There are dozens of security camera manufacturers on the market, and all of them state that they sell reliable, well-built and functional products. So, when choosing a security camera, it can be hard to know what’s fact and what’s hype – hence the reason this comparison article, after checking out two of the top-selling products.
If you’re new to the smart home game, it involves various products that help to automate and secure our houses. One of the most frequently sought-out smart home devices is the security camera.
Security cameras help homeowners increase their overall security levels and feel safer. Since reliability is so important for this product, it follows that some companies do sell security cameras that are well-renowned for good functionality and reliability.
Two of those well-known companies are Nest and Arlo. These two have been around for several years and are known for being progressive and innovative. Arlo and Nest have released several best-selling security cameras that have thousands of satisfied customers.
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Two of the most popular and frequently bought security cameras are Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor. Let’s find out how these two models compare and if there’s a significant difference between them.
Arlo Pro vs Nest Cam Outdoor: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this article, we’ll be comparing Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor directly. We’ll compare, evaluate and rate the most important aspects of these two security cameras. Lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown either Nest Outdoor or Arlo Pro as the leading product.
1. Installation Process
The first thing we need to write about is the installation processes for these security cameras. It’s important to know if they’re easy to set up and if we’re going to need any professional assistance to complete the process.
Luckily, Nest Outdoor and Arlo Pro are DIY security cameras and installing them takes 10-20 minutes in total.
Arlo Pro Security Camera
So the installation process of Arlo Pro is pretty simple, and I won’t waste your time presenting a step-by-step guide since Arlo has uploaded an excellent guide that perfectly explains the whole thing.
If the vid posted above doesn’t provide enough insight, the package of Arlo Pro will include a user’s manual that perfectly explains the setup process. If you still find it hard to complete, as a last resort, you can reach out to the support team. They’ll gladly help with anything you think is relevant.
Nest Cam Outdoor
Like the Arlo Pro, Nest Cam Outdoor is a DIY security camera that takes a bit longer to install. Since it requires a power source to function, Nest might need a bit more thinking on placing and mounting.
But don’t let that cause you any undue concern. Nest has uploaded a fantastic guide that explains the installation process of the security camera.
So as you see from the installation guide, activating Nest Cam Outdoor is pretty straightforward and takes an extra 20-30 minutes to complete. You’ll find a wonderfully written user’s manual in the package of Nest Outdoor that’ll answer the additional questions you might have.
Visiting the support section of Nest is another option for finding answers to your questions. I’ve talked with them a few times, and those guys are superb!
Modern smart home shoppers always look for products that are both functional and gorgeous. It’s crucial for these security cameras to improve the visual appearance of our houses and make them more modern and smart.
So let’s find out how people rate the designs of Arlo Pro and Nest Outdoor and if current owners are happy with their purchases.
Arlo Pro Security Camera
I own the Arlo Pro and can vouch from my own experience that it looks good in situ. Arlo Pro is only available in white and has a simple, eye-catching design. I’ve met other Arlo Pro owners, and all of them have mentioned how stylish the security camera is.
Besides being visually attractive, it’s important to know the dimensions of Arlo Pro to make sure it’ll fit well where you need it to. The dimensions of Arlo Pro are 2.8 x 1.9 x 3.1 inches, and it weighs about 1 pound. Those are pretty good dimensions, and the security camera should fit neatly in your chosen location, whether indoors or outdoors.
Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Outdoor is one of the most beautifully designed security cameras on the market and looks more like a high-end spotlight than a traditional security camera. Nest wanted to make their product eye-catching and attractive to make sure it was the best-looking product available.
Well, Nest did achieve their goals. While none of the security cameras has a flawless design, I would say that Nest Cam Outdoor is the closest to being perfect.
The dimensions of Nest Cam Outdoor are 3.5 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches, and it weighs 0.7 pounds. It’s neatly sized so it can fit anywhere outdoors. I’ve also met other Nest owners and have seen how they placed their security cameras. In situ, it looks quite striking, and visually, Nest Cam Outdoor might just beat the Arlo Pro.
