solar Panel, Ring Chime, Floodlight Nest Cam, Dropcam, Nest Thermostat, Nest Protect Solar Panel, Ring Chime, Ring Doorbell Canary
Works with Echo Show, IFTTT, SmartThings, Stringify Echo Show, IFTTT, Wink, ADT Pulse, LockState, Kisi, Lockitron, WeMo, Kevo, Stringify, SmartThings Echo Show, IFTTT, Wink, ADT Pulse, Homekit (Coming Soon), LockState, Kisi, Lockitron, WeMo, Kevo, Stringify, Control4, SmartThings Echo Show, IFTTT, Works with Nest, Stringify IFTTT, Stringify, Wink Wink
Web Portal Members Only
App iOS, Android, and Apple TV iPhones, iPad, Mac App, Android, and Windows 10 iPhones, iPad, Mac App, Android, and Windows 10 Android, iPhones, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV iPhones, iPad, Mac App, Android, and Windows 10 iPhone, Android, Apple TV
Family Access*
Arlo Pro Ring Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell Pro Nest Cam Outdoor Ring Stickup Cam Canary Flex
Where to Buy Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site

*See Limitations Outlined in the Family Sharing Section Below

Installation

power adapter

Nest Cam Outdoor

I would never have guessed (based on my experience with Nest Cam Indoor) that Nest Cam Outdoor would be a pain to install. In fact, the assumption that the process would be easy was one of the reasons I purchased it. And I supposed in some ways it does solve for at least two of the challenges that face those trying to install an outdoor camera.

1. You don’t have to run a cable into your attic space. However, you will have a visible, 25-foot eyesore if you don’t.

2. The camera is magnetic. If you have a magnetic surface outside, you may be able to use the mounting magnet (included) and nothing more. I wasn’t so lucky.

I’m sure there are people out there who will make the wire management “problem” look straightforward and effortless. But for the average consumer, hiding a 25-foot power cord anchored by a large power adapter is not going to be easy.

dad

If you’ve been following along, you know that when I face wire management issues or I have to use a power drill, I call my dad. Drilling into brick isn’t easy. Even for dads, apparently. In the end, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep the camera anyway. What if I don’t like the camera? Do I want holes in my brick? With that in mind, we decided to use a piece of industrial strength 3M adhesive on the power adapter (the power adapter weighs about 4.5 oz) and a regular 3M strip on the camera wall plate. Everything seemed fine at first. At about 10 o’clock that night, I heard a loud crash. Thankfully, the camera was fine, but the power adapter proved to be too heavy for the adhesive.

Other than the process of physically installing the camera, installation is just like the indoor Nest Cam – fast. I simply had to add the camera to my existing Nest account. You’ll need to make sure the camera has access to both WiFi and power, and you should be good to go.

To summarize, installation has pros and cons:

  • Exposed Wiring
  • Requires Power and Internet
  • Drilling Required
  • My Experience: 60-Minute Install

Ring

I installed Ring 10 months before I installed Nest Cam, so I might have rose colored glasses. However, from what I recall, and from reading my notes, it was nowhere near as aggravating, and the result is more aesthetically pleasing. Of course, it was easier to drill into my wood door frame than my experience with trying to drill into brick. But if you plan to install your Ring Video Doorbell onto a brick surface, Ring has instructions for you. They offer instructions for installing the device on wood, vinyl, brick, etc. The instructions will also be different depending on if you choose to hardwire the device to your doorbell’s existing wires (recommended) or if you prefer to use battery power.

For most, the process will involve downloading the free Ring app. Next, you will need to remove your existing doorbell. Once that is complete, you will install Ring’s mounting bracket and connect the existing wires to your doorbell. Finally, place your new doorbell on the mounting bracket and tighten the screws. Ring will be able to use your existing doorbell chime if you hardwire. If not, you can purchase a Chime accessory including the Chime or Chime Pro. Pro not only emits a sound when someone rings your doorbell but also acts as a WiFi extender, improving your wireless signal.

Ring Doorbells Compared

As you are using either your doorbell wires or battery, the end result is more aesthetically pleasing. For me, the only problem is that Ring is too large for my door frame. I have about a 1/3″ overhang. It doesn’t bother me, but if you think it will bother you, Ring also sells the Ring Doorbell Pro. The Doorbell Pro is 1.85″ wide; the original doorbell is 2.43″ wide. Pro does not have a battery; it must connect to the wiring from your existing doorbell. It also has a few extra features (more on that later). Finally, the Ring ELITE is a flush mount option that uses Power over Ethernet (PoE). Ring ELITE is coming soon. You can compare all of Ring’s cameras here.

Pros and Cons of a Ring Installation:

  • No Exposed Wires
  • Uses Existing Doorbell Power or Battery. Requires Internet
  • Drilling Required
  • My Experience: 15 Minute Install

Canary Flex

Canary Flex Installation

Installing Canary Flex was easy. Part of that comes from the fact that I’m a Canary indoor camera user. To add Canary Flex, I plugged it in (Even though it can be battery-powered, Canary recommends starting with a full charge.), turned my phone’s Bluetooth feature on, visited the app, and selected “Add Canary device”. From there, you confirm the physical location of your camera, tap the button on the back of the device, and it begins to pair.

After the battery is charged, you can move the camera to a new location, so long as it’s within your WiFi’s range. The camera will work using battery power alone, or you can continue to use it plugged into a power outlet. If you are willing to pay an extra fee, you can even add 4G LTE through a mount for Canary Flex (coming soon). The weatherproof (IP65) mount allows the camera to work in places where WiFi doesn’t exist or where it cuts in and out. It can also be used to provide extra battery to Flex if no outlet is available.

While having three power/connection options already provides flexibility, there is even more flexibility thanks to accessories (sold separately). The first accessory is a Secure Mount. The Mount locks your device into place. Replacing the magnetic base, it helps prevent against device theft. The second is the Stake Mount: Stick the mount into the ground or a potted plant to give Flex a hidden camera effect. The Twist Mount can bend and wrap around an object so that you can hang it virtually anywhere. Canary suggests using the Twist Mount to place Flex on fixtures, railings, or even branches.

Pros and Cons of a Canary Flex Installation:

  • Battery, Outlet, or 4G (Coming Soon)
  • Mounting Options Flexible Through Accessories (Sold Separately)
  • No Drilling Required
  • My Experience: 2 Minute Install

Arlo Pro

Arlo Pro Installation

If Arlo shipped their cameras packaged in frustration-free packaging, the process would be a lot smoother. Beyond that, installation was easy.

As Arlo Pro is a cordless camera, it shares similarities with Canary’s installation process. The difference is that Arlo requires a base station. Another difference is that Arlo ships their cameras fully-charged and ready to go directly from the factory. Thanks, Arlo.

