Arlo Pro 2 Security System by NETGEAR -Review

Summary

The Arlo Pro 2 system is a very flexible WiFi HD security camera system. With it’s magnetic mounting system and rechargeable batteries it can be used almost anywhere. The system integrates with Amazon Alexa, Smart Things, Stringify and IFTTT to be an integral part of the Smart Home. Although the Arlo Pro 2 is not the cheapest security system on the market, I feel its high quality recording and advanced features make it well worth the cost.

 

The Arlo Pro 2 security system from NETGEAR is the latest high definition wireless camera system in the Arlo range. We reviewed the original Arlo in March 2015, it was a great system then and has had lots of upgrades and improvements since.

What’s in the Box

The Arlo Pro2 is available as a system with 2 Arlo Pro 2 cameras, a system with 4 Arlo Pro 2 cameras or as a single camera to add to an existing Arlo system. We tested the starter set with 2 cameras.

The system comes with 2 Arlo Pro 2 cameras, each with rechargeable batteries, a base hub, power supply for the base, 1 camera charger with charging cable, 2 magnetic mounts with hardware to attach to wall, ethernet cable and quick start guide.

 

Set Up

It is very quick and easy to set up the Arlo Pro 2 system:

  • Insert rechargeable battery in each camera (they come fully charged)
  • Connect Base station to WiFi router using included ethernet cable
  • Plug in base station power supply and switch on
  • Wait until lights on front turn green (about 2 minutes)
  • Download Arlo app
  • If you don’t already have an Arlo account you need to set one up from the Arlo App on your smartphone, if you do just add the base station and cameras to your account
  • Sync cameras with base station by pressing sync button on base station, bringing camera  within 1-3ft of base station, then pressing camera sync button
  • Place your cameras where you want them, and you are ready to go!

Mounting Cameras

Like the original Arlo cameras, the Arlo Pro 2 cameras can be mounted using magnetic ” ball and socket” type mounts or placed on a flat surface such as a shelf. Two magnetic mounts are included in the set, these can be attached to a wall using included screws. I love this mounting system as it is really easy to adjust the camera angle and literally takes seconds to take down a camera or move it to another mount. If you are concerned about your outdoor cameras being stolen there is also the option of a screw threaded mount which can be purchased from Amazon or Best Buy for $19.99.

Features

  • HD 1080dp video recording
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Wireless
  • Long Lasting Rechargeable batteries
  • Indoor/ outdoor use
  • IP-65 certified Weather resistant
  • 100 dB security siren built-in
  • Free cloud storage of 7 days of motion and sound activated recording
  • Live viewing
  • 2 way audio
  • Option to plug in to indoor outlet for extra features such as activity zones and 3 second look back
  • Automatic night vision mode
  • Can add more Arlo, Arlo Q, Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 cameras to system
  • Optional recording plans if want continual 24/7 recording
  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Stringify and IFTTT
  • Option to add local back up storage by connecting a USB to the base station.
  • Can schedule different sensing and recording modes

Picture Quality

Arlo Pro 2 cameras can record in 1080p HD so the image quality is very good. The cameras have a wide viewing angle – 130° and night vision is automatically triggered in low light conditions.  Within the Arlo app there are 3 options for video quality- best video, optimized or best battery life- so you can change the setting if battery lift is more important to you than the image quality. Day time images are recorded in color and night vision recording are black and white. When watching the camera feed live, or the video recording you can zoom in on an area to see it in more detail.

Recording Triggers

The default mode is that recording is triggered by motion or sound with cameras armed. You can add your own custom modes. you can switch modes manually using the app or set them up on a schedule so that they can automatically change between modes at your designated times, which can be different on different days of the week. There is also an option to using geofencing to automatically change modes based on whether or not you are home, but to use this you do need to have location services on continually on your phone, which can drain your phone battery more quickly.

Setting up Modes and Schedules for Arlo

I initially tried setting up modes via my laptop which I found a little confusing, luckily there is an active online NETGEAR Arlo Commmunity and a quick search there was able to answer my questions. I have found this community to be a great resource to answer any questions I have about set up and use of Arlo systems.

Ultimately I found it much simpler to set up modes and schedules via the Arlo mobile app. On the bottom of the screen is a “mode” button pressing it gives a list of all your current modes and the option to add new modes. When you add a new mode you can set it up to respond to motion, sound detection, or both, from one of your cameras. You then set the sensitivity and decide what to do – record on that camera, record on another camera or do nothing. You also choose to receive notifications via push notification, email alerts, both, or nothing. Once you’ve set up the rules for one camera you can add the rules for any other camera within the same mode.