The next topic we need to discuss is the features of Arlo and Nest to find out if they can meet our needs and expectations. These two security cameras are best-sellers on the market, and people speak highly of them.
Below, we’ll present a chart that shows the primary and most essential features of Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor.
While Nest Outdoor and Arlo Pro share some features, there’s still a noticeable difference. For now, I’ll just mention that both have powerful and valuable features. As for how they compare and which one is superior, we’ll cover that in the coming sections.
This part of our comparison article covers a critical aspect. In essence, people purchase security cameras for their performance capabilities. If a security camera cannot perform at an acceptable level, we wouldn’t want to buy it, plain and simple.
So we need to find out how well Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor perform and if they can meet our expectations and needs.
Arlo Pro Security Camera
A lot of buyers and notable publications consider the Pro model as the complete security camera on the market. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that Arlo Pro exceeds any other security camera in terms of capability.
Frequently, Arlo Pro owners complain that the security camera can’t record in 24/7 mode and it only starts acting after detecting activity in its field of view. Not being in recording mode all the time might be a bit problematic since the security camera might miss someone trespassing on our property, for example.
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I own the Arlo Pro, and I’ve never had an instance when it failed to detect activity. On the contrary, when I first got my Arlo Pro, it was “too good” on the detection front and informed me about every moving thing. So I had to adjust the sensitivity levels to avoid continually getting false alerts.
When I changed the sensitivity levels, Arlo Pro became more focused and human activity oriented. I’ve never had a false alert since.
Arlo Pro is pretty good at recording clips. It has a 720p camera and records in perfectly clean quality. Some might disagree that 720p is enough for a security camera. You may think that images and live feed can end up being blurry.
If you’re interested how well can Arlo Pro record, I’ll drop a video that shows the live feed quality of the security camera.
As you see, the camera quality of Arlo Pro is quite good, and you’ll have zero trouble figuring who is standing next to your door. Since Arlo Pro offers FREE Cloud Storage, that’s precisely why the security camera records in 720p quality. It takes less space so that there’s more room for other clips to get included.
The 130-degree viewing angle of Arlo Pro is slightly narrow but don’t worry that it won’t be sufficient. Rewatch the video posted above, and you’ll see that the angle is sufficiently wide.
The reason why people consider the Arlo Pro as a huge success is the two-way audio feature that makes the security camera stand out from its competitors. With this innovative feature, Arlo allows the owner to speak with visitors directly from the security camera.
You can use the two-way audio for different purposes. For example, if Arlo alerts you that someone trespassed your property, you can scare them off using this feature by telling them to go away. Even if you’re not home, this feature is still accessible.
At first, your voice will sound a bit weird due to the wireless aspect and power saving, but you’ll get used to it quickly. What makes the Arlo Pro even more special is the extended Wi-Fi coverage. We’ve carried out a few tests and have estimated that Arlo Pro works fine within 250 feet.
Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Outdoor is essentially the same as the Nest Cam Indoor, and these two security cameras have the same features. There’s obviously a slight differentiator in terms of the “outdoor” aspect.
Nest took the Nest Cam Indoor, wrapped it in a weather-friendly finish and started offering a cool device to people looking for a DIY outdoor security camera.
As for how well the 1080p camera of Nest Cam Outdoor records, we’ll drop a cool video that’ll give you an idea what to expect from this security camera.
Unlike the Arlo Pro, Nest Cam Outdoor records for 24 hours a day. Nest Aware enables several exciting features that enhance the capability of the security camera. Nest Aware has a more advanced motion detection system, an option to create, save and download video clips, and it also allows the owner to set activity zones.
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Without Nest Aware, Nest Cam Outdoor is a lot weaker since you’ll be getting basic motion alerts, recorded clips saved for only 3 hours and a live stream. Nest Cam Outdoor has no local storage, and there’s no option for storing recorded activity and pics on a different drive.
