Setting up home security cameras isn’t the huge, technical undertaking that you might think it is. You can set up a home security camera system as a great gift for your mom or dad, a new grad, or anyone else.
Or, try one for your own family’s protection. Home security camera kits are available that take very little time to install and require minimal technical know-how.
Here’s how to set up an Arlo Wire Free home security camera system set like an expert, even if you’re not a techie.
This post may contain affiliate links; please read my disclosure here.
Start by ordering an Arlo Wire Free security camera system. You can find them on Amazon for about $160 for the Arlo Wire Free one camera system. For larger homes or houses with front and rear doors, consider two or more cameras. You can get up to five cameras with the Arlo Wire Free system.
Remove All Parts From Packaging
The Arlo Wire Free security camera system from Netgear comes with everything you need, and it’s well packaged without requiring a ridiculous amount of time for unpacking the parts.
Remove the batteries from their packaging and put them with the cameras. Place the power cable, network cable and base all together, too. Read over all of the instructions. You’ll find that they’re written in plain English and include some basic illustrations to help you along.
Install the Base
Place the Arlo Wire Free system’s Netgear base near your network’s WiFi router. Plug in the power cable and attach one end of the network cable to the base and the other end to your WiFi router.
Create Your Arlo Account
Follow the included directions for creating an Arlo account. This will let you access your security footage using your computer or an iOS or Android mobile device. Arlo will save a week’s worth of videos in the cloud for free, and you can buy longer storage for an additional fee. You’ll even be able to store security videos with others.
Once you’ve created your account, go ahead and install the app on at least one smartphone or tablet, such as an Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone or iPad. Login to the app using your new Arlo credentials.
Install the Camera Batteries
Insert four batteries into each of your cameras. I’m not sure how long the batteries will last, but they don’t seem to drain very quickly so far. When you need a fresh supply, you can pick up a 12-pack of CR123 lithium batteries on Amazon.com for less than $20.
Important: Follow the instructions for syncing the cameras with the base carefully. The current instructions say to hold down the sync button on the base for two seconds. If you overshoot the two seconds, it won’t work. Same goes for each camera – follow the instructions exactly. You’ll have to go through the same process with each of your security cameras.
Decide Where to Put the Cameras
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding where to hang cameras for outdoor security purposes.
- Easy access for swapping out batteries when necessary and adjusting the camera angle.
- Preferably in a place that’s not easy for an intruder to reach.
- You need to be able to drill a hole for hanging the camera base.
- The camera will need to have as broad a view as possible of the area you wish to monitor, making it difficult for someone to avoid being caught on camera.
Cameras can also be mounted indoors to work as nanny cams, watch older children until parents get home from work, keep an eye on pets or for any other reason one might have a need to monitor the interior of a home.
Break Out the Drill and Hang Those Cameras
Now that you’ve scoped out the appropriate places for your security cameras, you’ll need to drill one of the included screws partway into each spot. Hang the magnetic base on the screw, then place the camera against it and adjust it to the desired angle.
Don’t worry – you’ll probably need to come back and adjust it a few times, and it’s super easy to move it around on the magnet to get just the right view that you’re looking for. Drywall anchors are included in the kit, in case you need them.
Netgear also sells a variety of alternative mounts for about $15 to $25 so you can install cameras just about anywhere.
Outdoor cameras aren’t just great for catching potential intruders. You can also find out what animals are eating your trash or stealing from your garden. Thanks to the security camera mounted on the back door of our house, we’ve discovered a stray cat. Now we’re feeding her regularly.
Check Camera Angles
Check the Arlo app under the Live tab to analyze your camera angles. You might need to restart the base after installing the cameras, if you don’t see them show up in the app.
Tweak the App Settings
On the Mode tab in the Arlo app, you can tell it whether to send push notifications and/or email notifications when the camera detects motion and records. You can also set the sensitivity of the motion detection and the amount of time it records.
Longer record times will get you more footage, but will probably drain the batteries more quickly. Higher sensitivity will result in more recordings and hence, faster battery drain as well.
Watch Your Videos
The Library tab in the Arlo app lets you watch your security camera video footage. You’ll find that the Arlo Wire Free system’s 720p HD cameras take exceptionally nice, full color daytime video and sharp, clear, black and white video at night.
However, for good night footage, you’ll need some sort of light source, such as a street lamp or motion detector light. We use a solar powered dawn-to-dusk motion sensing light from Cosmically Solar, and it works great for us. This LED light was super easy to install, since it doesn’t require batteries or electricity – just a few hours of sun each day.
Any wire free motion detecting camera, including the Arlo system, will have a brief delay before recording. This is because it goes into a hibernation mode to save battery life and needs time to wake up and turn itself back on.
It translates into a bit of a lag time between the camera detecting motion and when it starts recording. That means it won’t pick up something that happens in a flash. Positioning the cameras correctly can help make sure you get a decent view of any potential intruder, even with the delay.
Overall, Netgear’s Arlo Wire Free security system offers a low cost way of installing home video monitoring with quick installation, easy and convenient operation and no need for a monthly monitoring bill.
The author received a demo product for the purpose of this honest evaluation.
How About You?
Have you considered installing security cameras for yourself or a loved one? Did the cost hold you back, or were you a bit afraid that the installation would be difficult for a non-techie?