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Do You Need a SmartHub for Arlo? 6 Questions Answered

Do You Need A SmartHub For Arlo

Arlo security systems provide wireless cameras to secure your property.

Should they detect movement, they will send footage to your device using WiFi or your account’s cloud.

If you already have Arlo security cameras or plan on setting one up soon, you might be wondering if you also need an Arlo SmartHub?

You need a SmartHub for Arlo if you want 4k camera security for your property. The Arlo Ultra and Ultra 2 both require the SmartHub to work properly, where the Spotlight Cameras and Essential Video Doorbell do not. However, they will benefit from the SmartHub, should you choose to get one.

If you want to find out why you need a Smart Hub for your Arlo security cameras, keep reading! 

Why You Need an Arlo SmartHub

A 2011 Urban Institute study found that after Baltimore installed surveillance cameras in 2005, its crime rate fell 29.52% within 6 months. Further to that, a 2012 UNC-Charlotte research study found that most burglars avoid cameras and other surveillance equipment when targeting homes.

Camera security works, and Arlo’s security cameras are among the best. To get the best out of those cameras, your home or business security system needs the Arlo SmartHub. 

The SmartHub will better protect your footage through a more secure and private network. It can also improve the battery life of your cameras and can store footage within the unit itself, rather than relying on the cloud. 

However, you do not need the SmartHub for most of the Arlo devices to work. Many will work perfectly without. It is just an added piece of security for your home, should you choose to buy it. 

Which Arlo Cameras Need a SmartHub?

If you want 4K camera security, you need a SmartHub. The Arlo Ultra and Arlo Ultra 2, Arlo’s 4k cameras, both require a SmartHub to function. 

Arlo’s 2K cameras record in Full HD, 1920 x 1080 pixels. But their 4K cameras record at 3840 x 2160. 4K video contains 4 times as many pixels as 2k footage.

4K footage will better capture license plate numbers, T-shirt designs, tattoos, and other marks to help identify criminals. 

Arlo cameras activate when something trips their motion sensor. The Ultra 2 has 2 motion sensors, making it especially sensitive to movement in the dark. 

The Arlo Pro 3, a 2k camera, also requires a Smart Hub. While 2K is not as detailed as 4K, the picture is still comparable to a Full HD television. Either will provide excellent security for your home or business.

You can connect up to 5 cameras to a Smart Hub and use both 2k and 4k cameras in your Arlo home security system.

Which Arlo Cameras Do Not Require a Smart Hub?

Some Of Arlo's Cameras Don't Require A SmartHub

Some of Arlo’s cameras can connect directly to your wireless network and do not require a SmartHub. Those cameras include: 

But even these cameras can benefit from a SmartHub. Many Arlo users report that connecting to the SmartHub extends the camera range and lengthens battery life. 

Does the Arlo SmartHub Need Ethernet?

While the Base Station and SmartHub connect to the cameras through a wireless network, they must use Ethernet for internet connections. This requirement can be inconvenient if you use more than one SmartHub or Base Station in your home. 

Ethernet is not optional with your Arlo system. Your Arlo system uses the cloud to store camera footage and to push through essential firmware updates. 

But if your new SmartHub sits too far away from your main Internet router, there is still hope. You can use the Ethernet connection in your wi-fi extender. 

This Netgear EX3700 Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender has a gigabit Ethernet port to provide the fastest possible connection. As a bonus, Netgear, renowned for its network hardware, is also Arlo’s parent company. 

You might also want to check out: Arlo Does Not Recognize Device: 6 Causes + How To Fix It

Can the Arlo SmartHub Store Footage? 

Arlo’s Smart Plan stores your camera footage in the cloud. You can view that footage at any time on your phone, tablet, or desktop. Using your Arlo app, you can also get updated video and audio from your cameras in near-real-time. 

With an Arlo Smart subscription, your footage stays in the cloud for 30 days. You can download that footage through the app or on your phone, then zoom in for a closer look at pertinent details should the need arise.