In short, without a Nest Aware subscription, purchasing the Nest Cam Outdoor isn’t a good idea. The 10-day video history with Nest Aware costs around $10 monthly and the 30-day video history is $30 monthly. The good thing is that if you buy the annual subscription, you get the Nest Aware a lot cheaper.
But be prepared to pay more if you plan on getting several Nest Cams. The additional camera costs $6 (10-day video history) and $15 (30-day video history).
It’s true that Nest Aware is pricey, but it’s the best cloud system I’ve seen. Nest Aware makes the Nest Cam Outdoor smarter and helps it differentiate human activity from, for example, cars. Nest Cam Outdoor won’t send false alerts when it sees swaying trees.
If you’re interested in how to set the motion zones, take a look at the picture below that shows how to set up motion zones using the web app (it can be done via mobile app too).
Frankly, Nest Cam Outdoor is an impressive, out-of-the-box, well-built and stunning security camera that beats most of its competitors.
5. Mobile Application
Another important topic we need to write about is the mobile applications of these security cameras. Since people mostly use mobile apps to check activities and statuses of their cameras, it’s essential for Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor to have functional, intuitive and easy to use mobile applications. Otherwise, users will have a miserable experience, and they’ll eventually shift to different security camera manufacturers.
The mobile application of Arlo is one of the best on the market. The interface is pretty intuitive and straightforward. Arlo’s mobile app is easy to navigate, and it takes no time to understand what’s what.
Since I own the Arlo Pro security camera, I can speak from experience that the mobile app is superb. It functions well, looks good and rarely bugs. Still, I’ve had cases when Arlo’s mobile application refused to load, or it crashed while sending mobile alerts.
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Fortunately, Arlo has already fixed the majority of the bugs and glitches users have reported. Sometimes, Arlo’s mobile application required relaunching due to unexpected freezes. If you’re interested in the interface of Arlo’s mobile app, make sure to check the pictures posted below.
So we have three main sections here. Let’s find out what each of them does:
- Mode – Currently, Arlo Pro has three modes to use – Armed, Disarmed and Geofencing. For instance, if you set your Arlo Pro in the ‘Armed’ mode, whenever the security camera detects activity, it’ll record a 5-second clip and will send a notification on your smartphone.
- Devices – This section of the mobile application shows the statuses of our Arlo Pro security cameras. There’s also a screenshot from the latest feed as well as battery life, connectivity and live video.
- Library – Whenever Arlo Pro records a clip, it’ll be stored in the library section so that you can review the footage later.
Before we move forward, it’s essential for you to know what the geofencing does. Simply put, Geofencing tracks the location of your phone, and when you leave home, to not miss any suspicious activities, Arlo will automatically activate the motion sensors and sound detection system.
So, geofencing is a great addition to a security camera and is a big plus for Arlo Pro. Besides, Arlo allows its users to create custom modes. If the ones listed above don’t meet your needs, you can just create a new combination that will fit.
Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Cam Outdoor uses the same mobile application as other Nest devices do (including Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Protect). Nest’s mobile app is well-known for being one of the best. It’s well-built, easy to navigate and quite intuitive.
The home page of the app deploys every installed Nest device with their current statuses. There’s a button in the mobile application that activates the ‘talk and listen’ so that you can speak with guests using the security camera. The drawback of this feature is that you can’t use the microphone and the speaker at the same time. Plus, the camera’s speaker volume is not adjustable, and your visitors might have a hard time hearing what you’re saying.
In the mobile application, you’ll find the following features:
- Home/Away Assist – By using this, you allow Nest to track your phone’s location to arm and disarm the security camera properly. It’s quite similar to geofencing.
- Night-Vision – You can activate or deactivate the night vision on your security camera.
- Quality Settings – If you think that Nest records in unnecessarily high quality and it’s taking too much space, you can adjust the quality and change to 360p, 720p, 1080p or Auto.
- Scheduler – There’s also an on/off scheduler feature.