To install Arlo Pro, simply pop the included battery into the camera, download the free mobile app (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon), plug in the base station (requires Ethernet and power), and sync the camera to the base station. If you have multiple cameras, you will need to sync them one at a time.

The next step is camera placement, and Arlo Pro offers a few options. First of all, the camera is magnetic. It can sit on a flat surface, stick directly to a magnetic surface, or you can use the included plate to mount it to a wall. While you can place Arlo inside or out, the camera’s power cord that ships with the package is not weatherproof so plan to use battery power when placing the camera outside. Another option is to buy the Outdoor Power Adapter which sells for $19.99. Finally, they also sell an $80 solar panel. The panel works with Arlo Pro and Go, and can power one camera continuously.

Pros and Cons of an Arlo Pro Installation:

  • Battery Power, Outlet, or Solar Panel
  • Base Station Requires Power and Internet
  • No Drilling Required
  • My Experience: 10 Minute Install

WINNER Arlo is the winner. They offer several flexible options including indoor and outdoor charging, battery power, as well as a solar panel. And if you need to place the camera in a spot without internet, you can buy Arlo Go with 4G.

Home Security, Video Storage, and Advanced Features

  Nest Logo Ring Canary Logo Arlo
Finding Video Evidence Easy via Sightline and Timelapse Timeline Timeline and Incident Support Timeline
Recording Records Continuously Create Schedules Geofencing, Modes Geofencing, Modes, Schedules
Record On-Demand Records Continuously With Nest Aware
Share Clips
Storage Cloud Cloud Cloud Cloud or Local
Expand Security With Other Devices Yes, Nest Cam, Nest Protect, Nest Thermostat Ring Stickup, Solar Panel, Chime, Chime Pro, Ring Floodlight Cam Canary Arlo, Arlo Go, Arlo Q, Arlo Baby
False Alerts

Nest Cam

snapshot

Nest Cam’s software (Nest Aware) can’t be beat. Better yet, they continuously launch improvements to the software for all users. Their most recent update granted a limited amount of free snapshot access for both Nest Cam AND Dropcam users. If you want more storage, Nest Aware comes in two flavors: 10-day for $10 a month or 30-day for $30 a month.

  Without Nest Aware With Nest Aware
Motion Detection Basic Intelligent
Live Streaming:
Video History: 3 Hour Snapshots 10 or 30 Days Video History
Continuous Video Recording:
Two-Way Talk:
Zoom 8x:
Person Alerts:
Familiar Face Alerts Nest Cam IQ Only
Supersight Tracking Nest IQ Only Nest IQ Only
Activity Zones:
Create Clips and Timelapses:
Share Live Streams:
Geofencing
Sound Detection Basic Intelligent
Dog Barking/Person Speaking Alerts

Finding Video Evidence

One thing you may not realize until you use your camera to find video evidence is how difficult it can be to locate relevant events.

Nest uses Timelapse and Sightline features, both require Nest Aware. Creating a Timelapse can condense up to 24 hours of video into a clip no longer than a couple of minutes. You can create Timelapses from your computer.

Sightline is accessed from the mobile app. From the app, you can see your video history marked with color-coded activities. The colors represent different zones set by you. For example, a green dot might be driveway activity whereas an orange dot is an activity from your porch. You will also be able to see a “snapshot” of the event. Finally, using Sightline, you can swipe to fast forward through several days’ worth of footage.

Event Alerts

Nest will intelligently alert you, within reason. For example, you can have the street set as a zone, but turn off notifications for the street. And though Nest can tell you when it sees a person or thinks it sees a person, you can’t choose only to receive notifications for people. When I mentioned this to a member of the Nest support team, he agreed and went on to share,

One thing I do hear a lot is they (Nest Customers) don’t care for all the extra alerts letting them know that a tree branch moved.

And he’s right. For all it’s glory, Nest still doesn’t bat 1000. It sends false alerts–a lot of them. It most often gets confused by cars driving by, especially at night with headlights. And it also loves to capture pictures of birds and bugs. Awesome.

Summary of what you need to know:

  • Activity Zones
  • Automatically Arms and Disarms Based Upon Your Presence
  • Person Detection
  • 3 Hours Snapshots Free, Paid Storage 10-day or 30-day

Ring

Ring doesn’t offer free storage. While you will be able to see missed alerts, you won’t be able to view missed events without subscribing. The good news is that cloud storage is cheap. For $3 a month per device, you will be able to view and download up to six months of events. You will also be able to share clips, which is of vital importance if you want to use your video as evidence. If you have several Ring Cameras, you can subscribe to their Protect plan for $10 per month or $100 per year. This plan covers an unlimited number of Ring cameras and adds a lifetime product warranty. Beyond storage, all Ring features are free.

ring app

Finding Video Evidence

Rings offers access to a timeline-style feature where you can view events going back 6 months (if you are subscribed). From the timeline you can sort through ring events, motion events, or live view events.

Event Alerts and Accuracy

While Ring doesn’t offer as many advanced motion features as Nest, it does have a couple. For one, you can choose to be notified of both motion and ring events. With motion, you can customize motion settings from the app.

Motion zones should not be confused with activity zones. Motion Zones allow you to choose the motion detector’s range. You can choose to receive alerts for motion within a 5-foot range and up to a 30-foot range. For those who own Ring Pro or Ring Elite, you can draw custom shapes like Nest Aware’s Activity Zone feature.

Ring also supports smart alerts, the ability to set the motion sensor’s sensitivity. You can request to receive more alerts, “standard”, or “light” (fewer alerts). You can also turn notifications on and off from the main screen of the app. I prefer to receive all ring alerts (someone rings my doorbell), but I don’t like motion alerts. Even though I don’t have motion alerts turned on, I can still review all recorded motion events from the app or web portal.

Ring cannot automatically arm and disarm, nor would I expect it to, but you can create a monitoring schedule. You can disable motion alerts during specific days and times. Also, if you have multiple doorbells, you can place live events on hold to answer new calls. You can swap back and forth between calls without hanging up.

Finally, Ring offers a program called “Ring Neighborhoods”. With this feature, you can quickly share video clips with those nearby. The feature won’t expect you to invite your neighbors. Instead, it used your set geolocation to find other nearby users. By tapping on the Ring Neighborhood icon when viewing a call or recording, you can share that event with those nearby.

Summary of what you need to know:

  • Activity Zones
  • Scheduled Monitoring
  • Motion and Doorbell Alerts
  • Storage Starts at $3/Month
  • Sometimes Ring Doesn’t Ring
  • Ring Neighborhoods Beta

Canary Flex

Canary Motion

Canary offers 24 hours of video history for up to four cameras plus unlimited sharing. For free, clips are limited to 10-seconds in length and can be shared on social media, to your iCloud drive, etc. If you want to download videos directly to your phone, want longer clips, more storage, or more devices, you need a Canary Membership.

