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Does Arlo Require a Subscription?


Arlo’s top-of-the-range security equipment has established itself as a leading brand of video surveillance equipment for both homeowners and business owners worldwide.

Arlo offers two tiers of paid subscriptions, Secure and Secure Plus, which boost the camera’s impact by providing premium features such as cloud storage and up to 4K resolution.

Arlo’s paid subscription plans, Secure and Secure Plus, are optional, and your camera will work without either. A paid subscription lets you store your camera’s recordings in the cloud server, but you’ll still get access to live view, two-way audio, and Arlo app push notifications with a free plan.

Keep reading to learn more about Arlo’s subscription plan options and whether you’ll need to invest in a paid subscription to get the most out of your Arlo security cameras.

Does Arlo Require a Subscription?

You do not need to sign up for a subscription to use an Arlo camera. 

Without a subscription, you’ll still be able to stream the camera’s video footage from your smartphone via the Arlo app. 

You also don’t need a paid subscription to connect your Arlo camera to a base station, which means you’ll benefit from improved battery life and long-range WiFi connectivity.

If you have a newer Arlo camera, such as the Arlo Ultra, Pro 2 or Pro 3, you’ll also be able to store videos locally to a base station via a USB stick or an SD card, even if you don’t have a paid subscription.

Without an Arlo paid subscription, you will still receive push notifications and be able to use the two-way audio function.

All Arlo cameras come with a trial plan to give you a taste of all the features you’d get access to if you were to upgrade to a paid subscription. Once the trial ends, you have to decide whether you would like to sign up for one of the premium plans or opt-out altogether.

If you have an Arlo Wire-Free, Pro, Pro 2, Go, Q, Q Plus or Arlo Baby camera, you will continue to get the following benefits even without a paid subscription:

  • 7-Day cloud recording
  • Live streaming
  • 2-way audio
  • Local storage
  • Activity zones

Arlo Features That Require a Subscription

Arlo offers two tiers of subscription plans for customers to choose from – Arlo Secure and Arlo Secure Plus.

Arlo Secure plans help give you the ultimate security experience by boosting the features and functions offered by their extensive range of security cameras and smart doorbells.

You will need to sign up for a paid plan to make use of the following features:

  • Advanced object detection 
  • Higher-resolution recordings (2K for Secure or 4K for Secure Plus)
  • Smart notifications
  • 30-day cloud storage
  • Activity zones
  • Extended warranty
  • Priority support
  • Unlimited camera plans
  • Smoke alarm and CO2 alarm sound detections (only available on some cameras)

By upgrading to the Secure Plus Plan, you’ll also benefit from 4K video resolution and the new emergency response feature, which will notify the relevant emergency services at the touch of a button.

Arlo Features That Work without a Subscription

Arlo cameras do not need a paid subscription to function as a basic security camera.

You will still be able to keep an eye on your home by watching a live stream via the Arlo app from wherever you are in the world.

Without a paid plan, you’ll also have access to the following features:

  • Remote and local live streaming
  • Push notifications
  • Auto zoom and tracking
  • Two-way audio
  • Local storage recording

Arlo cameras that can connect to a base station will benefit from improved battery life and long-range wireless connectivity without a subscription to either Arlo Secure or Arlo Secure Plus.


Arlo Subscription Plan Overview

As we mentioned previously, Arlo offers two tiers of premium subscriptions: Arlo Secure and Arlo Secure Plus.

Arlo Secure costs $2.99 a month for a single camera or $9.99 a month for an unlimited number of cameras.

Arlo Secure Plus costs $14.99 a month for an unlimited number of cameras.

The table below gives a more precise comparison of the features that each plan has to offer:

Arlo Subscription Plan Overview

Feature / Plan Type

No Plan

Arlo Secure Plan

Arlo Secure Plus Plan

Cloud Video Resolution

Up to 2K

Up to 4K

30 Day Video History

No

Yes

Yes

Live Video Streaming

Yes

Yes

Yes

Motion Notifications

Yes

Yes

Yes

Animated Preview

No

Yes

Yes

Interactive Notifications

No

Yes

Yes

Person, Package, Vehicle, & Animal Detection

No

Yes

Yes

Smoke/CO Alarm Detection
(on certain products only)

No

Yes

Yes

Activity Zones
(on certain products and when connected to continuous AC power)

No

Yes

Yes

Call a Friend

No

Yes

Yes

Emergency Response
(only available in the US)

No

No

Yes

Priority Support

No

Yes

Yes

As you can see, you’ll get to unlock a broad selection of features when you subscribe to either of the paid plans.

