Ring vs. Arlo and why we switched to Arlo

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Recommendations | 0 comments

It’s not a secret that every season has its advantages and disadvantages, and when the days become warmer and the weather starts becoming milder, burglars and thieves become more comfortable roaming around neighborhoods and casing out homes, looking for potential targets. That’s why no matter which brand you go with, it’s still a good idea to have a security setup, and one that’s hopefully visible enough to scare someone with bad intentions away.

Arlo vs Ring, what both have in common

Both Arlo and Ring are popular brands in the home security space. Both offer a range of security devices, like wireless outdoor security cameras, floodlights, indoor cameras with a privacy shield, video doorbells, and a home security system.

While Ring devices can be connected to and controlled from Alexa-enabled devices, like an Amazon Echo Show, which requires a subscription fee, most Arlo devices are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, If This Then That (IFTTT), and Samsung SmartThings without a subscription.

Both offer optional subscription plans that give you more functionality with their devices. And you get a live feed with every Arlo and Ring camera, but a subscription with a storage plan is needed access the stored cloud video history.

What we didn’t like about Ring

Ironically, we had Arlo cameras back in the day when Arlo was still a division of NetGear. It seemed to work ok for what we needed it at the time. It just required the camera to be plugged in and the distance the devise for viewing the feed had to be nearby. It was not that great, but it was fine at the time.

Then we saw an irresistible offer for Ring at Costco which included one year’s subscription. Money-wise it was an amazing deal so we took the opportunity to switch. It felt like an upgrade. Plus, now we could have multiple users being able to view the feeds and live action on cell phones from anywhere independently.

But then something happened with Ring. The cameras stopped connecting to the wifi and the recordings would not always be viewable. Then one camera would stop working, then working again, while a different camera would stop working, and so on. Since by then the warranty had run out, Ring’s remedy (of course!) was to just replace them. We tried that and still had the same problems over the next year or so.

We even ordered a Ring Doorbell with Chime – we wanted to try that because it was a good deal. It was one of those sales, get the doorbell, get the chime for free. Only problem is that the chime never arrived. Even after contacting Ring several times over several months, it never arrived. Ring false advertising. Still, after 2 years, no chime, Ring just keeps saying it’s on the way… one the way to where??

Why we love Arlo

In one sentence? Everything just works! Setup was a breeze and viewing the feed is actually better in my opinion because it does not automatically record the live feed. I can still tap a button to record the live feed but it does not force me to record every single time that I want to just look.

The Arlo app also offers GeoFencing as an option for arming and disarming cameras, which means that the cameras can switch modes automatically when I leave the house, for example, and switch back when I return. Ring does not have that.

Ring forces you to get a subscription to use the cameras, while Arlo allows you to use some features without a subscription. Now, different cameras have different capabilities, and maybe we’ll go into a deeper comparison on the products another time.

But it is my belief that the best thing Arlo offers that Ring does not is the 24/7 Monitoring. That means that we can take some of our office staff off of monitoring camera feeds and outsource this to Arlo. Maybe Ring holds a big enough piece of the market pie that they’re not looking into ways to make their offering better.

In fact, the poor experience with Ring’s customer service and products are proof to me that Arlo is better than Ring. Maybe Ring is bigger but Arlo is more flexible and smarter. In a matchup of Ring vs. Arlo, Ring wouldn’t stand a chance!


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