A Canary Membership provides 30 days of video history, full-length video clips, and unlimited downloads for $9.99/month. If you have two or three devices, that rate jumps to $14.99 per month, and each additional camera adds an extra $4.99. You can use an unlimited number of cameras in a single location with a Canary Membership.

Finding Video Evidence

Canary Membership also provides a unique way to sort through video evidence: Incident Support. With Incident Support, Canary provides a dedicated agent to help you retrieve video evidence if a home theft occurs.

Event Alerts

Flex uses the same algorithm as the indoor Canary. In theory, this sounds good. In reality, an outdoor camera needs its own algorithm. Motion events are processed to determine if they are false or if the event should be uploaded to the cloud for “further analysis”. This process not only helps to reduce false alarms, but it saves battery life.

With Canary, you can also adjust motion sensitivity, and the camera includes a PIR motion sensor, which works when the camera is plugged in or when running on battery. But even with these added features, Flex has trouble sorting true events from false ones. On windy days, false alerts are common, and sometimes Flex misses events. Worse, if you use Flex as a battery-powered camera, you must wait for it to wake up. I had problems with the camera sleeping through events. In general, the camera performs at a much higher level when plugged in.

Summary of what you need to know:

  • Incident Support($)
  • Automatically Arms and Disarms Based On Your Presence
  • Computer Vision Algorithms
  • 24 Hours Free Storage, Paid Storage 30-days
  • Camera Sleeps Between Events (Battery Mode Only)
  • Custom Canary Alert Tone for Push Notifications

Arlo Pro

Arlo App

Arlo offers 7 days of free cloud storage. How awesome is that? During setup, you will have the option of choosing between their home or business plans. For home users, they offer three flavors: Basic, Premier, and Elite.

For free, you have access to Basic which includes 7 days of free cloud recordings (up to 1GB), supports up to 5 cameras, and 3 months of phone support. Premier is $9.99 per month or $99.00 per year. It includes 30 days of cloud recording (up to 10GB), supports up to 10 cameras, and provides unlimited phone support. Finally, Elite is $14.99 per month or $149.00 per year and includes 60 days of cloud recordings (up to 100GB), support for 15 cameras, and unlimited support.

In addition to cloud storage, Arlo Pro offers local storage to a USB device (thumb drive, hard drive, etc.). Local storage cannot be used instead of cloud storage, but rather in addition to.

Finding Video Evidence

All plans, including the freemium, offer access to the same security features and provide a semi-decent way of sorting through historical footage. Through their “Library,” you will have access to a timeline feature. You can view all recorded events by day where you have the option of favoriting an event, downloading it, or sharing it. You can also filter recorded footage by favorites, motion events, audio events, manual recordings, or recordings triggered by IFTTT.

If you are willing to pay for Arlo Smart ($3.99 per month per camera), your cameras will be able to tell a person from a pet from a car from trees. This smart feature also makes video sorting easier as you can filter recordings to show you what you want to see. For example, you can filter the results to only show recordings with people.

Event Alerts

For free, event recordings can be trigger by motion or sound. If you want continuous recording, there is an option: Buy Arlo Q with a CVR plan. If you don’t want to do this, Arlo does provide several effective home security features for Arlo Pro, including modes.

Arlo Pro is preprogrammed with four modes: Armed, Disarmed, Schedule, and Geofencing. Most of the modes are customizable, and you have the option of adding your own customized mode. You can even create different rules for different cameras. For example, armed mode on camera A might mean that if it detects motion or audio, it will record, while armed mode on camera B might mean that if motion is detected, it sounds the siren, but doesn’t record. You can also decide if you would like push alerts, email alerts, or no alerts.

If schedules aren’t your thing, you can use geofencing to have the camera automatically arm when you are away and disarm when you arrive home.

Finally, back to Arlo Smart, you can pay for advanced alerts. You can ask to only receive alerts when motion is caused by a person while ignoring cars, for example.

Summary of what you need to know:

  • Automatically Arms and Disarms Based Upon Your Presence
  • Scheduled Monitoring
  • 7 Days Free Cloud Storage, Paid Storage 30-day or 60-day
  • Camera Sleeps Between Events (Battery Mode Only)
  • Arlo Smart for $3.99/month/camera

WINNER Nest. While Nest Aware is a more expensive service, advanced features like person detection combined with the ability for the camera to record 24/7 make it a better overall home security camera. However, Arlo with Arlo Smart is also a contender as the service is less expensive and the camera includes free storage.

Family Sharing

Nest Cam Outdoor

If you want to share your Nest Cam with others, you have three options: Family Accounts, Password Protected Sharing, or Public Sharing.

Using a Family Account, you can share access with nine other people. However, Nest’s sharing feature is problematically one-size-fits-all. All members will have full control over your account, including all cameras and connected devices such as thermostats and smoke alarms. As an example, I gave my family access to a camera placed at my grandmother’s. They can now view the camera at my grandmother’s and also the camera at my house. There is no way to limit their access. Also, they can’t set their own notification preferences, so they either have to put up with all the notifications from my house, or I have to turn off my notifications.

With Password Protected Sharing, you can share access to your video stream with up to ten people who have both the link and the password. Public Sharing is self-explanatory; it’s access to your live stream without a password. Both Public and Password Sharing allow others to view a live stream of your video, but they cannot view your video history, receive alerts, control cameras, or your other connected devices.

Ring Video Doorbell

With Ring, multiple users can interact with guests and receive notifications. However, each user can set their own custom notification settings. For example, you can ask to be notified of doorbell activity only while another user might want to be made aware of ring and motion activity.

Canary Flex

Canary also allows you to share access with other users. Through the Canary app, all users will have full control over your cameras. However, Canary lets you choose who has access to what camera through the use of multiple locations. Multiple locations can be the same address and can be managed under one account. You can learn more about using multiple locations here.

In addition to sharing camera access, having multiple users will make geofencing even more intelligent. The cameras will arm when everyone is away and disarm when at least one person is home. You can also see who is home and who is away using the mobile app. Finally, it brings everyone in on the action. If an event is detected, an alert will be sent to all users. If one user responds to the alert, other users will be able to see how that person responded. You can also leave a comment on the event and chat with other users directly within the app.

Arlo Pro

Arlo starts with one admin per account. The admin is allowed to share access with other users. However, all other users will have limited access to some features.

Friend access allows users to view live streams, view recorded clips, and favorite clips. If you want to share more, grant access rights. In addition to the rights already discussed, those with access rights will be able to record video footage, mute the speaker, enter full-screen view, zoom and drag video footage, access and change modes, manually record, take snapshots, favorite, and share or delete video footage. Finally, Arlo does allow you to control which camera or cameras other users can access. For example, you can give them access to your outdoor camera, but not your indoor camera.