When Nest announced that they were releasing the Nest Cam Outdoor, there was also a massive update to the mobile app. Redesigning the interface gave the application a brand new look. Plus, there are some new features available that make it even better.
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What I don’t like about Nest Cam is that you don’t get a notification when activity is detected. Nest explained that the reason for this is to protect you from false alerts, but it can be problematic if Nest can’t differentiate important activities from less important ones.
Still, Nest uses Sightline’s algorithm to determine which activities are critical and, to our surprise, it handles the job pretty well. We’ve rarely seen the algorithm make mistakes.
If you pair Sightline with Nest Aware, you’ll be getting whole new features like:
- Time-lapse videos of events
- Images of important moments
- Activity Zones
There’s also a new feature called ‘Person Alerts’, which is far from being a facial recogniser, but it can tell that someone is passing by.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
We also need to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor. For this, we’ve created two charts that show the pros and cons of both security cameras.
|Motion Zones||Largely Depends on Nest Aware|
|1080p HD Video||Pricey Nest Aware Subscription|
|FREE Cloud Storage||Can’t Use Microphone & Speaker Together|
|Flexible Mobile Application|
|Easy to Install||Purchase Nest Cam|
Arlo Pro Security Camera
|Two-Way Audio||Mobile Application Lag & Bugs|
|720p HD Video||Expensive|
|130° Field of View|
|Flexible Mobile Application|
|Email & Mobile Notifications|
|Sharp Night Vision|
|Works Well Over 200 Feet Distance||Purchase Arlo Pro|
Both of these security cameras have their pros and cons. They have important features and a few drawbacks. On the whole, both Nest Cam Outdoor and Arlo Pro are top-notch security cameras that have fantastic capabilities and unique features.
Having a good support team is vital for all smart home companies. When people purchase smart gadgets, they can’t figure some things on their own, so they start searching answers on YouTube, Google, forums, and in the user’s manual. If those sources don’t provide sufficient information, the last thing left for us to do is reach out to the support team.
Luckily, both Nest and Arlo are well-known for having an outstanding customer care area. You can reach them via phone, live chat or email.
Lastly, before concluding our comparison article, we’d like to present another chart that directly compares Arlo and Nest.
So both security cameras have awesome features, and the smart home industry thinks of them as two of the best on the market. Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor have thousands of satisfied customers, and the numbers are still rising.
As for the third-party integrations, Arlo Pro works with IFTTT, SmartThings, Xfinity, etc. As for Nest Cam, you can pair it with other Nest products, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.
The Bottom Line
Arlo Pro and Nest Cam Outdoor are best-selling security cameras that have unique and powerful features. Arlo and Nest have been around for a few years and manufactured several notable security cameras.
Nest Cam Outdoor is a solid DIY security camera that outranks the majority of its competitors. Nest Cam Outdoor has a solid live feed, FREE 3-hour cloud storage, it’s weatherproof, 1080p video is sharp in both day and night.
On the other hand, the eye-catching design could make the security camera vulnerable to theft and that could be a serious issue unless it’s well out of reach. Plus, it’s quite unpleasant that Nest’s algorithm handles everything for you.
As for Arlo Pro, installing this security camera for outdoor usage is a smart move due to its extended Wi-Fi coverage. Arlo Pro is a wire-free security camera, it records in 720p, and the video is sharp in both daylight and night hours. Since Arlo Pro is third-party integration friendly, that’s another plus.
To sum up, if you already own other Nest products or are willing to pay for Nest Aware’s subscription, purchasing the Nest Cam Outdoor is a better option. If not, getting the Arlo Pro is a smarter move.
Arlo Pro is a thousand-times tested security camera that has proven its worth a million times. Arlo has thousands of satisfied customers and boasts being one of the best security cameras on the market. The same goes for Nest Cam Outdoor; its 1080p camera makes it extra-class, and with Nest Aware subscription, it becomes the complete security camera with minimal flaws and bugs.