Blink vs Arlo Security Cameras: An In-Depth Comparison

Home security cameras from Blink and Arlo rank among the most popular options for consumers seeking an affordable, flexible solution to monitor their homes. Both companies offer wire-free cameras that are easy for DIY installation along with optional cloud storage subscriptions. However, there are some notable differences that could make one a better fit depending on your needs and budget.

In this 2000+ word guide, we‘ll take a close look at how Blink and Arlo stack up across a range of factors including their security camera lineups, video resolution and features, smart home ecosystem integrations, subscription plans and overall value.

Overview of Blink and Arlo

Blink launched in 2009, originally focusing on chipsets and customized circuits before shifting to develop wire-free home security cameras. In 2017, they were acquired by Amazon to join companies like Ring as part of their smart home device family. Blink‘s current product line includes a range of indoor and outdoor cameras, a video doorbell and a new floodlight camera. Nearly all their cameras capture 1080p HD video and rely on AA batteries for portability.

Arlo originated as a subsidiary of Netgear focused on home security products including wireless cameras and video doorbells. After a successful IPO in 2018, Arlo operates as an independent public company traded on the NYSE while still partnering with Netgear for product distribution in many channels. Arlo‘s product portfolio extends into baby monitors and covers a wider range than Blink‘s – from 1080p HD all the way up to 4K HDR security cameras along with options for local storage, solar power and mobile LTE connectivity.

Comparing Blink and Arlo Security Camera Lineups

The types of security cameras available make up the most significant difference between Blink and Arlo. Let‘s compare the key details across different product tiers from entry-level to premium cameras in their lineups.

Entry-level indoor cameras

Both companies cater to budget buyers with straightforward indoor cameras under $100 for basic home monitoring needs:

CameraVideo ResolutionPowerStoragePrice
Blink Mini1080pWired USB powerCloud only$34.99
Arlo Essential1080pWired power adapterMicroSD card optional$99.99

The Blink Mini is the cheapest at only $35 and quite compact but limited to only cloud storage subscriptions. The Arlo Essential costs nearly 3X more but adds local SD card storage, a wider 130° field of view and an automatic privacy shield insert.

Mid-range battery-powered cameras

Moving up in price unlocks wire-free flexibility and 1080p video with extended battery operation:

CameraVideo ResolutionBattery LifeWireless ConnectivityPrice
Blink Indoor1080p2 yearsWi-Fi only$79.99
Blink Outdoor1080p2 yearsWi-Fi only$99.99
Arlo Essential Spotlight1080p6 monthsDirect Wi-Fi$129.99

The Blink Indoor and Outdoor claim an industry leading 2 year battery life from 2x AA lithium batteries making them the lowest maintenance cameras for install and forget operation. They connect directly to Wi-Fi without any hub required. Upgrading to the Arlo Essential Spotlight adds a built-in spotlight and support for color night vision at a $100+ price point.

Advanced outdoor cameras

Class-leading wireless performance, high resolution sensors and activity zones differentiate premium Arlo outdoor cameras:

CameraVideo ResolutionPowerWireless ConnectivityField of ViewPrice
Arlo Pro 42K HDRRechargeable batteryWi-Fi + Hub required160°$199.99
Arlo Ultra 24K HDRRechargeable batteryWi-Fi + Hub required180°$299.99
Arlo Wire-Free1080pSolar panel + battery bankCellular LTE130°$349.99

Only Arlo offers multi-megapixel sensors for 2K or 4K video enhanced with high dynamic range (HDR). The Arlo Pro 4 delivers crisp 2K resolution with advanced object detection. Stepping up to the Arlo Ultra 2 unlocks best-in-class 4K clarity to zoom in on details along with dual noise cancelling microphones for audio. Arlo‘s Wire-Free LTE camera offers unlimited range and flexibility with built-in cellular connectivity. Adding an Arlo hub enables advanced motion zones for smarter notifications. However, top-tier Arlo cameras demand a $100+ premium over Blink‘s offerings.

Video Doorbell Comparison

Both brands offer video doorbells to complement their security camera lineups with options for wired or wire-free installation.

The Blink Video Doorbell captures 1080p HD video with infrared night vision, two-way talk and custom motion alerts starting at just $49.99. You‘ll get 135° diagonal field of view but no pre-buffering features. It offers simple integration with Blink‘s Sync Module for accessing video clips.

Arlo‘s new Essential Video Doorbell Wired matches Blink‘s resolution and night vision capabilities in a sleek modern design made for easy self-installation without wiring hassles. The built-in siren, extended 6 month battery life on 2x AA batteries, 1:1 aspect ratio for full body views and pre-buffering elevate it over Blink‘s offering despite costing $20 more at $69.99 MSRP. However, Arlo‘s doorbell lacks any local storage option – it‘s cloud subscription or bust.

Both doorbell cameras allow for Alexa integration and basic smart notifications. But Arlo still commands a premium for their polished design and incremental upgrades like the pre-buffering technology also seen on their cameras. Blink delivers reliable performance and seamless integration with their existing cameras at more budget-friendly price points.