WINNER: Canary. Canary has this multi-user thing down pat thanks to group geofencing and group communication.

Weatherproofing

Nest Logo Ring Canary Logo Arlo
Camera Rating IP65 IP54 IP65 IP65
Power Adapter Rating IP67 NA Weatherproof Magnetic Plug Power Adapter for Indoor Use Only
Temperature Range -4° to 104° F -5°F – 120°F -4° to 113° F, with deviations up to 122° F -4° to 113° F Range
Other Avoid Placing the Camera in Direct Sunlight Cold Weather, Wind Impacts Battery Life; Avoid Placing the Camera in Direct Sunlight Cold Weather, Wind Impacts Battery Life.

Nest Cam Outdoor

Nest Cam Outdoor’s temperature range is limited to -4° to 104°F. In the same breath, the Nest team warns of placing the camera in direct sunlight to avoid overheating the device. So if the device can only handle 104° and it might heat up in the sun, is it really ready to live outside? Perhaps it’s not that the device isn’t ready to live outside, but that it’s more suited for mostly temperate zones.

I can’t say if the story shared below is true or not, but one Facebook commenter shared this,

Waste of time for me as the temp range only goes to -4. Gets -20 here in Colorado. Spoke to Nest customer support was told not to purchase for our climate.

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring’s temperature range is better than Nest’s (-5°F – 120°F). As mentioned above, I’ve been using it for nearly a year. My device has survived both summer and winter.

Canary Flex

I ran my original Canary Flex test in December, and the temperatures failed to drop below 32 degrees. I tell you this because Canary claims the battery can last several months, though cold weather and heavy usage will reduce its lifespan.

After using Flex unplugged for a little over two weeks, the battery fell critically low before getting to the point where the camera would no longer turn on. I don’t blame this on the weather as much as I do the wind. Continued tests showed a battery life of 2-4 weeks. Per a reader request, I retested the camera in August. The weather is warmer here in August, it’s less windy, and Canary has since made several adjustments to help extend Flex’s battery life. This time, the battery lasted a full seven weeks.

Of course, there are things you can do to get the max life out of your camera’s battery. Canary provides the following tips:

  1. You can plug the device into a weatherproof, covered outlet if you see a green dot on the bottom of the power adapter.
  2. Protect your device from direct sunlight by placing it under an overhang or in a shady area.

Arlo Pro

Arlo Pro can be used outdoors only if running on battery power, unless you buy the outdoor power adapter, or if you purchase the solar panel. If you’re using battery power, you will have to charge your camera indoors as the included power adapter is not rated for outdoor use. Furthermore, if your battery is too cold from being outside, you might have to wait for it to warm up before you can begin to charge it. If you don’t like the sound of all of that, you can invest in the $59.99 Pro Charging Station and an additional rechargeable battery ($49.99). You can use the charging station to charge two batteries simultaneously so that you always have one ready to go when needed. You can also purchase the Arlo Pro UV-resistant silicone skins, which provide added protection against condensation and sun glare.

At two months, Arlo’s battery did last longer than Canary’s before it needed to recharge. Unlike Canary, Arlo sent both an email and push notification encouraging me to charge the camera. I tried to time how long it took to recharge the battery, but it took 5 hours to reach 87% and then stopped. Even the next day, the camera’s battery did not charge beyond 87%. Also, like Canary, Arlo’s battery life was impacted by activity more than weather. The camera I placed in a lower traffic zone still has 37% battery life after two months and several sub-zero days.

Device Issues and Troubleshooting

Nest Logo Ring Canary Logo Arlo
Warranty Length 2 Year Limited Warranty 1 Year Limited Warranty 1 Year Limited Warranty (2 Years With Canary Membership) 1 Year Limited Warranty (90 Days Phone Support)
Availability Email, Phone, or Chat Email, Phone, or Chat Twitter, Email, or Phone Email, Phone, or Chat
Phone Support Quality Excellent Excellent Excellent Offshore, Average
Wake Up To Livestream (on Average) Same Network 1 Second (Wired) 16 Seconds (Wired) 10 Seconds (Battery), 5 Seconds (Wired) 6 Seconds (Battery), 6 Seconds (Wired)
Wake Up To Livestream (on Average) Remote 6 Seconds (Wired) 19 Seconds (Wired) 12 Seconds (Battery) 6 Seconds (Battery)
Automatic Firmware Updates

Nest Cam Outdoor

One minor problem I’ve had with Nest Cam Outdoor is one that has also plagued my indoor camera for as long as I’ve had it. For some reason, when I physically move the device, even slightly, it loses connection. And when Nest loses connection, it can take several minutes to boot back up.

Another issue is caused by the device’s design. In theory, each clip cable needs to be screwed in. I’ve heard others claim this is for security reasons, making the device harder to steal. But I don’t see how this could be true. It’s not hard to walk up and unscrew the camera from the cord and walk away with it. The camera attaches to the base using a magnet, and it attaches to the power adapter using a cord that you simply push and twist to disconnect.

ups back

One final issue has more to do with software performance than hardware issues, but it’s important to point out. From time-to-time, the snapshot will record a little too late. In the example above, it caught the UPS man’s back. For those without a Nest Aware subscription, this is all you get. Those with a subscription can rewind footage to see the moments before the clip.

Ring Video Doorbell

live view ring

Ring’s biggest issue (in my experience) is that from time to time, it flops. This means that someone will ring my doorbell, but I won’t receive a notification on my phone. Also, it’s slow to wake up, which is surprising considering that I’m not running it on batteries.

Also, on the original Ring, resetting the device when it loses WiFi connection is a real pain. When this happens, you will need to use the proprietary screwdriver (make sure you save it) to unscrew the device to access the reset button. It takes about 15 minutes. In fact, the same process is required to recharge the camera’s battery. This is one of two reasons why you should opt for the Ring Video Doorbell 2. (The other reason is improved resolution.) Ring Video Doorbell 2 features a removable battery, eliminating the hassle of removing the device for a recharge.

Canary Flex

Canary Flex Slow Wake

My indoor Canary camera is my favorite home security camera. It sits in the corner, and it works. It’s self-sufficient, and that is exactly what I want in a home security camera. Flex has yet to provide that same experience. I’ve had to physically interact with the device multiple times to get it to reconnect to my internet. Also, the geofencing feature is inaccurate, often marking me away while home and vice versa. As for power loss notifications? They’re hit or miss.

Additionally, when running Flex on a battery, it is often slow to wake up, even after a recent updated targeting Canary’s lag time.