A SmartHub can store up to 2 terabytes of footage locally on an attached hard drive. 30 seconds of 4k Arlo video takes up nearly 10 megabytes. A drive like this Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive will hold several months of 4K video and almost a year of 2K recordings.

Do I Need More Than 1 Arlo SmartHub?

You can connect up to 5 Arlo cameras to 1 SmartHub. If your home or business requires more cameras, you will need another SmartHub. 

Arlo’s Premier Smart Plan will allow you to connect a maximum of 10 2k cameras. The Elite Smart Plan allows up to 15 4K cameras. That should allow for plenty of coverage in most homes and businesses. 

Need more cameras? 

Arlo For Business offers plans for construction sites, houses of worship, warehouses, parking lots, and other locations that need watchful eyes in many places. With an Arlo for Business Enterprise Plan, you can install up to 40 Arlo cameras.

How To Customize Your Arlo SmartHub

Arlo cameras are triggered to start recording by motion, but you can also enable sound triggers. When the camera is activated, Arlo sends an email and alerts you on your phone via the Arlo app. 

Use Modes

You Can Customize Your Arlo Smarthub

In almost every case, you will want to record if somebody is creeping into your kitchen door at night, and you will need to be notified.

But you may not want a warning every time you make a meal. Using “modes,” you can set schedules for your cameras. 

For example, you might want to disarm the camera during the day when you may be in the kitchen, then arm it in the evening when you go to bed.

When armed, your camera will respond to motion or sound and begin recording. When disarmed, you can make your lunch in peace.

Another option would be to turn on a different mode for vacation than for when you leave the house for lunch. Arlo modes give you complete control over how your cameras respond to motion or sound.

Use Geofencing

Modes also allow you to use geofencing, which follows your phone’s GPS signal. Whenever your phone is more than a set distance from your location, your Arlo system switches modes.

So, if you forgot to set the alarm, it will turn on automatically once you leave the perimeter set on the account.

Using geofencing, you can arm your Arlo system when you leave your business. When you return the next day, your GPS signal will disarm it automatically. 

Learn more: Why is my Arlo positioning not working?

Create Camera Rules

You can edit modes and even create your own modes by creating rules that tell your cameras what to do while that mode is active.

Using that mode, you could create a cross-trigger where 1 activated camera causes other cameras on that SmartHub to begin recording.

When an intruder jumps the fence and walks into your backlot, the first camera that spots him triggers every other camera on the rear SmartHub.

And because your Arlo cameras contain sirens that can reach peaks of over 100 dB, you can welcome him with a loud greeting. 

Imagine his surprise! 

You won’t have to. You’ll see it on the footage. 

Why Should I Get an Arlo Smart Subscription? 

All these features come at a price. But an Arlo Smart Subscription includes many other features, including:

  • Person Detection: You don’t want those sirens blaring every time a coyote runs outside your fence. With Arlo’s Person Detection, you can avoid false alarms from cars, vehicles, or branches blowing in the breeze. 
  • Package Detection: Your delivery person left a valuable package outside your door. Arlo Smart Package Detection will send you a notification before he leaves your yard.
  • e911 Alerts: When you’re on vacation and get an Arlo alert from your home system, press the e911 button, and Arlo will route your call to your local emergency dispatchers.
  • Call a Friend: The “Call a Friend” button allows you to notify somebody on your contact list so they can take care of a situation while you are away.
  • Rich Notifications: Arlo’s alerts include a snapshot of the event which triggered the alarm. You can then get a live view from your cameras that will allow you to track the event. 

Final Thoughts

You need an Arlo SmartHub if you want to use higher-quality video. The 4k options require the SmartHub to work and offer far better quality images, which will help if you experience a break-in.

It’s also handy if you think you need to store the footage locally rather than in the cloud. 

However, the 2k cameras are still of excellent quality and will work without the need for the SmartHub. It will depend on your individual needs in the end.

Read next: Are Arlo Cameras Compatible With Xfinity Home? 3 Facts