Smart Home Ecosystem Integration

With security cameras proliferating as part of smart homes, integration with voice assistants and whole-home automation ecosystems can improve usability substantially.

Here is how Blink and Arlo stack up when connecting into major platforms:

Blink CompatibilityArlo Compatibility
Amazon AlexaDirect natively integratedRequires skill enable
Google AssistantRequires IFTTT workaroundFully Compatible out of box
Apple HomeKitNot supportedNative integration
Samsung SmartThingsRequires IFTTT workaroundPlugin ecosystem ready

Blink cameras have native advantages when linking into Amazon‘s Alexa environment for managing your smart home. Setting them up is straightforward through the Alexa app with no skill required.

By comparison, Arlo functions as its own discrete ecosystem so getting cameras connected to Alexa requires enabling a custom Arlo skill. However, Arlo offers out-of-the-box support for both Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit – two environments where Blink cameras hit roadblocks. Unless you are willing to experiment with If This Then That (IFTTT) applets, there is no direct way to access Blink cameras through Siri or the Google Home app.

For most consumers with Echo devices, Blink will probably deliver better convenience and connectivity over Arlo. But folks invested into the Google/Nest or Apple smart home universe may be better served by Arlo‘s wider cross-platform support. Both brands leave something to be desired when integrating with SmartThings though lackluster IFTTT integration is again the only path forward to connect Blink gear.

Subscription Plans for Storage

Storing security camera video clips requires cloud storage or local SD card recording capabilities. Blink and Arlo take different approaches here with implications for managing your footage and recurring fees.

Arlo splits their offering into three subscription plan tiers:

PlanPriceDevices SupportedMax ResolutionLength of Storage
Arlo Smart Basic plan focused on notifications$2.99/month per cam
$9.99/month for unlimited cams
Up to 5 cameras1080pRolling 30 days
Arlo Secure Adds AI search and 2K video support$4.99/month per cam
$14.99/month for unlimited cams
Up to 10 cameras2K60 days
Arlo Secure Plus Bumps up storage allowance to 90 days$9.99/month per cam
$19.99/month for unlimited cams
Up to 20 cameras4K90 days

Blink keeps things simple with two options:

PlanPriceDevices SupportedStorage Length
Blink Basic$3/month per camera
$10/month for unlimited cameras
Up to 10 camerasClips only
Blink Plus$10/month per camera
$100/year for unlimited cameras
Unlimited camerasUp to 60 days

Blink‘s unlimited annual prepaid plan works out to just over $8/month making it extremely competitive if you have more than a few cameras. Arlo‘s unlimited plans cost $10-20 per month in comparison. Both support sharing clips and adjusting notification sensitivity without requiring any subscription. But free users are very limited in terms of available video history to review.

For most homeowners, 30-60 days worth of storage allowance should suffice to look back on porch pirate thefts or suspicious vehicles. Die-hard enthusiasts embracing 10+ camera deployments will get better value from Blink‘s unlimited plan rates. As long as you don‘t need the highest 4K video fidelity, Blink probably deserves the edge for storage subscriptions.

Unique Products

Alongside their core security camera lineups, both brands offer specialty cameras with extra capabilities:

Floodlight Cameras – For dramatically improved night vision, Arlo and Blink both market 1080P cameras with high lumen integrated spotlights:

The Arlo Pro 3 variant captures higher resolution and brighter illumination unmatched by Blink. But most buyers will find the Blink Floodlight Camera delivers excellent awareness at nearly half the cost.

Solar Panel Charging – For maximum flexibility placing cameras, solar charging maintenance-free operation. Both brands offer outdoor solar accessories:

Arlo‘s first-party solar charger carries a significant price premium but the integrated design allows it to directly charge Arlo‘s battery pack instead of relying on AA batteries like Blink. Consumers should factor in the long-term cost of replacing AA batteries when comparing the total cost of ownership alongside the solar panel‘s upfront cost.

Final Verdict: Blink vs Arlo Security Cameras

Blink built its reputation delivering reliable, easy-to-use wire-free security cameras priced under $100 with free cloud storage options to carefully watch your budget. The product catalog isn‘t terribly extensive but focuses on delivering great value and battery life with few frills.

Arlo excels at pushing camera performance forward with ultra high resolution multi-megapixel sensors, spotlight and siren modules and cutting edge software like pre-buffered recording. But you‘ll pay a significant premium for Arlo‘s technical ambitions and polished product design. Their extensive ecosystem of cameras, sensors and accessories also comes at a cost for total system ownership.

For most homeowners, Blink is probably the smarter pick to start monitoring your property. Going with Arlo makes more sense if you value flexibility in positioning cameras or need the best possible video quality to capture faces, license plates and other details clearly. Just prepare for notably higher upfront equipment pricing and recurring subscription fees.

Outside these two major brands, it‘s also worth considering cameras from Ring and Wyze that find a nice middle ground on pricing and capabilities. But buyers invested in Alexa smart homes or concerned about privacy should still lean toward superb value offerings from Blink.

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