Update: Nest has lowered its cloud storage prices— see chart under “Storage” for more details.
Nest camera vs Arlo. When it comes to indoor security cameras, there are many options on the market, but these two are very popular. In this article we compare the Google Nest Indoor Camera and the Arlo Pro 2.
While they both bring a lot to the table, they do have some key differences that might influence your buying decision. Right off the bat, you need to know that both the Google Nest Indoor and the Arlo Pro 2 work indoors, however, the Arlo Pro 2 can also function as an outdoor camera. To inform your decisions, of course, I’ll use Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test. Let’s dive in!
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and although they probably weren’t discussing security cameras specifically, the maxim remains true. While I’m no Tim Gunn, I do like to think that I have a sophisticated aesthetic. When it comes to design, are the Nest Indoor Camera and the Arlo Pro 2 up to snuff?
Arlo Pro 2
The Arlo Pro 2 has a white plastic exterior with a shiny black face. It’s only about three inches tall, but it’s surprisingly heavy at five ounces. I like this because it shows that the camera is durable. As they say, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
One thing I wasn’t crazy about was the magnetic ball mount, which doesn’t allow for a full range of motion. This makes setting up the camera a bit more difficult depending on which angle you’re going for.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the Arlo hub, which connects to the Internet through an ethernet cable. The camera can be up to 140 away from the hub with normal connectivity and 300 feet away if you’re in a bind and have some connectivity issues. The hub is also where you’ll download the camera’s footage to your local storage, and it’s included with a pack of two cameras.
The Arlo Pro 2 is one of Security Baron's favorite cameras, meeting lots of the necessary features tests.
Nest Cam Indoor
Personally, I prefer the Nest Cam Indoor’s design to the Arlo Pro 2’s. The base is black with a gunmetal coating, while the camera itself is shiny black plastic. It also comes with a rubber backing and a magnetic base, which is particularly useful for setting up the camera standing up, on a wall, or on a tripod. Unlike the Arlo Pro 2, the Nest Cam Indoor swivels 360 degrees, making it easy to capture whatever area you’d like.
My only critique is the camera’s white USB cord. In a sea of black, I find the cord a bit jarring. Overall, though, the Nest Cam Indoor’s design is both more aesthetically pleasing and functioning than that of the Arlo Pro 2.
The Nest Cam Indoor is Nest's original indoor camera with 1080p HD video, two-way audio, infrared night vision, and other Necessary Features.
The cameras are extremely similar when it comes to video, audio, value, convenience, and their warranties.
Video and Audio
In terms of video and audio, both cameras perform well with 1080p HD, fields of zoom of 8x, and 130 degree fields of view.
Alongside the video, the audio is perfectly crisp and clear. Both cameras feature two-way audio, which means that you can communicate with whoever is in the room, be it an intruder or your dog.
Both cameras come with a one-year warranty, pretty standard for home security cameras.
Convenience and Value
I had no issue setting up either camera. The Nest was especially easy because I was already part of the Google ecosystem. Overall, these are both great cameras and worth their prices, so your decision will have to come down to the cameras’ differences.
For the Google Nest Indoor Camera and the Arlo Pro 2, the differences definitely outweigh the similarities. Your ultimate decision will probably hinge on categories like night vision, storage, artificial intelligence, and smart platform integration. Let’s see how the cameras stack up.
The first thing that disappointed me about the Arlo Pro 2 was the night vision. Despite the fact that the box said the night vision could capture up to 25 feet, I could only make out a few feet in front of the camera. The Arlo community at large shares this opinion, with many online complaints about the camera’s night vision.
Unlike the Arlo Pro 2, the Nest Indoor has great night vision, with eight infrared LED sensors.
If quality night vision is important to you, then the Arlo Pro 2 probably isn’t the best option for you.
When it comes to storage, however, the Arlo Pro 2 has the Google Nest Indoor Camera beat. While the Nest only offers cloud storage, the Arlo Pro 2 offers both local and cloud storage. At Security Baron, we prefer cameras that have both local and cloud storage for a couple of reasons. One, having both is an excellent way to backup your footage. If a hard drive is stolen or if the cloud experiences technical difficulties, it’s nice to have a fallback. We also value features that put the user in the driver’s seat, and with local storage, you’ll be in complete control of your footage.
On top of its local and cloud storage options, the Arlo Pro 2 gives a week of storage for free! This is a huge rarity in the home security camera market. Compare it to the Nest, which only offers three hours of cloud storage, and the winner is clear.
Nest does have some paid options for up to 60 days of storage. Additional storage is part of the optional Nest Aware subscription, which I’ll discuss later in more detail.
Although the Arlo Pro 2 has the Nest Indoor beat when it comes to storage, they are seriously lacking when it comes to artificial intelligence.
What do I mean when I say artificial intelligence? In the home security world,artificial intelligence typically signifies person detection, which allows the camera to detect people in the area that it’s recording. Person detection allows the camera to differentiate between people, pets, and other moving objects like cars. Of course, you don’t want to be notified every time your neighbor’s dog runs across your lawn. Artificial intelligence means smarter, more specific notifications. More advanced systems can even start to recognize specific faces, distinguishing loved ones from intruders.
On a free level, the Nest Indoor comes with person detection, which is quickly becoming an industry standard. With Nest Aware, Google’s paid subscription program, you’ll receive features like motion and sound detection, plus specific alerts for dogs barking, people speaking, and familiar faces.