Once you have set up modes to create a schedule:

  • Tap mode
  • Tap “schedule”
  • Tap the pencil icon to edit
  • Tap anywhere on a day and you are given an option to choose a time of day and a mode, you can also chose to have that schedule on just one day, every day or your choice of days

Your cameras will then switch between modes automatically based on your schedule. You can over ride this at any time by tapping “mode” and picking armed, disarmed or any of your custom modes.

Once i got over my initial confusion from trying to set it up on the laptop I found setting up modes and schedules via the Arlo app to be quick and easy.

In Use

The Arlo Pro 2 cameras are very easy to set up and you can start using them straight away without any customization. It does take a little longer to set up your custom recording modes but it is worth it so that you only record what you want to see, and avoid getting swamped with recording notifications.

The Arlo Pro 2 cameras can be used totally wire free, which means that you can put them in places where wired cameras could never be mounted without having to do extensive wiring or using extension cords. The weatherproofing is great too- living by the ocean I appreciate having an outdoor camera that can withstand the elements.

I love having the rechargeable batteries it is so much more economical and greener than using disposable batteries, especially if you are doing a lot of recording or forget to switch off recording when you are home! The “official” battery life is about 4-6 months, but this is based on only recording a short period each day. I tested it out by letting it record every time there was any motion near my front door, which with a family of 5 plus dog coming and going is a lot of recording! Even with this heavy recording schedule the battery has lasted over a month and still has approximately 50% battery life left.

If you have an indoor camera that is near an outlet, it is nice to also have the option to plug it in which and this lets you add activity zones to further customize your recording.

As well as the rechargeable batteries another new feature compared to the original Arlo is the addition of 2 way audio. This is really useful when using the Arlo Pro 2 to monitor a sleeping child. I have older children and like to use it to check my children are working on their homework and remind them to start if they are not!  The 2 -way audio is also useful to communicate with a caller at the front door, even when I’m not home. I think having the alarm is a great additional security feature if an intruder is ever spotted, and the high quality images are useful for identification in those circumstances too.

There are lots of optional extras accessories available for the Arlo Pro 2 system including: extra rechargeable batteries, a dual battery charging station, camera skins, and a solar charger.

Installing the batteries

Price and Availability

 Available from Amazon, Best Buy, Staples and Costco. RRP for starter set of base station and 2 cameras US$479.99

Overview

Arlo Pro 2 cameras can record in 1080p HD- giving high quality images, the cameras have a wide viewing angle – 130° and night vision is automatically triggered in low light conditions. They come with rechargeable batteries and can be used totally wire free or can be plugged in.  The Arlo magnetic mounting system makes installation very easy and moving cameras is a breeze. The Arlo Pro 2 cameras are rugged and designed to withstand the elements with an iP65 weather certification. They have 2-way audio, sound and motion detection.  A siren is built-in to the base station, and can be triggered remotely if you see any suspicious activity.

A rolling 7 days of motion and audio triggered recordings are stored for free on the Arlo server, paid plans are available if you want more storage. You can also store videos locally by attaching a USB to the base station. ARLO PRO 2 system has lots of optional accessories available including a solar charger, dual battery charger, security mounts, skins and extra rechargeable batteries.

The Arlo Pro 2 system is a very flexible, fully featured, high quality, HD wireless WiFi security camera system. With it’s magnetic mounting system and rechargeable batteries it can be used almost anywhere. The system integrates with Amazon Alexa, Smart Things, Stringify and IFTTT to be an integral part of the Smart Home. Although the Arlo Pro 2 is not the cheapest security system on the market, I feel its high quality recording and advanced features make it well worth the cost.

The Arlo Pro 2 is included in our 2017 Christmas Gift Guide 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

KIWI P1: World’s most compact laser distance meter – Review

 

The KIWI P1 laser distance meter is an accurate, easy to use laser management tool which means you can put down your tape measure and get to the fun part of designing your house!  Instead of a complicated laser distance meter with multiple buttons, this easy to use tool which fits in the palm of your hand is an all-in-one product designed to ensure that you can measure and get to the fun rather than having to try from a multitude of angles.  The KIWI P1 has one button which is controlled by a series of presses (long, short, double click or triple click).  It’s small — with and weighs in at 0.15 pounds (68g) and dimensions of 3.94 x 1.38 x 0.71 inches (100 x 38 x 18 mm).  To use the P1, turn it on and direct the laser onto to point whose distance you want to measure. You are instantly given the measurement in real-time using the integrated display.  Tap the power button again to pause the measurement and retain the number in the display while you write it down.

