Wireless may be easy, but wired is way more reliable.
Jeffrey Clos is a participant in the Amazon Associates LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. There are some links within this article to the described product.
I wrote about bringing an intelligent doorbell to my home.
Since writing that article about the Arlo Essential Wired offering, I have installed no less than three of these in three different houses (Other family members). The experience was pretty easy in all cases, provided we had the proper voltage transformer described in my earlier article. The Arlo application has plenty of instructions and videos to help you out in various situations. One other item of note: When connecting to your WIFI network, you must link to the 2.4ghz spectrum. It will not connect using the 5ghz band.
In my opinion, wired is the only way to go with the doorbell, even though there is a wireless option available. The wireless option states a battery time of 6 months, but in my experience, this is not real-world testing. We live in an e-commerce world and may deliver several packages daily. Couple this with a cold climate, and you have a situation where the battery will have to be replaced or charged continually.
Arlo Placement (Media by JC)
I have a battery problem with our door locks. The door locks we use the most require the most battery changes. I have several rechargeable batteries ready when the low battery alert hits my phone. I had the same issue with our wireless cameras until I invested in the solar panels. Now I have fully topped off batteries at all times. (Solar is not currently an option for the door locks)
The wired doorbell option makes sense, given most people’s houses are already wired for a doorbell. Now you don’t have to find a way to hide the wire leads as they can be used to power the Arlo option. The size of the Arlo makes it inconspicuous. (The smaller device to the right of the Arlo is our keypad for our August door lock)
Typical delivery Arlo Smart (media by JC)
We have a side-facing doorbell set-up, so I used the angled wall bracket. We get a full view of our porch and walkway with this location. The field of view is pretty great at 180 degrees. The camera records in High Dynamic Range (HDR), so the video is very detailed. It is also equipped with night vision which ensures it captures any happenings in the middle of the night.
Squirrel (Media by JC)
To enhance the doorbell experience, I subscribe to Arlo’s Smart program ($2.99/mo), and it will store up to a month of recordings in the cloud. In addition, it will automatically detect whether the doorbell sees a person, package, or animal. Please note the animal it alerted me was on our porch. In this case, it was a black squirrel (It recorded a 13-second video of its hijinks. You can zoom up to 13x digitally as I have done here.
Without the Arlo Smart program, you will have all the essential functions but just a few days of recordings up in the cloud. This will be more than sufficient for most people. Unfortunately, I am not most people.
Arlo Activity Zones (media by JC)
Also, very important to note you will want to set up the activity zones. You will notice the boxes are strategically placed to exclude the street. I prefer not to have continuous alerts of my neighbors driving to and from their homes.
Conclusion: I love the wired Arlo doorbell so much so that I have installed it in my father’s home. (Whether he likes it or not, he is in it for the long haul. It served me well in our old house, and it continues to do so in our new home. Let’s see where technology will take us in the next five years.