Best answer: Arlo cameras can do more for free than most connected cameras, but if you want your cameras to take advantage of any smart detection, that requires the Arlo Smart add-on.
What Arlo cameras can do without a subscription
Arlo's cameras are actually some of the more capable connected cameras to use if you're looking to go without a subscription. With no subscription and no Arlo Smart add-on — we'll get to that in a minute — here's what you get with "Arlo Basic":
- 7 days of cloud recordings storage
- 3 months limited support
- 5-camera limit
- Motion alerts
If you're using a system with an Arlo Base Station — such as the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 systems — you can expand your recording storage through local backups, which is quite useful for those looking to skip the subscription.
Arlo Smart all the way
Arlo's subscription system can look a little odd since it's listed it in multiple places and with multiple name/feature configurations, but the only Arlo subscriptions you should even both looking at are the
Arlo Smart Add-on Arlo Smart Premier Arlo Smart Elite
Price $3.50/month $13/month $19/month
Camera limit $3.50/camera 10 cameras 20 cameras
Days of cloud recordings 7 days (Basic) 30 days 60 days
Beyond the price, camera limit, and recording storage window, the features for all Arlo Smart plans are the same:
- Custom motion zones
- Person/package/vehicle/animal detection
- Enriched notifications that say what Arlo sees from your notification shade or lock screen and offer quick options like calling an emergency contact or activating your system's siren
That 24/7 recording can only be used with certain Arlo cameras — the Arlo Q, Arlo Q Plus, Arlo Baby, and a plugged-in Arlo Pro 2 — and if you want to record 24/7 video, you will need to add a CVR (Continuous Video Recording) plan to your camera.
- $12/month/camera — 14 days 24/7 cloud recording
- $24/month/camera — 30 days 24/7 cloud recording
The recordings are not available for download or local backup; you have to have a CVR subscription and watch the video through the Arlo app or website. CVR is a separate subscription from the regular Arlo subscriptions or Arlo Smart subscriptions.
Arlo Pro 2 (2 Camera System)
Skip the subscription and the stress of running wires.
The Arlo Pro 2 base station allows you to supplant your basic 7-day cloud recordings for free thanks to the local USB backup option. These wire-free cameras can work indoors or out, and if you use one plugged in indoors, it can even do 24/7 recording.