Arlo tips and tricks

Main points

  • Leverage geofencing – Let Arlo automatically arm your system based on your location.
  • Use activity zone and motion sensitivity settings to customize your notifications and reduce unwanted alerts.
  • Get smarter alerts with Arlo Secure’s people, animal, vehicle and package identification capabilities.

Arlo is a well-known name for doorbell cameras and security cameras, but the company’s devices do more than just show who’s at the front door. Arlo can sound an alarm or create motion triggers to activate other smart home devices, such as lights.Equally important is what Arlo is no If you don’t want to be inundated with constant notifications, Arlo has settings for that, too.

If you just take Arlo out of the box, install it, and finish setting up the app, you might be missing out on some of the platform’s best features. These Arlo tips and tricks can help you get the most out of your doorbell or camera, integrate Arlo into your smart home system, and more.


Do you need an Arlo subscription?How much it costs and what you get

Arlo security cameras are great devices, but if you don’t want to pay the monthly fee for a Secure subscription, how much do you really get?

1 Turn on geofencing

So your own actions won’t trigger notifications

While you can arm your system manually every time you leave your home, Arlo can also do it for you automatically using geofencing. With geofencing turned on, the app will automatically start sending notifications when your phone leaves home. This can be set up for just one phone, or even for an entire family of devices. The feature can also be set up the other way around – sending notifications when you’re home but stopping them when you’re away. To turn on geofencing:

  1. Click routine Tabs in the Arlo app.
  2. choose automation.
  3. Click (+) icon at the top.
  4. choose Add arrival/departure.
  5. Choose a time – when everyone arrives, when one or two people arrive, or when you leave.
  6. tap saveThen Add action.
  7. In changing mode, choose whether to enter standby mode (Without notice), arm homeor arm away mode.
  8. If necessary, click the map to adjust your home’s location, then click save.

2 Use motion detection sensitivity and activity area

Reduce unnecessary notifications


Arlo camera with Arlo app

If you don’t want Arlo to access your phone’s location, there are other options to reduce the number of unwanted notifications. Activity zones allow you to only receive alerts when the camera detects motion in a specific area. However, this feature does require an Arlo Secure subscription or continuous power supply. The active area determines whether notifications are sent, but since the camera still looks for motion throughout the frame, frequent movement outside the active area will still cause the battery to drain faster.

To create an active area on a compatible camera:

  1. tap equipment.
  2. tap set up
  3. choose Activity area.

Another option is to adjust motion sensitivity in your device settings. This allows you to trigger notifications with large actions but ignore small actions.

3 Try Arlo Secure for people, animals, vehicles and package identification

Get smarter alerts

Arlo motion alerts


Arlo Secure subscription includes object recognition. The software can distinguish between people, animals and vehicles so you can determine if you want your dog’s movements to trigger an alarm. The camera can also detect packages and send notifications. Smart notifications also include settings for all other movements – you can turn them off to prevent things like swaying tree branches from triggering notifications.

Find Arlo’s smart notifications in the User (people icon) menu > location and plans.

4 Don’t forget smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Warn yourself of potential dangers

Arlo smoke alarm


Arlo’s smart notifications also listen for smoke detectors or CO2 alarms to alert you to potential dangers even when you’re not home. This feature requires a subscription.You can navigate to User menu (Character icon)> location and plans > Smart notifications.

5 Create custom schema

For different scenarios


Arlo camera with Arlo app

Arlo’s modes are designed to customize notifications for different scenarios. Arlo cameras have four built-in modes:

  • armed: The camera is triggered by motion (and, on some models, sound) and records video when motion is detected.
  • disarm: The camera will not look for sounds or motion. Video will not be recorded and notifications will not be sent.
  • schedule: Choose whether the camera is armed or disarmed by setting the schedule.
  • Geofencing: This option will automatically switch modes when your smartphone leaves or arrives home.

You can also create your own modes or edit existing modes by setting rules that dictate what the camera should do in that mode. For example, you can create a mode that records video but does not send notifications. Patterns and rules can be found in the Arlo app under the Routines tab.