Arlo Pro

I haven’t had any issues with Arlo Pro, but I called into their support team to get a feel for support quality. As Netgear owns Arlo, phone tech support is managed by Netgear, and they offer offshore support. It was the stereotypical experience you think of when you think of tech support. I called into a phone queue, waited a little bit (not long), got transferred to someone who struggled to understand my question, she put me on hold, she came back to clarify my question, she put me on hold, and then she came back with an answer. While it wasn’t a bad experience, it was sub-par compared to the tech support experiences provided by Nest, Canary, and Ring.

There is a known issue with Arlo that doesn’t affect me personally but may affect you. Danh Bui was kind enough to share that Arlo Pro sound currently does not work for T-Mobile users. T-Mobile uses IPV6 where Arlo Pro uses IPV4.

WINNER Nest, Canary, and Ring all provide excellent tech support experiences. That said, general word to the wise: When you self-monitor your home security system, expect to do some troubleshooting from time-to-time. It is an inevitable part of the process. Most of the outdoor devices I’ve tested have had issues, though Nest appears to be leading the way.

Final Thoughts

To me, Nest, Canary, Ring, and Arlo are like apples and oranges. Ring protects your front door from intrusion. Nest has an advantage in that it can capture footage 24/7. Canary has an advantage in that it is wire free and will soon offer 4G wireless service as a primary form of connection or backup. Arlo Pro has an advantage in that the camera can run on battery power and wakes up for both motion and live streaming faster than Canary Flex.

They all have their issues. They all have false alarms. There is no perfect solution. I’m hopeful that soon new technology will emerge, and someone will take the best of Nest, the best of battery-powered cameras (Elon Musk, please make us an amazing battery!), and the best of Ring to make the ultimate outdoor camera.

In the end, the best camera depends on what you want to accomplish. There is no one-size-fits-all solution regarding home security. I want to use my camera to help my neighbors. I’ve found that continuous recording is crucial. After all the testing, I’m back to using Nest Cam indoor supplemented by my video doorbell. However, for my backyard, I feel Arlo Pro is ideal. I don’t need continuous recording, I don’t want more wires, and it wakes up faster than Canary.

Using the Nest Cam Outdoor vs. Indoor Nest Cam

Below is a brief comparison of using the Indoor camera to film through a window versus using the Outdoor Nest Cam.

  • NEST CAM INDOOR
  • No Sound
  • Less accurate at detecting people at night.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Theft Protected
  • No Night Vision*
  • NEST CAM OUTDOOR
  • Sound & Two-Way Audio
  • Slightly More Accurate
  • Sloppy
  • Vulnerable to Theft
  • Night Vision

*The indoor camera has night vision, but you have to turn this feature off to record through a window.

Nest Indoor or Nest Outdoor? There are pros and cons to both. The Nest Cam Outdoor might be slightly more accurate, but that’s probably more to do with positioning – it has a better vantage point. The fact that it is more accurate, has sound, and night vision makes me want to switch, but I simply can not deal with the way it looks when installed.

Other Outdoor Cameras

Blink XT

Blink is also a battery-powered outdoor camera. It’s built around a unique chip that should provide an amazing battery life. However, while my indoor cameras are almost at the two-year mark using the original AA batteries, my Blink XT batteries usually last between 1.5 and 2 months. While I love my Blink indoor cameras, I would not recommend Blink for outdoor use. You can read my Blink XT review and comparison to Arlo Pro here.

Arlo

I’ve heard others say Arlo is the perfect outdoor camera. I disagree. The original Wire-Free camera had even greater latency than Arlo Pro. Also, Pro includes a wider field of view, a rechargeable battery, a siren (built into the hub), and it adds sound with two-way audio, all features the original Arlo lacked.

Arlo Go is yet another Arlo camera. It’s an Arlo Pro plus 4G. The big catch is that a cellular plan via Verizon is needed as it doesn’t work with WiFi. It does come with 15 data minutes to send 15 minutes worth of video to the cloud for free. Once you’ve used those minutes, you’ll need to buy more time. Data plans start at $4.99/month for 15 data minutes and go up to $32.99/month for 225 data minutes. Arlo Go sells for $429.99 on Amazon or 399.99 from Verizon ($349.99 if you sign a 2-year contract).

Kuna and Toucan

Kuna is also intriguing, but using the device would require that I swap out my current light fixtures, and I have a different style of porch light. Toucan would potentially solve that dilemma. With Toucan, you can retrofit any outdoor light with a smart socket and a camera. But again, it works better with wall lights, and I have a hanging light.

Ring Stickup Cam

While the Stickup Cam would have been an obvious choice, it wasn’t for me. It does provide a wireless experience, and in the right conditions, the battery can last several months. Plus, if you add the solar panel, it can recharge itself.

My goal with a security camera is to help protect my neighborhood, not my house. (My house is protected as much as any house can be, trust me.) That said, to do my part, I need a camera that can record 24/7 (Stickup can’t). I also need a camera that can capture a wide angle (Stickup can’t), and I need a camera that will allow me to quickly sift through footage when my neighbor’s request help (Stickup can’t).

Ring Floodlight Cam

The Ring Floodlight Cam would be an interesting option if I needed floodlights. The Floodlight Cam is built to replace existing floodlights to make them “smart”. Not only would the smart lights add a layer of security by allowing you to flash the lights or sound the built-in alarm, but the device also has advanced features like custom zone creation and facial recognition. However, like Stickup Cam, the camera can’t record 24/7. Also, it requires that you have existing wires for floodlights.

Ring Spotlight Cam

If you like Floodlight Cam but dislike the installation process, there’s an easier option: the Ring Spotlight Cam. It comes with two built-in spotlights that you can control with your smartphone. The difference is that they are LED spotlights, not 3K Kelvin floodlights.

The Ring Spotlight Cam comes in three versions. First is the wired version, designed to be plugged into a power outlet. Second is the battery-powered version, designed to run on rechargeable battery packs. And third is the solar version, a battery-powered Spotlight Cam that comes with a solar panel. For now, only the $199 wired version is available. The $199 battery-powered version, and the solar version, which sells for $229 are still pre-selling.

Oco Pro Bullet

I was interested in testing this Oco camera, until I tested the indoor version. On paper, it has a lot of the same features as Nest Cam plus a PoE option.

Oco Pro Bullet is weatherproof, has an SD card, cloud storage, night vision, smart motion detection, and records in FHD 1080p. It can also work in a wide range of temperatures, from -22 °F – 140 °F (-30 °C – 60 °C). But it has one massive limitation: viewing angle. Unfortunately, it only offers an 85-degree viewing angle. Also, the indoor version fell flat on many of its promised features. While the outdoor camera uses different hardware, the indoor experience left me feeling leery towards Oco’s ability to build a quality camera.