What we love…

easy to use measuring tool which is extremely accurate and fast!

What we’d love to see…

Ability to retain multiple numbers in the display

Summary

Remove this text and add your own here.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

I recently decided that I needed to get some bookshelves for our living space, because we love to read as do our kids.  I got out the traditional measuring tape and started measuring.  One of my biggest challenges with the traditional measuring tape is ensuring that it’s on target at the end while trying to hold the tape measure in place.  It’s always a two person process – which with kids can be frustrating since they almost always seem to want my attention the moment I decide to try and measure something.  After doing my measurements — calculating and writing everything down on a sticky pad I decided to repeat the process with the KIWI P1.  Using the measuring tape took about 10 minutes not including the calculation for the molding around my bathroom door.  When I tried the KIWI P1 I had my measurements in under two minutes.  I simply turned it on, clicked in the remote and within seconds had my answer.  I double checked it against the manual measurements that I had just done and they were spot on (in fact perhaps a bit more accurate since I wasn’t juggling both ends of the tape measure at the same time).  I used the KIWI P1 in a variety of spots to measure items like height of a wall, measuring a distance for a shelf as well as my bookcase.  We used it also recently to try to figure out how we can reconfigure a room while still fitting all of our furniture.

In terms of enhancements – I do wish it had a “memory” which allowed you to save more than one number so that I could give up my sticky pad or notes forever!

I loved how portable, easy to use KIWI P1 was and that I could grab it,  measure and go while knowing my measurements were accurate within millimeters.  This product is currently running a funding campaign on Indegogo which can be reached here.

Tech Specs

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

SnapPower Safe Light and USB Charger by SnapPower – Review

What we love…

super easy to install SnapPower Safe Light allows you to childproof and install night lights throughout your house.  Snap Power Charger is a perfect outlet replacement especially if you have a home office where you might need to charge your electronics without having them downstairs

What we’d love to see…

ability to use in a bathroom or kitchen using GFCI

Summary

Easy to install child proofing solution that has the benefit of pathway lighting and no covers to lose or cords to lose when charging your cell phone. I love how easy it is to access my outlets now and don’t worry my toddler will see me removing one of the plastic outlet covers and try to do so himself potentially resulting in a hazard.  Simple.  Easy.  A must have product in my home.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

 

SnapPower Safe Light by SnapPower is an easy to install wall replacement switch that not only childproofs but adds lights so you don’t need to take up one of the outlets with a nightlight.  As a mom of a toddler, I increasingly found myself telling my son “no” when it came to power outlets.  I remember childproofing with my first involved cumbersome outlet covers or the little white outlet covers you would remove just so you could vacuum and then stick back in.  I knew that there had to be a better solution.  At our house, in addition to needing to childproof, many of our outlets had nightlights plugged into at least one of the outlets.  We have some pretty dark corners, especially at the bottom of the stairs.  Other products in the lineup include switch plate covers for light switches
Installation was a snap – it took me more time to go downstairs and turn off the breaker than it did to install each of the three SnapPower Safe Lights.  You simply switch off the power, remove the outlet cover, and then insert the new outlet cover which has metal prongs on each side.  These prongs go inside the outlet and provide power for the LED guidelight at the bottom of the outlet.  Not only are they childproof, but you gain an outlet back and nighttime lighting.  Each outlet contains a sensor which turns the light on and off based on the light conditions or you can set it to high or low, and it costs mere pennies a day to use.  It’s so much brighter than the previous blue nightlights we were using, but not too bright if my older son gets up during the night to use the bathroom.

We also tested the Snap Power Charger, which allows you to convert your outlet to a USB charger, without losing the outlet.  We have a lot of tech in our house – and sometimes our home charging dock is full – or I might just want to plug in my iPhone if it’s running low on battery.  Installation for this was simple as well – the outlet screw provides the connection to power with the power prongs providing power and you simply snap on the cover.

For purposes of the review – I have used both the SnapPower SafeLight and Snap Power USB Charger for over a month – and I honestly love them.  I love that I don’t need to fiddle with plastic outlet covers if I need to do a quick vacuum of the playroom or worry about coming down the stairs in the dark.  When I use the SnapPower SafeLight I simply insert the plug of whatever item I want to use,slide the outlet covers over and am on my way.  When I am done, I unplug and don’t have to worry any longer about putting something else back into the outlet or fiddling with putting the cover back on.

The SnapPower Guidelight and SnapPower USB Charger work on standard outlets – they do not work with GFCI outlets due to the need for a reset button – so you can’t use them in the kitchen or bathrooms.  I would love to see this in the future although I am sure it will require a redesign of some sort.

