Please note: I received the Arlo system for free as part of NETGEAR's Ambassador Program, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely honest and unbiased!
We live in a 1,000 square foot coop in Brooklyn, so you could argue that a baby monitor is pretty unnecessary because you will hear the baby pretty much from any room in the house! Indeed, we never got one for our first baby and though I was envious of my friends who could spy on their little ones through their video monitors, I never thought it worth the expense.
But now with a toddler and twins on the way, I'm starting to think differently. Wouldn't it be nice to roll over in bed and check the live stream video on your phone to confirm everything is good in the nursery? What about when you're stuck on the couch breastfeeding - you can monitor your toddler playing in the other room from your phone to make sure he's not getting into trouble! If you or your spouse work out of the house, you can check in while on the road or in the office. And let's not forget about sleep training, if that's something you choose to do, it's nice to be able to watch them to make sure they're safe without them seeing you!
Sure, you could get a traditional baby monitor that will allow you to hear and speak to your babies through the camera, but that device's purpose is pretty short lived. Which is why I was so intrigued by NETGEAR's new Arlo security camera system. It doesn't have all of the features of a camera designed for use solely as a baby monitor, but this system will take you past the baby days and can evolve into many different usages for your family over the years!
One of the best features is how quick and easy setup was. Literally, less than 10 minutes. You plug the base into the wall and your router, you put the batteries (included!) into the cameras and sync them with the base. You download the app on your phone, and BAM, you're off and running!! The cameras themselves are wireless, so you can sit them on a shelf (my choice) or install them (mounting screws and what not are included, and the cameras attach via magnets to the mount). They're really tiny with a modern look, so you don't really have to worry about hiding them.
So, installation was a breeze, however figuring out the app and monitoring the cameras has a bit more of a learning curve. There are various really cool options to choose from that allow you to take photos and videos (store on your phone or on the cloud), zoom in, pan (the website says this is an option but I haven't figured it out yet), allow push notifications to your phone when motion is detected (great for sleeping babies or monitoring your home when you're away). The cameras switch between color and night vision automatically, here are photos I took with the camera showing the two visions:
The app allows you to monitor all cameras at once, you can pause any/all or push play to see them in real time, and then click to make any individual camera full screen.
Here's a video I captured with one of the Arlo cameras. Unfortunately it lost a lot of quality between the transfer from my phone to YouTube, in actuality the image on my phone is crystal clear, and you can see how smooth it is!
Overall it's pretty user friendly and a great system, but there are a few things I find not perfect. They're not deal breakers in my opinion, but something to keep in mind before you buy:
You can buy the Arlo System in a package with 1, 2, 3, or 4 cameras, and you can buy add-on cameras as well. So, if you want to have every room in the house on video, it's definitely possible! They're even weather-proof, so you could install outside as well. The price is pretty comparable to other video baby monitors, which generally run around $150-200. On Amazon, you can find the Arlo 1-camera system for $190 and 2-cameras for $330.
What do you think? Would you try the Arlo as a home security camera or baby monitor? Do you have a baby monitor you love or hate? Share in the comments below!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)