Ring vs. Arlo: A Complete Home Security System Comparison
Searching for security? Learn which home security system is the best for you.
If you’ve recently moved into a new home or apartment, chances are you’ve browsed online for a home security system. If you’re overwhelmed by the options out there, you’re definitely not alone. Both Arlo and Ring offer comprehensive ecosystems with sensors, video doorbells, accessories, security cameras, and optional subscription plans.
With so many product options from both companies, choosing the best one for your needs can be challenging. What is the difference between Arlo vs. Ring, and how do you know which cameras are right for you? Let’s compare these two industry leaders, and help you build the best home security system for you.
Arlo vs. Ring: What’s the difference?
Arlo and Ring are both popular brands in the home security space, known for their DIY home security systems. Founded in 2014, Arlo focused primarily on wireless home security cameras, but has since expanded to offer a comprehensive range of security devices, like floodlights, indoor cameras with a privacy shield, video doorbells, and a home security system. Ring has provided a complete security ecosystem from when it was founded in 2013.
1. Do Arlo and Ring security systems need a hub?
You don’t need a hub to use most Arlo or Ring security devices. Hubs are only needed for Ring’s alarm systems (which are included in their offered bundles) and some specific cameras.
2. Which companies own Arlo and Ring?
Both are American companies. Arlo was previously a brand by Netgear, but now is an independent public company. Ring is owned by Amazon.
3. Do Arlo and Ring security systems offer Smart Home integration?
Most Ring devices can be connected to and controlled from Alexa-enabled devices, like an Amazon Echo Show. Keep in mind that this feature requires a subscription fee. Most Arlo devices are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, If This Then That (IFTTT), and Samsung SmartThings—without a subscription. You can easily add Arlo to Apple Home and use Arlo products with the SmartThings app.
4. Do Arlo and Ring offer subscription plans?
Both companies offer optional subscription plans designed to expand the functionality of their security devices. While you get live feed with every Arlo and Ring camera, a subscription with a storage plan is necessary for accessing cloud video history. Both the Arlo Secure Plan and the Ring Protect Plan offer additional features like smart notifications and AI object detection. Ring cameras offer free customization of motion-detection zones, while Arlo Activity Zones are exclusively included in their subscription.
So, how did we evaluate each product?
As leaders in the industry, we are always browsing the latest and greatest products on the market. All comparisons here were made based on the available information on both companies’ websites, and we are sticking to equivalent products in the same price range from each main product category. This translates to a more fair apples-to-apples comparison.
After all, product lineups can get tricky given the sheer volume of available products. For instance, consider outdoor security cameras. We evaluated wired cameras, wireless cameras, LTE enabled cameras, 4K cameras, HD cameras, and so much more spanning product generations.
2nd Generation Arlo Essential Wireless Security Camera vs. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery.
When looking for a budget security camera, you want bang for your buck. Key features include higher resolution video quality, good battery life, Wi-Fi network compatibility, and a reliable app for live view monitoring. Under $100, the more additional features you can get, the better. In the Arlo vs. Ring outdoor cameras comparison, there are two budget options to choose from.
The Arlo 2nd Generation Essential Wireless Security Camera and the Ring Stick Up Camera are top choices for budget security cameras. However, the Arlo Essential comes with an Integrated Spotlight at half the listed price. For a Ring camera with a built-in spotlight, you’ll have to consider the pricier $120 Ring Spotlight Cam Plus. This only highlights the fact that Arlo offers a competitively priced option with substantial value. On the other hand, Ring offers some free smart features that are subscription-based in Arlo’s ecosystem. Keep in mind that every battery powered camera from Arlo and Ring can be connected to a solar panel charger.
|Arlo 2nd Generation Essential Wireless Security Camera||Ring Stick Up Cam Battery|
High-end cameras come with premium, advanced features. This is the best Arlo and Ring cameras can offer.
In the high-end camera category, the Arlo Ultra 2 and the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro are closely matched. Both offer premium build quality, excellent video, and clear 2-Way Audio. However, they have very different unique selling points.
The Arlo Ultra 2 simply excels at video recording. It offers 4K video with HDR, meaning four times the resolution of the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro. This results in clearer and more detailed footage. While the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro also features HDR, it’s at a lower resolution of 1080p. (For better understanding camera resolution, we break down security camera resolution here.)
Additionally, the Arlo Ultra 2 boasts an ultra-wide 180° Field of View, giving it a broad perspective of its surroundings. The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro has a much narrower 140° Field of View, comparable to lower-end cameras.
On the other hand, the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro introduces a unique feature. With radar-powered motion sensors, you can track movements on a bird’s eye view of your property, pinpointing where people have been. The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro also has two spotlights, while the Arlo Ultra 2 comes with one.
Unlike the Arlo Ultra 2, the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro doesn’t require a smart hub.
|Arlo Ultra 2 Wireless Security Camera||Ring Spotlight Cam Pro|
Smart doorbells have become an essential component of home security. When shopping for one, look for great video quality, a wide viewing angle, and clear 2-Way Audio for speaking with visitors. Both the Arlo 2nd Generation Essential Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell are great choices with similar features. However, they differ in video quality and aspect ratio.
At $79.99, the 2nd Generation Essential Video Doorbell delivers 1080p Video Resolution in a 1:1 or square aspect ratio. The more expensive $99.99 Ring Video Doorbell falls short at 1080p and comes with a 19:6 aspect ratio.
For a more direct Ring equivalent, you should aim for the $129.99 Ring Video Doorbell Pro. But at this price point, you might instead consider the Arlo 2K Video Doorbell, which records video at an impressive 2K resolution. The 2nd Generation Essential Video Doorbell also has an Integrated Siren, making it an overall better choice for loud & clear alerts for your front door.
Both can be used wired or wirelessly, as they are equipped with rechargeable batteries and offer optional hardwire mounting.
|Arlo 2nd Generation Essential Video Doorbell||Ring Video Doorbell|
Home security systems, or alarm systems, are all about monitoring potential threats. The key question to ask is how many different threats you want to protect against. For this comparison, we have the 7-Piece Arlo Home Security System against the 8-Piece Ring Alarm Security Kit.
Both bundles come with a keypad for arming and disarming your security system. They are wireless and easy to install. They also feature a backup battery and optional cellular connection to ensure operation even during power or Wi-Fi outages. With their subscription plans, both offer One Tap Emergency Response and 24/7 Professional Monitoring.
However, they come with significantly different sensors. The Arlo Home Security System includes 5 All-in-One Sensors, each offering 8 detection functions. This covers open/closed doors or windows, motion, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detection, water leaks, tilt, temperature, and light. In comparison, the Ring Security Kit has more limited sensors: 4 contact sensors and 1 motion detection sensor.
The Ring Security Kit also relies on an Alarm Base Station, which acts as a hub. With the Arlo Home Security System, the keypad doubles as the hub. Additionally, the Arlo system includes a yard security sign, proven to be effective for deterring potential intruders.
While Arlo’s comes with a higher price tag, it offers a more versatile, customizable, and comprehensive home security solution compared to the Ring Security Kit.
|Arlo Home Security System (7-Piece)||Ring Alarm Security Kit (8-Piece)|
Choose the system that gives you peace of mind.
Both Arlo and Ring offer a range of home security solutions. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and security needs. To make the right decision, take a good look at the features, pricing, and what each system brings to the table. Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong by prioritizing your home’s security—and your personal peace of mind.