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Blink vs Arlo: which home security system is best for you?

Blinking or Arlo? That is a question many will ask, especially when Amazon Prime Day is approaching, so we have created this guide to help you decide what is right for you.

Blink – a home security brand owned by Amazon – offers affordable, easy-to-adjust indoor & outdoor surveillance cameras. For a relatively small edition, you can cover your house with motion-sensitive cameras and access the footage or a live feed via an app on your smartphone. There is no monthly fee and the cameras are powered by regular batteries.

Arlo is a direct competitor of Blink with a very similar motion-detecting camera system that also offers easy-to-install, battery-operated cameras for inside and outside the home.

Arlo also offers basic functionality without a monthly fee, which allows you to control the cameras remotely on your smartphone. Arlo – owned by Netgear – is priced slightly more expensive than Blink, but offers a wider range of devices and a range of functions.

Both systems are aimed at a wide audience looking for entry protection for the home. Let's take a closer look at what sets them apart.

Blink vs Arlo: price

A single indoor camera system from Blink costs £ 79.99 / $ 79.99 (around AU $ 145) and you can add additional cameras for £ 69.99 / $ 69.99 (around AU $ 125), although you also have the option to purchase a five camera system for £ 289.99 / $ 279.99 (about AU $ 525).

The Blink XT (or Blink XT2 if you're in the US), is the weatherproof camera of the brand and will cost you £ 99.99 / $ 99.99 (about AU $ 180) for a single camera system, with extra camera & # 39 ; s for £ 89.99 /$89.99 (approximately AU $ 165) each, with a five-camera system for £ 399.99 / $ 379.99 (approximately AU $ 725).

Note the Blink XT2 has replaced the standard XT in the US and is set to do the same in the UK later in 2019. The two are similar, but the XT2 offers some improvements such as two-way audio and a better battery life.

The Blink XT. Credit image: Blink / Amazon

Blink systems come with a wireless hub, a so-called Blink Sync module, and you can add up to ten cameras to each module. There are no monthly costs.

A single Arlo camera system costs £ 129 / $ 124 / AU $ 287 for the cheapest entry-level camera that can be used both indoors and outdoors, and you can add additional cameras for $ 74 / £ 80 (Australian availability seems limited).

A kit with three cameras ' s from the standard entry level camera costs you £ 278.99 / $ 199 (about AU $ 500).

Arlo offers a much wider range of different cameras, including higher-quality pro versions, which are much more expensive and offer additional functions. Arlo also offers security lamps, doorbells and even a special baby security camera that can be added to the security mix.

Blinking against Arlo

The Netgear Arlo. Credit: Netgear

Arlo systems come with a wireless base station that connects your cameras and a basic plan is free, but only covers a maximum of 5 cameras.

The base station can handle a maximum of 15 cameras, but that requires a Premier subscription of £ 6.49 / $ 9.99 / AU $ 12.99 per month for up to ten cameras, or an Elite subscription of £ 9.99 / $ 14.99 / AU $ 18.99 per month for up to 20 cameras.

These subscriptions also unlock additional features, detailed below, but if you only have one camera and want the extra ' s, you can get a simple basic plan for £ 1.99 / $ 2.99 / AU $ 3.99 per month .

Blink vs Arlo: types of cameras & equipment

While Blink keeps things relatively simple with indoor and outdoor cameras & a number of optional accessories, including mounts, Arlo offers a wide range of different cameras & other products.

Blinking against Arlo

The Blink. Credit image: Blink / Amazon

The indoor camera from Blink has motion and temperature sensors, a built-in microphone and records HD video at 720p. The outdoor, XT camera adds infrared night vision, is weatherproof (IP65) and can record HD video with up to 1080p, although it will record 720p by default.

The Blink XT2 (currently only available in the US and Canada) adds two-way audio to the mix for chatting with people who deliver things to you, or bark like a dog at intruders.

The models come with two AA lithium batteries that offer an estimated battery life of two years – although the more advanced Blink XT2 is likely to be more hungry in the juice.

The basic Netgear Arlo entry level has motion sensors, is described as & apos; weatherproof & apos;, has infrared night vision and records HD video at 720p. Each camera carries four Lithium CR123 batteries that are supplied.

The Arlo Pro adds two-way audio and a 100-decibel siren, along with a wider viewing angle, support for USB drives for local backups and a rechargeable battery, but there is also the option to connect these.

However, the Arlo Pro is much more expensive at £ 239.99 / $ 249.99 / AU439 for a single camera system. The latest, Arlo Ultra, allows 4K recording, improved night vision, zooming and tracking, and more, but starts at £ 449.99 / $ 399.99 / AU $ 449 for a single camera option.

Blink vs Arlo: smart features for the home

As you would expect for an Amazon company, the Blink cameras work with Alexa. This means that you have the ability to create rules to connect your smart devices to each other at home, which means you can enable motion detection in the cameras to turn on lights in your home.

Blinking against Arlo

The Netgear Arlo. Credit: Netgear

Arlo is compatible with Alexa, but also with Google Home and Samsung SmartThings. This gives you more versatility and choice when integrating your security camera system. For example, you can ask the Google Assistant to show a live feed from your camera on your Smart TV.

Arlo also offers its own Arlo Security Light and call for use within your security network.

Blink vs Arlo: app functions

With Blink cameras ' s you need the Blink Home Monitor app for Android or iOS. The app allows you to adjust your camera settings so that you can determine the sensitivity of the motion sensor, choose the length of the clips that it should record (these are five seconds by default) and set a schedule.

The app alerts you when motion is detected and you can view the recorded clip on your phone. You can also choose to tune into the live feed, but you cannot record when you watch live and give a prompt every 60 seconds to ask if you are still watching.

The maximum length of a clip that you can record is 60 seconds and you have a total of 7,200 seconds of video storage space. When that limit is reached, the new images overwrite the old ones.

With Arlo cameras ' s you need the Arlo app for Android or iOS. With this you can first of all check the battery level, change video settings and set notifications. You can also view all recorded clips. The free basic plan gives you 7 days of cloud recording, but only 1 GB of storage space.

If you choose one of the subscription plans, you get the smart features of the Arlo, such as more advanced notifications, detection of people, packages, vehicles or animals, and the ability to set up zones where your camera should ignore motion to reduce false positives .

The Premier plan also extends cloud recording to 30 days, while the Elite plan overloads it to the last 60 days.

Blink vs Arlo: what is suitable for you?

Blink is a simple, affordable camera system that does not entail any running costs that go beyond the batteries, making it an attractive option for anyone who wants to have a toe dive into the home camera ' s.

Both systems are very easy for the average homeowner to install and use, but Arlo is potentially much more sophisticated with a range of different devices, smarter software and better home integration.

To get the most out of Arlo, however, you need to take out a monthly subscription on top of the already higher initial investment for the hardware, so would be suitable for someone looking for a wider range of controls, as well as a varying degree of needs around the house when it comes to automation and monitoring.

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