Arlo or nest – which security camera brand is best?

With crime rates rising across the country, security cameras have become an essential product for consumers and businesses. But with all the options available which video surveillance equipment should you choose.

Arlo and Nest have emerged as 2 leaders in the security camera space so lets dig in to each of them to see which you should choose for your video monitoring needs.


Arlo Technologies is a home automation company that makes home surveillance equipment. Until February 2018, Arlo was a part of the Netgear company. However, the company decided to continue its business independently. The most popular products they produce are low-power security cameras. 

Arlo Camera
Arlo Camera


  • Video resolution up to 4K
  • Continuous recording
  • Wide fields of view
  • Cameras can work without Wi-Fi


  • Short warranty period
  • The activity zone feature isn’t free


In contrast to Arlo, Nest provides a vast range of products such as cameras, smart speakers, smart displays, smoke detectors, smart locks, and other equipment. At the end of 2012, the company was acquired by Google. Since then, the company has become a leader in the field of security cameras. 

Nest Camera
Nest Camera


  • Easy installation
  • Affordable subscription plans
  • Warranty coverage
  • Excellent features  


  • Subpar video resolution
  • Continuous recording

Nest and Arlo comparison

Price and Value

The tables below show that both brands have almost the same price points for their models. Therefore, we can compare two mid-range models to determine which brand offers the best value for money. So, let’s compare the Arlo Pro 4 and the Nest Cam Outdoor. 

ArloArlo Ultra 2Arlo Pro 4Arlo EssentialArlo Essential IndoorArlo Go 2
Current PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

The Arlo Pro 4 records 2K HDR videos. It has an integrated spotlight that can increase the video quality. This is a wireless camera with 6-month battery life. 

NestNest Cam IQ OutdoorNest Cam IQ IndoorNest Cam OutdoorNest Cam Indoor
Current PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

The Nest Cam Outdoor records in full HD resolution. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t contain a battery because it’s a wired cam. So, if you want to get rid of cables and get the best quality resolution, the Arlo Pro 4 could be an excellent solution for you. 

Winner: Arlo

Camera Equipment and Installation

In order to work properly, Arlo cameras need to have the Arlo hub within 140 feet. The hub keeps your video footage stored locally. Arlo wireless cameras come with a wall mount, rechargeable battery, magnetic charging cable, wall mount screw kit, and a guide. 

Arlo SmartHub
Arlo SmartHub

Whether you decide to buy a wired or wireless version of a Nest camera, you will get a power adapter, wall screws, wall anchors, magnetic mount, and instructions. 

Nest Camera Installation
Nest Camera Installation

However, if you are a fan of easy installation, then a Nest camera might be the best choice for you. The magnetic mount helps you attach the camera to the wall. Above all, you don’t need a hub to use the camera. 

Winner: Nest 


Monthly Cost

When choosing a subscription plan, maybe the most important factor is video resolution and video or event history. In other words, the more information you have, the better! This is exactly the advantage of the Arlo plans. 

The company provides information regarding video resolutions. As you can see in the table below, the Secure Plan allows video resolution up to 2K. On the other hand, the Secure Plan Plus allows 4K resolution. 

Arlo Subscription PlansSecure PlanSecure Plus Plan
Video ResolutionUp to 2KUp to 4K
Video History30 days30 days
Person DetectionYesYes
Custom Activity ZonesYesYes
Emergency ResponseNoYes
Monthly Fee$2.99 – single camera
$9.99 – unlimited cameras
$14.99 – unlimited cameras

In addition to video resolution, both plans have the video or event history feature, face detection, alerts, and custom activity zones. The only exception is the emergency response feature in Arlo’s Secure Plus Plan. But, that comes with a price of $14.99 per month. 

Speaking of prices, Nest subscription plans are very affordable if we consider what they offer. For $6 a month, you can get 30 days of event history and all standard features for both plans we mentioned above. Plus, the Nest Aware Plus allows 10 days of 24/7 video history each month

Nest Subscription PlansNest AwareNest Aware Plus
Video History30 days of event history60 days of event history + 10 days of 24/7 video history
AI Face RecognitionYesYes
AlertsYes Yes
Custom Activity ZonesYesYes
Monthly Fee (after free trial)$6 $12
Yearly Fee$60$120

If you don’t want to spend too much every month, Nest plans might be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want to have the 30-day video history feature, you will have to set aside more money each month.   

Winner: Nest

Storage Retention Time

Arlo offers 30 days of cloud storage if you purchase any of their subscription plans. On the other hand, Nest offers only three hours of free cloud storage space. In this case, Arlo is an absolute winner in this segment of our Arlo vs Nest comparison.   

Winner: Arlo  

Continuous Recording

With Arlo’s secure plans, you can have the continuous video recording feature for 14 days if you pay $9.99 a month. The other option is 30 days of video recording for $19.99 a month.

Nest provides 10 days of continuous recording 24/7. The Nest Aware Plus plan offers this, which costs $12 a month or $120 a year. With this in mind, Nest plans are more affordable and offer more value for the price.  

Winner: Nest 

Power and Battery Features

On average, an Arlo camera battery can last from four to six months, depending on usage. Of course, if you live in a high-traffic area, you will likely get less battery life. 

You can charge the Arlo camera battery with a handy magnetic charging cable. Also, there is an option to charge an Arlo Essential camera with a solar panel. Due to its wireless and solar options, Arlo dominates in this segment. 

Although the company offers wireless and wired models, Nest cameras usually need to be plugged into an outdoor outlet.   

Winner: Arlo

Subscriptions and Contracts

You don’t need to sign a contract or sign up for a subscription plan to use Arlo cameras. Instead, you can use them for free and enjoy 4K live video streaming, motion detection, and two-way audio.

