Netgear spinoff Arlo on Monday (July 23) unveiled its all-new connected home security device, the Arlo Audio Doorbell.
The beauty of this new addition to the company’s fast-expanding range of connected devices lies in its versatility – the flexibility it brings to the home security table.
The Arlo Audio Doorbell can be used as a standalone device; it can also be used along with one or more Arlo Smart Chime speakers; plus, you have the freedom of expanding it into a video setup, as well, by using it in unison with a wire-free Arlo Camera, all in simple DIY steps.
Not only that, you can even add the company’s 100% wire-free, weather-resistant smart LED – the Arlo Security Light – to the entire setup to beef up your home security even more.
The security light works in tandem with the doorbell, camera, and app to turn on when motion is detected, giving you a clear view of who’s at your door even at nighttimes.
Regardless of how you want to use your new doorbell, the free Arlo app plays an integral part in the San Jose-based company’s scheme of home security things, allowing you to interact with visitors using your smartphone.
Setting up this Arlo device as a standalone audio doorbell is as simple as buying it, unboxing it, inserting the two included AA batteries into their respective slots and fixing it on the mount (also bundled in the box) outside your front door.
Next, you need to download and install the iOS or Android version of the Arlo app, depending on your device, and you’re good to go.
So, the next time when a visitor presses your Arlo Doorbell button, it will immediately notify you on your handset through a call that you can either choose to answer or, alternatively, send a pre-recorded message as a quick response – thanks to the Arlo app.
“With the introduction of the Arlo Doorbell, we took the already common use case of front door monitoring and paired it with the convenience of remote, two-way communication,” Arlo products’ senior vice president Pat Collins said in a Netgear press release.
“When a guest rings the Arlo Audio Doorbell, users immediately receive a phone call on their smartphone via the Arlo app, prompting them to either answer the call or send a prerecorded message for a quick reply,” he said.
“Couple this standout feature with the simple, wire-free setup and users have a seamless way to modernize the traditional doorstep greeting,” Collins added.
What Arlo has done differently, compared to most of its competition, is that it has not integrated a camera into the device, thereby giving you the flexibility of pairing it with an external Arlo camera, should you require video capability, too.
That’s a masterstroke from Arlo, one has to admit because it’s not forcing you into paying for a default camera when you don’t really need one or, perhaps, not willing to incur the additional expense.
Now, that’s the kind of flexibility that appeals to most consumers and, of course, you always have the option of including an Arlo camera in the future, when you feel the need to video stream the people who approach your door.
The other advantage of having a camera as a separate option, detached from the doorbell unit, is that it allows you to place it anywhere around your porch for an enhanced field of view.
Integrated cameras restrict you from viewing your front door area from the doorbell’s perspective, which has to be set at a height that can be easily reached by a visitor.
Once you’ve decided to pair your Arlo doorbell with one of the company’s numerous weather-resistant cameras, you can subscribe for the Arlo Smart service, which the company claims is “extra intelligence for your Arlo cameras to give you a more personal and purposeful home security experience.”
Arlo Smart “utilizes intelligent algorithms and advanced analytics to deliver more personalized, meaningful notifications and added peace of mind,” said the Netgear press release.
“Arlo Smart delivers customized alerts and an e911 Emergency Call Service, which allows users to contact emergency first responders local to the camera, not where the user is at the moment, with a simple tap on their mobile device,” Netgear said.
“Arlo Smart service plans also extend the availability of cloud recordings up to 60 days and start at just $2.99 per camera per month, or $9.99 per month for up to 10 cameras. For a limited time only, Arlo is offering a one-month free trial of the Arlo Smart Premier plan to new subscribers,” said the press release.
Talking about flexibility, the Arlo doorbell also gives you the option of using your existing digital or mechanical door chime, “without needing to install any additional hardware or wiring,” said the Monday press release.
Or, you can add a wireless Arlo Smart Chime speaker to any wall outlet; you can even have multiple chimes, one for each room in the house or wherever you want them.
The Arlo Chime works in unison with the Audio Doorbell, as well as the Arlo camera and security lights, if you have included them, to relay alerts to wherever one is plugged in, even if you’re handset is not near you.
Using the Arlo app you can program your chime to play different melodies, you can set it up to function as an 80-decibel siren, or you can use the Silent Mode to mute the alerts if you’re looking for some peace and quiet at home.