Netgear Arlo Q review

A well-made and smartly designed security camera

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We liked

The compact and crisp white design looks rather good, and it also tends to blend into the background rather than attract attention. The sturdy, fully articulated stand makes it easy to install and the magnetic base could also save time if you have a suitable metal surface. 

Build quality is reassuringly solid and the camera is well served by the slick Arlo companion app. Picture quality is clear and detailed enough for surveillance and the motion detector picked up on all of our attempts to sneak past it. Factor in the free 7-day cloud storage space that you get with the Basic subscription package, and you have a very cost-effective security solution.

We disliked

We had real trouble with the installation process and the Arlo server simply not acknowledging our camera, but that may not be the case for anyone else. The lack of an Ethernet port also forces you to use a wireless network that might, like ours, be overused already.

Netgear does offer an Ethernet option as a dongle, but that’s reserved for the more expensive Arlo Q Plus. So if seven days is not enough backup time for you, then you are forced into the relatively expensive Premier (or Elite) subscription service. 

Likewise, a microSD slot would have been appreciated to extend the capacity of video that can be backed up for free, but it too is only available with the Plus version of the camera.

Final verdict

With its smart, solid and compact design, the Arlo Q has instant appeal as a discrete security camera. And it’s backed up by the user-friendly Arlo app that enables you to access key features, like the push notification settings, without going round in circles. 

Our experience with getting the camera online didn’t go well and our Wi-Fi network struggled to stream its 1080p live view, but of course, your mileage will likely vary on these points. In which case, the overall usability of this product, combined with its relatively robust build quality and the generous 7-day free data storage plan, make this camera a good way to start protecting your property.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.