Nest also doesn’t require subscriptions and contracts. Nest models also allow you to take advantage of two-way audio and motion alerts. But, live streaming is mostly in full HD resolution.

Winner: Arlo


All Arlo cameras come with a limited one-year hardware warranty. However, if you prefer longer warranty coverage, you should consider getting a Nest camera. Nest offers a two-year-long warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Winner: Nest   

Technology features

Control Remotely via App

The Arlo app is easy to use on Android devices and iPhones. The app allows you to see the live stream, use the two-way audio feature, watch the footage, control the settings, and receive notifications. 

The Arlo App
The Arlo App

Nest cameras work with the Google Home App. Thanks to this app, all members of your family can view the camera live stream. If there is any video event, it will appear in their app. So, whether they use a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop, they can see and download video clips. 

The Google Home App
The Google Home App

Winner: Draw

Image/Streaming Quality

If you want decent picture quality on your security camera, you shouldn’t go below full HD resolution. Many Nest models support full HD resolution

However, if you are a fan of higher resolutions such as 2K or 4K, an Arlo camera might be the perfect choice for you. Arlo models generally range from 1080p (Essential and Essential Indoor), through 2K (Pro 4 and Pro 3), up to 4K resolution on Arlo Ultra 2 camera. 

Winner: Arlo

Night Vision

Both brands have cameras with infrared and color night vision features. Therefore, whichever model you choose, you can expect a good and clear image at night.  

Nest Camera Night Vision
Nest Camera Night Vision

Winner: Draw

Video Display – Fields of View 

The Arlo Essential and Essential Indoor cameras have a slightly narrower field of 130 degrees. The Arlo Pro 3 and Pro 4 have a slightly wider field of view of 160 degrees. However, the widest field of view of 180 degrees has the Arlo Ultra 2. On the other hand, Nest cameras usually have 130-degree fields of view.  

Winner: Arlo 

Two-way Audio

Two-way audio is a handy feature on home security cameras. It allows you to speak to a person standing in front of the camera, whether it’s a stranger, delivery guy, or your family member. Both brands produce cameras with this feature. 

Winner: Draw 

Person Detection

If you buy an Arlo camera without a subscription, you won’t get the person detection feature. However, by purchasing any Arlo subscription plans, you get a person, package, vehicle, and animal detection. 

Nest Camera with Nest Aware Feature
Nest Camera with Nest Aware Feature allows recognition of familiar faces

The same goes for Nest cameras. You need to have at least the Nest Aware subscription to turn on the person detection feature. Since Arlo cameras can recognize animals, packages, and vehicles, their models dominate in this category.

Winner: Arlo 

Activity Zones

With the activity zones feature, you can customize an area field of view to focus on. That way, you can get notifications about motions in specific areas of your home. Unfortunately, you can only use this feature on Arlo cameras if you subscribe to one of their plans. However, the activity zone feature is free on Nest Cam (battery or wired) and Nest Doorbell (battery). 

Winner: Nest  

Product offering


The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight wire-free camera brings extra security to your home. The Arlo floodlight camera supports 2K resolution and powerful LED floodlight and has color night vision. With these features, you can clearly see everything that is going on. 

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight

On the other hand, the maximum resolution you can achieve with the Nest Cam with floodlight is 1080p. Except for this difference in resolution, both cameras offer the same benefits, such as Bright LED floodlight and motion detection. 

Winner: Arlo

Doorbell Camera

Arlo offers two types of doorbells – the Wired Video Doorbell and the Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free. You can adjust the wired version to up to 16.4 ft, while the motion range detection of the wire-free doorbell is up to 9.8 ft. 

Google Nest Doorbell Battery
Nest Doorbell Battery

Nest also offers wired and battery-powered doorbells. The Nest Doorbell Battery works on batteries, but it has an option of being wired. The Nest Doorbell Wired works with the wire only. 

If you subscribe to Nest plans, you can get up to 60 days of history or even 24/7 video history for the wired version. Both doorbells have HD video quality, night vision, and two-way audio. 

Winner: Nest

Security Camera

If you are wondering whether wireless cameras can work without the internet, the answer is yes! The Arlo Go 2 security camera works without Wi-Fi. So, you can keep your house secure even when Wi-Fi isn’t working. It has 1080p resolution, 130 degrees field of view, color night vision, and a microSD card slot so you can store the footage. 

Nest cameras can’t work without a Wi-Fi connection. Keep this in mind when choosing which camera brand is better, Arlo vs Nest. 

Winner: Arlo 

Alarm System

Arlo cameras come with built-in sirens that can be triggered automatically or manually via the Arlo App. However, the alarm system is not a part of Nest cameras. You need to invest in the Nest Secure Alarm System to use this feature. The installation of this system can be complicated, which might be a reason to consider simpler Arlo solutions in this segment of our Arlo vs Nest face-off.

Winner: Arlo   

Solar Panels

Arlo has a lot of accessories in their shop, from charging stations and rechargeable batteries to charging cables. But, their offering includes an exciting product, a solar panel charger. So you can charge your camera or floodlight with the use of sunlight.

Arlo Solar Panel Charger
Arlo Solar Panel Charger

However, if you prefer Nest cameras, you can get the Nest Cam solar panel made of premium US-engineered solar cells. 

Winner: Draw


To conclude this Arlo vs Nest comparison, we will point out all important information related to each brand. 

Choose Arlo brand if you:

  • Want the best value for money
  • Like high video resolutions such as 2K or 4K
  • Want a continuous recording feature
  • Want to use just a camera without subscription plans and Wi-Fi
  • Prefer wireless solutions with strong batteries 

Choose Nest brand if you:

  • Don’t want to spend a lot of money on subscriptions plans
  • Want easy installation and simple devices
  • Want a two-year-long warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Want powerful features besides a camera
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About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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