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67 Responses to "Nest Cam Outdoor vs. Ring vs. Canary Flex vs. Arlo Pro"
  • 09/20/2016
    Jeremy

    Thanks for the reviews! I’m anxious to see how the Canary Flex will score with you. The only thing I’m really worried about is the 14 degree minimum temperature. I live in Indiana, so it can easily get below that. I’m wondering what would happen if it went below? Does it just stop working until the temp gets higher? Does it break?

    (reply)
    • 09/20/2016
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Me too. I have the same concern. It’s supposed to be here in December or January. I live in Tennessee so it gets cold here too. It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m sure it will zap the battery for starters, that’s my hypothesis anyway.

      (reply)
      • 03/15/2017
        Adam

        Hey- just happen to be reading this, and full disclosure I’m one of the canary founders. Our battery is designed to sub – temperatures and i had mine sitting under snow and it still worked (though video was white as it was… well… under the snow). We say it goes to -4 degrees F (-20C). But yea, the battery won’t last as long in that cold, but you can keep it plugged in, or just charge it overnight to get it back up and running. Cheers, Adam

        (reply)
  • 10/22/2016
    Brian

    How long do the Canary Flex and Arlo Pro last on battery power?

    (reply)
    • 10/22/2016
      Rose Thibodeaux

      That will depend on how you use them and where you use them. Cold weather will zap batteries as will live streaming. Canary claims Flex will have a 4-month battery life, Arlo Pro claims 4-6 months.

      (reply)
  • 10/26/2016
    Jeremy

    Just found out about the Arlo Pro today! It looks like it has everything I am wanting in a security system. Hopefully you can get your hands on one and update this article soon to let us know about its pros and cons. Thanks!

    (reply)
    • 11/18/2016
      James

      Same here. Just a question mark on motion detection and how quick it is. Last thing a security camera like this should be doing is missing the event.

      (reply)
      • 01/30/2017
        Rose Thibodeaux

        Hey y’all. I just finished testing Arlo Pro and have updated the article. Motion is fairly fast for a battery powered camera. It outperformed Canary Flex consistently. Also, on average, it took 6 seconds for the camera to go from asleep to awake.

        (reply)
  • 11/18/2016
    James

    One big issue with the Flex
    I can see is that the rechargeable battery isn’t replaceable. Had it confirmed by Canary. I’m interested in this and the Arlo Pro. Unfortunately neither are available in the U.K yet.

    (reply)
  • 12/04/2016
    Chad Bentz

    Ring is cheap in its paid cloud option for major one reason… The pricing is per camera.

    (reply)
    • 12/06/2016
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Hey Chad, I thought this was really smart feedback so I added a new line to the chart to show multi-camera discount or lack thereof. I hope it’s clear in the way I presented it? Good idea.

      (reply)
  • 12/05/2016
    Jay

    Thanks for the really comprehensive review! I’ve been researching Nest outdoor / Arlo Pro / Flex and your article did a great job laying out the pro’s and con’s.
    I’m in the rocky mountain region where it occasionally gets well below -4 and can verify your reader’s quote about cold weather limitations w Nest outdoor. I asked Nest support about this and they suggested that a different product might make sense. Seems like there really isn’t a good DIY option for users that live in cold weather? Arlo pro battery life is impacted, Flex only rated down to 14F and Nest said I should try a different product in cold weather.

    Rose – how does your approach of using Nest Indoors and shooting through windows work for you? Is that an acceptable approach for so many of your readers who live in cold climates?
    Thanks again for the great review.
    Jay

    (reply)
    • 12/05/2016
      Rose Thibodeaux

      I’m actually back to that approach right now. My grandmother is to the point where she needs some help so I put the Nest Cam Outdoor in her living room – with her permission of course. That said, there are limitations to using Nest Cam through a window. To me, they aren’t deal breakers.

      1. You can’t record sound. In fact, I have sound turned off because I don’t want the camera to record constant audio of me inside. Seems creepy.
      2. You also can’t use two-way audio.
      3. You must turn night vision off. I keep my porch light on at night (they are automated to turn on at sunset) so that I can continue to capture footage but this isn’t ideal for everyone.
      4. Motion on Nest Cam is too sensitive, made worse if it faces trees or cars. You will get lots of false alarms, but that’s no different from the Outdoor Nest. Setting zones will help some, but you must pay for Nest Aware.

      (reply)
    • 12/07/2016
      Rose Thibodeaux

      I was updating our Kuna article today and it reminded me that it can work in temperatures of up to, or perhaps down to, -40ºF – food for thought.

      (reply)
  • 12/07/2016
    Jay

    Thanks Rose for this update! Not familiar with Kuna and will check them out via your link. Have been continuing to research the best outdoor option. Surprised that none of the major brands in your side-by-side can be used in colder regions – seems like that eliminates a lot of potential customers. Glad I found your review and keep up the great work in this space – very helpful!

    (reply)
  • 12/24/2016
    Jacy

    Thank-you so much for the in depth review. What a breath of fresh air to see someone actually try to live with the product and write a review vs. cnet’s 5minute opinions.

    (reply)
  • 01/14/2017
    Sug

    Rings Very Slow

    1- Door Bell-hard wired
    1- Camera
    The biggest problem is they are slow and buggy when it come to live view or when I
    get a activation or ring and it response so slow, I have to walk to look out the window to see, and the iPhone is still not showing the feed.
    I have supper fast wifi so its not my network, I talk to tech support they seem to always say they are having issues on there end.

    Ring why have it, if it does not serve its intended purpose,

    (reply)
  • 02/06/2017
    Minok

    Alas, there is no good outdoor cam that does a solid job it seams, other than the Ring as it replaces an existing power fed location and has a very limited mission: see whats at the button.

    Battery power is a non-starter, other than as a backup for power failure. An outdoor security camera needs to work and work 24/7/365 without me thinking about it or doing regular maintenance like recharging.

    Insecure installations like the Nest outdoor are also a no-go unless you plan on mounting it under the eaves up at the 2nd’ story and routing into the attic. External wiring and easy to cut or remove wiring and mounts are a non-starter.

    (reply)
  • 03/27/2017
    Researching

    Ring also offers a $10/mo (or $100/year) unlimited devices service.

    (reply)
  • 04/06/2017
    Hale Guerra

    i really look forward to your review of the blink xt camera!

    (reply)
  • 04/17/2017
    Sergio

    Rose – I’m interested in Canary Flex since I have the original Canary. I’d love to get these systems on some unified Platform. I currently use Nest for a thermostat, Ring Pro for the doorbell, and a Wink Hub 2 to connect them all. Another hub will make me, well, sad. 🙂

    My question: Do you think the reason you received a delay response with Canary Flex is due to network visibility? Have you re-tested or adjusted wifi settings to enable a better connection?

