Arlo Essential Indoor Camera vs Ring Indoor Cam: Pick the right home security camera for you

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
(Image credit: Arlo)

Good at offering peace of mind when you’re not at home, home security cameras let you view a live feed from the camera at any time from your smartphone. You can even converse through them with anyone in your home – for example, your children or pets. But some of the best home security cameras on the market are also some of the most expensive, which can put them out of reach. However, there are some brands that are hoping to make them available to a wider audience by launching more affordable options.

The latest brand to do this is Arlo, with its Essential Indoor Camera, which has been made available to pre-order in the US and the UK, priced at $99 / £119.99. Going on sale at the start of April, the unit features a privacy shutter that can stop the camera and built-in microphone from recording via one tap in the app.  

If you’re considering investing in an affordable home security camera, but are wondering which one will suit you best, then read on as we compare the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera and the Ring Indoor Cam – a similarly priced rival – to help you decide which model is right for you. 

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Read on to discover how these two indoor home security cameras compare – or, if you’ve already decided which of the two you wish to buy, check out the best prices right now for both products below:  


What is an indoor security camera?

An indoor security camera is a mains-powered unit that can be placed inside your home to let you see and speak to anyone in your property via an app on your smartphone or tablet. 

How do you use an indoor security camera?

You can view the camera’s live feed in real-time through your smartphone or tablet. The built-in speaker and microphone also enable you to hear and speak to people and pets in your home. As well as providing the ability to view a live feed whenever you like, a home security camera will also send an alert if it detects motion in your home, so you can respond as soon as you see it. 

Do I need a subscription?

You can use both the Arlo and Ring indoor cameras without a subscription, but you won’t be able to go back at a later date and view footage recorded by the camera. The subscription service provides access to a secure area online where this video is stored. As such, in order to get the most out of the home security camera, it’s worth paying for the subscription.

Ring Indoor Cam

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The products


Both the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera and the Ring Indoor Cam are capable of recording motion in Full HD color video. The Arlo camera has a 130-degree field of view while Ring’s rival unit offers a slightly bigger 140-degree field of view. Both cameras come with night vision, which means footage recorded in the dark will appear more detailed – although this footage will be black and white rather than color. The cameras also feature built-in speakers and microphones, enabling you to converse with people and pets in your home via the app.  


The Ring Indoor Cam is slightly more compact, measuring 1.81 x 1.81 x 2.95 inches ( 4.58 x 4.58 x 7.5cm) compared to the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera at 2.3 x 2.3 x 4.45 inches (5.9 x 5.9 x 11.32cm). Both units are available in black or white, and can be used freestanding or wall-mounted, with the relevant accessories for the latter included in the box.   

Arlo Essential Indoor camera

(Image credit: Arlo)

Subscription service

You’ll need to subscribe to get the most out of both cameras. For example, without the subscription service there’s no way to go back and review video recorded by the camera at a later date. Signing up to Arlo Smart costs $2.99 / £2.49 per month, with the service storing video for up to 30 days. A three-month free trial is included with the camera. Ring Protect is similarly priced at $3 / £2.50 per month and offers 30 days of video storage. The Ring Indoor Cam comes with a 30-day free trial of Ring Protect.  


 Privacy is a big concern for many when it comes to indoor security cameras, since you don’t want the camera recording your every move. This is where the Arlo Essential Indoor camera excels: it has a privacy shutter that can be automated via one tap in the app. This shutter will cover the camera’s lens and cut the power to the camera and microphone. There’s a geofence option that, once activated, will see the privacy shutter automatically raise, and the camera begins recording, once you leave your property. Similarly, when you return home, the privacy shutter will be lowered and recording stopped. If that’s not enough, there’s also the option to set a schedule for the camera to record and the privacy shutter to be activated. Unfortunately, the Ring Indoor Cam doesn’t have a privacy shutter, but it does have a Modes function in the app that allows you to manually arm the camera, which starts the camera recording or disarm the camera with one-tap in the app. It’s also possible to mute the microphone as well, so it’s not recording any sound.  

Ring Indoor Cam

(Image credit: TechRadar)

 Smart home integration

The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera takes the crown here as well, since it includes integration with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit. As such, you can view a live feed from the camera through an Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest smart display, as well as on your TV if you have a Firestick, Google Chromecast or Apple TV connected to it. The Ring Indoor Cam is only compatible with Alexa, so you’ll need an Amazon Echo Show if you want to view the camera’s live feed on a smart display. 


The Ring Indoor Cam is the most affordable of the two home security cameras, priced at $59.99 / £49, while the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera will set you back $99 / £119.99. 

As already mentioned, the subscription services are similarly priced, with Arlo Smart costing $2.99/ £2.49 per month and Ring Protect priced at $3 / £2.50 per month. 


The Ring and Arlo security cameras are evenly matched when it comes to design and the quality of the footage they record. The Ring Indoor Cam is the more affordable of the two, so if you’re on a tight budget then this is the one to plump for. However, if privacy is a priority, the features offered by the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera in this regard are worth the extra outlay. 

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.