Wednesday, May 15, 2019

DIY Smart Home Security System {Arlo Ultra}

This post is sponsored by Arlo Home Security, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Growing up my dad ran a home security company and the Mr. worked for the company during a few college summers.  I guess that really stuck with him because he had been wanting to add security cameras to our home for some time now. He actually had researched them a ton before Christmas and he had pretty much settled on getting the Arlo Ultra 4K Home Security System for himself.

They are America's #1 Internet-connected camera brand and has super advanced technology with a simple DIY homeowner product that is easy to use.  That totally had him sold. Anything he can do himself, he's all about.  Then I mentioned wanting to upgrade our Wifi for Christmas and he did what he always does and put his wants on the back burner for mine.

Fast forward a few months and The Magnolia Mamas was asked if we wanted to give the Arlo Ultra camera a try. I mentioned it to him and he was SO excited!  I get excited about cute new shoes for the blog and he gets excited about security cameras.  Go figure!

I'll be honest...I wasn't sure that we really needed a security camera and didn't think that we would use it, but now that I have it, I don't know how I lived without it!  If we are on vacation or even just away for the day it give us piece of mind.  We can double check that the garage doors are closed, we can see when packages arrive, and and because we don't live in a traditional neighborhood, it just helps us keep an eye on things at home when we aren't there.

There are many days my oldest comes home from school when I'm off with the other two kids so now we can see that she gets home safely.  We often have babysitters pick up the kids from sports when I can't get to three places at once so I now know when they arrive home with the kids. Also, if someone is coming to pick up something from my house I know when they arrive and when items have been picked up.

The Arlo Ultra camera came with everything we needed to get started.  Because the Mr. had watched approximately 87 YouTube videos leading up to Christmas about this system he was a wealth of information.  I was most impressed with the fact that rechargeable battery would last for MONTHS and the installation and set-up was a breeze!

We ended up putting our on the corner of our porch and because of the 180 degree view we are able to see our driveway, garage doors and front porch all in one view.

We're able to see the live video stream by using the free Arlo App on our phones and we can also log in on our desktop to view or monitor via an Apple Watch, Google Home Hub or Amazon's Alexa. I love that it send me alerts on my phone and I can also go back and see all of the activity for each day.

Some other things he told me that kind of set Arlo Ultra apart was:

*The 4K image quality is so great that it provides a high-res tracking and zooming so you can see even tiny details like words, logos or license plates. 
*There is a spotlight on the camera that creates enhanced night vision that allows you to see video in color instead of the traditional black and white. 
*It has a 180 degree view without the typical fish eye distortion of some other popular cameras. 
*You can listen and speak to anyone within range of your Arlo Ultra with a clear, full 2-way audio.  The kids love this feature.  The other day I was out pitching to my son and all of the sudden we heard the Mr. say, "Great Hit!" 
*The fact that it came with a 1 year Arlo Smart Premier which is video and audio recordings for up to 30 days stored in the cloud and customized alerts for spotting people, packages, vehicles and animals. 

We have been so impressed with the quality and ease of installation of these wire-free cameras that the Mr. actually hoped online the same weekend we installed our first one to order more! I had planned on getting more to add to our system for him for Father's Day, but he beat me to it!  I do think this would be a great Father's Day gift though for anyone looking for ideas! (They are available in store and online from Best Buy or Amazon.) He got the Arlo Ultra home security system offered with 4 cameras to add on to our current system.  He's got diagrams drawn and plans for all of the other cameras.  Some will go outside, one in the basement and one on our screened porch.  One thing is for sure...we will be well monitored and will certainly have peace of mind.

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