If you are familiar with my book or my podcast with the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C., you have heard me tell the story of being in Afghanistan and seeing three men outside my home at 0430 after I received an alert on my phone from my Arlo cameras. The same story can be heard on the Easy Prey podcast here https://www.easyprey.com/situational-awareness-with-robert-montgomery/. By the way, if you are not familiar with Easy Prey, their podcasts offer a wealth of information on a variety of subjects related to how to avoid becoming a victim.
In any case, in the event described on the interviews, I had two Arlo cameras that I hastily set up days before deploying to Afghanistan. But subsequent to the near home invasion, Arlo presented some problems and I supplemented my camera
defense with Ring cameras. I've had some time to compare the two and I offer these humble thoughts for anyone interested in a comparison of these devices.
The Winner? Ring. Here is why.
1. After I turned over my Arlo stills and videos to the police, the prosecutor determined the clarity was not good enough to use in court (the two photos are from the Arlo camera in that event).
In my humble opinion, Ring pictures and video offer better quality. Maybe even a prosecutor would think so...
2. The Base Station for my Arlo cameras inexplicably died after about 5 years rendering all of the cameras useless.
3. I would rather staple certain body parts together than call Arlo support again (and that was BEFORE the pandemic).
4. I sent emails to the CEOs of both Arlo and Ring to let them know that I endorsed both of their products in my book. Instant response from Ring. Crickets from Arlo. I get it that these people are extremely busy and get all sorts of unsolicited emails (who doesn't in this day and age), but the immediate response from Ring did not go unnoticed.
A couple of other points. Ring has small solar panels for outdoor cameras and they work extremely well. I haven't had any issues with mine and they have been up for about two years and through all seasons. Cameras that are not connected to power need to have the batteries changed out every couple of weeks, which means its a good idea to have extra batteries (at added expense).
I don't know anything about electricity other than you can't see it and it will kill you. That said, I was able to install a Ring Doorbell camera and wire it into the existing doorbell without incident or electrocution--as the directions on the Ring site are that easy to understand.
Ring isn't without it's problems. I have had two cameras suddenly die after a couple of years. Not cool, but I suppose acceptable given the wear and tear of these things over time. I also like that Ring sends periodic summaries of crime in your zip code and you can alert other Ring users with video clips of crime events in your neighborhood and surrounding areas.
Both Arlo and Ring can be controlled from your smart phone. On the Ring, you can choose different alert tones for different cameras--a great feature. I hope I never have to find out again if a prosecutor will use my photos/videos as evidence, but at the end of the day, any of the many internet-based systems are well worth having. I recommend having cameras on all areas of the perimeter of the house that you need to keep an eye on as well as a couple inside. That way if someone gets into the house you can still track their movements--and that is a topic for another discussion.