    (reply)
    • 04/19/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      haha. Don’t do anything that will make you sad :). I upgraded my internet package and purchased three Google Wifi routers to create a mesh network. Though this upgrade did nothing to improve Flex’s overall performance, it did help with connectivity a touch. Flex’s performance improves when plugged-in and it’s possible that the battery experience will improve over time. Canary has already proven their ability to make a product better – just think about where they started with the original Canary.

      (reply)
  • 04/26/2017
    Divyesh Dheeraj

    can we use arlo pro without battery directly connected to power outlet ?????? by doing this can we record or does the camera is enabled????

    (reply)
    • 04/26/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      I’m not 100% sure what you are asking here so correct me if I’m wrong, but …. you can use the camera plugged in. While it is plugged in, it will work the same as it does while running on battery. It will still detect motion and record motion in the same way and you can live stream.

      (reply)
      • 04/27/2017
        Divyesh Dheeraj

        okkkk let me make it clear,can we remove battery and plug in camera with the adapter and cable already given in the box directly to the power socket by connecting directly does the camera gets damaged or does camera work while connecting it directly w/o battery in it.i knew it seems awful am asking this just to knew,i saw a reviewer saything that in his video and that why.

        Thankyou

        (reply)
  • 05/17/2017
    Alex

    Hi and thank you for the exhaustive review. I like the option of Ring Doorbell Pro. However, my existing doorbell is on the side of the house, facing parallel to the door across the front steps. If I mounted the Ring there, the camera would capture a profile of the visitor as they approach the door. It would not capture their face head on, would not (likely) capture them them as they approach the steps, which is where delivery people often leave packages (my interest in Ring, Arlo, etc., came out of the neighborhood social app conversation about a rash of package thefts), and would not capture the car they drive as it would face parallel to the street, not into the street. My question is: what would the installation of Ring look like on or near the front door, where there is no existing wiring? Is my existing setup enough to steer me away from Ring and toward a battery powered option?

    Thanks!

    (reply)
    • 05/17/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      The original Ring has a battery option. I don’t know how I would feel about that because you do have to remove the doorbell to charge it. Ring claims it will last 6-12 months on a charge. If that’s true, that wouldn’t be so bad; however, I would expect it to last like 3-6 months. In my experience, when a company gives a top end battery life range, that’s how long it will last if you never use the device. All that said, I don’t know how hard it would be to move a wired doorbell to the front of your door.

      (reply)
      • 05/17/2017
        Alex

        Thank you. From your experience, do you agree that mounting Ring on a side wall (the way I described) is not productive? A camera more or less should face outwards from the front door, in some shape or form, wouldn’t you say?

        Thinking of battery-powered original Ring, I don’t think opening up the mount and recharging a battery every 3-6 months would faze me. Having two doorbells (the “real” one on the side and the Ring on the door frame) probably would bug me more than a little. It did not occur to me to move the existing doorbell, just to install the Ring in the new location on or near the door.

        (reply)
        • 05/17/2017
          Rose Thibodeaux

          It’s not ideal, but it’s not terrible. I just went out there and stood sideways to the camera and you could still see me. The farther back I stood, the better the picture. Take a look at the article and scroll all the way to the bottom. I put two pictures up temporarily. Let me know once you see them as I’m going to take them down. I suggest buying it and testing it out using the battery by placing it where your current doorbell is BEFORE you actually install it. If you think it will work, go for it. If not, send it back.

          (reply)
          • 05/17/2017
            Alex

            Thank you for the pictures. I get the idea.

  • 05/17/2017
    Scott

    Hi Rose! Thank you for such an informative article. Unfortunately, I’m reading due to the fact that my street was just the victim of car break-ins overnight. I am curious to know what your opinion on the night vision (inside and out) for each of the cameras is. I currently have the older Logitech Alert cameras, but their night vision isn’t the greatest so I really couldn’t make out the burglars or the vehicles they were in. I have been leaning on Ring doorbell/stick ups, but no 24/7 recording is almost scaring me away.

    I’m also curious if you integrated with an automation system for any of the testing. I currently use Control4 and love any chance to add a new toy to it.

    Thanks so much!

    (reply)
    • 05/19/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Hey Scott, sorry about your car. Under shortcuts, you will find the video reviews. For Nest, night vision is shared at minute 1:43 and keep playing for just a moment to see night vision from Ring. During the Arlo vs. Canary video (the third video shown), skip to minute :54 to see night vision from Canary and keep playing to see a side by side comparing it to Arlo. To me, they are all about the same. I’ve found that the best night vision comes when you leave the lights on. I actually have automated lights on my porch, and they turn on at sunset and back off at sunrise. Integrating the cameras with a smart home system: I’ve tested Arlo Pro with SmartThings, I wasn’t a fan of that. It actually changes the mode to a new mode called SmartThings. I prefer geofencing mode. Ring I’ve tested using IFTTT, but I haven’t tested it with SmartThings.

      (reply)
  • 06/12/2017
    Giovanni

    I’m thinking about getting the Ring doorbell, but add the Nest outdoor for back and side door entries. Not sure if it would make more sense to get the Nest indoor cameras as opposed to the outdoor. What would you recommend?

    (reply)
  • 06/20/2017
    Gary

    Hi Rose,

    I’ve had 2 Arlo Pro cams for a few months now. They both work very well, although the false motion trips by wind or in my case a train that comes by is a bit annoying. But what I have found is that I really want a camera that is on 24/7, that I can go back and scan thru in case there’s an issue. The other thing is the delay. I had a person enter my property and the Arlo caught him just as he was almost out of the camera. A friend of mine told me to check out a FLIR camera. I don’t have a good home security system, so I would like to have something that can expand as far as needed. I can always take my Arlo to my office and use it there if I decide to switch.

    (reply)
    • 07/03/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      I’ve settled on continuous video for my outdoor cameras too. Obviously, I use Nest for that. For indoor cameras, Arlo Q is also an option. For $9.99/month, you can add continuous cloud recording. SpotCam also has continuous cloud recording, but we haven’t tried it. Of course, there are other options where you store the footage locally, but then the trouble becomes finding usable footage when you need it!

      (reply)
  • 07/19/2017
    Colin

    Great review! Exactly what I was looking for.

    Just wanted to note that it looks like Arlo Pro has recently added an outdoor power adapter as well as a solar panel.

    (reply)
  • 07/19/2017
    Scott

    Thanks for the incredible reviews… after weighing all the pros and cons, I decided to go with Arlo for the wireless convenience. Got it from Costco and it was easy to install. Images look great, too.

    Biggest problem though is the ‘wake up’ time. You reported on it, but I didn’t really take the time to really consider, “Hey, if I want to catch the kids driving by banging mailboxes, by the time they drive by and the camera wakes up, they’re gone!’ Well, that’s just what I learned as I set everything up, had the ap working and started getting notifications when people drove by. I thought AWESOME! it works! Well, not so much. Unfortunately, the car is never seen on the video, so the purpose is pretty much defeated.