The Arlo Pro 2 does not include any artificial intelligence, although you can pay for person detection through Arlo Smart Home, which starts at $2.99 per camera each month.
Home security cameras are getting smarter. They don’t just show you the area you’re recording- they’re also analyzing the area to extract important data, like who is a friend and who is an intruder. If artificial intelligence is important to you, I’d go with the Nest Indoor over the Arlo Pro 2.
Smart Platform Integration
When it comes to smart platform integration, the Google Nest Indoor Camera and the Arlo Pro 2 are separate but equal.
Both cameras integrate with the Google and Amazon ecosystems. That means you’ll be able to tell Alexa or Google Assistant to turn on your camera and stream your footage through Chromecast or Fire TV, to name a couple of capabilities. Beyond that, the Arlo Pro 2 integrated with IFTTT, Apple HomeKit and Stringify, while the Nest Indoor integrates with Philips Hue lightbulbs.
I like that both cameras work with Amazon, Apple and Google. This gives the user the flexibility to set up their connected devices however they want. The difference comes down to IFTTT, Stringify, and the Philips Hue lightbulbs. If you require IFTTT and/or Stringify, the Arlo Pro 2 might be a better choice for you. If you need integration with Philips Hue lightbulbs, the Nest Indoor is your camera.
While the Google Nest Indoor Camera must be plugged into a wall, the Arlo Pro 2 can either be plugged in or can use a battery, which has a life of about three to six months. I like the flexibility of the Arlo Pro 2’s design. With devices that plug in, you have the advantage of never having to change the battery, although the cord might be a bit unsightly. If you’re looking to place the camera in an area far from outlets, however, the Arlo Pro 2 might be a better option for you.
The Google Nest Indoor Camera and the Arlo Pro 2 don’t just stop at necessary features. They go above and beyond with amazing features like activity zones, geofencing, and more. Let’s take a look at each camera.
Nest Aware is Google’s paid subscription program. Along with cloud storage options up to 30 days, the subscription offers advanced artificial intelligence features, discussed above. With Nest Aware, you can also set up activity zones, specific areas of interest like a window or a baby’s crib that you would like the camera to monitor more closely.
Both the artificial intelligence features and the activity zones help the camera to capture more useful data. Instead of alerting you when cars drive buy your window, you’ll be alerted when someone goes through your window. Instead of being notified when your elderly grandmother comes to visit, you’ll be notified when a strange man is in your living room.
You can also use Nest Aware to set up 24/7 continuous recording. Subscription plans are based on the length of cloud storage (see the storage section above for pricing details).
The Nest app is where you’ll control your camera or cameras. The first cool thing about the app is the Home/ Away feature. Through a process called geofencing, you’ll be able to link your phone up to your camera- that way, your camera will know when you are home and can automatically disarm. After all, who wants to manually arm and disarm the camera every time you enter and leave your home?
The Nest app is also where you’ll adjust any paid features you set up, like the 24/7 continuous streaming, activity zones, and the artificial intelligence features. You’ll also be able to change the mic sensitivity and the status lights, manage storage, and rotate the camera. If you want to share footage with others, you can do that through the app as well.
Overall, the Nest app is easy to use and definitely puts the user in the driver’s seat.
Arlo Pro 2 App
The Arlo Pro 2 kills it when it comes to the app. Like the Nest Indoor, the Arlo Pro 2 also has geofencing, activity zones, motion and sound notifications, and non-stop continuous recording, all of which can be adjusted through the app.
In addition, the Arlo Pro 2 offers an 100-decibel siren. For those of you unfamiliar with the metrics of sound, let me put it this way: that is very loud. A siren is great for a couple of reasons. One, it can scare away an intruder, two, it can alert your family that their security has been compromised, and three, it can alert your neighbors to call the police if necessary. It’s a smart feature that, in my opinion, should come equipped with every security camera.
Another great feature of the Arlo Pro 2 app is the safety button. Instead of having to call 911, you’ll be able to discreetly alert law enforcement of an intruder. You can feel safe knowing that you won’t be overheard calling the police. With 4 stars on both the Google Play and Apple stores, the Arlo Pro 2 app is intuitive and incredibly useful.
Want to explore your options? Read our review of the best home security cameras.
Like I said at the beginning, these are both quality cameras for indoor usage. Ultimately, your personal preferences will determine your buying decision. To recap, you should buy the Google Nest Indoor Camera if you want:
- Quality night vision
- Person detection
- More paid artificial intelligence options like familiar face alerts
- Integration with Philips Hue lightbulbs
- Paid storage options for up to 60 days
On the other hand, the Arlo Pro 2 Camera might be a better choice if you want:
- Indoor and outdoor capabilities
- The option of plugging the camera in or using batteries
- Local and cloud storage, plus a week’s worth of free storage
- An extremely loud siren
- Integration with IFTTT, Apple HomeKit & Stringify
Please let us know if you have any more questions about either camera in the comments below. Thanks, and happy security!
Is the Nest cam or Arlo cam better?
Buyers looking for a solid indoor camera my find the Nest Camera Indoor to be a better fit. The Arlo Pro 2 is a better option for those who need an outdoor camera.
The Nest Cam Indoor has great night vision, person detection and paid artificial intelligence. The Arlo Pro 2 works well both indoors and outdoors, while also offering local cloud storage and a very loud siren.
Does Nest Camera or Alro have more smart features?
Both cameras have impressive smart features like smart platform integration, but the Nest Cam Indoor slightly edges out the Arlo Pro 2 with the ability to recognize faces.