6 Arrange your camera

When to turn on and off

Alopro 5_6

The Routines tab also has a scheduling feature that lets you turn on different modes at set times each day or week. Routines also allow you to automatically change camera settings, such as setting the camera to record for longer periods of time at night.


8 Smart home routines using Arlo motion sensors

Automatic trigger

How to connect arlo to Alexa-hillary-grigonis-pocket-lint-9955

Arlo Camera with Amazon Echo Show

Since Arlo cameras and doorbells are designed to detect motion, these devices can also be used to trigger smart home routines. Arlo works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Google Home, If This Then That, and Samsung SmartThings. Used with one of these systems, Arlo can be used to trigger routines. For example, when paired with Alexa, movements on the Arlo can trigger smart lights to turn on. See what devices are compatible with Arlo’s full list.

9 Using Arlo Night Vision

Some models even have color night vision

Arlo night vision device


Some Arlo cameras have built-in spotlights, which allow them to stream and record color night vision. In some cases, Arlo devices will enable black and white IR night mode by default. To change night mode:

  1. Click on the camera feed in the Arlo app.
  2. tap set up.
  3. choose Low light settings.

10 Activate alarm

The siren can also be activated


Arlo camera with Arlo app

In the Arlo app, the Emergency tab includes the option to swipe to sound an alert. Subscribers can also quickly call friends in the emergency option. Alarms can also be activated automatically using rules or routines, but use this with caution as any action will set off an alarm.

Using SmartHub or Base Station

Arlo smartphone or base station


Arlo offers SmartHub and base station accessory options sold separately. While these add to the cost of the security system, they allow you to store video locally instead of in the cloud, even if you don’t have an Arlo Secure subscription. These accessories can also increase the resolution of live streams and improve connectivity by using separate frequencies. Apple HomeKit compatibility also requires the use of an external hub.


Best smart security cameras: Top models from Ring, Arlo, and Nest

The best smart security cameras use 3D motion alerts, night vision, and even Alexa integration to monitor the interior and exterior of your home.


Q: Does Arlo charge a monthly fee?

No subscription is required to use Arlo cameras. However, the free plan is limited to live streaming, and Arlo no longer includes free cloud storage. With the free plan, you can’t save videos or access them for viewing unless you use local storage on SmartHub. The most useful tools require a subscription and include smart notifications.

Q: How much does an Arlo subscription cost?

Arlo has two different subscription plans: Arlo Secure and Arlo Safe.

Arlo Secure starts at $4.99 per month for a single camera and includes interactive notifications and up to 4K resolution. Secure Plus adds 24/7 emergency response for $17.99 per month, while Safe & Secure Pro includes 24/7 professional monitoring and Arlo Safe. Arlo Safe can be used outdoors with panic buttons, home location sharing, and car crash detection. Options range from $4.99 per month to $24.99 per month.

Q: Can Arlo cameras record without a subscription?

Newer Arlo camera models require a subscription to save video to the cloud. Without a subscription, the camera can only view live footage. However, if you purchase SmartHub, you can set up local storage so you can store recordings without a subscription.

Q: Will Arlo still work if Wi-Fi is disconnected?

On most models, Arlo’s cloud storage requires Wi-Fi to save videos. It’s still possible to save footage without Wi-Fi with local storage via SmartHub or on models that offer a microSD card slot or USB slot, but you won’t receive notifications if the SmartHub isn’t connected to Wi-Fi.

The Arlo Go is a security camera that connects to 4G LTE through phone providers like T-Mobile or Verizon. These cameras work without a Wi-Fi connection, such as if you want to equip your RV with security cameras.

Q: How can I extend Arlo battery life?

One of the biggest culprits of quick battery drain is excessive exercise. If the Arlo motion sensor continues to operate, the battery will drain quickly. Battery life can be improved by reducing motion detection sensitivity in the device settings in the default mode setting. Adjusting the viewing angle so that the camera doesn’t see constant sources of motion, such as trees swaying in the wind or traffic on the road, can also help.

Another way to extend battery life is to put your camera in standby mode when not needed. For example, you can turn off indoor cameras when you’re home by using geofencing, scheduling, or selecting a different mode through the Arlo app. Reducing video quality also helps save battery.

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