Overall, this has been a fantastic solution for night time lighting, childproofing and charging for our family.  I love how easy it is to access my outlets now and don’t worry my toddler will see me removing one of the plastic outlet covers and try to do so himself potentially resulting in a hazard.  Simple.  Easy.  A must have product in my home. Items can be purchased directly from SnapPower or via Amazon.

RRP of SnapPower Safe Light is $17.00 USD for a single or 10 for $140 USD.

RRP of the SnapPower USB charger is $20 USD for a single or a three pack for $54 USD.

all>NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Mi|Home System by energenie – Review



Mi|Home System Diagram

What we love…

ability to turn on and off items with the tap of a remote or via my iPhone

What we’d love to see…

a one button touch for the remote versus on and off buttons on the current remote

Summary

Home automation is a trend of the future both for saving energy as well as convenience.  Using the Mi|Home System means you will never have to come home to a dark house, worry about the temperature of your Nest thermostat as well as have the ability to check on your home to ensure that it is safe if you are travelling or away.

The Mi|Home by ENERGENIE is a smart home system that integrates a hub known as the Mi|Home Gateway with a remote control, and radio controlled sockets that allow you to switch items on and off with the tap of a remote.  This means that if you arrive home later than planned, you can either use the remote to turn on lights at your home, or the included app to turn on lights with the tap of a button.  For purposes of this review, I tested a Mi|Home Gateway, three Mi|Home adapters which I plugged various items into as well as a Mi|Home remote control.   The system I tested is meant to be used in the UK, so I added adapters to use it in the United States.  The Mi|Home also includes a Multi-Plug which could be used for a television, cable box and entertainment system.  It can also be used to heating as well.  There is also a Mi|Home Light which can be used to control lights in your house.  You can also integrate Amazon Alexa with the Mi|Home to control your accessories.  It will also work with the Nest thermostat so you can turn up and down your thermostat if you arrive home later than normal or away on vacation and stay longer than planned.  The Mi|Home System also uses geofencing so you can set your devices to turn on when you get within a certain radius – for me I used a one mile radius so when my iPhone was in range items turned on.

Energenie Mi|Home Gateway

Setup was straightforward, I installed the Mi|Home app on my iPhone and then added each of the Mi|Home control adapters which I then tagged and plugged something into.  I used a lamp in my living room, a radio in my kitchen we listen to frequently, and the third was another lamp on the second floor of my home.  I paired the Mi|Home Gateway with my internet connection and internet booster as my home internet setup is upstairs and I didn’t find that it gave me enough coverage from my home router to work throughout the house — this is a common problem for me and is a problem at my home not with the device.  You can also pair devices to the hub via your computer or iPhone.  To pair, you simply tap “add a device” pick the photo of the device you are trying to add, for me I used the adapter plus and then plugged them in and followed directions to pair which involved waiting for a light to start flashing.  I then finally paired the remote.

Mi|Home Hand controllerUsing the included remote control I could turn on and off each of the sockets or I used my iPhone.  One my favorite features of it was that it did not require line of sight similar to your cable remote to turn on and off things.  You can also plug in appliances to the Mi|Home adapters that you want to be able to turn on and off like a toaster or perhaps a coffee maker.  I can see it being great during the holidays if you had a Christmas tree that you wanted to turn on and off using the timer function.  When using your iPhone or Android device you can access the Mi|Home System from the cloud.  I chose not to use the adapters to power my garage doors since they were turned on in proxy from my iPhone and I would not be able to tell if they were opened or closed using the included app — this is something I would love to do in the future as I always worry about my garage door when I leave in a hurry.

I loved that I no longer had to walk into a dark house if I got home later than planned or that I could easily turn on a light upstairs without having to climb the stairs or that my house would be lit up .  The range of the remote was good – I could stand in my garage and turn on things upstairs or bring the remote upstairs to turn off the last light before going to bed and not have to walk upstairs in the dark.   I also liked that I could add or change items on the fly – for example, I knew I was going to be home late so I quickly switched a socket to one near the top of my stairs for better security lighting upon my return home.  As I started using it more, I found that I was using my iPhone more than the included remote control – although admittedly it was night to have the remote if my phone died or was downstairs on the charger.

Overall, I loved the ease and convenience of the Mi|Home System and knowing I didn’t have to walk into a dark house — or that I could turn on the lights off or on remotely or via my iPhone with the geofencing.  Included in the package I tested were a central hub, remote control and 3 smart home adapters at an estimated RRV of £70.

Mi|Home

Mi|Home
Mi|Home
by Sandal PLC

Category: Utilities, Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 55.17 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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