With the motion detection feature enabled, your battery-operated camera will conserve power because it will only begin recording when it detects motion. Both versions of paid plans will also save all your camera recordings on the cloud server for up to 30 days.

Depending on which plan you purchase, the video recordings will have 2K or 4K resolution, giving you a crisper and clearer picture quality than if you didn’t subscribe to a paid monthly plan.

With interactive notifications, you won’t need to log in to the Arlo app to check your alerts. You’ll be able to see a thumbnail preview of the alert footage, activate the siren, call a friend, and operate the ‘e911’ feature all from your phone’s lock screen.

The Smoke/CO alarm detection feature will send you an instant alert whenever the smoke alarm in your house goes off, potentially saving lives by giving you more time to get everyone out of the house in an emergency.

Does Arlo Have a Monthly Fee?

The Arlo Secure and Arlo Secure Plus plans have a monthly fee you would have to pay if you want to sign up.

The cheapest plan is $2.99 a month, which will get you a subscription to Arlo Secure for a single camera. If you don’t want to be limited to just one camera, you could subscribe to Arlo Secure for an unlimited number of cameras for $9.99 a month.

Arlo Secure Plus will get you everything the Secure plan offers, with the added bonus of 4K video footage and the Emergency Response feature. This plan costs $14.99 a month for an unlimited number of cameras.

Alternatively, if you don’t wish to sign up for a monthly paid subscription, it is possible to use an Arlo camera without one, albeit with limited functionality.

Arlo Annual Subscription Overview

All Arlo subscription plans are paid monthly rather than annually. 

When you purchase an Arlo camera, you will also get a free 3-month trial to Arlo Secure to allow you to test out the extra features.

Once the trial ends, you can choose to sign up for either of the monthly paid plans or continue without a subscription.

Does Arlo Have a Free Plan?

Yes, Arlo has a free plan that doesn’t require a monthly subscription.

Without a paid plan, your Arlo camera will continue to offer live streaming, push notifications, two-way audio, local storage for recordings (via a base station), and Auto Zoom & Tracking for specific devices.

Some Arlo devices, including the Pro, Pro 2 and Arlo Q models, include free-rolling 7-day cloud recording and activity zones on up to 5 cameras without subscribing to a paid plan.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Record on Arlo without a Subscription?

If you aren’t willing to pay for an Arlo subscription, you can store video footage locally on a USB stick or microSD card located in the camera’s base station.

Depending on the base station version you have, you can either eject the storage device and watch the video recordings on a computer or view them on your smartphone via the Arlo app.

To access your recordings remotely, you will need to set up port forwarding on your router and activate it in the Arlo app. Doing this will enable you to watch your camera recordings even if you’re not connected to the local WiFi network.

However, it is worth noting that by using local storage rather than cloud storage, it will be slower to view videos because you will need to download them before watching.

Also, the motion notifications will display as text rather than a thumbnail preview like you would get on the paid subscription plan.

Without an Arlo Secure or Arlo Secure Plus subscription, you won’t be able to save recordings to the cloud library, so each video can only be viewed by one primary account user.

How Long Does Arlo Save Videos with a Subscription?

Arlo’s cloud storage will save recordings for 30 days if you have a paid subscription with either Arlo Secure or Arlo Secure Plus.

How Long Does Arlo Save Videos without a Subscription?

All Arlo wireless cameras can save recordings to local storage via the base station. These recordings can be saved to a USB stick or microSD card, and they will remain stored there as long as there is space available.

The Arlo app will notify you when the USB or SD card storage reaches 80% capacity. If you have automatic overwrite enabled, the app will automatically delete the oldest videos to make space for new footage.

Only motion-triggered video footage is saved locally to the base station; if you want to be able to save manual recordings, you’ll have to subscribe to a paid plan.

The following devices provide free cloud storage for a maximum of 7 days:

  • Arlo Wire-Free
  • Pro
  • Pro 2
  • Go
  • Q
  • Q Plus
  • Baby

Once the seven days have passed, Arlo will automatically delete the recordings from the cloud storage.


In Summary

To summarise, there are two types of paid subscriptions available with Arlo devices; however, you do not have to sign up for one to benefit from most of the features these cameras offer.

While a paid subscription will allow you to store recordings on the cloud servers, you don’t need to pay for a monthly subscription to access significant features such as live view, two-way audio, and push notifications via the Arlo app.


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