    I did find that when I walked out the front door, the wake up was pretty quick, whereas the road is more toward the top of the camera, so that may have something to do with it. Regardless, it looks like back to Costco the system will go once I get the mounts uninstalled tomorrow.

    Thanks again and I hope this helps others, too.

    (reply)
  • 07/25/2017
    Kathi

    I purchased a Ring video doorbell in late 2015. Just what I wanted so I could answer the door with my phone app.
    However, my internet speed isn’t fast enough on uploading! I’d ring the doorbell, walk through the door, then up to half a minute or more, I’d get the notification (I) was at the door.
    The minimum upload speed has to be at least 1 Mbs, whereas Consolidated Communications is only 0.7 Mbs. I returned the doorbell, much to my disappointment.
    Please alert customers to this crucial information.

    (reply)
    • 07/26/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Adding minimum/recommended upload speed is a good idea. I’ll add that to my list.

      (reply)
    • 08/07/2017
      Sam S

      I understand your frustation. I had the same problem. My router was far from the Ring itself so I bought a WiFi extender and once I got that up and running – no more issues. I have the first generation Ring. Good luck with whatever you go with!!

      (reply)
  • 07/28/2017
    Paul

    Rose, not sure if I missed in somewhere but when I see reviews of Ring with ‘slow to activate’ and just catching the backside of someone leaving, do you know if this is an issue with Ring or only when running on battery? If hardwired do you know if it has this same issue? Thanks!

    (reply)
    • 07/28/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      I haven’t had that problem, and as you said, I’m running it hardwired. My clips include a front facing image of guests. That said, I’ve recently had issues with wake up times when I’m away from home. As an example, I answered a ring alert yesterday, but it just kept spinning. I had to hard close the app, open it back up, and then check the alert. By then, the guest was gone.

      (reply)
    • 08/05/2017
      Adria

      I think the slowness only affects the non Pro Ring Doorbells. Someone would need to confirm though but I’m pretty sure I read similar statement in the comments on a different site.

      (reply)
    • 08/23/2017
      Nick

      Rose, thanks for the great review! Paul, I have a Video Doorbell Pro and a Floodlight Cam — both are hardwired. Both lag at least seven seconds behind real time and sometimes even longer. During the lag, the would-be burglar is gone or could be in your house. Ring’s ads suggest you see things in real time which is not the case for me. The signal strength and wifi speed both test excellent. I hope this helps you. Nick

      (reply)
  • 08/11/2017
    CD

    Hi Rose,

    thanks for the comprehensive reviews. Do you want to get married? I have BOTH gigabit internet and eero mesh wifi + Ring 2 in transit – imagine how much fun we would have geeking out and setting up our security cams together…

    All kidding aside, question regarding Arlo and the base station:

    Does each camera have to connect directly to the BS or can it be routed via my home wi-fi system? Although wifi coverage is not an issue, if BS is in front of house, I’m concerned that a camera in the back will not be able to reach it.

    To add to your Final thoughts, I would add that an ideal camera would have flexibility in terms of both power (battery, solar, PoE) and connectivity + (a big plus) local storage so that I could use my NAS for storage and avoid any monthly fees whatsoever.

    thanks,
    CD

    (reply)
    • 08/11/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Ha! That’s funny. Anywho, Arlo. Yes, Arlo needs the base station. The cameras only talk to the base station which creates its own network. The max range is stated at 300ft between base station and camera, which I assume is direct line of sight. If I had to guesstimate the distance between my base station and camera I would say 50 feet max? I haven’t tested beyond that.

      And yes, good thoughts on final thoughts :).

      (reply)
  • 08/19/2017
    Abe

    Hi thanks for your amazing review!!! Best one online! Q: One point I didn’t get clear yet, what are the differences between the Canary vs Canary Flex? and which one is better? Thanks

    (reply)
    • 08/20/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Thanks, Abe. I have a chart that compares Canary and Flex here: https://homealarmreport.com/canary-flex-security-camera-review/. I still prefer Canary All-in-One over Flex. Of course, it’s an indoor only camera so that might be a dealbreaker for you depending on how you want to use it. It has a better picture, already offers two-way audio (if you’re a Canary Member), has motion zones, and multiple air quality sensors.

      (reply)
      • 08/20/2017
        Abe

        Thanks!! One other question I have: my wife is due this fall and (in addition to a regular home security camera) I’m seeking a good baby video monitor, the best actually. Do you have a chart or column that compares and reviews baby video monitors? (I searched online and there’s an endless amount of options, and there’s also so many articles each one claiming this one is better or that one is better – but no one is nearly as good or trustworthy as you as far, and as far as breaking down each product and giving us the full truth and clarity there’s no equal to the job you have done! Do you have anything on this (baby video monitors)? If not yet, do you plan to? Thanks!

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        • 08/21/2017
          Rose Thibodeaux

          Congratulations! And that’s kind of you to say. Unfortunately, I’ve only tested one baby monitor and it was a long time ago. I think it was the D-Link DCS 820L? I wouldn’t recommend it.

          (reply)
          • 09/14/2017
            Veronica

            Hey rose I want to use inside for childcare but also have quality for when away from home what would be your recommendation !!?

          • 09/14/2017
            Rose Thibodeaux

            Since I’m assuming you will want to live stream often to check on your kids, I would recommend a wired security camera. The original Canary is a good option as is Arlo Q. Both will allow you to live stream from anywhere. Original Canary does not offer two-way audio for free, Arlo Q does, something to consider if you want to be able to talk to your childcare provider or children using the camera. Both cameras include free cloud storage.

  • 08/21/2017
    Abe

    Do you have reviews on Baby Video Monitors?

    (reply)
  • 09/19/2017
    T. Dwyer

    Great job on reviews. A lot of work there. Just installed a Ring Doorbell Pro and to spotlights. Kits include tools and more installation options than imaginable. Very thoughtfully done. But wake up time is as you described. Needs to be faster.

    (reply)
    • 09/19/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      Yup. I upgraded my router and internet speeds. My current download speed is 339 Mbps, and I still have issues with the wake time.

      (reply)
  • 09/20/2017
    Ray

    Can you do a compare with the new nest camera iq outdoor vs ring floodlight camera

    (reply)
    • 09/22/2017
      Rose Thibodeaux

      After testing indoor Nest IQ Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor, I’ve decided to pass on Nest IQ Outdoor. Plus, it sounds like this version will require drilling, and I’ve found that Nest’s facial recognition feature doesn’t add more value than their face detection feature. I also don’t have a place for Ring Floodlight. However, I will buy Ring Spotlight. I have six devices in my office waiting to test, so I can’t promise that it’s going to happen quickly, but it will happen! 🙂

      (reply)
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